Bills sign a real bully in Incognito
The Bills have signed lineman Richie Incognito. (USA TODAY SPORTS)
Well, bully for the Buffalo Bills.
When Rex Ryan took over as head coach he promised to “build a bully”.
True to his word, Ryan has signed the Captain Bligh of the sneer set, announcing Monday it has reached agreement with controversial guard Richie Incognito.
Buffalo was in need of an upgrade on the offensive line and Ryan wants to see a more productive ground game. Incognito, a 10-year veteran and former Pro Bowl player, can help in that regard. But, he comes with a warning label.
In signing Incognito, the Bills are taking a walk on the dark side. True, there are worse. He hasn’t killed anyone. He is no candidate, at least not yet, for a penitentiary chain gang. But he is a convicted bully.
Incognito has crafted a legacy of behaving badly. Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus once called him “the dirtiest player in the NFL.” And, he’s hardly a poster boy for the NFL’s new family values policies, once having been accused of fondling a female volunteer in a drunken foray at a Dolphins’ charity golf tournament.
In his introductory news conference last month, Ryan said he wanted an aggressive team, one with players that other teams won’t want to face.
In Incognito, he gets a player even some team-mates don’t want to face.
How churlish can he be? Well, the Bucs — who aren’t in a position to be picky — the Chiefs and Broncos, all gave him tryouts and passed last season when Incognito’s suspension for harrassing fellow Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin was lifted.
So, the Bills know they’re sitting on a powder keg, which explains why the club would issue a statement advising the citizenry it is not necessary to circle the Grand Caravans and hide the women and children.
Owner Terry Pegula claims Incognito is reformed.
“I personally met with Richie, along with Doug Whaley, Rex Ryan and Kim regarding an opportunity to earn a spot on the Buffalo Bills roster,” Pegula said. “Obviously, we all discussed Richie’s past experience ... We are convinced that Richie is prepared to move forward and has and will continue to take the necessary steps to improve himself as a person and a teammate. Following discussion with the rest of the coaching staff, we as an organization will provide him with the opportunity to do so.”
No word if offensive line meetings will now end with the singing of Kum-ba-yah, or the We Are Family anthem. But, it’s a thought.
After being a bad actor for most of the past decade, wearing out welcomes in St. Louis and Miami, both Incognito and the Bills desperately need this to work.
FADE TO BLACK
The man who revolutionized football production, giving it life, and color and passion, has died.
Ed Sabol, founder of NFL Films, died Monday in his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the age of 98. Sabol’s innovations included putting microphones on players, coaches and officials. He used music with footage, pioneered slow motion and made famous the blooper video.
During his tenure (1964-1995), NFL Films won 52 Emmy Awards.
“He was a loving father. He was a generous boss. He was a leader. He was a dreamer, but most of all, he was the funniest man I’ve ever known,” his son, Steve, who died in 2012 at age 69, said shortly before his father was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
NO PRICE TOO HIGH?
Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy played his get-out-of-jail-free card Monday when charges of domestic abuse were dismissed.
How much it actually cost Hardy is unknown, but the district attorney said the Carolina rush end reached an undisclosed civil settlement with former girlfriend Nicole Holder.
Hardy had been convicted last year for assaulting and threatening to kill Holder. His appeal was set to start Monday.
With the charges resolved Hardy, who was suspended with pay for all but one game last season, could still face another six-game NFL suspension.
While walking away from the charges is believed to have cost Hardy a large chunk of his $13-million salary, he should make that up when he becomes a free agent. He and Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul are the two best 4-3 defensive ends on the market.
Maybe Jerry Rice should’ve put a little of that stickum on his lips.
The Hall of Fame receiver has admitted he used stickum on his gloves, even after the league banned its use in 1981.
ProFootballTalk.com unearthed the video of Rice admitting its use after the now-TV analyst had called the Patriots out for “cheating” in the Deflate-gate scandal.
So, who’s cheating now?
Rice admitted the practice was “a little illegal.” but also used the “everyone did it” excuse.
To which Cris Carter said Monday: “Hey. Stop calling me everyone.”
RING OF SADNESS
A Super Bowl ring Ravens owner Stephen Bisciotti gave to former running back Jamal Lewis has been sold in an auction for $50,820.
The ring was from the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory. Lewis was retired by then, but Bisciotti gave rings to former Ravens greats including Lewis, who was inducted into the team’s ring of honour in 2012.
The ring, 10K white gold with 3.75 carats worth of diamonds, was consigned to the auction by a pawn shop where Lewis had sold it.
In 2000 he led the Ravens to a Super Bowl in his rookie year. But by 2012, three years after retiring, he’d filed for bankruptcy.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants to extend beyond 2016 the team’s deal to play one game per season in England according to SportsBusiness Journal. Playing in Wembley Stadium, with more seats and higher prices, will see the Jags jump to 22nd in projected revenue in 2015, from 32nd in 2011 ... Packers are adding veteran line coach Mike Solari, who was with the 49ers last year ... Chargers added Don Shula’s grandson, Chris, as a defensive quality control coach ... Antonio Cromartie may follow former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles out of Arizona. “I’m definitely trying to keep him here,” Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “It’s going to be tough, especially with Todd being (head coach) in New York. That’s all he talks about is freaking New York.”