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Dante Fowler Jr. "It won't happen again"


JACKSONVILLE – Dante Fowler Jr. apologized.

The Jaguars' third-year defensive end when speaking to the media Wednesday also apologized to the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville for his involvement in an incident last week in Tampa.

"I just wanted to 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," Fowler said Wednesday after he and the rest of the Jaguars reported to EverBank Field for 2017 Training Camp.

Fowler, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft from the University of Florida, made his first public comments since his arrest last week after an altercation in an apartment complex. Fowler reportedly struck a man who criticized his driving, then threw the man's groceries in a lake.

"Those things happen," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "Everything that you've read publicly is the same information I have. Obviously I've discussed those things with Dante. Those discussions obviously will remain private. We handle things internally with the players. If anything changes, we'll let everyone know. …

"Anytime something like that happens, you're disappointed from an organizational standpoint. For me it's a little bigger than that. I believe we represent something more than the organization. We represent a sport and a league. When those things happen, no matter who it may be, it's concerning."

Fowler called his conversations with Marrone and Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin "positive," adding that it "actually made me feel really good to see them supporting me and just being there for me and asking me if I'm OK."

"Like I told Tom, 'I'm very sorry,''' Fowler said. "I told him that I apologize and I can't make the organization look like that and put us in situations like that because that's not us, that's not how we are as a team, and that's not how we are as an organization.

"We had a good talk and I told him from here on out nothing else will happen."

Fowler also said he does not believe he has a "maturity issue."

"Maturity is not a problem," he said. "I'm actually growing a lot, especially with this new structure and everything that we have. It's starting to carve me into the person that I want to be, the professional that I want to be. It's just a bump in the road that I just have to get over and put past me and show you guys, show the organization and show the city that I'm a role model and I want to go in that route and not go in another bad route."

Marrone was asked Wednesday about reestablishing trust with Fowler.

"I look at things on a daily basis," Marrone said. "For me, it's daily. That's something you have to prove every day when you come to work, to show people that you're responsible. I don't think it's something where you say, 'Hey, I've gone three weeks. I had this mishap, now you can go …'

"That's not the way I was brought up. That's not what I believe. I believe every single day you have to go show people who you are from the standpoint of your character and what you're about."

Fowler said his teammates have been supportive since the incident.

"They called me, a lot of text messages just saying that they're here for me … if I need somebody to talk to I can call them or talk a little," Fowler said. "That's what really made me feel good throughout the whole process, being able to have support from the people that I'm going to be playing with."

Veteran linebacker Paul Posluszny, whose locker is near Fowler's at EverBank Field, said Fowler is a "great teammate" who "works hard and listens."

"When Dante is here, he's done everything that he's been asked to do," Posluszny said. "We need to be able to support him in the situation that he has, and hopefully everything will clarify itself. We're supportive of him as a team, as a group. We just want to make sure that we can help him in every way that we can."

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