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Dolphins silence in the wake of Incognito report speaks volumes

Richie Incognito AP

With so many voices offering so many opinions regarding the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation in Miami, it’s easy to lose track of certain key facts.

Fact:  The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has reported that Dolphins coaches asked Incognito to “toughen up” Martin.

Fact:  In response to that report, the Dolphins have said nothing.

Well, the Dolphins haven’t said nothing.  They’ve said they’ve got nothing to say.

“Because of the NFL review, we are not in a position to comment on any aspects of this matter,” the team said in a statement issued to PFT.

On the surface, it makes sense.  Scratching that surface a bit, however, it doesn’t.

If the report isn’t true, why not say so?  Loudly.  Surely, a denial of the report won’t compromise or undermine the NFL’s investigation.  Even more surely, the NFL would allow the Dolphins to issue a simple and perfunctory denial.

Absent a denial, it’s fair to conclude that the report is accurate.  Which also means the Dolphins have more pressing problems than crafting a press release aimed at denying something they ultimately can’t deny.

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53 Responses to “Dolphins silence in the wake of Incognito report speaks volumes”
  1. stealthjunk says: Nov 6, 2013 2:35 PM

    It’s been less than 24 hours since this news broke. Give them a little break in at least talking to all the relevant people, who are likely tied up with their day jobs.

  2. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 2:36 PM

    …if you think that trying to “toughen up” a failing player is something problematic… or if you like doing foolish things when legal and employment issues are involved or if you are a blogger trying to generate traffic by jumping on every allegation and half-truth… without any concern for what may be going on behind the scenes, absent leaked rumors.

  3. mrbigass says: Nov 6, 2013 2:37 PM

    They have seriously forked up and they know it.

    And of course the guys are saying he’s not a racist because they’re the ones that got up and moved away from Martin at the lunch table.

    Iggy was the ringleader in this debacle and his posse just followed along……

  4. meatsweat says: Nov 6, 2013 2:40 PM

    I don’t think it matters. All the media cares about is the bullying and racial comments. Incognito was never told what to say. I’m a Patriots fan and I am 100% behind the Fins front office and coaching staff on this one. This is a witch hunt, plain and simple.

  5. hakunamangata says: Nov 6, 2013 2:41 PM

    The pictures for these stories just keep getting better and better.

  6. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 2:43 PM

    “And of course the guys are saying he’s not a racist because they’re the ones that got up and moved away from Martin at the lunch table. ”

    Not a single member of the OL (those who were at the table) were quoted in the article you are mentioning.

    If you are going to make crap up, try a little harder so you aren’t so easy to dismiss.

  7. ronaldmexico says: Nov 6, 2013 2:43 PM

    This doesn’t sound good for the Dolphins – if this is true, Joe Philbin may not get to ‘leave on a high note’ like George Costanza.

  8. getsome99 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:43 PM

    Still reaching. Media and fans may not like it but if the Dolphins feel they have nothing to explain, then they shouldn’t have to. We’ll all get the facts on this soon enough.

    While we’re at it, anyone working on getting a statement from Jonathan Martin. So far, all we really know for sure is Martin walked out on the team without an honest explanation why and that Incognito left inappropriate vm’s and texts on Martin’s phone that went unreported until 5 days after Martin excused himself from work.

    Since the information was leaked to the media before it was given to Dolphins management, why isn’t the media chasing down Martin so he can explain himself. The voice mails and texts are being dealt with. I think the ball is in Martin’s court to explain why he quit the team, not for the Dolphins to speculate on things they’re just now finding out about during the investigation.

  9. blackandbluedivision says: Nov 6, 2013 2:44 PM

    Official statement from the Miami Dolphins:

    “Whoops”

  10. burlingtonbills says: Nov 6, 2013 2:45 PM

    Philbin: Did you, or did you not order a code red?

  11. blackandbluedivision says: Nov 6, 2013 2:46 PM

    stealthjunk says:
    Nov 6, 2013 2:35 PM
    It’s been less than 24 hours since this news broke. Give them a little break in at least talking to all the relevant people, who are likely tied up with their day jobs.

    ______________________

    It’s a yes or no question. They’re coaches. They can’t be hard to find. Go to practice.

