Miami 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.