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Troy Polamalu, Ben Watson offer takes on NFL hazing

In suggesting that Jonathan Martin might not belong in the NFL, former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams said locker-room hazing is in "the nature of the game."

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen backed up that notion Tuesday, explaining that it's "a sign of respect" toward veterans and a "rite of passage" for rookies.

As coaches and players from other teams weigh in on the issue, though, it's become obvious that hazing of the nature allegedly directed toward Martin is not inherently a part of the league culture.

New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson told NFL Media's Andrew Siciliano on Tuesday's "Around the League Live" that the Dolphins' situation is "the worst I've seen and heard."

"There's a clear line here," Watson said. "And the line is: You respect people. ... When you see these situations, these are outliers. This isn't the norm when it comes to the NFL. ... It's very disturbing, and there's no place for it in our league."

Watson's opinion is not unique. Coaches from the Bill Walsh tree don't tolerate hazing or harassment. Pete Carroll doesn't allow it in Seattle. Mike Shanahan said Tuesday he's never even heard of anything similar to Richie Incognito's alleged words and actions.

In contrast to the scene in Miami, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu described a family-type atmosphere among players and employees in Pittsburgh.

"I thought they would cut my hair when I came to Pittsburgh, but it was the exact opposite here," Polamalu said Tuesday on ESPN's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd." "Guys accepted me with open arms. Anything I needed whether it was a car, whether it was to sleep at their house -- and we only return that favor now that I'm a veteran on the team. Any young guy, whether they need a car or a house or some extra spending cash, whatever it may be we try our best to help them."

According to Polamalu, Steelers veterans voluntarily take young players under their wings to teach them "how to be professional, how to take care of your body, how to train, how to learn the defense, the offense, whatever it may be."

Watson and Polamalu are two of the most respected players in New Orleans and Pittsburgh, respectively. Incognito sat on the leadership council in Miami. 

NFL Media's Willie McGinest said Tuesday on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" that there are different ways to lead and motivate teammates, but Incognito's comments were "non-football related" and had "nothing to do with trying to better your teammate."

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