Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Dolphins players react to Incognito, Martin
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- Various players in the Miami Dolphins' locker room on Monday were surprised by the developments regarding Richie Incognito, who was suspended indefinitely for his treatment of teammate Jonathan Martin, which included threating text messages and a voicemail that included racial slurs.
"I was shocked when all this happened," rookie cornerback Will Davis said. "What's going on? I was trying to get filled in. I'm not sure about this situation at all."
Multiple sources confirmed to ESPN that the following is a transcript of a voice message Incognito left for Martin in April 2013, one year after Martin was drafted:
"Hey, wassup, you half n----- piece of s---. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s--- in your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F--- you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you."
Dolphins starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson has played for five NFL teams in eight seasons. He said sometimes personal issues between players can fall between the cracks in a locker room.
"Everybody has their own deal going on. Guys don't know," Patterson said. "There's so much that goes on throughout a work week, and there's so much that goes on throughout guys' individual lives. Guys have kids, guys have other things that's going on."
Dolphins middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe added, "I never heard anything about it until now."
Ellerbe is on Miami's six-player leadership council -- so was Incognito -- and said Martin could have addressed the leaders on the team with his concerns.
"We don't have no problem with [coming forward]," Ellerbe said. "We would try to handle it the best way possible. We would rather that [happen] than this."
Miami starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie was traded to the Dolphins just two weeks ago. But McKinnie spent a lot of time with both Martin and Incognito in various team practices and meetings during that span.
"I didn't sense anything," McKinnie said. "I mean, I was kind of caught off guard with it. I don't really know too much about the situation because I just got here."
Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin took the blame for the environment that was created in his locker room. The final thing that forced Martin to leave the team last week was a lunchroom incident. Martin hasn't returned since.
"I want you to know as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, I am in charge of the workplace atmosphere," Philbin said. "Since April 10, 2012, when players first came here ... every decision I've made, everything we've done at this facility was done with one thing in mind: that is to help our players and our organization to reach their full potential. Any type of conduct and behavior that detracts from that objective will not be tolerated."
The Dolphins (4-4) will travel to play the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) on "Monday Night Football."