AFC West: NFL culture reaction 131106

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- With the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin hazing scandal swirling in Miami, Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor believes the responsibility for putting an end to such bullying rests with team leaders.

Specifically, with the starting quarterback.

“You need to make sure you have your foot stepped forward, and I’m not trying to put down or say that the Dolphins quarterback isn’t doing that, I don’t know that,” Pryor said of Ryan Tannehill. “But in answering your question … I believe that the quarterback is very responsible for in-house and locker room things and deals and quieting situations down. I believe that people are going to listen to you if they respect you enough.

“I just think that we’re professionals, and I definitely hope we’ll see Martin playing again soon. I watched some film, he’s a good player. My hat’s off to him for standing up and being a man.”

Pryor is a first-year starter for the Raiders after being selected out of Ohio State in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft as the late Al Davis’ last pick.

“You want to cut things off, you know?” Pryor said of stopping situations before they get out of hand.

Pryor referenced stopping teammates from drinking too much.

“Hey, maybe you should take a cab,” he recalled advising a teammate.

“Something small like that, you just get so much respect from your teammate that you stopped and helped him … that definitely comes in a leadership role.”
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- One of the first acts of Dennis Allen’s tenure as Raiders coach was to eliminate the ritual of rookie hazing. So yes, shock waves from the Miami Dolphins-Richie Incognito bullying scandal have reached Oakland.

“Well, listen, I think we’ve got a pretty good feel for the locker room,” Allen said Monday, when asked his thoughts on hazing and bullying. “I think I’ve got a pretty good feel for the guys in there. Obviously, that’s something that you always want to keep a close eye on and keep monitored.

“But I don’t think we have any issues with any of that type of stuff on this football team. And really that was a point that we tried to make in training camp -- not really hazing the rookies. We need everybody and if we’re going to get this culture the right way and if we’re going to win football games like we believe we’re capable of winning, then we’re going to need everybody in that locker room.”

Then who, ultimately, is responsible for making sure it does not happen, coaches or players?

“I think ultimately that’s my responsibility,” Allen said. “Yeah, I mean, ultimately, whatever happens with this football team, whether it be on the field or in the locker room, out in the community, those are the things that I’ve got to, that’s my responsibility to police that and my responsibility to have a handle on it.”

Allen did say he periodically checks in with team leaders to make sure the locker room culture is healthy.

“I have a way that I go about trying to check,” he said. “I mean, I’m not in there, won’t go in the locker room every day and monitor exactly what goes on but yeah, I try to have a good feel for what’s happening with the players and I’ll have my little side conversations and make sure the locker room’s doing good.”