Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins left guard Richie Incognito had a reputation as a dirty player in the early part of his career when he came to Miami. He cleaned up his act by most accounts, but Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith doesn’t agree.
Smith took aim at Incognito for his play during the Dolphins’ season-opening loss to the Texans in Houston.
“A dirty player being left to play dirty…Richie Incognito,” Smith told Chron.com. “Everything that’s illegal that can be done on the football field he does it, but mainly he was hitting people after the play, sliding down on your leg grabbing your ankle and trying to twist to break your ankle and he was doing it right in front of the referees and he was still in the game.”
Smith wasn’t done, according to Chron.com.
“It’s the referees’ job to stop him from doing it because everything that I would do to stop him I would get a penalty for,” Smith told chron.com. “There were so many times that I would have loved to be just like hockey. Drop the helmets off, drop the gloves, go fisticuffs. We’re men. Let’s go at it.”
Incognito was once labeled the dirtiest player in the game by a Sporting News poll in 1999. By 2009, he had fallen to seventh on a similar list compiled by Sports Illustrated. He had trouble in college at Nebraska and it followed him into the NFL with the St. Louis Rams.
But, since Incognito landed with the Dolphins in 2010, he has been fairly subdued, given his reputation coming into Miami. For his part, Incognito said he plays hard, but only when it’s legal.
“I play a physical brand of football, and I get after people between the whistles,” Incognito told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “I do everything within my power to keep them off our running backs and the quarterback.
Incognito continued, “Of course there is going to be some displeasure with it. There was a lot of whining going on out there. Obviously, the whining continued to the media after the game.”
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