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Monday, March 29, 2010

Maualuga 'a dlifferent person' after rehab

An emotional and remorseful Rey Maualuga talked about the past couple months as the Bengals began their offseason conditioning program on Monday.

Reports on Super Bowl Sunday said Maualuga would undergo substance abuse rehab and counseling at the Betty Ford Center in California, but the second-year linebacker said that he decided not to go there and attended The Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs in Charleston, S.C. The treatment center is part of the Medical University of South Carolina.

“I know I have been through a little bit of havoc the past couple months,” Maualuga said. “All I can say is you’re looking at a different guy and a different person. I just hope the city of Cincinnati and all my fans will accept my apology and help me through all this and help me move forward.”

Maualuga said the month-long program was a “life-changer” for him and that he learned a lot from the program. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 2, to drunken driving charges stemming from his Jan. 29 arrest in Covington. He met with the league during Super Bowl week which was an evaluation that is standard for players who enter the league’s Substance Abuse program. Maualuga is still subject to a fine of two game checks up to a maximum of $50,000.

Said Maualuga of his time in rehab: “It was a great program and I learned a lot from it. I definitely stepped out a different person and a different man. It was a blessing in disguise. I learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know. I got to sit back and listen to people’s stories and people gave me good feedback about mine. Overall it definitely helped me out and I’m a different person I can say but then again I need to show it with my actions and move forward from here.”

Maualuga is still recovering from a broken left ankle which occurred in the Week 16 game against Kansas City. He has not started running on it yet but is hopeful of being fully recovered and on the field in time for the first on-field OTA session on May 11.

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