Dolphins' Incognito says he no longer plays dirty

Associated Press Modified: September 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm •  Published: September 10, 2012

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito says there's validity to complaints of dirty play by him — five years ago.

As for Sunday's game, Incognito says he's innocent of wrongdoing.

Following the Dolphins' loss at Houston, Texans defensive end Antonio Smith said Incognito played dirty by illegally going for the legs of opposing players and hitting after the whistle. Smith said Incognito even tried to twist and break his ankle.

Incognito, who began his NFL career with St. Louis in 2006-09 before joining the Dolphins, has long heard such complaints and said he doesn't mind them.

"It's a label that has been with me since I was a younger player, when I quite frankly did play dirty and I would go after guys," Incognito said Monday. "The first couple of years in St. Louis, I was playing frustrated football. I wasn't mature enough to handle the situations we were in. We were doing a lot of losing.

"So I think back then the tag was deserved. I have evolved, and I think that label still sticks. Once you're labeled with it, it's very hard to shake."

Texans coach Gary Kubiak watched video of Smith's duel with Incognito and said he saw nothing out of line.

"Those two had a heck of a battle going on all day long," Kubiak said. "I didn't see anything different from what you normally see week to week. I just saw two guys getting after it."

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