Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

This time, Bucs have fewer distractions than Dolphins

TAMPA — The Bucs are happy to let the Dolphins have their day in the slime light.

Coach Greg Schiano's Bucs spent the first half of the season coping with: an outbreak of MRSA, accusations that the captain's vote was rigged, an unauthorized interview, a breach of confidentiality in the league's substance-abuse program, and the demotion and release of quarterback Josh Freeman.

Not to mention being 0-8.

But heading into Monday night's game against the Bucs, the Dolphins are dealing with more distractions.

Miami left tackle Jonathan Martin left the team last week because of emotional issues stemming from reported harassment by teammate Richie Incognito.

Incognito was suspended Sunday by the Dolphins for what they called conduct detrimental to the team. Multiple media reports say the guard made racial slurs and physical threats in a voice mail message sent in April and pressured Martin into paying $15,000 for a trip by the offensive linemen to Las Vegas that Martin didn't take.

"That's going to be to their disadvantage," Bucs linebacker Dakoda Watson said. "If that's what they have to worry about, that's what they have to worry about."

Schiano admits the Bucs myriad distractions likely affected their preparation.

"I talk about having 1,440 minutes every day," he said. "If you're spending it on stuff other than game planning, evaluating …there's a limited time. You do have to sleep a little bit. That's where it becomes a tangible factor. Other than that, you can't let it be a distraction other than when it takes time away from what you normally do. That's when it becomes an issue."

Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake said Wednesday that the Martin-Incognito matter has not been a point of discussion in their locker room:

"Football is full of distractions whether it's tweaking your ankle, the heat, the snow, the mud, the guy across from you, the crowd. To play this game, you have to be able to put that stuff out of your mind and concentrate on whatever your job is at that given moment and execute that at a high level. The guys we have are professionals, and all that stuff that is going on on the outside is kind of the same way as the crowd noise on third down."

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he couldn't comment on the suspension of Incognito because of the NFL's investigation but said he encourages his players to conduct themselves as professionals.

"I tell our guys all the time, the National Football League, to me, it's like working for General Electric or Goldman Sachs or Dell computer," Philbin said. "You're at the top of the food chain, so to speak, so your actions should reflect that."

Schiano said the Bucs restrict hazing to initiation rituals such as carrying pads and buying food.

"We talk about trust, belief and accountability," Schiano said. "That kind of covers everything. What I talk to them about … our guys, there's some ritual things they do. And my thing is always you don't cross the line. That's a man, and you're a man. Make sure you don't cross the line."

Bucs linebacker Lavonte David said he didn't receive much hazing last year as a rookie other than carrying pads and picking up the $4,000 tab for a linebackers dinner.

"These guys took it easy up here; got mutual respect around the building," he said. "It wasn't anything out of the ordinary."

Rookie quarterback Mike Glen­non said his hazing was limited to making runs for burritos and singing before a meeting.

"I sang Build Me Up Buttercup," he said. "It was all just me. Great vocals. People started clapping and joining along, so I think that was a good sign."

The Bucs' problems now seem limited to on the field. But by the time Monday night rolls around, the Dolphins' distractions will be put aside as well.

Said Bucs left tackle Donald Penn: "At the end of the day, on Monday, when everybody lines up, all the distractions go out the window."

This time, Bucs have fewer distractions than Dolphins 11/06/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 7, 2013 10:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. State baseball: Unbeaten Calvary Christian makes it 29 straight wins, reaches final


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian is one game from season-long perfection. And its first state championship.

     Calvary Christian players celebrate their win after the FHSAA class 4A semi-final against American Heritage on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary defeated American Heritage 7 to 1. Calvary takes on Pensacola Catholic in the championship tomorrow night, at Hammond Stadium.
  2. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  3. Rays journal: Rookie Daniel Robertson takes pride in sparkling defense

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Rookie INF Daniel Robertson has earned raves for his defensive play at both second base and shortstop, making a highlight play almost every game he starts, including one in the fifth inning Friday.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RF Steven Souza is always, shall we say, entertaining. In the second, he made an impressive running, leaping catch. In the seventh, he made either the worst dive for a ball a good 15 feet away or was trying for the best deke. In the eighth, he hit a massive homer.

  5. Rowdies anxious to get back on track


    ST. PETERSBURG — Having already played four matches in less than two weeks' time, the Rowdies have to turn around again on short rest to host Saint Louis FC today.

    And they're actually glad about it.