Bears' Marshall: Bullying just doesn't happen here
- Photos (2)
Brandon Marshall played two years in Miami with Richie Incognito, who has been suspended amid allegations that he bullied teammate and fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin into leaving the team.
"I enjoyed playing with Richie," Marshall said. "I stay in contact with Richie. It was kind of disturbing to see some of the things that were said, but I also know that it isn't an isolated incident. Unfortunately, it's the culture of the NFL.
"Here, it's different. We look at rookies different. You have to earn your stripes, earn your place on the team, or earn your place in the NFL. (But) as far as crossing that line, disrespecting guys, demeaning guys -- that just doesn't happen here."
Incognito, who was voted the NFL's dirtiest player in 2009, left at least one vulgar and racist voice mail on Martin's phone, which the team and the NFL have copies of. He also forced Martin to pay $15,000 for a Vegas trip for the Dolphins' offensive linemen, a trip Martin didn't go on.
"The offensive linemen have been doing that (since) before Richie got there," Marshall said. "I was actually invited to go on a trip. The rookies were supposed to pick up a big piece of the cost, but the veterans would chip in. (Rookie center Mike) Pouncey had to do it. Pouncey actually paid his part of it and didn't even get on the flight. He ended up meeting the guys out there."
Marshall said Bears rookie Marc Trestman established ground rules for rookie hazing immediately. He did not comment on the Dolphins' situation or that of other NFL teams, but Trestman was clear about what was expected of players at Halas Hall.
"I know it's out there," Trestman said. "I've seen some of it. All I can do is say we're focused principally on the concept of respect and the growth of respect, so guys understand what we're trying to get done here.
"We just do everything we can to set the tone early. We're not going to spend time having players worry about things that can't help us win and are going to be disrespectful."
Trestman said he's coached on teams that tolerated hazing and those that did not. He made it clear early on what the guidelines were for his team. Rookies carrying veterans' helmets from the practice field to the locker room after training camp practices is fine, but there's a line that shouldn't be crossed.
"I told the team the first night, 'When you haze somebody, you take their ability to help you win,'" Trestman said. "Everybody's here to help you win."
Marshall said the hazing he dealt with as a rookie in Denver from veterans like Rod Smith and Javon Walker was nothing compared to what has been alleged in Miami.
"They asked me to do simple things," he said. "Stock up the room with sunflower seeds and occasionally bring in some donuts. I made sure I did those things, even carrying helmets off the practice field, so it won't escalate into something serious.
"I'm a true believer in, 'Do unto others what was done unto you.' Because it was never done to me -- throwing me in the cold tub or shaving my head -- I don't do that to my guys.
"I just want guys to respect the veterans that are in our room and understand it's a privilege to be in that room, and you have to earn it."
- Share Facebook Twitter
Article sent to (required)E-mail
Article sent from (required)E-mail Name
Subject Line (article title)
Message (optional)Success - Article sent Click to close
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.
Contact information ( * required )Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *
Article InformationTitle URL
Message (optional)Success - Reprint request sent Click to close