Former Patriots V.P. of player personnel Scott Pioli and former Colts head coach Tony Dungy are both on the record as saying that in the 2005 NFL draft, they had no interest in Richie Incognito because they questioned his character. Now that Incognito is suspended by the Dolphins for harassing teammate Jonathan Martin, that assessment looks prescient.
But for the Rams, who used a third-round draft pick on Incognito, some meanness was just what they were looking for.
Mike Martz, the Rams’ coach in 2005, told the New York Times that his team wanted players with attitude, and Incognito was just the kind of guy they thought could become part of the tough, physical offensive line they wanted.
“Because that’s the way the game is played in the NFL, obviously,” Martz said. “That nastiness is evident, especially in Incognito.”
There are a lot of people in the NFL who want no part of people like Richie Incognito, but there are also a lot of people in the NFL who think the toughness displayed by Richie Incognito is exactly what a football team needs. There’s a battle playing out in the NFL right now over which side will win out.