From the time Incognito entered the league with the St. Louis Rams in 2005, Dansby watched the offensive guard develop a status as one of the dirtiest players around. The two squared off twice a year in the NFC West during Dansby’s first stint with the Arizona Cardinals, with Dansby holding an 8-2 mark over Incognito from 2005 to '09.
But when they joined forces, Dansby saw firsthand that Incognito is the type of guy you want on your team.
“Getting down there playing with him, he’s the best teammate you can have,” Dansby said. “Richie’s a hard-nosed guy. Tough guy. You want him watching your back if you’re in an alley, you know what I’m saying? That’s the kind of guy he is.”
During Dansby and Incognito's three seasons together in Miami, rookies got hazed. Just like they did when Dansby was with Arizona the first time, like they did this past season after Dansby rejoined the Cardinals and like they did in all 10 of Dansby's seasons.
“It brought everybody closer together,” Dansby said. “Unfortunately, I guess, it carried over. That’s what [Miami tackle Jonathan Martin] is saying right now ... everything just kept carrying over and he got tired of it.”
The Dolphins' veterans hazed Martin (now in his second season out of Stanford) as a rookie last season, but Dansby didn't see anything out of the ordinary that could've led to the revelations of the past week. In a voice mail to Martin, Incognito used a racial slur and threatened to kill Martin.
Something had to go wildly wrong for Martin so speak up, Dansby added. But since he isn't with Miami this season, Dansby didn't want to speculate.
From their one season together, Dansby remembered Martin as a quiet guy.
“He don’t bother nobody,” Dansby said. “He know he like to have fun, happy-go-lucky-guy who wanted to be part of the crew. Unfortunately, this situation took place, man. It’s sad.”
Dansby said he’s never been involved in bullying or hazing of this magnitude, either as a recipient or a giver. He was surprised the bullying went to the extremes that Incognito took it.
“You don’t hear about anything like that taking place,” Dansby said. “We like family, so why would you do something to [hurt] our family? You feel me? So I don’t understand that.”