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Richie Incognito: I thought my NFL career was over

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Bills guard Richie Incognito was never ready to give up on his goal of returning to the NFL, but there were plenty of nights when he didn't think it would be possible anymore.

Every game, all season

"For a while there, I did not think I was going to get a chance to play in the NFL again," he said, via ESPN.com. "I got cleared at kind of a bad time -- the NFL held my clearance up until the end of training camp -- and I understood that it was going to be a PR nightmare. I was going to be a guy coming in who wasn't necessarily going to be able to play right away, who was going to take a while to get accustomed to a system. And it was going to be everyone in the locker room, answering questions about me when they're trying to get prepared for a game."

After the nightmare which was the Jonathan Martin scandal and subsequent fallout, many would have agreed with the veteran offensive lineman, who has been in the league since 2005.

His quote above demonstrates a pretty astute understanding of how the league works and how certain players have a bigger hurdle to clear due to public relations concerns.

And the truth might be that if Rex Ryan didn't get another coaching job, Incognito would still be searching for that opportunity. Ryan, though, has demonstrated time and time again that public relations fallouts are not atop his list of concerns.

If there is a positive to be gleaned from this, it may be that Incognito sounds like a different person now. He knows how valuable this second chance is and he's doing everything he can to put the previous chapter behind him.

"I think it was just a process of going back on the situation and seeing sometimes when you get in the locker room and you take things too far, because you think you're brothers and you think you can push each other that far," he said. "The biggest thing I learned is sometimes there are some things that I found funny that other people don't find funny.

"When you're with your brother, and you're in the locker room, you find things to nitpick at each other and you find those weak areas, and I think my fault was going after those weak areas. The thing that I learned to improve is to treat everyone with respect. Treat everyone how I want to be treated. And just kind of grow and learn from there."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Jordy Nelson's knee injury and gives its winners and losers from Week 2 of the preseason.

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