INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday marked the start of David Parry's third NFL training camp, and while the usually-quiet defensive lineman likely would've preferred to have a quiet day getting back with his teammates and coaches, he instead found himself surrounded by microphones, recorders and cameras.
Parry for the first time publicly addressed an embarrassing offseason arrest and subsequent charges — one of which is still pending — and convictions for a February incident in Arizona, one that reportedly involved the theft, and subsequent crashing, of a golf cart taxi, all while intoxicated, followed by a confrontation with officers that was caught on camera.
"Back in February I made several mistakes," Parry said in an opening statement to reporters on Saturday. "Mistakes I'm not proud of; mistakes I regret, but mistakes that aren't truly representative of who I truly am.
"I would like to apologize to anyone who I hurt, offended or let down by my words and actions that night."
The Indianapolis Colts, of course, have kept a close eye on the proceedings since the Feb. 25 incident. And while NFL teams handle each legal situation differently, the Colts and Owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Chuck Pagano decided against releasing Parry, and have instead decided to let him earn back his roster spot.
Parry's offseason workouts were productive — and quiet — which is just what both sides could've hoped for. Now he hopes the start of training camp, and soon the 2017 regular season, will provide him a chance to keep on proving his worth to the franchise on and off the field.
"I'd like to thank Mr. Irsay, Mr. Ballard and Coach Pagano for giving me a second chance," said Parry, who could still face league discipline. "But now it's on me to earn the trust back of my teammates, the community and the organization and prove that I can be a good representative of the Shoe both on and off the field. Right now, I'm just excited to be here, happy to be at camp and looking forward to going out and competing and getting better with my teammates."
That competition will be heated for Parry, who has started every game at nose tackle for the Colts since he was selected in the fifth round out of Stanford in the 2015 NFL Draft. In his first year as the team's general manager, Ballard has spent a significant amount of time and resources re-building the Indy defense.
Included in that rebuild was the signing of Johnathan Hankins — who is now the presumed starter at nose tackle — as well as veteran defensive interior lineman Al Woods, not to mention the selection of big defensive lineman Grover Stewart in the fourth round of this year's draft.
"As far as the football side of it, David has played good football for us; winning football for us," Pagano told reporters in March at the annual league meetings in Phoenix. "But like everybody else, he's going to be in great competition for a spot."
Parry — who has 78 tackles and four sacks in 32 career games with the Colts — is well aware of the work that remains in the coming days and weeks to get back onto the field wearing the Horseshoe once again.
"I'm excited to compete," he said. "(Ballard) brought in some great players and that's good for the team and that's going to be good for me as well because I'm going to have to elevate my play."
Parry considered it "huge" to get a second shot with the Colts, but said that process remains "a day-by-day thing."
"I'm going to carry myself the proper way and it'll be a process," he said. "But I think time will heal.
"I'm just thankful," he later continued. "Really thankful."
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