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Dolphins players reportedly ‘beyond furious’ with defensive scheme

Joe-Philbin-DolphinsThe Miami Dolphins have not looked good over the past two weeks after kicking off their season with an impressive win over the New England Patriots. They allowed 34 points against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and 29 against the Buffalo Bills the week before. Neither opponent has what you would call a powerhouse offense.

According to Adam H. Beasley of The Miami Herald, many of the Dolphins players are blaming defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle for Sunday’s blowout loss.

One source said Dolphins players are “beyond furious, irate” at Coyle’s defensive adjustments and game plan.

Players are privately questioning a host of decisions, including Coyle’s call to have Cameron Wake and Jason Trusnik cover speedy Chiefs running back Joe McKnight in space, said another. McKnight exploited the matchups and had two touchdown catches in the second half Sunday.

As Beasley noted, the Dolphins had plenty of issues against Kansas City that had nothing to do with scheming or playcalling. Knile Davis, who started in place of the injured Jamaal Charles, broke a ton of tackles and shook several Miami defenders on his 21-yard score. Cortland Finnegan also failed to bring Travis Kelce down when the tight end grabbed a 20-yard touchdown.

“I don’t think we tackled well enough,” head coach Joe Philbin said. “We have to do better. … I don’t think any phase played well enough to win.”

Offensively, Lamar Miller looked strong but Ryan Tannehill continues to struggle with intermediate and deep throws. While offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has found ways to utilize Mike Wallace as a true No. 1 receiver, Tannehill can’t seem to get Wallace the ball downfield.

The Dolphins have plenty of issues. They have been down two scores heading into halftime of all three of their games the season. They were able to come from behind against New England but have not been as fortunate the past two weeks. One thing that never seems to help is playing the blame game. If Dolphins players are pointing fingers after just three weeks, they could be in for a long year.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Richie Incognito: Returning to Dolphins is my No. 1 goal

Richie IncognitoIt has been widely assumed that Richie Incognito’s career with the Miami Dolphins is over in the wake of the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal, but the veteran offensive lineman has not given up hope. On Wednesday, Incognito said returning to the Dolphins is his top priority.

“Returning to the Dolphins was my number one goal from the time I got suspended,” he said during an interview with WSVN in Miami, via ESPN.com. “I want to return to the community in Miami and resume my playing career as soon as possible.”

He then went third person.

“Dolphins fans, Richie is well,” Incognito said. “Richie wants to come back and play. But the business has to handle the business end, and that’s it.”

The chances of that happening are incredibly slim. The NFL community has shown a tendency to forgive with players like Michael Vick and Ray Lewis. Incognito’s NFL career may not be over, but it is highly unlikely the Dolphins would have him back.

After the Ted Wells report blew the doors off the Dolphins’ locker room and exposed Incognito and several other players for alleged workplace harassment, Incognito supposedly went HAM on his own car and smashed it with a baseball bat. He voluntarily checked into a psychiatric rehab facility shortly thereafter, and now he’s looking to get his career back on track.

The Dolphins have already traded Jonathan Martin and fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill. Allowing Incognito to return would be horrible PR.

Jonathan Martin reportedly turned down invite to rejoin Dolphins

Jonathan Martin Tony DungyJonathan Martin is still technically a member of the Miami Dolphins, though it seems like a given that his time with the team is over. Martin left the Dolphins in October just before the bullying scandal erupted. The team reportedly expressed a desire to keep him at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week.

According to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora, Martin’s agents met with Dolphins VP of football operations Dawn Aponte and new GM Dennis Hickey to discuss Martin’s future in Miami. The word from his agents was that there will not be one, as the former Stanford star would feel uncomfortable returning to the team.

La Canfora reports that Hickey did most of the talking, while head coach Joe Philbin stared “daggers” across the room at Martin’s agents. After the meeting, Philbin allegedly made it known that he felt Martin’s agents were responsible for the media frenzy surrounding the Richie Incognito bullying scandal and that it was a matter that could have been handled much more quietly.

Martin’s agents released a statement claiming La Canfora’s report is false.

“We have no idea where you got your information, but you weren’t even close,” Rick Smith, one of Martin’s agents, said. “We’d appreciate it if everyone backed off and allowed the process to happen organically.”

With Martin and Incognito almost certain to leave and Mike Pouncey’s contract situation becoming complicated, the Dolphins are in desperate need of offensive line help. Martin returning to the team would be a way to not only bolster their line but also prove he has forgiven the team. Neither is going to happen.

Dolphins OL coach Jim Turner reportedly participated in harassing of a player

Jim-Turner-DolphinsRichie Incognito is going to have trouble finding employment after the smoke from the Jonathan Martin bully scandal clears, but the Miami Dolphins have plenty of problems of their own. The Ted Wells report that was released Friday concluded that Martin was a victim of harassment along with an unnamed teammate and assistant trainer. And one of the team’s coaches was reportedly doing some of the harassing.

