Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, through 24 games, has led the Dolphins to an 11-13 record, which has continued General Manager Jeff Ireland’s streak of mediocrity. Through 8 weeks of the 2013 NFL season, the narrative on Philbin has been the lack of creativity from the offense, his supposed strength coming from Green Bay, and the inconsistent performances of the team. As the losses piled up, starting in New Orleans, then snowballing into ugly performances and meltdowns vs Baltimore and Buffalo at home, and the Patriots on the road.
At this point, starting right tackle Jonathan Martin was excused from the team due to “illness”, which has been described as a mental illness, and he is now receiving treatment. I’m not going to comment or speculate much on this issue, rather I will only speak to what we know. The Dolphins played a terrific first half in week 9 vs the Bengals on Thursday night, only to struggle once again after halftime and almost lose the game (thank you Cam Wake). Wake addressed the NFL analysts confidently, stating that the team and locker room are unified and they are committed to Jon Martin’s recovery. Great, all sounded well.
Then Dolphins beat reporter Adam Beasley reported many of the locker room issues have been due to money, that veterans were forcing young players to pay for luxuries such as extravagant dinner bills. Rookie Will Davis has come out and said multiple rookies, lessening the damage, split the large bills. Late Sunday night, the Dolphins suspended starting LG Richie Incognito indefinitely while they investigate the evidence Jon Martin has presented that shows the bullying he’s endured. This suspension comes after a day full of team statements that seemed to back Incognito and mitigate the claims of Martin.
Call the situation whatever you would like, but there is a form of bullying happening, and with a team full of new faces (albeit expensive new faces) and young players, I’m very disappointed with the leadership of this team. That disappointment has to start with Joe Philbin. He and GM Jeff Ireland jettisoned the leadership council from last year, and the talent they brought in has not been an upgrade on the field or in the locker room. Of course, winning cures everything, and if Miami sweeps the Jets and beats the Chargers, they very likely make the wildcard. But what would that accomplish? ESPN reported earlier that Philbin addressed an issue Jon Martin brought to him back in April, but obviously with Martin out a few weeks to rehabilitate, his message wasn’t received. The Dolphins need a strong leader that is respected by every man on the 53-man roster and around the league. Joe Philbin, unfortunately, is not that man.