Brandon Marshall provides tremendous insight on Incognito-Martin and the “culture of the NFL” (VIDEO)
In the wake of the ongoing Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga in Miami, players from around the NFL have voiced their opinions on bullying/hazing in the locker room, and how this situation could have been handled better.
In case you’ve been living in a cave, Martin left the Dolphins last week after saying he had been frequently harassed by teammates, and particularly Incognito, who has been suspended indefinitely by the team. Martin briefly checked himself into a south Florida hospital for emotional distress, and both the Dolphins and the league are investigating evidence in the form of voicemails and text messages that Martin received, which clearly cross the line of good-natured hazing into flat-out bullying.
Many athletes have suggested that Martin needed to “man up” and put an end to the bullying himself, while others have shown support for Martin, and disdain for Incognito’s actions. It all has placed the culture surrounding the NFL under a microscope, and forced everyone to take a long hard look at the type of mentality we’re fostering among athletes throughout the sport.
Grantland has a particularly interesting take on the situation, which is definitely worth a read. And MMBQ published a fascinating piece by former Dolphins lineman Lydon Murtha, which gives an insider’s perspective on just what exactly went down in Miami. In it, Murtha points out that Dolphins players were instructed by coaches to bring Martin out of his shell and toughen him up … essentially, the NFL’s version of ordering a Code Red from A Few Good Men.
Bears WR Brandon Marshall is a particularly thoughtful NFL player, who has been remarkably candid about his own struggles with mental illness, and has actively tried to draw attention to the importance of mental health in our society, and in the sport of football. Marshall also spent a two years with the Dolphins and Incognito (from 2010-2011), so it should come as no surprise that he provided some of the more insightful commentary on the Martin/Incognito situation earlier this week.
MORE, INCLUDING VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In case you missed it last night, Bengals rookie sensation Giovani Bernard scored the most impressive TD run of the year, with his remarkable Barry Sanders-esque 35-yard scamper.
On the play, Bernard took the pitch from Andy Dalton, then reversed field after being seemingly trapped by two defenders in the backfield, and somehow evaded everyone in a Dolphins uniform on his way to the endzone.
It was pretty incredible, and is worth watching over and over, in glorious GIF format:
Here’s the video of the play, and below is another GIF, from a different angle:
In what might go down in one of the more compelling moments in series history, tonight’s episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins, gave viewers an inside look into the aftermath of Chad Johnson’s recent arrest for domestic violence, and his subsequent release from the team.
The meeting between Johnson and Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin - where Philbin informed Johnson that he was being released – made for genuinely riveting (albeit awkward) television. Johnson’s weak attempt at an apology goes right through Philbin, who had clearly made up his mind about Johnson well before the arrest even took place.
Watch for yourselves:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
UPDATE: The Dolphins wasted no time in releasing Johnson on Sunday, clearly deciding that the receiver isn’t worth all the drama. It will be interesting to see if another team is willing to take a chance on the over-the-hill diva.
Well, the honeymoon is over in Miami.
As you probably know by now, Dolphins WR Chad
Ochocinco Johnson was arrested last night on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence for allegedly head-butting his newlywed wife, Evelyn Lozada, during an argument outside their home in Davie, FL.
The argument apparently started over a receipt for box of condoms Lozada found in Johnson’s car. According to police, the argument escalated as the couple was returning home from dinner, and things got physical in the driveway. At this point, Lozada alleges that Johnson head-butted her, leaving her with a “pretty good-sized” laceration on her forehead. Not surprisingly, Johnson claims that Lozada leaned into him, and that the two accidentally bumped heads.
Either way, it’s not a good look for the long-troubled wide receiver, who was theoretically looking to rehabilitate his image and jump start his career with the Dolphins. Johnson is currently being held at Broward County Jail, but is expected to be released on a $2,500 bond on Sunday morning.
Ironically, on the premier episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The Miami Dolphins, which just aired this week, Johnson actually told members of the Miami Dolphins staff that he was planning on getting arrested during their time off:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Tonight, HBO kicks off the eighth season of their (sort of) annual look inside an NFL training camp, Hard Knocks. This summer, after taking a year off in 2011, the NFL Films crew has been roughing it down in Davie, Florida to bring us “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins”
With the Dolphins under the microscope, the series promises an in-depth peek at Joe Philbin‘s rookie year as head coach, as well as the much-hyped 3-man quarterback competition between Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore and David Garrard. Throw in a couple new coordinators in OC Mike Sherman and DC Kevin Coyle, plus vets like Vontae Davis, Karlos Dansby and the always-entertaining Chad
Ochocinco Johnson, and you’ve got some solid potential storylines down in Miami.
We’re just hoping they shed some light on the Dolphins’ whacky ownership team that includes Gloria Estefan, Fergie, Marc Anthony, and Venus & Serena Williams. I’m fascinated to know how involved these people are in actual football decisions.
