The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack


As events continue to unfold around Dolphins’ camp, new meaning is given to the phrase offensive line.  While the Fins’ o-line seemed to be quite offensive on the field for much of this season in which it has surrendered sacks at an alarming rate, we are now seeing just how offensive this line really has been.

It seems as though the offensive line has taken hazing to a new art form.  What we thought started out as a “boys will be boys” prank at the lunch table in Davie has now been exposed as a consistent pattern of hazing that includes racial epithets and monetary shakedowns.  It is hard to predict where these mushrooming allegations will turn next, but at this point in time, only a fool would hazard a guess.

Without doubt, the Fins need to be racially sensitive.  For that reason alone, no one should count on seeing Incognito wearing orange and aqua ever again.  As for Jonathan Martin, who knows if he will ever want to return to the Fins.  And even if he is inclined to return at some point, who knows how he will ever be received in the locker room given the perception that he quit on the team (with a depleted o-line) when he walked out last week.   

The Martin-Incognito issue comes after other issues surrounding the o-line surfaced.  The Fins’ were embarrassed by Mike Pouncey’s support for Aaron Hernandez earlier this year when he (and his brother who plays for the Steelers) wore “Free Hernandez” ball caps (in support of their former Gator teammate).  Seemingly more than a little team P.R. pressure was needed to get Mike Pouncey to finally “apologize” for his conduct.  Then, immediately following the Patriots’ game, Pouncey was served with a grand jury subpoena, it being suggested by some media outlets that he was implicated in illegal gun dealings with Aaron Hernandez.  Obviously, this issue has yet to play out and will continue as yet another Fins’ P.R. nightmare and distraction.

What is becoming clearer, however, is that the Fins’ 4-4 record is now the least of the team’s worries.  The offensive line was missing Jonathan Martin when the team played the Bengals last week and it is now missing Richie Incognito as well.  It does not appear that Incognito, who is in the final year of his contract, will ever return.  One also has to wonder if Jonathan Martin, who is not in the final year of his contract, will return either.  With the o-line now short these 2 starters, one has to wonder if Mike Pouncey may also end up unavailable at some point in time.

For now, the Fins are reeling from all of these off-field issues.  It doesn’t look like it is going to get any better in the foreseeable future as the NFL investigates the allegations of Jonathan Martin and Mike Pouncey prepares for his appearance before the grand jury (something else the NFL will assuredly investigate). 

To say that the Fins face distractions is to put it mildly.  Distractions or not, the 2013 NFL Season will nevertheless continue to unfold.  With all of these distractions, it seems fairly certain that the Fins’ season will increasingly rival the offensiveness of its o-line.

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