Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis
The first general manager/head coach to appear before the media Thursday morning at the 2014 NFL Combine was Joe Philbin.
The Miami head coach did not say so, but the timing was obvious; before the media horde had downed its first cup of coffee, Philbin wanted to get his time behind the microphone completed as soon as possible. The release last week of the report on the atmosphere of the Dolphins locker room that created the problems involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito guaranteed interest in what Philbin had to say.
“I want everybody to know I’m the one that’s responsible for the work place, the environment in the Miami Dolphins facility,” he said. “I’m the one that sets the schedule, I decide when the practices are, I decide what time players eat, how they meet, how they lift â everything that they do in the facility.
“I think you can imagine that when I read the report . . . some of the facts, the behavior and the language that was outlined in the report was inappropriate and it’s unacceptable.”
The Miami organization has already begun the process of making changes, firing offensive line coach Jim Turner and head trainer Kevin O’Neill. The truthfulness of both men was questioned in the Wells Report on the Martin-Incognito situation.
O’Neill was fired after arriving here in Indianapolis for the Combine. That left others in the league surprised about how the Dolphins handled the release of an employee of 18 years.
“I don’t know if there’s a really good time to relieve someone of their duties,” said Philbin. “Could it have been better maybe if he was not here? We made a decision as an organization. We felt that it was fair to communicate that decision as soon as possible.”
Philbin said that no decisions have been made by the organization on the future of Martin, Incognito, center Mike Pouncey and guard John Jerry with the Dolphins.
“We haven’t made any decisions on anybody’s future in terms of the 2014 Miami Dolphins,” he said.
As much as he can as the head coach, Philbin is determined to make the Dolphins a model NFL organization.
“I have to do a better job and I’m going to look at every way, the way we educate, the way we communicate, the way we talk to one another, I’m going to look at every avenue,” Philbin said. “We have a lot of dedicated, committed people in our organization and in our building that make a lot of sacrifices every single day when they get to work. I have to make sure we create a better atmosphere and a better environment.
“I’m going to be more vigilant, I’m going to be more diligent, I’m going to be more visible, and I’m going to have a better pulse.”