TAMPA -- My phone rang with a number I didn't recognize moments ago and when I answered, the man on the other end of the line was Rosey Grier, the last surviving member of the Los Angeles Rams Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s.
Grier, who I've never spoken to before, told me the reason he was calling is he's hurting over the Incognito-Martin scandal that has hit the Dolphins and he wants to do something about it. So he was looking for contact information for both men because he wants to talk to and counsel both men.
Grier said he's acting on the request of an old acquaintance who is a long-time Dolphins fan. He said that fan is hurting and embarrassed about the Dolphins current situation.
"I'm hurting for these men and that team too," Grier said. "This shouldn't be happening. I'm embarassed for that team. When you're on a team you should be pulling together, not pulling apart. And when players are on opposite sides of things, it should be settled within the team. It shouldn't become this big national story."
Grier, an ordained reverend, believes he can help soothe the issues between Martin and Incognito if he can talk to them. And that's what he intends to do as soon as possible because he is not only worried the issue could splinter the locker room but an entire city.
"You got one set of people siding with Martin and others with Incognito," Grier said. "We don't need that. We need to be coming together."
Grier tells me the idea of a player using the N-word is not foreign to him in a locker room or any other place. He heard it plenty. He also told me when we was at Penn State he was aware coaches told the team's center to rough him up so he'd become a better player.
"That didn't last long," Grier said with a chuckle. "It didn't work with me because I took care of it. And I don't think you rough up somebody to make them a better ballplayer. It only made me mad. You don't want a player mad. You make a better player by getting him in shape."
Grier said he would like Martin and Incognito to sit down with each other and reconcile.
With respect to Grier, that's hard to imagine happening. It certainly won't be a Dolphins sanctioned meeting.
As I've reported, the Dolphins are not bringing Incognito back. And as it was made clear last week on this blog, it was pretty evident Martin will not be back in the Dolphins locker room again. ESPN today is reporting Martin agrees and doesn't expect to return to the Dolphins this year.
The Dolphins do have a football game tonight. As I write in my column today the Dolphins and Buccaneers both are fighting drama.
But the distinction I draw between them is the Dolphins are fighting external drama. The Bucs have internal drama.
Which is easier to overcome?
I believe the externior drama could serve to galvanize the Dolphins. I believe the team could rally much easier than the Bucs could.