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Richie Incognito: I don't care if teams think I'm dirty player

  • By NFL.com
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Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito is no stranger to controversial hits.

On Thursday's edition of NFL Network's "Around The League," the offensive lineman acknowledged his reputation as a "dirty" player -- and again addressed his ongoing effort to clean up his act.

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"I'm not really concerned with what other teams think. I'm really concerned with what guys on my team think," Incognito told NFL Media's Andrew Siciliano. They've seen the growth. They've seen me come in as this physical, aggressive, nasty player, who quite frankly, at one point in my career, was dirty. But I think they've seen the growth; I think they've seen the improvement."

Siciliano asked Incognito what he thought of two other players making headlines for hard hits, Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Goldson was fined $100,000 for an illegal hit on New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles in a Week 2 loss, and another $30,000 by the NFL for a violation of player safety rules in a Week 1 loss to the New York Jets.

Incognito called Goldson's two hits "questionable," but doesn't like Saints quarterback Drew Brees' characterization that Goldson is a "head-hunter."

"You know, he got up into the head and neck area, but to call him a 'head-hunter' for those two incidents, I think it's a little premature," Incognito said. "People have to understand that when you're out there on the field, things are happening very, very fast. Receivers are going up, trying to make a play in tight spaces. Safeties are coming up trying to dislodge the ball. So targeting is an issue when you're out there, and things are happening so quickly."

Suh was fined $100,000 for a personal foul after he blindsided Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan with a hit to the knees in the Lions' 34-24 win in Week 1.

So what would Incognito do if Suh did to him what the Lions defensive tackle did to Sullivan?

"I would have got up and given him a big pat on the back for taking that touchdown off the board," Incognito said with a laugh. "That's a huge play. And then, to have something like that go down and hurt the Detroit Lions so bad, you know, you have nothing to do but laugh at that situation."

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