Maurkice Pouncey: Dolphins won't let Mike discuss hat


Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey quickly apologized earlier this month for wearing a "Free Hernandez" cap in support of Aaron Hernandez, who was arrested on a murder charge.

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His twin brother, Mike Pouncey of the Miami Dolphins, wore a cap with the same message at their July birthday party but made no apology. Maurkice says there's a good reason for that.

"I talked to Mike, and his team handled this situation a lot different than (the Steelers) did," Maurkice told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I'm sure Mike wanted to apologize, but that's how they handled it."

When Dolphins coach Joe Philbin was asked this month if he urged Mike to apologize, he declined to say: "Any conversation I may or may not have had with Mike will stay internal," Philbin told reporters. "I will tell you that it's important for every member of this organization -- player, coach -- to represent the Miami Dolphins in a first-class manner."

Maurkice -- who, along with Mike, played with Hernandez at the University of Florida -- said he met with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin after the incident and had a productive chat. Tomlin confirmed that Friday.

"I'll keep that between he and I," Tomlin said. "Obviously, like all situations when I'm dealing with guys (about topics) unrelated to performance, I think that's appropriate."

So do we. The Steelers handled their business one way, and the Dolphins have chosen another path. In an offseason flush with stories bordering on the absurd, we hope this is the last narrative we'll pen about cap etiquette for many days to come.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.