  12. nyyjetsknicks says: Nov 6, 2013 2:47 PM

    I remember the Hard Knocks with the Jets. The coaching staff wanted to “light a fire” under Vernon Gholston and got an offensive player to go after him and keep grabbing him after the whistle to try and start a fight.

    Stuff like this happens with every team but the guy they picked to do it is an idiot and a dirty player who took it too far. The coaching staff and Incognito are to blame.

  13. fishfan54 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:47 PM

    The media is trying to destroy Richie Incognito with no regard whatsoever for the truth. No consideration whatsoever is given in the media to the possibility that Johnathan Martin is at fault for all of this.

    Who gives a rat’s behind if they asked him to toughen him up, clearly he needed it. He’s soft and found his NFL exit strategy. Pending lawsuit has probably been planned since last year. Bring back Richie, good riddance to Jmart

  14. farvite says: Nov 6, 2013 2:51 PM

    Firings are imminent.

    Shame for Philbin, I think he has a chance to be a really good coach.

    Sherman is a good man. Hard to believe he’d sanction these actions.

  15. bbb82 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:52 PM

    This sort of makes those folks who said, “he should have kept it in house” look foolish. How can you expect anything to be done in house when the coaches are the ones instigating?

    And even then, is Ingonito really the person you’d want to “toughen” someone up?

  16. hoosierdaddy1972 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:52 PM

    First Martin was incognito. Then Incognito was incognito. Now the Dolphins management is incognito ???

  17. wearewhowethoughtwewere says: Nov 6, 2013 2:53 PM

    Just when Jeff Ireland was feeling comfortable to finally buy that Miami dream house…

  18. cuda1234 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:56 PM

    Fact: Incognito has never been unemployed during his NFL career – there’s always been someone willing to pay him to be on their team.

    Fact: Incognito has pretty much kept his nose clean during his 4-year Dolphins career while starting every game and grading out well (PFF).

    Fact: Incognito was voted to the Pro Bowl by his peers in 2012.

    Fact: Incognito won the Pro Football Writers Association Good Guy award in 2012.

    Fact: Incognito was a member of the Dolphins leadership committee.

    Assumption: a lot of people in the press were bullied as kids. Give the guy a break!

  19. whiplash013 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:56 PM

    Obama has never refuted multiple claims about his past regarding drug usage and school scores, does that make them true? That is a ridiculous thing to say that because a team doesn’t comment that the report must be true. ESPN sent out a report that said the coaching staff knew nothing about what was going on. I tend to believe ESPN more than a half wit writer for a sinking ship newspaper.

  20. richcranium2112 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:56 PM

    Very flattering photo of Incognito. Reminds me of the late Chris Farley in Tommy Boy.

    I guess that’s an injustice to Farley!

  21. jjb0811 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:58 PM

    Can’t wait for Richie to sue the ‘fins for following orders. I wouldn’t give up $2m, & possibly foresight my career w/o a fight.

    Then you’ll have Martin go after Richie legally as well as Martin pinning his ears back on the ‘fins.

    Man NE has to love playing in the AFC East. They have a guy looking at triple murder and yet have less of a mess on their hands than Miami.

  22. krishnasherchan says: Nov 6, 2013 2:58 PM

    This is “A Few Good Men” for real!

    “Did you order the code red?”

    “You’re damn right I did!! Deep down, at places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall!!”

  23. skids003 says: Nov 6, 2013 3:00 PM

    I guess my comment about the media trying to stir up something before ALL the facts are known is inflammatory. Let’s get ALL the facts before we pass any judgements. Not the way the media works.

  24. wannstache says: Nov 6, 2013 3:01 PM

    There are no more excuses left for Ross to hang on to Ireland at this point. Why, then, do I fear he still will?

  25. damnsureis says: Nov 6, 2013 3:03 PM

    The saddest part of this whole mess is that at a time when Incognito and the mayor of Toronto, we don’t have Chris Farley to play them on TV.

  26. surrealpeter says: Nov 6, 2013 3:03 PM

    When I saw Philbins’ press conference, this statement stood out to me as kind of awkward, “every decision I’ve made and everything we’ve done to the facility has been done with one thing in mind, and that is to help our players and our organization reach their full potential.” Makes much more sense now that we know this.

  27. pftfanatic says: Nov 6, 2013 3:03 PM

    I can see it now: Later today the Dophins deny any coaches asked Incognito to toughen up Martin. On Thurday, Dolphins issue a new statement indicating the offensive line coach came clean and admitted that he did, in fact, encourage Incognito. PFT Headline: “Dolphins issued premature denial.” PFT finger-wagging ensues.

