Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
NFL: Philbin promises better work environment in Miami
First Published Feb 20 2014 09:31 am • Last Updated Feb 25 2014 04:41 pm

Indianapolis • Dolphins coach Joe Philbin is promising to change the culture inside Miami’s locker room and make it a better workplace than the one that forced Jonathan Martin to leave the team last season.

Philbin said Thursday that he wants players to treat one another with civility and he won’t tolerate anything less.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In his first public comments since Ted Wells released his report into the bullying scandal that rocked the league, Philbin made it clear he would clean things up.

“We’re going to do things about it, we’re going to make it better,” Philbin told reporters at the NFL scouting combine. “We’re going to check underneath every stone and make it a better a workplace.”

The changes have already begun.

On Wednesday night, the Dolphins fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and longtime head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill for their roles in the scandal. While the timing seemed odd, on the eve of a six-day event where Miami and the league’s 31 other teams can interview and test draft hopefuls, Philbin said the Dolphins needed time to contemplate the report’s findings and possible punitive actions.

The Wells investigation found that guard Richie Incognito and two teammates engaged in persistent harassment of Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer. Martin left the team at midseason, and Incognito was suspended for the final eight games.

Martin has said that the persistently vulgar language made him feel trapped. Wells determined that Turner didn’t try to stop the harassment and even took part in some of the taunting of offensive lineman Andrew McDonald. The report said O’Neill expressed hostility toward the investigation and cut short an interview with those conducting it.

Philbin, who said he was unaware of the bullying when it happened, said he found the details of his players used and their actions to be “inappropriate and unacceptable.”

“I certainly wish I had seen some of it and I could have intervened earlier,” Philbin said, noting he was unaware of what had happened until early November.


story continues below
story continues below

What happens next is still to be determined.

Three weeks ago, team owner Stephen Ross said he did not expect Martin or Incognito to be back with the Dolphins next season.

Those decisions will likely rest with new general manager Dennis Hickey. Philbin declined to comment specifically on either player except to say Ross and Martin were expected to meet soon and that he took immediate action when he learned of the allegations against Incognito.

Martin’s agent, Kenneth Zuckerman, has said he plans to meet with the Dolphins in Indy.

“We have not made any decision on anybody’s future,” Philbin said.

While the report found no evidence that Philbin was aware of abusive conduct within the team, Philbin acknowledged it was ultimately his responsibility to clean things up.

“I have faith in the locker room, I have in the players and I have faith in the staff,” Philbin said. “We know we have work to do. But again, I’m confident in the direction we’re going and we’ll make the changes that are necessary to make it a better work environment.”

———

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP—NFL



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.