Last week before he left the team under apparent emotional duress of some sort and well before his camp claimed workplace harassment at the hands of teammate Richie Incognito, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin got into a practice scuffle with rookie Dion Jordan.
Such exchanges, by the way, are not uncommon. They happen plenty.
And, as receiver Brian Hartline related to me in the locker room today, the first person who went to Martin's defense in the fight was, you guessed it, Richie Incognito. And soon center Mike Pouncey was in on it as well on Martin's behalf.
Randy Starks confirmed the little battle as well and said defensive linemen then joined in on behalf of Jordan.
It went as one would expect it to go except ...
The narrative out there is that Incognito was a Martin tormentor who wanted to toughen him up. Well, if Incognito wants Martin toughened up, why would help him in a fight?
The narrative out there is that Martin is physically soft. Well, actually, I've seen Martin in more than a couple of practice tussles and I've seen him take shots at opponents during games. During his rookie year he got into a fight on the field with Starks, who is one tough man, the first week of training camp.
Afterward, Hartline told me, both Incognito and Pouncey were upset with him because in some form or fashion Hartline seemed to agree with Jordan about the exchange.
So even on a non-physical level, Incognito and Pouncey had Martin's back after the fact.