Richie Incognito is thankful to be back in the NFL. The Buffalo Bills began offseason conditioning on Monday and the offensive guard was in attendance. Incognito met with the media and had plenty to say via Mike Rodak of ESPN.
Sitting Out in 2014
"It was definitely difficult sitting out, knowing I could still play, knowing I had talent to contribute," Incognito said. "It was a learning process. At first there was a lot of frustration: 'Why am I not signed? Why am I not on a team?' It was a time for inner reflection. Kind of a time for growth.
"Then it was an acceptance, and accepting the fact that I'm not going to play this year, that I'm going to have to chalk it up and wait for another opportunity."
This season, Incognito has a tremendous opportunity in front of him. Currently, Incognito’s biggest competition at guard is Kraig Urbik, Cyril Richardson, Chris Williams and possibly Cyrus Kouandjio. Incognito is the odds-on favorite to win the right guard spot. This is the type of opportunity that Incognito was seeking.
Bullying Incident in Miami
"There was a lot of things said and done that I wish I could change," Incognito stated. "But moving forward, you have to accept that there was definitely a learning process and a growing process and a process that I went through to become a better person. Nobody's perfect. I think the biggest thing is I've learned from what I've went through, I've learned from what went down. I've grown from it."
Right now, Incognito is saying all the right things. He’ll have to back his words up this season, on and off the field. While Incognito wasn’t the only guilty party in Miami, he’s not pointing any fingers and it seems as though that chapter of his life is over.
Making the Most of His Opportunity
"There were some dark days where I didn't think I was ever going to play again," he said. "It really just kind of fueled me to work harder. ... [It] kind of forced me to go back and really look at things and say, 'Is this still important to you? Is this still what you want?' And the answer was always a resounding yes.
"So it just made me work harder, personally, in the weight room, off the field -- kind of in all aspects of life. And once the season ended and it kind of got into a normal offseason routine, I felt like an opportunity would come up, and a great opportunity presented itself in Buffalo."
There’s no denying that Incognito is passionate about football. He used that passion to keep him going and it paid off with a shot of playing a significant role with Buffalo in 2015. On a roster loaded with talent, Incognito is still going to have a spotlight on him this season. If he’s a good citizen on and off the field, Incognito will have plenty of suitors in 2016.
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