Hard Knocks

Raiders' Richie Incognito details off-field incidents, bullying scandal

Raiders' Richie Incognito details off-field incidents, bullying scandal

Richie Incognito has been forward-thinking in his public comments since signing with the Raiders in late May. He took a look backward at some harrowing incidents from 2018 and beyond in a sit-down interview with HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” that details troubling moments from his past.

Incognito is happy to have a clean slate right now, however, upon return to the Raiders following a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

“There’s a lot of crazy stuff in my past, and I wanted to come in here and show the world that, ‘Hey. I’m okay,’” Incognito said in a magazine show segment that will air Tuesday night on HBO. “I’m excited about playing for the Oakland Raiders. I’m ready to learn from where I’ve been and move forward.”

HBO unearthed police camera footage of Incognito being arrested in a May 2018 incident where he was throwing objects at someone in a Florida gym and was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold.

The police footage shows Incognito ranting out unusual things while clearly not in a proper state of mind.

“I was spun out, with paranoia to the nth degree,” Incognito said. “I had not taken care of myself for so long, with lack of sleep and not eating and marijuana and drinking heavily for days and days and weeks on end. That’s what you get, a highly paranoid, very large individual talking a bunch of nonsense.”

Incognito was also arrested in Aug. of 2018 following an incident where he allegedly threatened to shoot people inside an Arizona funeral home shortly after his father’s death.

Those incidents came during a temporary retirement after he left the Buffalo Bills after three Pro Bowl seasons.

“I had fallen into the trap of drinking and drugging again during the 2017 season,” Incognito said. “I was showing up to team functions high. I was not as motivated. I was overweight. A lot of red flags went up. In seeing that, they asked me to take a pay cut, and I said I was retiring and moving on.”

Incognito decided to return to the NFL this year, signing a one-year contract with the Raiders. He says he is in good mental and physical health, ready for the rigors of an NFL season that formally starts for him Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings.

The Raiders are his fourth NFL team and his latest try to get it right and eliminate a poor reputation established during an investigation into whether he bullied Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin that was front-page news for weeks. Here’s what Incognito had to say about that well-publicized investigation into whether he was harassing Martin with racial and homophobic remarks.

Incognito on using a racial slur toward Martin: “It’s obviously something I regret. It’s one line I can’t cross. Sometimes you say the worst things to the people closest to you. I definitely don’t feel like that makes me a racist person.”

On whether he drove Martin away from the NFL. “I did not drive him out of the league. I believe his mental health issues, and his demons in his past drove him out of the league.”

[RELATED: All eyes on Josh Jacobs vs. Vikings on Sunday]

On the NFL bullying investigation: I” think the report was unfair to my side of things. I think the gentlemen doing the investigation came in with a preconceived notion that I was guilty of doing that. I fit the bill, racist, homophobic and whatnot.

“What I’m saying is that we were close personal friends. It was not factored into the fact it was guy talk. These are two alpha males talking to each other. Was some bad s--t said? Absolutely. Was this a case of bullying? Absolutely not.”

Raiders' Josh Jacobs reveals why he didn't want to be on 'Hard Knocks'

Raiders' Josh Jacobs reveals why he didn't want to be on 'Hard Knocks'

Josh Jacobs had a solid NFL debut Monday night as the Raiders rookie running back became the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson to record 100 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in his first NFL game.

Drafted with the No. 24 pick in this year's NFL draft, Jacobs has all the tools to be an every-down back for the Silver and Black for years to come and has impressed head coach Jon Gruden out of the gate.

While the Alabama product opened eyes in the Raiders' 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 1, Jacobs was relatively invisible during the training camp and the preseason, especially to those tuning in to HBO's "Hard Knocks." Jacobs joked that he was hiding from the cameras after the second episode aired, but the truth is he had one thing on his mind: football.

On Friday, Jacobs was a guest on "The Dan Patrick Show," and revealed he asked general manager Mike Mayock, who had final say on what was shown, not to put him on the show so he could just focus on getting better. 

Exactly what you want to hear from the rookie.

[RELATED: Jacobs shows he's important Raiders weapon after AB exit]

Jacobs responded well from his 24-touch debut and should get a healthy dose of carries and targets in Week 2 against the Chiefs.

'Hard Knocks' finale details Raiders QB Nathan Peterman's elbow injury

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'Hard Knocks' finale details Raiders QB Nathan Peterman's elbow injury

Nathan Peterman was set to make the Raiders' 53-man roster after a productive preseason. Coach Jon Gruden praised the quarterback time and again in public, following practices and games in which he flashed quality arm talent and athleticism.

After Peterman's public struggles in his early starts with the Buffalo Bills, Gruden slowly helped the QB get his confidence back. Gruden was going to keep three QBs on the 53-man roster, which would’ve allowed him to run the scout team and continue developing away from the spotlight as a No. 3 signal-caller.

“Peterman lost his confidence after those bad starts in Buffalo,” Gruden said. “But, man, he has got arm talent. He has just gotten better and better.”

Gruden’s quarterback plan went off the rails Thursday in Seattle, when Peterman hurt his right elbow after being hit by blitzing Seahawks defensive back Akeem King.

The injury and its aftermath were shown in detail on Tuesday night’s “Hard Knocks” season finale, which focused on the Raiders trimming their roster to those final 53 players.

“Unfortunately, Peterman got hurt,” Gruden said on the show. “I’m f---ing sick.”

Peterman made the original cut, but he was placed on injured reserve Monday morning. He was replaced by DeShone Kizer, a quarterback claimed off waivers from the Green Bay Packers.

Peterman tore a ligament in his throwing elbow that won’t require surgery but will keep him out at least eight weeks. Hence, the IR move.

“Hard Knocks” showed Peterman acknowledge the elbow pain, saying he felt a “twinge” every time he threw. Peterman finished the Raiders' preseason finale, and nearly won the game ultimately lost on a failed two-point conversion.

[RELATED: Cabinda learns why Raiders cut him in 'Hard Knocks' finale]

Peterman was disappointed in the ill-timed injury that led to an IR slot after he earned a spot on Gruden’s team.

“I thought I would be all right, but I got the MRI and it wasn’t all right,” Peterman said. “I’m on the team, but I’m not on the 53-man roster for now, so they can have that spot for somebody else while I’m recovering. That’s how the business goes. My focus right now is just getting my elbow healed up.”