Stephen Ross supports Joe Philbin, does not mention Jeff Ireland
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross spoke with the media on Monday to address the situation with his team regarding bullying accusations between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. Ross called what’s happened with Martin his “worst nightmare” and said he was appalled by what he’s been reported. Ross vowed to resolve the issue and change his franchise for the future.
One interesting note from Ross’ press conference was that he supported head coach Joe Philbin but did not mention Jeff Ireland, which is a strong hint that the general manager will end up fired.
Ross says Philbin called him after the cafeteria incident to let him know that Martin had left the team. He lauded Philbin’s organizational skills, saying that the coach is one of the most organized people he’s known. Ross also shared that he has created a committee to look at the team and advise him. The committee consists of Tony Dungy, Don Shula, Dan Marino, Jason Taylor and Curtis Martin. What will the committee do?
Ross said the committee “can give me advice working with Joe Philbin, because I have total, utmost confidence in Joe Philbin as our coach.”
At another point in the press conference, Ross stated that he has “total confidence” in his staff.
He mentioned Philbin by name several times, but not Ireland once.
Ross also shared that he has communicated with Martin via text and plans to meet with the offensive lineman. He says he knew immediately that they would need to investigate the allegations and that having an independent investigation was the only way to go for fairness. His goal is to get to the bottom of the situation and get real facts, and he says they will talk with Richie Incognito so he can share his side.
Ross said he wants to be proactive in investigating the matter, and he wants to create a great workplace for his players.
When asked about the kind of hazing that usually goes on with teams, Ross conceded that having players sign a fight song will probably happen, but he will not allow the really damaging stuff.
“There will not be any racial slurs or harassing or bullying in that workplace, in that locker room, and outside the locker room,” Ross said.
Ross apologized to the team’s fans and said he is committed to winning championships.
Though Ross stood by Philbin, he’s probably going to have to fire all the coaches in addition to Ireland in order to get a completely new culture on the team.