Don Shula: Dolphins took a chance on Richie Incognito and it backfired

1972 Miami Dolphins Don ShulaMiami Dolphins coaching legend Don Shula gave his take on the Richie Incognito situation earlier this week. Shula, who won back-to-back Super Bowls in the 1970s and coached his team to a perfect 16-0 season, questioned the team’s decision to have Incognito on the roster in the first place.

“You win with good people on and off the field,” Shula told the Miami Herald’s Greg Cote. “They took a chance on a guy with a bad reputation, and it backfired on them.”

As you know, the NFL is currently looking into allegations that Incognito bullied teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito supposedly left Martin a threatening voicemail and was the ring leader for teammates who hazed the former Stanford star. But there were warning signs off the field before the Martin situation.

In 2012, Incognito was accused of sexually harassing an employee at a golf tournament. We also saw a video of him stomping around at a bar with his shirt off acting like an idiot. The Dolphins reportedly considered releasing Incognito before the season but decided to hold onto him because they were thin at offensive line. Shula said it bothers him to see his former team dealing with issues like these.

“It hurts,” Shula said. “You hate to see it happening.”

According to Cote, Shula was referring to several years of letdowns with the Dolphins organization — not just the Incognito mess. It’s tough to argue with the legend.

Don Shula Thinks Packers Can go Undefeated

Don Shula was the coach of the Miami Dolphins when they went 17-0 in 1972. They remain the only team to go unbeaten in NFL history. The Patriots came close in 2007, but they lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl and finished 18-1. Now the NFL has the Packers who are 11-0, and expected to be favored by at least six points in each of their remaining games. Shula believes they have a good chance at going undefeated.

“If they do it, I’m going to be the first to call their coach (Mike McCarthy) and congratulate them,” Shula told FOX Sports Florida. “They’ve got a real shot at running the table.”

“They’re just so strong,” Shula said. “Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback and they’ve got a great coaching staff. Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game, and you’ve got to have a great quarterback playing great (to go undefeated).”

This is certainly a different tone from Mercury Morris, who said two weeks ago that the undefeated Packers wouldn’t be better than his ’72 Dolphins.

The Packers have a good shot at going 16-0, but going 19-0 is the truly difficult part. The NFL hasn’t had a team reach (not win) back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots did in 2003 and 2004 (they won both). The Packers have a good shot of doing it, and really it all comes down to Aaron Rodgers. He’s having the best season ever by an NFL quarterback. If he can finish the season without having one less-than-excellent game, they’ll win it all. But that’s a lot to ask of him.