While people around the sports world see the suspended Richie Incognito as a bigoted bully, retired NFL offensive lineman Kyle Turley thinks it’s perfectly plausible that the Miami Dolphins guard was carrying out orders from his coaches to toughen up teammate Jonathan Martin.
Turley said he was given those enforcer responsibilities in college and the pros, reports the LA Times
“I took on that leadership role,” Turley said. “The coaches gave me those reins.“I’m sure in this situation — not to justify the rhetoric or terminology that Incognito used — but I understand if this was the role that was given to him. … It’s absurd for the real world to accept this, and nobody should, but this is not the real world. This is football.”
“Incognito is at the center of a league investigation into the Dolphins, and is accused of harassing and threatening fellow offensive lineman Martin, a second-year tackle who walked away from the team last week, with voice and text messages that included racial slurs. Incognito, a nine-year veteran with a history of being kicked off teams, is a member of the Dolphins’ leadership council.
“What Incognito has done on the line since he’s been in Miami is he’s proven himself to be worthy of that role,” said Turley, 38, who like Incognito was considered among the NFL’s dirtiest players during his 10-year career.
“The coaches apparently enlisted him to be the leader of that offensive line. ‘This is your line now. We need you to get these guys in shape and together.’ The culture is to direct players. They say, ‘You’re the leader. We need you. We’re coaches; we don’t play the game. These guys need to respect you. It’s your duty.'” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday appointed Ted Wells, a senior partner of the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to oversee an investigation of the Dolphins’ workplace conditions. The findings will be made public once the case is completed, the league said. Also on Wednesday, in a twist that runs counter to the notion that Incognito is the classic bully, several Miami players voiced their support for him. Continue reading “Football pros and cons”