Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley is not the only player who ran into some trouble this offseason to attend the AFC portion of the NFL Rookie Symposium. Also present is Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon, the No. 5 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft who was arrested for DUI in Stillwater, Okla., earlier this month.
In an interview with the NFL Network's Solomon Wilcots, Blackmon discussed how his arrest has affected his approach to the symposium and the support he's received from his coaches.
"It just opens it up a lot," Blackmon said of the symposium. "There's a lot of good information here. I try to open up and take it all in.
"A lot of them know who I am," Blackmon said of the Jaguars' coaching staff. "They know me on the field and off the field and they know it was just a poor choice by me. They've been there to support me and back me up throughout the whole thing."
As they attempt to improve a passing offense that ranked last in the league in 2011, the Jaguars are counting on Blackmon to be the No. 1 receiver for second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert. So it makes sense that the coaching staff, along with his veteran teammates, are rallying around the 22-year-old.
A month before his first NFL training camp, Blackmon, who is among the 14 unsigned first-round picks, believes he's prepared to make a better impact on the field than the one he's made off it thus far.
"I'm very prepared," said Blackmon. "I got the system down and I'm improving from there. I'm just working hard and trying to be the best I can be."