    It would be irresponsible for them to admit OR deny any blame before all the facts are available to them (or at least enough facts for them to have a certain level of comfort their admission/denial is accurate).

  28. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 6, 2013 3:03 PM

    Meanwhile…

    Incognito is sitting back relishing the day that he gets to be captain of his own ship. He’s not even going to bring a life preserver on account of being too excited to embrace the storm. It’s going to be a turbulent mess, but at least nobody will be around to tell him he’s not the boss of this scene. Smart or dumb, I just hope he doesn’t have a clever imagination.

  29. unclebluck says: Nov 6, 2013 3:05 PM

    I sometimes wonder whether all you guys out there calling Martin soft etc….1.) ever played the game (organized) yourself so that you might even have a clue what your talking about….2.) or are just another soft guy yourself sitting behind your laptop thinking/pretending to be the sh!t…..

  30. coltzfan166 says: Nov 6, 2013 3:05 PM

    I hope the Dolphins get the same treatment the Saints did with the bounty program. Incognito should be held accountable as well.

  31. fringetastic says: Nov 6, 2013 3:06 PM

    Come on, this is too easy. You don’t comment on anything so you don’t give anything away. Like you said in the article, if they deny the things that aren’t true, then it is obvious when things are true because of the ‘no comment’.

  32. fireeyes111 says: Nov 6, 2013 3:07 PM

    Asking Incognito or anyone else to help toughen Martin up isn’t a problem. Nor should it be.

    That their chosen vehicle for that toughening decided to extort thousands of dollars, use racial slurs, and threaten Martin’s family (telling him he’d defecate in his mouth – whatever) makes it the Dolphins problem.

    For better or worse, when management tells an employee to do something and that employee goes off the rails, it is the management’s ultimate responsibility. Anyone who’s ever managed anything ought to realize that.

  33. bsizemore68 says: Nov 6, 2013 3:09 PM

    This could be ” Richiegate ” and there is nothing to it. Or is there more to be learn later on, as Tricky Dickie said ” Your President is not a crook ” So perhaps Richie will say they made me do it against my will. As a football fan we need to ask, who would you like to have in a fox hole, RI or JM, I would pick Richie. Bill

  34. fronandez says: Nov 6, 2013 3:10 PM

    “Absent a denial, it’s fair to conclude that the report is accurate.”

    Hardly.

    Look, this looks bad – no denying it – but let’s allow the situation to play itself out fully before having the entire front office and coaching staff tarred and feathered.

  35. peymax1693 says: Nov 6, 2013 3:13 PM

    Based upon all the conflicting news reports, it’s impossible to conclude what exactly transpired between Martin, Incognito and the Dolphins coaching staff.

    If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the coaching staff was disappointed with Martin because he was too “soft” (at least by NFL standards) The coaching staff goes to Incognito and tell him to “light a fire” under Martin. Incognito, being the borderline sociopath that he is, goes overboard. Martin is smart enough to figure out why Incognito is making him a target, causing him to question whether the coaches would be on his side were he to complain or whether they would find his complaining as evidence that he is too “soft.” Martin, knowing the jock mentality, fears having his teammates question his toughness were he to complain to any of them.

    Left isolated with nowhere to turn, Martin is slowly driven over the edge by Incognito. Finally, he can’t take it anymore and leaves the team. When he subsequently discovers that the Dolphins collectively as a team are trying to sweep the incident under the rug, he realizes that he has been left twisting in the wind. Because he feels he has no viable options, he decides he needs to defend himself by taking the matter public.

  36. wrdtoyrmama says: Nov 6, 2013 3:13 PM

    Its pretty simple in my view.

    The Dolphins aren’t saying anything because “anything that you say can be used against you in a court of law.”

    If the Phins asked Incognito to “toughen” Martin up, then didn’t monitor what Incognito was doing to “toughen” him up, then they’re screwed.

    Still it doesn’t explain why it wasn’t just Martin that was complaining about how Phins veterans were shaking rookies down for expensive meals and nights out on the town. Just because its tradition probably isn’t going to work in a court of law.

