Live Chat with Richie Incognito Highlights
Entering his eighth NFL season (third with Miami), Incognito, a third-round draft pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2005 out of Nebraska, has started all 31 games he’s played for the Dolphins. Make sure to follow him on Twitter: @68Incognito.
During the call, No. 68 touched on everything from playing for new head coach Joe Philbin in the new west coast offense to his favorite beer (Coors Light), and also told DolfansNYC what it means to him to see aqua-and-orange represented in opposing stadiums.
“That’s great, and it’s a really unique deal for the Miami Dolphins — everywhere we go, there’s always aqua-and-orange in the stands and there’s always a strong following and that’s really special to us,” he said. “I like playing on the road, I like going into hostile territory, and I like (having an) “us against the world” mentality. So it’s really cool to see fans up there, especially when we score and the whole stadium’s quiet and you see the aqua-and-orange up there rocking. It’s always a delight to see the fans out at visiting games.”
During the offseason, Incognito, who owns an event planning business, took classes at the Harvard Business School as part of the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program, which he feels will allow him to remain competitive in a new field once he hangs up his cleats.
“The Harvard experience was great — it was just geared for NFL players and they really gave us the tools to move forward with confidence in the business world,” he said. “I’m a small business owner myself, and it’s kind of hard to take care of the business while I’m on the field, so I have to trust people to help me run it while I’m busy with football.
“Harvard gave me great confidence moving forward, and it actually inspired me — I’m actually going to go for my MBA once I get done playing.”
During the 15-minute call, Incognito also offered plenty of insight on his expectations for the upcoming season after concluding the third day of training camp.
*The standout guard believes the notably faster pace during training camp will greatly benefit the team during the year by presenting tremendous challenges for opposing defenses.
“We’re an up-tempo offense right now, and what we’re forcing the defense to do, is limit the personnel groupings, the changes that they make on defense, and we’re forcing them to play at our pace,” he said. “So we’ll really have teams on their heels — it’s going to test a lot of teams’ conditioning. And then you factor in the South Florida heat (during) these one o’clock games, it’ll really play to our advantage.”
*With a new coaching staff and zone blocking scheme, Incognito noted there’s “an extra set of eyes” on the offensive line, with lots of different opinions and an extra emphasis on technique, while complimenting Coach Philbin and former Coach Tony Sparano on their respective styles.
“Both Coach Sparano and Coach Philbin are well-versed in offensive line play, so they offered a lot of tips and they both coach you hard,” he said. “They’re on you and they really expect a lot of the offensive line, which makes us better.”
*Incognito does not expect to move to a new position after the recent signing of former Pro Bowl guard Eric Steinbach, saying the team is trying to get a feel for the best five during training camp.
*While admitting that being surrounded by the “Hard Knocks” cameras initially posed a small distraction, Incognito said the HBO crew has since blended in and the players have learned to just “go with the flow.”
*Incognito, a fantasy football owner himself, revealed his “must-own” Dolphins player, and also touched on the unique way the offensive line racks up their own fantasy points.
“It’s got to be Reggie Bush — I picked up Reggie in my fantasy league, I think in Week 3 or 4 last season, and he really went off for us,” he said. “We take great pride in getting Reggie a lot of yards, and we take great pride in keeping the quarterback clean, so that’s where our fantasy stats come in.”
*Incognito said that wide receiver Chad Johnson has fit in seamlessly on and off the field, and that the six-time Pro Bowler is not only entertaining in the locker room, but has plenty left in the tank to help the team win.
“I think it’s great for Chad to come in here. Chad’s a multidimensional guy — you have the personality, you have the player and you have the veteran presence,” said Incognito. “The one thing that I think gets lost about Chad is he’s a perfectionist — you see him out there on the field and he wants to make every route perfect and he wants to make everything about his job perfect, and I think the young kids pick up on that.”
*Asked about how he has improved over the course of his career and what he needs to do to make the Pro Bowl and help lead the team to the postseason, Incognito stressed the key is consistency in all aspects of his routine.
“Showing up and being a professional every day, showing up in the weight room, showing up on the practice field, showing up on Sundays — I think the consistency message carries over,” he said.
“It’s playing at a high level from Week 1 through Week 16, and then the Pro Bowl and playoffs and Super Bowl — for everybody — will take care of itself as long as we’re consistent throughout the year.”
UPDATE: After we thanked Richie on Twitter for taking the time out to talk to us, he replied with a fantastically awesome response.
@DolfansNYC It was my pleasure! It’s always great to come up to NY and see aqua and orange amongst that boring GREEN!
â€” Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) July 28, 2012