Joe Philbin takes responsibility for Dolphins’ mess

Joe-Philbin-DolphinsMiami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin took responsibility on Thursday for the drama that has unfolded in the team’s locker room over the past four months involving offensive linemen Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin, and others. He described the behavior that is outlined in the Ted Wells report as “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.”

“It needs to be corrected. It needs to be looked at. It needs to be fixed,” Philbin told reporters, according to the NFL.com’s Around the league. “I want everyone to know that I’m the one responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins’ facility. I’m the one that’s in charge of the work place. … We’re going to do things about it.”

The Dolphins fired offensive line coach Jim Turner, who was named in the Wells report as having participated in the harassing of a player, on Wednesday night. They also fired an athletic trainer who was allegedly involved. The report concluded that Philbin was unaware of the problems Martin was having until he left the team in October, which the coach alluded to on Wednesday.

“The majority of things I did not know about when they were going on,” he said.

Previous reports indicated that Incognito, who was part of the Dolphins leadership council, was asked by coaches to toughen Martin up. Philbin denied naming Incognito a leader of the team.

“I didn’t necessarily name him a leader,” he said. “There’s a leadership council we have in place.”

If Incognito was part of that “council,” who named him a leader?

Philbin is going to keep his job for at least another season. On one hand, the Wells report exonerates him for the fact that he was unaware of the type of harassment that was going on and the affect it was having on the workplace. On the other hand, how could a head coach be so oblivious given some of the disturbing details that have surfaced? Philbin is on a very short leash.

Joe Philbin reportedly wanted to cut Richie Incognito after golf tournament incident

Richie IncognitoRichie Incognito has caused headaches for the Miami Dolphins in more ways than just his alleged harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito is outspoken and has a history of getting himself into trouble both on and off the field. In 2012, he was accused of sexually harassing a female volunteer at a team golf tournament. According to a new report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, head coach Joe Philbin wanted to cut Incognito after that incident.

Philbin, who was hired by the Dolphins in January 2012, had been on the job for just a few months at the time Incognito was accused. He reportedly made it known to the organization that he believed it would be in the team’s best interest to move on from Incognito, but Philbin was overruled. Incognito wound up paying roughly $30,000 to settle the issue and ultimately remained with the team.

Fast forward to the following offseason, when the Dolphins supposedly once again contemplated releasing their veteran offensive lineman. Incognito, who has been said to have regularly held “mandatory” team meetings at strip clubs, avoiding being cut because the team decided it did not have enough depth at offensive line. I’m sure they would have done things differently in hindsight.

Incognito’s four-game suspension was set to conclude on Monday, but it has been extended with pay until the league concludes its investigation. The revelation that Philbin wanted to cut Incognito in 2012 could reflect poorly on the team, given the fact that they allegedly went against Philbin’s wishes with what was a seemingly solid judgment call.

Full Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin history:

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Stephen Ross supports Joe Philbin, does not mention Jeff Ireland

Stephen Ross DolphinsMiami 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.

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Mike McCarthy: I trust Joe Philbin with my children

Joe-Philbin-DolphinsThroughout the ongoing harassment scandal involving Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, there has been little talk about what the future could potentially hold for Joe Philbin. Many are wondering what the head coach was aware of and when he became aware of it. Did he allow his veterans to cross the line with rookie hazing?

While Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy would not directly address the Incognito situation when asked about it on Wednesday, he did give Philbin a very strong endorsement.

“I really don’t have an opinion on what’s going on in Miami,” McCarthy said, per the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “But I trust Joe Philbin with my children. That’s the highest compliment I can give another man. … On a personal note you never want to see anybody go through that, player or coach, and I’m sure they’re doing everything they possibly can to make it right.”

Before he became the head coach of the Dolphins, Philbin was McCarthy’s offensive coordinator. McCarthy also addressed the challenges that go along with keeping a locker room together.

“To me that’s all part about continuing education and unfortunately it’s something that’s happened,” he said. “It obviously looks poor in the public eye but I just know here in Green Bay we talk a lot about being good teammate and things like that but there’s things that happen in the locker room that usually stay in the locker room. It’s no different than the coaches’ locker room or coaches’ office, so this is a challenging profession.”

The truth of the matter is Philbin could lose his job over this. If Martin did indeed go to Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland to tell him what was going on, it would be hard to believe Philbin was left in the dark. With a situation that has become this sensitive, that in itself might be enough to cost Philbin his job.

H/T Pro Football Talk