  37. gottaplan says: Nov 6, 2013 3:14 PM

    This “reporting” is getting very disturbing. Character assassination without any of the facts is shameful. Condemning an entire franchise from the top to the bottom based on nothing but conjecture. It’s like reading a STAR Magazine. Who is the “bully” now?

  38. mykpfsu says: Nov 6, 2013 3:23 PM

    “Fact: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has reported that Dolphins coaches asked Incognito to “toughen up” Martin.”

    Ok, technically true. Thats what the paper reported. So its a fact they reported it. But only from 2 “anonymous sources”. Mind you, not anonymous sources close to the organization. So no its not a FACT that coaches asked Incognito to “toughen up” Martin. Its speculation most likely from the Martin camp.
    Whats interesting is that no Dolphin player has come forward to back this up. That FACTUALLY speaks volumes.

  39. xpensivewinos says: Nov 6, 2013 3:24 PM

    When the dust settles on this (regardless of the outcome), Stephen Ross has to finally come to the realization that he does not have the right people in place to build a winning organization. There are too many constant failures in too many areas (on and off the field) to ever actually move forward. A winning team does not have these issues.

    There’s no way that fact can still escape him.

  40. FinFan68 says: Nov 6, 2013 3:28 PM

    bbb82 says:
    Nov 6, 2013 2:52 PM
    This sort of makes those folks who said, “he should have kept it in house” look foolish.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Not really. It could have and should have been handled in-house. This scandal is nothing more than Martin’s damage control. (Incognito should have never said that stuff but he said it almost 8 months ago) Martin flipped out and left the team (again), based on the exact same joke that he played on Nate Garner the week before, and his toughness and mental stability came into question. THEN the bullying stuff came out in order to justify his hissy fit in the lunchroom but most people looked at the “bullying” stuff as not being out of NFL norms. THEN the text/voice message stuff came out and Incognito has officially been classified as the racist bully/villain. The media has taken all these elements and rolled them into a story that guarantees coverage and clicks. If Incognito wasn’t a mindless juvenile jerk on those messages, the story would be about Martin not being strong enough to handle his job as an NFL lineman. He lost his job due to that fact and that’s when he snapped. All Incognito really did was provide Martin with an external excuse to do what he has been struggling with for over a year–the though of leaving football. Martin snapped due to his difficulty dealing with his own personal/professional failure. Bringing in McKinnie to replace him is what caused the breakdown, not Richie Incognito’s rant from 8 months ago.

  41. salscobrakai says: Nov 6, 2013 3:28 PM

    A lot of people who are innocently accused of something don’t shout to the mountains that they’re innocent. The people who you really care about and care about you know the truth and that’s all that matters. In the end the truth will come out and people will see that you were wrongly accused. I’m not a Dolphins fan by any stretch of the imagination, but it takes a bigger person to stay quiet and weather the storm than to try and change peoples opinion by issuing “a statement” or hold press conferences.

  42. wolfmanpatriot says: Nov 6, 2013 3:33 PM

    tfaulk says:
    Nov 6, 2013 2:36 PM
    …if you think that trying to “toughen up” a failing player is something problematic…
    ———–

    I am curius where this is coming from.
    Where from any of the articles do you interpret that Martin has been problematic?
    This request to “toughen up” Martin was made after he chose to not participate in Voluntary pre summer camp workouts.
    If he were deemed problematic prior to entering the Dolfin’s property, why would they draft him?
    Since they made this request to toughen him up to a knuckle dragger known for having few brain cells and all of them misfiring, I interpret to mean, ” make him see things our way. Bully him”.

    As for the meatheads saying he shouldn’t have snitched and should have kept it inhouse. (Saap and others).
    Do you Really think he would tell anyone that he through his tray down? Make himself sound immature in any way?
    Naw, that was leaked by the same type of meathead Sapp has proven to be over the years. They love to accuse and jump on others for things they themselves are not proud of. Typical MO for self rightous low lives.
    Guys in the locker room defending Cognito are the vocal minority with a like mind as Riche. I would like to know what the quiet players are thinking.
    Probably releived the cancer in cognito And management has, is about to be sirgically cut out of the body.

  43. Darkoestrada says: Nov 6, 2013 3:37 PM

    To all the people saying Martin quit and walked out on the team: why should martin give a damn about the team when the team ridicules him and makes him feel like he’s not even an equal member of the so called team?

