Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler has felt the support of his bosses and teammates in the week since his arrest on two misdemeanor charges.
Fowler, who has a history of traffic violations, got into an altercation with a man at a St. Petersburg apartment complex on July 18.
On Wednesday, Fowler addressed the media for the first time since the incident. He opened up the short press conference with a public apology.
"First, I would like to start off by apologizing to the organization of the Jacksonville Jaguars and also the city of Jacksonville for my actions, for what happened, what went down," Fowler said. "I just want let people know and everybody know that's not me as a person. I'm a better person than that, and it won't happen again."
An earlier arrest in South Florida came to light following the Pinellas County incident. Despite his legal history, Fowler doesn't believe he has character concerns.
"No, I don't think I have a maturity issue, Fowler said. "It's just some things, just learning and growing. Like when I talk to them, I'm a professional. People are going to push me to that point. I just have to be the bigger person and realize who I am and do that. Maturity is not a problem. I'm actually growing a lot, especially with this new structure and everything like that."
Head coach Doug Marrone said the team will wait to punish Fowler. Marrone wants to gather all of the facts first.
“When we get the information we make a decision on it," Marrone said. "Again, those things are private and we’ll handle those internally. The information that’s out there is everything that I know.”
Fowler said his talks with Marrone and Jaguars football executive Tom Coughlin have been "very positive." He hopes to learn from his mistakes.
“I think it was just an incident and a lesson that I just really have to learn from, that I did learn from it and just have to move on from it," Fowler said. "I was having a really good offseason and that’s the twist that happened that kind of made everything bad. I just have to realize the situation that I’m in and what’s at stake and know that I have things that I can lose that I don’t want to lose.”
Fowler's teammates offered public support prior to his press conference. Linebacker Paul Posluszny, a longtime leader in the Jaguars' locker room, said the team needs to help Fowler rebound from this situation.
“The biggest thing is that we’re here for him," Posluszny said. "We’re going to be supportive of him and know that regardless of what happens, you have a group of guys here that are trusting in you and you can rely on. When things like that come up, it’s not good for him, it’s not good for any of us. We want to make sure we can help as much as we can, help him remedy the situation as much as we can and bring him into the fold because we all want him to be an enormous part of this team.”
Fowler was selected with the third overall pick out of Florida in the 2015 NFL Draft. He missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL, but recovered and played in all 16 games last season.
He produced 32 tackles and four sacks in his first year on the field.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
© 2017 WTLV-TV