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Joe Philbin on Richie Incognito: 'He deserves to be back in the National Football League'

Richie Incognito heads back to Miami this weekend, back to where his NFL career nearly came to a halt. Coach Joe Philbin was the one overseeing that locker room during the "bullying" scandal and was on the conference call at One Bills Drive Wednesday.

He decided to move on from Incognito completely.

"He's playing well," Philbin said. "Give him a lot of credit. He's playing well. We wish him well. Glad to see he's on a ball club, so wish him well."

And asked if he has any regrets on how he handled the situation, Philbin said "No, not at all."

Last month, Incognito spoke at length about what happened in Miami and how he's moving forward. The "tidal wave" upset him most, a rush to judgment. The 144-page Ted Wells Report deemed teammate Jonathan Martin was subject to “a pattern of harassment” that included racial slurs and sexual taunts about his mother and sister and Incognito was pegged the primary tormentor.

“There was so much stuff thrown out there that was believable because, hey, I had a checkered past,” Incognito said in August. “I was labeled as a dirty player. So when this stuff came out, everybody said ‘Oh, this has to be true.’ And a lot of stuff wasn’t necessarily true.”

Incognito dismissed the idea that there was a “free for all” culture in Miami’s locker room of “hammering” on guys. Rather, he says, they were all friends. They joked around and everyone busted on everyone. You can check out the story for more.

Philbin didn't want to get into it all.

"That was a long time ago, guys," Philbin said. "I'm not going to get into that. I think I've said that he deserves to be back in the National Football League. Wish him well. But we're focused on this game and not going back in time two years."

There wasn't anything too illuminating but here a few more of Philbin's thoughts from the conference call...

On defending Tyrod Taylor: "Any good quarterback, you want to have discipline in your pass-rush lanes. It doesn't matter if you're playing Peyton Manning or a scrambling quarterback. You have to have pass-rush discipline or you're going to open up huge windows, not only for the quarterback to run but also for the quarterback to throw the ball. You have to have good discipline in your pass rush."

On how Ndamukong Suh has fit into the team: "Yeah, good. I saw progress on the film last week. I think he's fitting in well in the locker room. It's obviously an adjustment for anybody who's been in one place five years. Now you're going somewhere else. It's an adjustment. He has really adapted well. I think he's happy here. He's going to continue to get better and better.

On reining him in: "He's been great. The NFL looked at the play and made their ruling. He's been a very good teammate here, he's been great in the locker room. A real hard worker. I'm really excited we have him."

On Ryan Tannehill's start: "I think he's playing better. He is completely two out of every three of his passes. He hasn't thrown the ball to the opposition yet. So that's important. I think he's making good decisions. The good news is, he has high expectations for himself as do we. The bottom line is, we have 37 points in two weeks. We have to score more points on offense."

On if Miami is better off with Jordan Cameron than Charles Clay: "Like them both. Charles was a valuable guy on our football team. He's a great person and wish him well. And we're happy we have Jordan Cameron."

On the money Suh and Dareus are making at DT: "NFL players earn their money. It's a demanding profession. It's not an easy job at any position, especially that defensive tackle position. Players deserve what they get paid."

On not running the ball well early: "We just haven't had a good rhythm. Offensively, overall, we haven't had momentum in either football game. We haven't had the type of balance that we'd like to have. Some of it's been a little bit of penetration. Some of it's been, we haven't been converting on third down. We haven't had as many snaps, we've gotten behind in games, there's a variety of factors. We have to get off to a better start this game."

On if Lamar Miller's health is one of those factors, want to get him going: "Yeah, we'll see. We'll see how it goes."

 

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