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Bettis: Dolphins situation "would have never happened in our locker room"

Former Steelers running back weighed in on the drama surrounding the Dolphins linemen

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Leadership and hazing gone too far led to the mess surrounding the Dolphins.

That's Jerome Bettis' take when he spoke with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Richie Incognito-Johnathan Martin situation.

Martin left the Dolphins during the 2013 season, stating the team's unhealthy culture and hazing spearheaded by Incognito led to his departure. The Dolphins have since released Incognito, who is still unsigned.

In Ron Cook's article, Bettis talked about the situation along with assuring Steelers fans that that type of issue would never have been allowed inside the Steelers organization during his time in Pittsburgh.

"That would have never happened in our locker room," said Bettis, who played with the Steelers from 1996-05. "Teams should remember (good veteran leaders) when they're putting their roster together."

He elaborated: " You have to have the right older players to set the tone for the young guys and show them how to be pros. If you don't, you have chaos.

"As veteran players, it's your job to try [to] help the young guys develop," Bettis said. "I'm sure they didn't consider themselves being divisive. They thought they were helping the kid by toughening him up. They just went too far. That's what's disappointing.

Bettis said he would have stopped the situation before it got as far as it did in the Dolphins locker room.

"You cut it off swiftly and put an end to it. 'Hey! Whoa! Whoa! That's way out of bounds.' Apparently, there was no one in that locker room to stop it. You ask yourself, 'Can I step in and shut it down?' ". If not, you take it upstairs. You do what you have to do for the team. Fortunately, there was never a situation I couldn't handle."