Many Dolphins players were surprised by Jonathan Martin’s accusations against Richie Incognito (left), stating they were best friends. (Lynne Sladky-AP Photo)
That will changed on Wednesday.
“We’re just trying to help very clear Richie’s name, ” defensive tackle Randy Starks said following the team’s afternoon practice.
“Whatever was said, I’m sure wasn’t designed that way. They’re good friends. Richie’s a good teammate. Jon Martin was a great teammate. I just think everything’s gotten blown out of proportion. ”
The Dolphins spoke following an afternoon practice in preparation for his or her game Monday night at Tampa Bay. While players said they were focused on the Buccaneers, several also were eager to offer opinions on the controversy that has been fueling the nationwide media.
“What’s perceived is Richie is this psychopath, hurtful, maniac — right? ” tackle Tyson Clabo said. “And the truth is that Richie was a pretty good teammate, and that Richie and Jonathan Matn are friends, or appeared to be friends.
“I think should you have a problem with somebody, a legitimate problem with somebody, you should say, ‘Hey, Excellent problem with this, ‘ and operate and be a man. ”
Although Incognito was a member of the team’s six-player leadership council, the guard’s reputation around the league has been one of being a dirty player with past issues.
“It’s unfortunate to see a guy go through various NFL programs, go to business college, do different things to change the way your dog is been, ” receiver Brian Hartline said, “to where, like they always say, the people who can hurt you the most are the ones closest to you. That’s exactly what happened. ”
Said defensive tackle John Soliai: “He was a hard-working man, come out ready to work. Funny man. He was always a guy that will put a smile on your encounter every morning. If the day’s heading slow, you’d know he’d pick everything up. He was a innovator. ”
A leader who all allegedly left racist voice mails and texts for Martin.
“I had no clue about the voice mail, ” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “I’ve certainly not seen that, never heard about that will. All I know about Richie will be he was a great teammate in my experience. I saw him being a great teammate all the time.
“Does he like to give guys a hard time? Yes. Does he like to pester guys and have fun? Yes. Yet he brought a lot of laughter for this locker room, he brought lots of looseness to this locker room. This individual was the best teammate I could request. ”
In Tannehill’s opinion, Martin would have echoed those sentiments.
“I think if you would have asked Jon Matn a week before who his closest friend on the team was he would possess said Richie Incognito, ” Tannehill said. “The first guy to stand up for Jonathan when anything at all went down on the field, any kind of tussle, Richie was the first guy presently there. When they wanted to hang out outside of football, who was together? Richie and Jon. ”
Wednesday was the third straight day of exercise for the Dolphins, who are coming off a Thursday night win against Cincinnati. Players were relatively tight-lipped Monday and not made available to the media on Tuesday.
During that time, the team received a ton of negative public scrutiny.
“Now we’re able to say our opinion and really protect ourself from being bullied from (the media), ” Hartline said. “We had to sit back and listen to it for a few days. We’re kind of tired it. We’re just going to give our point, and then you can judge. Honestly, it caught us all off guard. It’s a shame it happened. ”
Told players seemed to be supporting Incognito and not Matn, Hartline said: “We’re not choosing sides. It’s not about picking sides. It’s about telling our viewpoint, telling what we thought about the situation. inch
Tannehill, another management council member, said the events of the past 10 days were “kind of mind-blowing. ”
“Our phones are blowing upward from anyone we’ve ever are exposed to about the situation, ” said Tannehill, who was asked if he would accept either Martin or Incognito back with Miami.
“It’s tough. Both guys at this point get their rights and wrongs. If they were allowed to come back, if they chose to come back — I’m big on forgiving people. ”
Reviews Tuesday said members of the Arkansas coaching staff had encouraged Incognito to toughen up Martin, the second-year player form Stanford.
“I never heard that will, ” Tannehill said.
“Nah, he don’t need to be toughened up, ” guard John Jerry said. “I mean, you perform high school football, you play university football — you’re tough enough. This is the league, you don’t have to be toughened up anymore. ”
Martin bolted the team on Oct. 28 after a prank in the team’s cafeteria, where players reportedly got up and left the table upon Martin’s arrival.
Both Tannehill and Jerry said the stunt had been drawn on many players, many times.
“Everybody gets their share. That’s one thing about the league, inch Jerry said. “When it happened to me, I laughed it off. I’d just get up, and then offered sit back down and everybody have a good time laughing about it. ”
Nobody’s laughing now in light of a situation players said they understood nothing about and are struggling to comprehend.
“I don’t think so what happened was necessary, ” Clabo stated. “You guys are trying to make it about locker room, and this secret code that you guys want to make up or whatever. But it’s just good. I don’t know why he’s doing this, and the only person who knows why is Jonathan Martin. ”
Charlie McCarthy can be arrived at at mac1763@bellsouth. net or on Tweets @mccarthy_chas