Dolphins coach Philbin says he will try to change team’s locker-room culture


INDIANAPOLIS — Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he will attempt to change the culture of his team’s locker room in the wake of last week’s report that described “a pattern of harassment” and bullying.

“I want everyone to know that I’m the one responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins’ facility,” Philbin said Thursday at the NFL Combine in his first public comments since the report by independent investigator Ted Wells was released last Friday. “Some of the facts, behavior and the language that was outlined in the report is inappropriate and it’s unacceptable . . . I can tell you, we’re going to do things about it. We’re going to make it better. And we’re going to have a better workplace, I promise you that.”

Philbin said he was aware of most of the revelations in the report before it came out, but not while they were occurring. The report pointed to offensive linemen Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey bullying not only Jonathan Martin, who left the team, but another player as well as an assistant trainer.

Philbin said no decisions have been made about the futures of any of those players or staff members named in the report. He said the Dolphins have been working with the NFL about any potential discipline. He also said that Martin and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will meet in the near future to discuss the player’s future with the team.

Philbin said he will not “pass the buck” on any of the issues, but one he did dodge was the decision to have Incognito on the team’s leadership council. He said the players on the team elected Incognito. “I didn’t necessarily name him a leader,” Philbin said.

Philbin did not give specifics on how he plans to change the Dolphins’ culture.

“If I had heard this type of language, these types of acts being done, I would have intervened immediately,” he said. “There’s a common decency that people need to have toward one another. When that gets violated, that’s an issue. I wish I had seen some of it and could have intervened quicker and perhaps it would not have grown to this proportion.”

Philbin doesn’t think the matter will tarnish the Dolphins in terms of drawing free agents or competing, but he said it has taken a toll on everyone in the organization.

“It’s been tough on a lot of people,” he said. “It’s touched a lot of people across the country. It’s been difficult. But we’re resolute in our dedication in getting this right and correcting any problems that exist.”

 

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