The Jacksonville Jaguars got back on the practice fields on Monday, which also meant that players would be speaking to the media for the first time in a while. One of the big issues was wide receiver Justin Blackmon speaking to the media for the first time since his suspension, but running back Maurice Jones-Drew doesn't think it's that big of a deal, even going as far to say the media is making a much bigger deal out of the situation than needs to be.
"The media just blows it out of proportion," Jones-Drew said, per an Associated Press report. "A lot of people make several mistakes. If you're that age and you have that amount of money, how would you act? If you answer that question truthfully, you can go from there."
ESPN's Paul Kuharsky thinks that Jones-Drew's stance here isn't helping Justin Blackmon and actually doing him a disservice, in which I agree.
Any time a player is dinged with a four-game suspension, it's going to be a big deal. It's not a media creation making it a big deal either, especially when the player is entering just his second season in the NFL. Jones-Drew is naturally going to defend a teammate, especially one he's close to, but his response almost comes off as blaming the media for Blackmon getting in trouble.
The media didn't make him get a DUI. The media didn't make him get a four-game suspension.
I don't think it's that difficult to follow the guidelines of the NFL CBA, in that if you're going to get suspended for using a substance... don't use it. Maybe it's more complicated than that, but that's another issue.
The underlying point is, Blackmon's suspension is a big issue. The Jaguars offense has struggled the past few seasons and a big reason was due to the lack of talent at the wide receiver position. Blackmon emerged as a rookie into a semi-reliable target on the offense and will be sorely missed going forward while he's out those four games.
It's kind of a big deal.