In the week after the Houston Texans played the Miami Dolphins in the preseason, while expressing support for his suspended teammate Antonio Smith, Texans left tackle Duane Brown gave a fellow offensive lineman's perspective on Richie Incognito.
"It’s tough to be in Antonio’s shoes, when you have something that happened last year where he felt like he was done a little dirty, and that sticks in the back of your mind," Brown said of Smith, who was disciplined for ripping off Incognito's helmet and swinging it at the Dolphins guard Aug. 17. "I think Incognito’s a good player and I was out there in the Pro Bowl with him. He’s a nice guy. He plays hard. It's just unfortunate to have that kind of exchange when you’re going against someone."
Brown noted that Incognito did "a little extra" but said he couldn't say if Incognito was dirty, not having played against him.
The personal side of Incognito he referenced isn't something we hear about often. Today, NFL Network's Jeff Darlington examined it.
Darlington starts with a scene in which Incognito asks Ricky Williams for help meditating. He takes us through Incognito's journey that involves anger, alcohol, drugs and depression.
He also takes us inside the meeting during which Dolphins coach Joe Philbin showed the play that resulted in Smith's suspension. Philbin used Incognito as a positive example:
On the Sunday morning after Miami’s recent preseason game against the Houston Texans, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin pulled his players into the team's main auditorium and started a meeting by projecting a play onto the big screen in the front of the room.
The play has since drawn national headlines: Texans defensive end Antonio Smith, apparently antagonized by Incognito’s relentless needling, ripped off Incognito’s helmet and swung it at his head.
“This is how you respond to this situation,” said Philbin, rewinding and replaying the moment over and over to show Incognito’s passive reaction. “We have to keep our composure and not retaliate.”
Multiple players say Philbin was fired up during that meeting, proud of Incognito and center Mike Pouncey for walking away from a provocative situation that later resulted in a three-game suspension for Smith.