  44. jc327 says: Nov 6, 2013 3:39 PM

    Thye are doing the right thing. Prepare for the next game, get the locker room in check, and let cooler heads prevail.

    This story is getting stupid, y’all. Let it run its course.

  45. whatjusthapped says: Nov 6, 2013 3:41 PM

    I don’t have a dog in this fight but you can’t just label something as fact just because the local newspaper printed it.

    Just consider any of the major tragedies in the last 6 months (Boston Bomber, the Naval Yard Shooting), both published “facts” that they were forced to retract later on.

  46. salscobrakai says: Nov 6, 2013 3:48 PM

    What Incognito said was wrong, but I’d really like to know where/if the chain of command is in that locker room you know? I served in the Navy and you learned from day one that you use your COC. Why didn’t Martin go to a team captain or a veteran first? Or his O-Line coach? It takes a lot of guts to be a whistle blower, but this isn’t Enron. Martin would’ve been better served if he’d used his chain of command in my opinion. (If he did I apologize.) That said, even if the Dolphins did want Incognito to toughen Martin up. Using racial remarks isn’t the way to go about it. Not now, not ever. That’s just common sense.

  47. coachjohnharbaugh says: Nov 6, 2013 3:48 PM

    why would u ask incognito to toughen someone up? he’s as soft as jello

    #halotingataownsyou

  48. ampats says: Nov 6, 2013 3:49 PM

    Miami Dolphins 2013 Timeline:

    Off-Season – NFL Champions
    Pre-Season – Dolphins will unseat the Patriots AFCE

    Mid-Season- Team Implosion
    Post – Season- Search begins for new GM & HC

    Good to see the 100 M + spent in free agency is paying big dividends

    Daniel Snyder>Stephen Ross

  49. homelanddefense says: Nov 6, 2013 3:59 PM

    funny how you are all about the facts when it supports the argument. But now a lack of denial is evidence of guilt.

  50. peymax1693 says: Nov 6, 2013 4:01 PM

    What Incognito said was wrong, but I’d really like to know where/if the chain of command is in that locker room you know? I served in the Navy and you learned from day one that you use your COC. Why didn’t Martin go to a team captain or a veteran first? Or his O-Line coach? It takes a lot of guts to be a whistle blower, but this isn’t Enron. Martin would’ve been better served if he’d used his chain of command in my opinion. (If he did I apologize.) That said, even if the Dolphins did want Incognito to toughen Martin up. Using racial remarks isn’t the way to go about it. Not now, not ever. That’s just common sense.

    This is speculation on my part, but it could be that Martin did not trust the COC to handle the situation in the appropriate manner. Perhaps his fear of being labelled a “malcontent” or “soft” if the fact that he lodged a complaint were to be made public prevented him from taking this route.

  51. pastabelly says: Nov 6, 2013 4:05 PM

    salscobrakai says:
    Nov 6, 2013 3:48 PM
    What Incognito said was wrong, but I’d really like to know where/if the chain of command is in that locker room you know? I served in the Navy and you learned from day one that you use your COC. Why didn’t Martin go to a team captain or a veteran first?
    ================================
    That’s the problem. Incognito was on the “leadership council” and supported by the leaderless Dolphins. The deck was stacked against Martin. Miami’s org chart is pretty much corrupt.

  52. geefan1 says: Nov 6, 2013 4:19 PM

    The fact that the Herald reported something doesn’t make that report factually correct. And the fact that the Dolphins haven’t responded doesn’t make the report true. More likely, it’s an indication that they’ve been instructed by legal counsel, PR counsel and/or the NFL to say nothing until they and the NFL are done investigating.

    Also, FWIW, it may be a simple yes/no question. A coach may have asked incognito to talk to Martin about OTAs, not knowing Icofnito would take that as license to threaten the man’s mother ( even if only I jest).

  53. Deb says: Nov 6, 2013 4:58 PM

    It’s a fair question and deserves a response. Incognito has a long history of behavioral and anger-management issues. So did the Dolphins, knowing his very public history, deliberately set him loose on an underperforming player with instructions to give that player the business? If so, that’s a problem.

    You can’t say the Dolphins bear no responsibility if they deliberately told a pit bull to sic someone. Pit bulls can be expected to go too far. A guy with a known history of anger-management issues can be expected to go off the rails. Seems like there may be a lot of stupid to go around in this thing.

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