SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Tidbits on the Dolphins’ BullyGate scandal and investigator Ted Wells’ interviews with Dolphins players, coaches and executives this past week:
### Jonathan Martin’s attorney has alleged Martin endured a “malicious physical attack on him by a teammate." And in recent days, Wells has asked some Dolphins players whether they attended a party at the home of Mike Pouncey, where the alleged attack occurred, according to a friend of Martin.
That friend tells us Richie Incognito was the ring-leader that night, in 2012, and the “level of punching” of Martin “became more than playful.” Wells has been trying to get to the bottom of that physical attack allegation, among many others.
### The friend said in general, Martin was harassed by more players than just Incognito and Pouncey and that “so much” hasn’t been reported regarding what Martin endured.
### Besides asking players what they thought of Martin and Incognito and their relationship, Wells also asked many Dolphins about how often they heard the N-word in the locker-room and what they thought of it. Reactions varied widely.
### Some of Wells’ questions caught Dolphins players off guard. One player was asked how it would make him feel if his sister was harassed. Another player was asked what he thought of Pouncey as a person. And another was asked whether he spoke to Martin about his mid-season move to right tackle and whether he asked Martin how he felt about it. (He didn’t.)
### One concern expressed by players is that Wells has nothing to compare this situation to, for perspective, because he hasn’t witnessed conduct in other NFL locker-rooms.
### A Dolphins player (not Martin) who has been subjected to frequent teasing from Incognito went into his meeting reluctant to throw Incognito under the bus. Another Dolphin, before his interview, said Incognito and Pouncey would feed off each other and Pouncey provided the live laugh track while he watched Incognito playfully tease teammates (or harass them, from Martin’s perspective).
### Wells said Saturday night that he has concluded his initial round of interviews with the Dolphins.
In a statement, Wells said his firm has “spent time with every player and coach, as well as key staff members and management. Our work will continue over the next few weeks. I want to thank Stephen Ross, the Dolphins organization and its players, coaches and staff for their complete cooperation throughout this process."
But one player told NBC 6's Courtney Fallon that he declined Wells' request to meet with him, but changed his mind and agreed to a meeting later in the week.
### Several defensive players said they had nothing useful to tell Wells, and another player said he wasn't sure he would be forthright with Wells. And several said their sessions lasted only 10 minutes or less, including Mike Wallace. Ryan Tannehill told us his interview "was an hour I didn't want to spend."
Mike Pouncey's lasted over an hour, and offensive line coach Jim Turner's lasted two hours, as our Armando Salguero noted. An NFL players union lawyer attended the interviews, but Dolphins players were not accompanied by any team employees. Wells had two colleagues with him during some of the interviews, one of whom asked questions.
### Above all, Dolphins players remain puzzled because many of them had seen Martin and Incognito out together, sometimes with just one or two others.
One player also expressed surprise that Martin kept detailed records of bullying, saying it makes him believe Martin had been planning this for awhile.
Another player said he has witnessed nothing in the Dolphins locker-room that he hadn’t seen with previous teams.
### Martin, at this point, doesn’t believe returning to the Dolphins is realistic but hasn’t ruled anything out and hasn’t conveyed his intentions to the Dolphins, a friend said. Because the trade deadline has passed, the Martin camp doesn't believe it's likely he will play this season, believing the Dolphins are unlikely to release him.
### A Martin lawsuit hasn’t been ruled out, even though Martin’s friends say he wants to play again eventually and is not doing this for a money grab.
### One NFL scout shared that in his pre-draft write-up of Martin, he said that Martin wasn’t emotionally ready for the NFL. But the Dolphins had no such concerns.
### There have been reports that Incognito was the first person to rise to Martin’s defense when Martin and Dion Jordan got in a tussle at practice a few weeks ago.
But Jordan said: “That’s not true. There were a LOT of people on offense and defense who [joined in] – pushing and shoving.”
### According to a Dolphins source, Incognito paid in the ballpark of $30,000 to quietly settle a case with the woman whom he was accused of sexually harassing and molesting (with a golf club) at a 2012 team charity event.
As ESPN's Adam Schefter has noted, Incognito was summoned to the league office before the 2012 season to discuss two off-field incidents. One was the golf event and the other involved misbehavior that was the result of drinking, according to a Dolphins source not authorized to give other details.
### What would Larry Csonka, one of the Dolphins’ toughest guys ever, have done if he had been left a phone message like the one Incognito left Martin?
“No teammate of mine would ever leave a message like that!” Csonka said, adding he’s “flabbergasted” that the Dolphins believe they need two committees to establish rules on locker-room decorum.
“You have to write down rules of how to treat each other?” Csonka asked incredulously. “That’s beyond me.”
### The question of whether the Dolphins are tipping off plays has resurfaced, with ESPN’s Dan Le Batard mentioning that the Dolphins passed every time Tannehill said “go” and ran every time he said “go-go” last Sunday.
Dolphins defensive lineman Jared Odrick insisted that gives no edge to defensive players because it’s happening so quickly before plays and “we’re going off movement, not sound.”
Tannehill has grown weary of the topic: “It’s not an advantage. We change it up enough just to keep them off guard. If they try and guess and they’re wrong, then we’re going to be deep downfield on them.”
### Even former Dolphin receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who comes to town Sunday with Carolina, has more receptions of 20-plus yards (seven) than Wallace, whose five rank 72nd among receivers.
Wallace, who has maturely handled his frustration in recent weeks, said bluntly: “I’m getting open. That’s not the problem.” Wallace said offensive coordinator Mike Sherman allowed him to switch the side he lines up on “around three or four times last week” and he believes that could help.
### Michael Beasley entered Saturday averaging 33.5 points per 48 minutes –-- sixth highest in the NBA (minimum five games). “But I get excited about myself when I do things most people think I can’t, like getting the third charge of my career” recently.
Heat president Pat Riley has been keeping a very close watch over Beasley. "We talk a lot," Beasley said. Has Riley told Beasley he’s proud of him? “Not yet. Coach Riley is a tough guy. A proud moment would be a wink and nod from him.”
Beasley scored nine points in eight first-half minutes (4 for 4 shooting) Saturday against Orlando but once again did not play in the second half.
### Udonis Haslem, who opened a Subway franchise at Oakwood Plaza in Hollywood this weekend, has gone from starting to not playing at all Saturday vs. Orlando. He also had a DNP-coach's decision Nov. 12 vs. Milwaukee.
### So far, there’s no indication UM’s recent struggles are hurting recruiting. UM oral commitment Braxton Berrios, a four-star receiver from Raleigh, tweeted: “Could’ve went to Oregon or Ohio State. But I decided to bring my team back, and that’s just a Canes thing. You wouldn’t understand.”
### The Marlins have expressed interest in free agent catcher Dioner Navarro, 29, a switch-hitter who hit .300 with 13 homers and 34 RBI in 89 games for the Cubs last season. The Marlins would like to add an offensively-gifted catcher to complement defensively-skilled backup Jeff Mathis.
### The Marlins often like to pursue players who had one bad year after a good one, hoping to get them at a reasonable price. So it’s not surprising they called about Yankees free agent right-hander Phil Hughes, who went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA in 2013 after going 16-13 in 2012. The Marlins are considering adding an inexpensive veteran starting pitcher.
### To follow up on Friday's media column, Marc Hochman has now officially informed 790/104.3 The Ticket that he's leaving when his contract expires Dec. 31. He is free to join WQAM-560, as afternoon-drive host, on April 1.
### Please see the last post for UM-Virginia notes, reaction and observations....Twitter: @flasportsbuzz