The unnamed offensive lineman, or Player A, was reportedly a victim of a running joke that he was gay. Incognito, Mike Pouncey and John Jerry allegedly called Player A a “faggot” and used other homophobic language toward him on numerous occasions. Pouncey also physically restrained Player A one time and told Jerry to “come get some p—y,” to which Jerry responded by “touching Player A’s buttocks in a way that simulated anal penetration.”

Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner was reportedly aware of the running jokes against Player A. At a Christmas party in 2012, Turner is said to have given each offensive lineman on the team a gift bag that included female blow-up dolls. Player A was the only one who received a male blow-up doll.

Martin and another player reported that they were surprised Coach Turner did this; Martin further said that he was offended that Turner had endorsed the humiliating treatment of Player A by participating in it. Incognito and others agreed that this incident with Coach Turner occurred. When interviewed, Turner was asked if he gave Player A a male blow-up doll. He replied, ‘I can’t remember.’ We do not believe that Turner forgot this incident, which many others recalled.

The investigation also concluded that Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was unaware of the mistreatment of Martin, Player A or the assistant trainer. Considering his players and at least one of his staff members were in on it, that is bad news for Philbin. On one hand, it’s a positive that Philbin didn’t know about the harassment and choose to ignore it. On the other, it shows negligence on his part.

Related: Richie Incognito sent these texts to Mike Pouncey after Jonathan Martin left team
Related: Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey reportedly wore Japanese headbands to mock trainer

Dolphins holder drilled in face with snap on botched field goal attempt (GIF)

Dolphins-botched-FGIf the Miami Dolphins wind up missing the playoffs, this could be the play that defines their 2013 season. Rather than going for it on 4th and 1 from the New England Patriots’ 24-yard line, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin opted for a field goal attempt. The end result was a turnover.

This was not just any botched field goal, however. Miami holder Brandon Fields was not expecting the snap, and it hit him directly in the face. The Dolphins were able to jump on the fumble, but the play still resulted in a turnover on downs. Here’s an even better view of the play:

Poor special teams play can kill you. It can also secure you a spot on SportsCenter’s “Not Top 10″ for weeks to come.

GIF via SB Nation

Richie Incognito, Dolphins players reportedly harassed team staff member

Richie IncognitoThe Miami Dolphins are already facing a major issue with the alleged workplace harassment that took place between offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. According to a new report, the problems may have been more widespread throughout the organization and gone beyond just player harassment and bullying.

Jason Cole of the National Football Post cited sources on Tuesday who claim Incognito and at least one other Dolphins player harassed a team staff member and made inappropriate comments about the staffer’s ethnic background and wife.

One of Cole’s sources alleged that Incognito dressed in attire related to the staff member’s culture and mocked him with profane jokes. At least one teammate is said to have joined in with Incognito and created an “extremely uncomfortable environment” for the staffer. The sources also claimed that Incognito told the employee on multiple occasions that several members of the team had sexual relations with his wife.

[Photos: Dolphins fans support Richie Incognito with signs]

Cole also noted that the behavior was allegedly allowed to continue in view of other staff members who, along with the team’s front office, did nothing to put a stop to it. If any of the claims are found to be true, it could further prove that the Dolphins have been negligent in failing to create an appropriate and professional workplace environment.

Yes, we know an NFL locker room is not your everyday work environment. Almost everyone understands that, but there’s no excuse for berating someone and saying stuff like that about their wife. It doesn’t matter how chummy players and staff members are with one another, there are still lines that should not be crossed.

Full Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin history:

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Report: Dolphins players repeatedly fined Jonathan Martin for being soft

Jonathan MartinMiami Dolphins players repeatedly fined Jonathan Martin for being soft, per a report, which could be a sign of the “locker room” and “football culture” that got to the young lineman, leading him to abruptly leave the team.

Martin has now been away from the Dolphins for over two weeks since leaving the team following a prank pulled on him in the cafeteria. Martin’s representatives have said that constant harassment and bullying over the past year and a half led to Martin’s departure from the team, and now we have a better understanding of what kind of treatment he was receiving.

Sports Illustrated NFL reporter Jim Trotter joined “Amani & Eytan” on NBC Sports Radio Monday and shared an example of the locker room culture in Miami that may have bothered Martin. According to Trotter, Dolphins players repeatedly fined Martin for being soft.

“I spoke to one player who was on the Dolphins the last couple of years, and we were speaking about Jonathan Martin,” Trotter began, “and he said that the Dolphins have what they call a ‘sensitivity fine,’ and it’s for players that they deem to be soft on or off the field. And he said that they repeatedly targeted Jonathan Martin for that to the point that one time — whether it was playful or not — they even talked about fining him a game check because he was so soft.”

Trotter said that to his knowledge, players on both sides of the ball were involved in this fining practice, which he described as part of the locker room culture for the Dolphins.

[Read more...]