Less than a month after being drafted, Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis stepped behind a podium Tuesday and performed a familiar professional sports ritual: the prearranged, contrite apology.
Davis apologized to owner Dan Snyder, coach Jim Zorn and his Redskins teammates for the "minor mistake" of missing a minicamp practice May 4. The second-round draft pick from Southern California said he overslept after switching hotel rooms the night before.
"It was something that was irresponsible of me, and I just now want to move on," Davis said.
Davis caused quite a stir when he was a no-show for the Sunday morning practice that concluded a three-day minicamp. The team dispatched security personnel to track him down, and, once he was located, he was brought to Redskins Park for an extended meeting with Zorn in the coach's office.
"It felt like I was about to go to the principal's office or something," Davis said. "I can't believe I did that. I overslept. It's totally bad."
Davis does not yet have a contract, so he could not be fined or suspended for missing the practice.
Rookies usually share rooms in a local hotel during minicamp, but Davis said he decided to move to a private room Saturday night without telling the Redskins. Davis denied that he had been out late the night before.
"I went to bed not too late. I didn't even go out. I was in the hotel the whole night," he said. "Just being on my own was probably a mistake on my part."
Some scouts had questions about Davis' focus and work habits leading up to the draft. He missed the 2005 Orange Bowl after failing to return from Christmas break in time for the Trojans' trip to Florida.
Now that he's in the pros, he realizes that such mistakes will be magnified even more.
"You're always going to be watched, so you've got to make sure you do everything perfectly," Davis said.
The timing of Davis' apology coincided with his return to Redskins Park for offseason weight training. He had to go home after minicamp because, under NFL rules, a rookie cannot work out regularly with a team until his school holds its spring graduation ceremonies.
Davis knows he'll be in for some ribbing as he hangs around his new teammates. He wouldn't be surprised if he were to find a giant alarm clock waiting for him in his locker.
"This is not the attention you want; this is negative attention," Davis said. "I kind of want to stick to my positive side."