The Jaguars drafted Dante Fowler to make an impact as a pass-rusher.
He’s made more on the police blotter lately, but said Wednesday he’s not going to get in any more trouble, and that he wanted to be a role model.
Fowler was arrested for simple battery and criminal mischief last week, and then we found out he had at least 10 traffic tickets in the last 20 months. That led to a hard conversation with Jaguars executive Tom Coughlin, and Fowler said he’s changed.
“I just want to let people know and everybody know that’s not me as a person,” Fowler said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “I’m a better person than that, and it won’t happen again.
“I told Tom that I’m sorry. I told him that I apologize. I can’t make the organization look like that and put us in situations like that. That’s not us. That’s not how we are as a team. That’s not how we are as an organization. We had a good talk. I told them from here on out, nothing else will happen.”
Fowler also met with coach Doug Marrone, but he didn’t want to delve into details about the conversation or any potential discipline.
“Any time something like that happens, no matter who it is, you’re disappointed,” Marrone said. “For me it’s a little bit bigger than that. I believe that we represent something even more so than the organization. We represent a sport, a league, so I think whenever those things happen no matter who it may be I think that it’s concerning.”
The battery charges stemmed from an incident in which Fowler reacted to a man who confronted him about his driving, and allegedly hit the man, knocked his glasses off and stepped on them, and threw his groceries in a lake..
“At the end of the day, it could have went down a totally different way,” Fowler said. “I could have [taken] the right approach. I took the wrong approach, and I realize that I’m wrong for that. Like I said, it won’t happen again.”
Fowler was also arrested in Miami Beach in March 2016 on charges of assault against a police officer/EMT and resisting arrest without violence. Those charges were dropped after a pretrial intervention. He also had to address a TMZ video which showed him refereeing a fight between his girlfriend and the mother of his child. But he insists he’s not immature.
“It’s just some things, just learning and growing,” Fowler said. “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 [under Coughlin and Marrone] and everything like that. Starting to carve me into the person I want to be, the professional I want to be. It’s just a bump in the road that I have to get over and put past me and show you guys, show the organization, show the city, that I’m a role model and I want to go in that route and not go in another bad route.”
Of course, if Fowler’s hitting bumps in the road, the hope is he’s hitting it at or below the speed limit, and that he can be taken at his word that he’ll turn things around.