The Oakland Raiders certainly turned heads when they brought in controversial offensive lineman Richie Incognito. Incognito has had his fair share of ugly moments in his career and he’ll be suspended for the first two games of the season because of the most recent one. When on the field, Incognito is one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. He’ll be an instant upgrade at left guard if he can stay out of trouble. Even though he’s not going to be around for the first two games, he’ll still get plenty of first-team reps in training camp. After the first training camp, Incognito spoke to the media about his suspension, amongst other things.
Richie Incognito Addresses Suspension
It wasn’t a big surprise when the NFL announced Incognito’s suspension. The funeral incident certainly wasn’t pretty and repercussions make sense. He’s taking it in stride and said that he was expecting some sort of punishment. He’s going to use those two weeks off to keep himself in shape and refine his game. He’s likely rusty after taking a year off, but he’ll get the necessary reps in the preseason and training camp to shake off that rust.
Incognito was very eager to get back to the NFL and he saw Jon Gruden as the perfect coach to bring him back.
“I got Gruden’s number from my agent, and I was blowing him up [On the phone],” said Incognito.
The massive offensive lineman was worried he’d never play again, but Gruden and GM Mike Mayock decided to give him another chance. He’s hungry to prove himself again and by most accounts, he seems to be a good teammate for the Raiders offensive line so far. He also thinks he can help left tackle, Kolton Miller, who did not impress in his rookie season.
“Hopefully I can bring some of that nasty edge to him,” said Incognito about Miller.
If he can help Miller improve, he’d be an invaluable member of the Raiders because the team invested a first-round pick on him last year.
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Incognito Discusses Mental Health & the NFL
It’s no secret that Richie Incognito has battled with mental health issues in the past. When prompted, he gave his thoughts about mental health issues and the NFL.
“Mental health is something in this country that is stigmatized,” said Incognito. “It’s been a long journey to get here. What I do bring to the Raiders is the best version of myself right now.”
He still needs time to work on himself, but he’d eventually like to help people with mental illness in a public setting. Incognito is eager to show his teammates that he’s not the guy that everybody reads about. He’s got work to do to prove himself but seeing that this is likely his last chance, he’ll have to stay out of trouble or he’ll be done.
“It’s about redemption and getting another opportunity. I want to make it right and make it positive for everybody. I want to come in here and contribute and be a team leader.”