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Dolphins attempt to turn focus back to football after week of turmoil
DAVIE, Fla. — The latest allegations from tackle Jonathan Martin went mostly unanswered Saturday by the Miami Dolphins, weary of fending off questions about the harassment case that has rocked the franchise.
“I’m not going to give you nothing,” offensive lineman Nate Garner told a throng of reporters in a genial tone.
“We have a game on Monday,” defensive end Cameron Wake added. “I’m not thinking about anybody that’s not in this locker room, and that’s the truth.”
On Saturday night, Fox Sports released a preview of an interview with Incognito.
“This isn’t an issue about bullying,” Incognito told Fox. “This is an issue of my and John’s relationship. You can ask anyone in the Miami Dolphins‘ locker room who had Jon Martin’s back the absolute most and they’ll undoubtedly tell you me.
“All this stuff coming out, it speaks to the culture of our locker room, it speaks to culture of our closeness, it speaks to the culture of our brotherhood. The racism, the bad words, that’s what I regret most, but that’s a product of the environment. That’s something that we use all the time.”
Without Incognito and Martin, Miami (4-4) will be short-handed for Monday night’s game at Tampa Bay (0-8), but blocking and tackling will offer a brief respite from the relentless revelations in the bullying scandal.
“The pressure this has created from a media standpoint can really cause some problems,” tackle Tyson Clabo said. “But as far as the guys in this locker room, we all pretty much see this thing through the same set of eyes. We’re ready to go and try to change the narrative here to get back to football.”
Martin, who’s in counseling for emotional issues, will discuss the case late next week with a special investigator hired by the NFL. Allegations by the second-year pro include a malicious physical attack by a teammate.
Incognito has long been known for out-of-bounds behavior, including a May 2012 incident that surfaced this week. A police report said a female volunteer at a Dolphins charity golf tournament complained that Incognito harassed her.
“We were made aware of the incident and we took immediate action,” coach Joe Philbin said. “That’s all I’m going to say. … Any club action we would take against any player would be kept private.”
By Emily Miller
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