DOLPHINS NOTEBOOK

Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey facing grand jury this week

 
 
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey plays catch during warmups before a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sun Life Stadium on Oct. 6, 2013.
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey plays catch during warmups before a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sun Life Stadium on Oct. 6, 2013.
Joe Rimkus Jr. / STAFF PHOTOS

abeasley@MiamiHerald.com

By the week’s end, Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey will have finally had his date with a Massachusetts grand jury.

While his Dolphins teammates practiced Wednesday, Pouncey was in Boston, according to a league source — presumably being questioned about what he knows about the alleged illegal acts committed by former college teammate Aaron Hernandez.

Sports Illustrated first reported that Massachusetts law enforcement authorities formally subpoenaed Pouncey in Foxborough, Mass., in October in regards to the ongoing Hernandez criminal investigation.

Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end and University of Florida star, has been charged with the murder of associate Odin Lloyd in Massachusetts.

However, reports in October were that prosecutors are broadening the scope of their investigation to include Hernandez’s potential involvement in interstate gun trafficking. It is unclear whether authorities view Pouncey as a witness or a possible suspect.

The subpoena was delivered while Pouncey was leaving Gillette Stadium’s visiting locker room on Oct.27.

Pouncey is expected to play for the Dolphins on Sunday when they play host to the Patriots.

Downplayed

Many at Dolphins headquarters have long believed the team’s bullying scandal is much ado about very little, if not nothing.

It’s a sentiment shared at the highest levels of the Patriots organization, too.

Asked to assess the job Joe Philbin has done in crisis, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was complimentary before adding this unsolicited barb:

“I think the media blew a lot of that out of proportion and all the hype and everything, but that didn’t derail them in any way,” Belichick said. “They’ve been on track.”

For all the talk of distractions and locker-room rifts, the Dolphins are 4-2 since Jonathan Martin left the team.

Of course, Belichick knows first-hand about massive off-field distractions. His team was rocked by the Hernandez murder charge in June, and the dribs and drabs of negative information that have emerged since.

In addition

•  Mike Wallace will take 20 exemplary students from Miami Norland Middle School to lunch at Benihana through his Wallace’s Winners program.

• The Dolphins have partnered with TagSeats.com on a new social-media initiative that allows Dolphins fans to share with friends where they’ll be sitting at the game.

• Like Pouncey, Reshad Jones sat out Wednesday’s practice, but for a vastly different reason. Jones has a groin injury, but pledged to play Sunday. Cornerback Jamar Taylor, who missed the Steelers game with a hamstring injury, practiced on a limited basis.

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