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Stephen Ross: This couldn’t have been a worse nightmare

Team owner Stephen Ross speaks about the hiring of new Head Coach Joe Philbin in Davie, Florida Reuters

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he’s deeply concerned about the situation that has embroiled his football team since Richie Incognito was suspended after Jonathan Martin walked away, and Ross says he’s determined to get his franchise in line.

“What’s going on is something that couldn’t have been a worse nightmare,” Ross said.

Ross stressed that he wants Martin to know that the team cares about him and believes all of its players deserve respectful treatment at their workplace. Ross said he will have a face-to-face meeting with Martin on Wednesday.

“The most important thing is, we care about Jonathan Martin,” Ross said. “I have reached out to Jonathan Martin, I have texted him, we have communicated via text, and I plan to meet with him in person very shortly.”

Ross said he asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to appoint an investigator, rather than the Dolphins to investigate the matter themselves, because he wants everyone to know the investigation is independent.

“I reached out to the NFL because I knew an investigation had to take place,” Ross said. “Having an independent investigation, I thought, was very important.”

Ross said he wants Dolphins fans to know he’s committed to giving them a team they can be proud to support.

“I apologize to the fans for being in this position but I know we will come out of this a better organization,” Ross said.

Right now, the public perception of Ross’s team couldn’t get much worse.

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72 Responses to “Stephen Ross: This couldn’t have been a worse nightmare”
  1. realfootballfan says: Nov 11, 2013 6:26 PM

    As many times as Ross brought up Joe Philbin and his confidence in him without ever mentioning Jeff Ireland spoke volumes of who’s going to be the immediate fall guy for this.

  2. coolgato13 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:27 PM

    If Incognito says he was Martin`s best friend on the team, I say…with “friends” like Incognito, who needs enemies?

  3. securb2013 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:27 PM

    O it can get worse. Wait until the other shoe drops in the Hernandez/Pouncey grand jury.

  4. ingraven says: Nov 11, 2013 6:28 PM

    From Nick Saban to Ricky Williams to this whole Martin/Incognito thing, oh yea, and I forgot the Dolphins being ran poorly ran for so long, this place has been a mess for a while.

  5. thenewenglandpatriots12 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:29 PM

    Try having Aaron Hernandez on your roster Mr. Ross…

  6. axltcu says: Nov 11, 2013 6:30 PM

    Jeez.. it’s not like one of your players killed a dude.

  7. redskins1961 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:32 PM

    And the effemination of America continues. Really? His feelings were hurt. Give me a break please. Ray Nitschke is rolling over in his grave.

  8. dirtdawg54 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:33 PM

    Worst nightmare? Tens of thousands of people in the Philippines disagree right now.

    This isn’t even the worst news to happen to a football team this year. Get real.

  9. xpensivewinos says: Nov 11, 2013 6:33 PM

    Nice picture of Droopy Dog. Does he see a pattern here?

    Ireland has been his GM for five years and all he ever does is apologize to the fans for whatever stupid thing is happening to his team.

  10. strokinmyego says: Nov 11, 2013 6:33 PM

    Ugh, I can’t wait until this is over. For some reason the media has to pile on and obsess about every single seemingly big story making every sane person sick and tired of hearing the same thing repeatedly.

    There’s a game tonight you know. There’s other far more interesting things going on in the NFL then this roided up soap opera.

  11. chinahand11 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:33 PM

    I wonder if Mr. Ross sounds like that cartoon dog Droopy? Can’t wait for the investigative findings but that may take half a year. Other than that, bless the veteran’s on this day, and bless me it’s my birthday.

  12. @Cereal_22 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:34 PM

    Sounds like something a guy who is about to get sued would say.

  13. kremis says: Nov 11, 2013 6:34 PM

    Yeah it could be worse, you could own the Steelers and that whole mess!

