James Walker | ESPN.com
DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, one of Richie Incognito’s closest friends on the team, said he’s communicated and spent time with Incognito since the bullying scandal involving Jonathan Martin took place.
Pouncey, even said the pair watched the Dolphins’ 20-16 victory over the San Diego Chargers together last weekend. Incognito, who is suspended, is still hopeful to rejoin the Dolphins and return to the locker room, according to Pouncey, who missed the game due to illness.
He’s doing really good. He’s in good spirits. He wants to get back on this football team and wants to get back and play football. … He’s missing it to death.
” — Mike Pouncey on Richie Incognito
“Me and him watched the game together at my house,” Pouncey explained after Wednesday’s practice. “He’s doing really good. He’s in good spirits. He wants to get back on this football team and wants to get back and play football. Richie Incognito, the football player, so that’s the only thing he knows. He’s missing it to death. He’ll be alright.”
Incognito is scheduled for a grievance hearing with the Dolphins on Thursday. He’s looking to recoup lost wages and either return to the Dolphins or get released.
Pouncey returned Wednesday after missing the past week with an illness. Pouncey also confirmed that he met with NFL investigators at Miami’s practice facility in relation to Martin’s claims of harassment and bullying inside the locker room.
Pouncey said the NFL is “doing the right thing” to try to get to the bottom of the situation and he’s confident “the truth will finally come out.”
“We all spoke to them,” Pouncey said of the investigation. “Everything went very well. So we will see how it goes. We were in there for a while. They asked a bunch of questions. … It seemed like a long time but it probably wasn’t. They got all the questions they wanted to get out of us and we gave them all the trustful answers.”
Offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie had only been with the team six days before Martin left the team, but still was interviewed by the league.
“It wasn’t as long as some. But I met with them and answered whatever I needed to answer,” McKinnie said. “A lot of it was just asking me my perspective by me being older and in different locker rooms, how things are operated.
“There was four people in there and two people asking questions. They’re just trying to gather knowledge from everybody on what really happened and go from there.”
“I feel like we’re all at ease now, Pouncey added. “Now we can just focus straight on football. That’s the most important thing, that we can focus on football so we can win games.”
It’s been a rough year for Pouncey. Last summer he wore a controversial “Free Hernandez” hat in support of former college teammate Aaron Hernandez, who was charged for murder. Pouncey also was served a subpoena following the New England Patriots game on Oct. 27 in relation to the Hernandez investigation.
Now, Pouncey’s friend — Incognito — is suspended and the Dolphins are in the middle of one of the biggest NFL media firestorms this year.
“If I make it through 2013 without having a heart attack, I’ll be good,” Pouncey said. “But, seriously, it’s been a rough one, man. It’s been a lot going on, but I’ve tried to stay positive through the whole thing.”
- A Temple graduate and Hyattsville, Md., native who lives in Miami
- Joined ESPN in 2008