Better late than never, coach Jack Del Rio is finally cracking down on his players. After nine…
JagNation Idiot(s) of the Week Award
As stated earlier, this week we've broken the award down into gold, silver, and bronze medalists, and we've even gone as far as giving out an honorable mention.
Honorable mention- Khalif Barnes- Khalif narrowly missed out on being our first multiple winner of this honor by his tardiness on Saturday morning when the Jaguars team met at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to gather before their flight to New Orleans. Khalif's tardiness would have likely earned him this award during almost any other week, especially being that he's had a couple run-in's with the law, including a DUI a little over a year ago, and more recently an incident in which he crashed his car, then threw the keys on the ground and vacated. Unfortunately for Khalif, his competition this week was just too stiff, not only from players around the league, but on his own team. Khalif's punishment was that he didn't start in the game at New Orleans, and likely wouldn't have played if the Jaguars didn't have injuries on the offensive line in that game.
Head coach Jack Del Rio was asked about if he had concerns over Khalif Barnes, the person--
"Absolutely, I do have that concern. I want to make sure that we do all we can to help him be the person he needs to be because the player, there's no question he can play football, but he needs to have some things resolved so that he can be the person he is capable of being."
Bronze Medal- Marcus Stroud- Marcus Stroud was busted last week for failing a performance enhancing substances test. Stroud claims that he took a bad supplement and there's no way for us to know otherwise so we'll have to take his word on it. Stroud has been in the NFL for seven seasons now, and this is his first failed test. The only question we have to Stroud is--why did you take something different? Stroud has been suspended by the NFL and will miss the next four weeks in a time in which the Jaguars will need all the help they can get, as they travel to 6-2 Tennessee, are at home against San Diego, home against red hot Buffalo, then travel to face the defending champion Indianapolis Colts. Stroud's positive test positively came at the wrong time for the Jaguars.
Silver Medal- Justin Durant- Justin Durant went out last Friday night, less than 12 hours prior to the team's flight out to New Orleans. Durant apparently was either semi-intoxicated or extremely fatigued, as he was found in his 2007 Cadillac Escalade (the vehicle of champions) passed out on an exit ramp. Police on the scene apparently smelled some alcohol on Durant's breath (when he finally awakened) and Durant allegedly refused to exit his vehicle until the police pulled out a taser. Durant was arrested and charged with resisting an officer without violence. Durant, the Jaguars 2007 second round pick has been suspended from the team without pay.
Gold Medal- Richard Collier- Richard Collier was apparently following in the footsteps of his teammates and went out last Friday, also less than 12 hours prior to the Jaguars team flight to New Orleans. Collier, the former undrafted free agent reportedly passed out at a local drive-thru, and was eventually charged with a DUI. What wins Collier the gold medal is the fact that his charges are the most severe, and he wasn't smart enough to learn from the mistakes of the numerous other Jaguars who have been in similar trouble over the last 18 months. Collier has been suspended by the team without pay, similar to Durant. Unfortunately for Collier, he doesn't have second-round draft pick pedigree, like Khalif Barnes and Justin Durant, and the margin for off the field error for a low-paid guy like him isn't anywhere near as great as it is for those other players. This incident may very well lead to the end of his pro football career in Jacksonville.
Jack Del Rio addressed the off the field issues--
"I think you all have heard me say on several occasions that I really believe that coaching and playing in this league is an honor and a privilege, and the other part to that is with that there is a responsibility. Clearly we had a couple individuals that were way outside the lines of what we think is acceptable in responsible behavior. So in light of that, both Richard Collier and Justin Durant will be suspended for two weeks, not allowed to play for two weeks. As the head coach obviously the responsibility comes right to me, and I understand that. I'll make sure again to reiterate exactly how important I believe these issues are. I think it's very important that we be good citizens as well as good football players and I believe very much in identifying and collecting as many good people as we can to have here in Jacksonville. Clearly the situations that came up this past weekend early Saturday morning leading up to our ballgame, less than 36 hours away from our ballgame, was very disappointing to me to learn of. Clearly not guys that are preparing to give their best for us on the field, and beyond that there are other issues that have to be addressed, so they will be addressed. We will have a team here with discipline. We're going to have a good football team that's got to have discipline in order to be a good football team."
Melancholy congratulations to Marcus Stroud, Justin Durant, and Richard Collier, as well as Khalif Barnes for being mentioned once again for this award that embodies all the stupidity associated with all that is wrong with the NFL. It is a shame that all of the recipients had to be Jacksonville Jaguars, and it is an even bigger shame that two of these wealthy young men, Durant and Collier, didn't seem to learn the mistakes of others around them, and continued to make poor decisions. Everyone makes mistakes and nobody's perfect, but these guys really need to think if they're going to go out and drink. Let me give you a quick message that I'm sure you've heard a lot lately--"Get a taxi or limo. You can afford it, and it will keep you from possibly getting arrested, suspended, or killing someone or yourself.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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