  14. jaxdolfan says: Nov 11, 2013 6:35 PM

    This much worse of a nightmare than…

    Courting Harbaugh then losing out and getting stuck with Sparano as a lame duck.

    Politicizing the Stadium renovation funding and losing that too

    Changing the fins logo to one that looks more like your beloved Jets. (Your first win…barf!)

    Keeping Jeff Ireland in a job much too long.

  15. ghjjf says: Nov 11, 2013 6:35 PM

    Hey Ross, I think the fans are more concerned with the product on the field (winning games) rather than elementary school type of drama in the locker room.

  16. sgtr0c says: Nov 11, 2013 6:35 PM

    All parties involved have said they have texted each other. They should really just sit down in front of each other and talk. Martin was majorly wronged, but everyone, including coaches, need to get each others issues out on the table face to face.

    From controversie, good grows. But they need to talk in person.

  17. crabcakesfootball says: Nov 11, 2013 6:35 PM

    Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?

  18. pensman29 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:37 PM

    Look, I might get some hate for this, but I thought Richie made some good points and sounded intelligent and aware of what he did. He said that the way his teammates and him talk to each is “vulgar”, and I can agree, my friends and I talk the same way. And sometimes u can push it a little to far and hit a sensitive note or catch someone on a bad day, or it just builds up and explodes. Does anybody actually know if Martin or incognito hate or like each other? I bet those men in the locker room are the only ones, so nobody should be able to take extreme sides on this debacle. Have faith it will be justly resolved, and if Martian truly likes incognito, it will. I just wish they’d talk about else on sportscenter.

  19. therealraider says: Nov 11, 2013 6:37 PM

    Its going to be interesting watching player couch therapy sessions between practices on ‘Hard Knocks’ 2014

  20. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 11, 2013 6:38 PM

    More importantly, what are YOU doing to ensure that the future is the best possible dream from this point forward?

    My opinion is to fire Ireland and hire me as the GM. I think that would be the easiest way to get the best resolution as well as football future. Plus I’m UofM material and that should count for at least an interview.

    Hear me about before making the next big decision of what kind of football I’m all about, or don’t complain about the results you get with somebody that has weaker ideas.

  21. simonwelds says: Nov 11, 2013 6:38 PM

    Ireland is gone…. Not a single word about him,

  22. blacknole08 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:39 PM

    He didn’t mention Jeff Ireland or Incognito during the press conference. The pink slip fairy awaits…

  23. wawa33 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:39 PM

    That photo of Stpehen Ross makes him look like a melting candle.

  24. redskins1961 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:39 PM

    I am going to try and start a new “reality” show called The Real Players of The NFL. It will be like The Real Houswives Of Atlanta, but with whiny, drama queens from the NFL. Anyone want in?

  25. dolfan1111 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:41 PM

    its amazng new england had a murderer on their team things were discussed but not nearly the attention this is getting because 1 guy 1 guy is crying. i think they should check to see if martin is actually all there.

  26. xpensivewinos says: Nov 11, 2013 6:41 PM

    Yeah, pretty funny.

    He praised Philbin 100 times in his press conference and it’s like Ireland doesn’t exist.

  27. justintuckrule says: Nov 11, 2013 6:42 PM

    This Martin is like a 14yr old girl with these text messages. Pick up the phone for once ya Nancy and maybe someone would understand your problems.

    People are right. He should go play for Indy. Not because of his relationship with Luck but because he can text, tweet and twerk all he wants with their owner.

  28. vontazemebro says: Nov 11, 2013 6:42 PM

    Mama McNabb recommends a financial apology.

  29. tvjules says: Nov 11, 2013 6:42 PM

    This press conference should have happened the day they suspended Incognito.

  30. ickky says: Nov 11, 2013 6:43 PM

    “Whats Worse” is, Florida football on Monday Night

  31. zoellner25 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:46 PM

    That facial expression in the photo is my worst nightmare.

  32. dolphins1121 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:47 PM

    I cannot believe PFT is censoring my post.