Episode one premieres Tuesday at 10pm ET/PT, and you can catch a sneak preview below, as well as a chat with the three QBs competing for the starting job here at NFL.com.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
So far, the story of the 2012 NFL off-season is Colts QB Peyton Manning, and where he’s going to play next season. The back-and-forth between Manning and Colts’ owner Jim Irsay has reached a near-comical level of he said-she said, with Irsay saying on Thursday that they’re currently in negotiations with the veteran quarterback. But the general consensus seems to be that Irsay is just posturing for the media, and that Pey-Pey has likely played his last down as a Colt.
Vegas released updated odds today on where Manning will play in 2012, which place the Dolphins as the favorite to land Peyton at 2.5-to-1, barely edging out “Does Not Play” (currently getting 3-1 odds), for those who believe Peyton’s neck injury could force him into early retirement. The Redskins are next in what seems like a perfect Dan Snyder move, followed by the Colts and Cardinals at 5-1, and Jets at 6-1.
My gut says Peyton will end up in either Washington or Arizona … what do you think?
SEE THE COMPLETE PEYTON MANNING ODDS AFTER THE JUMP
Well, it wasn’t pretty, but after all the fanfare leading up to his first start of the season, Tim Tebow led the Broncos to an 18-15 OT win over the Miami Dolphins. After turning in one of the uglier 3+ quarters of football you’ll ever see from an NFL QB (in which he was 4-14 passing for 40 yards), Tebow stepped up when it mattered most with his Broncos trailing 15-0 with just over five minutes remaining.
In the last few minutes, Tebow threw two late touchdowns and added a 2-point conversion rushing, and the Broncos converted on a successful onside kick to help complete the comeback and send the game to overtime.
On his first TD pass, Tebow was able to elude defenders and find WR Demaryius Thomas in the corner of the endzone:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
We’ll be honest, we didn’t really watch last night’s Jets-Dolphins game, and by most accounts it was a major suckfest with the Jets proving to be less sucky, so we don’t feel too bad about that.
But when we heard that ESPN enlisted Jets superfan “Fireman Ed” Anzalone to do the Monday Night intro honors, we knew we had to see what they came up with. In their continuing effort to replace the erstwhile Hank Williams’ Jr., ESPN has switched gears from his rauckus theme song to focus on the host cities with more solemn spoken word tributes.
This week’s effort focused on the passion and loyalty of the Jets fans, with the 52-year old retired New York firefighter doing the honors:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
For picks 1-5, go here.
For picks 6-10, go here.
11. Houston Texans — J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: We get so many of these projections wrong. The “sure lock” winds up a flaming bust, and players we’re ignoring today — guys who won’t even be drafted — will light up the league. I believe we’ll look back on this 2011 NFL Draft five years from now and call J.J. Watt a top 5 pick. I loved his presence, intensity and motor at the combine. Wade Phillips‘ 3-4 defense is the perfect landing spot for Watt, and a good environment for this hard-working, self-made player. He worked himself onto Wisconsin’s roster, paying his own way at the start of his tenure — delivering Pizza Hut to save up dough. He’s no prima donna. He’s a coachable workhorse who did the requisite work at Wisconsin to make the switch from tight end to defensive lineman. Watt is the steal of this draft at No. 11. Sometime these midround picks are where you find the real gems — where less pressure is placed on the incoming player, as well. Houston and Watt are an excellent match.
12. Minnesota Vikings — Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: The Vikings have been vocal about finding a quarterback in this draft. I see a potential trade up — or down — to get their guy. There was a time when it appeared Minnesota at No. 12 could snag Auburn’s Cam Newton, but the hype machine’s in full swing and I project him to go no less than No. 1 to the Carolina Panthers. He’s the type of passer that’s going to require time to develop, coming from a spread, and Leslie Frazier would love the challenge. There are other possibilities at quarterback for the Vikings — and all of them are better than Brett Favre right now, who’s back on his farm tilling soil. It’s time for a new start in Minnesota. In this mock, with no trades — and Jake Locker a reach — I project the Vikings to jump on Jones, who had an excellent combine and would be a good-value selection here. Sidney Rice could bolt via free agency, so Jones addresses a potential need as well. We all saw what happened to Percy Harvin when Rice was out of the offense — they need a No. 1 guy in there to give the passing game a shot.
Picks 13-20 after the jump.
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The New York Jets are going to get a call from the league office regarding a sideline incident involving a member of their coaching staff … and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with Rex Ryan! Well, not directly anyway, but it certainly reflects negatively on the head coach and the culture he’s fostered surrounding this ball club.
During the third quarter of today’s 10-6 loss to the Dolphins, New York strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi intentionally tripped Dolphins CB Nolan Caroll while he was sprinting downfield on punt coverage. The Miami gunner was two yards deep on the Jets sideline when Alosi stuck out his left knee and took Carroll out. Watch below:
Carroll – who had an interception earlier in the game – was shaken up on the play, but returned to the game later. Afterward, Alosi issued an apology and said he’s prepared for any punishment that’s coming his way (cough *you’re fired* cough):