In the 3rd round of the 2005 NFL Draft the St. Louis Rams selected Richie Incognito out of the University of Nebraska. He would go on waivers in 2009, and was claimed by the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins. At the time the Bills had the worse record so they were awarded Incognito. A few months later he signed with the ‘Phins and he has been a fixture on their offensive-line since.
Incognito has played in 83 NFL games. What is impressive is all of those were starts, 36 of those in a Dolphins uniform. The 2012 Dolphins are performing perhaps above expectations, but the left side of the offensive-line was always thought to be worthy of praise. Mike Pouncey at center, Incognito at right guard, then Jake Long at right tackle. That is a lot of talent there. Veterans mixed with young players, but all of them have a nasty streak and a fantastic motor (crucial for success in the tough/physical trenches). This guy can play any position on the o-line.
At 6’3″ 330 he has a very good base, and uses his strength well. Rare to see him pushed backwards or beaten physically on any play. He uses his strong arms and strong hands to create an advantage for himself in pass-protection, and he is a nasty run-blocker who has a passion for finishing his blocks (will not stop until the player he is blocking has been mashed into the ground).
He does need to be better at recognizing blitzes, although I am thrilled with QB Ryan Tannehill as far as his ability to recognize what the defense is trying to do and making the correct adjustments (to the blocking assignments) at the line of scrimmage. If Incognito follows Tannehill’s lead, and leans on Long, he could be fine in this area.
I would like to see him peel off original blocks more often so that he can continue to the 2nd level and get another block in during the play, but his motor and temperament make him the type of player that is possessed with making a very strong block on the defender in front of him (not really looking to get to 2nd level, just looking to mash the guy in front of him).
There is no doubt that Incognito has a reputation as a dirty player. Any poll that goes around the NFL where players vote for who is dirty has Incognito listed every time. Sometimes even listed as the #1 dirtiest player. Incognito refuses to apologize for that, and he insists his play is not dirty.
In his 3 seasons with Miami every single pushing/shoving/screaming/dust-up involved Incognito. He has his teammates back, big-time. He is the quickest guy out there to come to a teammates aid if/when extra-curricular activities go down.
Reggie Bush has been turning heads around the league with his great running. What is surprising some is that Bush has been effective rushing between the offensive-tackles. Incognito is a major part of that. He is a Dolphin through 2013 (at least).
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