    2010, the Jets’ coaches encouraged fighting to toughen up players. It was celebrated on Hard Knocks.

    2013, this is the biggest debacle in team history for the Dolphins and heads should roll.

    OK.

  33. purpwalk says: Nov 11, 2013 6:50 PM

    great time for miami to be on national tv. now they can showcase their ability to do damage control. btw, is that Stephen Ross’ picture? looks like one of the seven dwarves grown into an old guy

  34. keylimelight says: Nov 11, 2013 6:51 PM

    “Having an independent investigation, I thought, was very important.”

    The NFL is a league consisting of 32 (very wealthy) owners of which Ross is one. Bringing in an investigator from the NFL may appear to be independent, but the NFL will be interested most in preventing some kind of precedent set by a player’s action against a franchise.

    There seem to be two key things at stake in this, 1) Players’ money and power and 2) Owners’ money and power.

  35. wda628 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:51 PM

    Please fire Philbin so he can come back to Green Bay.

  36. azarkhan says: Nov 11, 2013 6:52 PM

    Gather round everybody–time for a group hug!

  37. patsfan1820 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:55 PM

    As overblown as this story is dolfan111 the entire Summer and part of the beginning of the season was about the Aaron Hernandez murder case. I am new here but pretty much every sports article was about Aaron Hernandez so quit with the revisionist history man.

  38. remosnozzberri82 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:55 PM

    As a jets fan this is pretty different especially since we’ve been the better franchise since 97 but couldn’t of happened to a better franchise . National haters and media could eat an incognito

  39. novoodoo4409 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:55 PM

    Bounty, what bounty?

    Signed,
    The who dat nation

  40. thebirdofprey2 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:56 PM

    Going off his reputation and reading the text from Incognito’s voice-mail to Martin I jumped on a side.

    Listening to and watching Richie talk in the interview to Glazier and be opened about nearly everything. Its hard to understand what has really gone on. All I know is Icognito appeared sincere in that interview and I know friends/teammates could be taken out of context.

    Right now I am in the middle without an opinion of who’s right or wrong but look forward to the news on NFL being about actual football again.

  41. patsfan1820 says: Nov 11, 2013 6:56 PM

    Sorry it’s dolfan 1111. Forgot the extra 1.

  42. kurmudge says: Nov 11, 2013 6:59 PM

    Actually, no. The worst nightmare has been Ross’ gangsta behavior going after Florida legislators personally when they don’t write him big checks from the state taxpayers. He is the worst owner in football, and his GM is the worst GM in football.

  43. jakec4 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:00 PM

    The person who made the Droopy Dog comment….Awesome.

  44. brownoholic says: Nov 11, 2013 7:02 PM

    Awww, why the long face, Mr. Ross?

  45. xpensivewinos says: Nov 11, 2013 7:05 PM

    I sure wish I had a dollar for every time Ross has said in the past, “I have the utmost confidence in Jeff Ireland.”

    He’s just betting on another loser this time…….

  46. notdemfalcons says: Nov 11, 2013 7:05 PM

    tangential, but the Fins are playing. Ninety minutes to kickoff and there are 8 Bucs fans rockin the house.

  47. FinFan68 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:12 PM

    There is enough blame to go around on this one. Incognito’s language was inflammatory. The “locker room” condoned behavior that most of us would find in poor taste, but it is their locker room. I’m sure we have all behaved differently in our inner circles than we would normally but that behavior has not become a national story.

    I don’t like any of the hazing stuff. I wish it would go away but that is up to all those actually involved rather than me or any of the talking heads that inject their opinions to generate ratings.

    I don’t want to sound like I am attacking the victim, but I am not so sure that Martin is an actual victim. Much of the claims do not add up so far. He snapped on a prank that he himself had pulled the week before. The threatening VM from 8 months ago was very similar to a text from Martin himself to Incognito a couple weeks ago.

    Some reports said Martin never said he had an issue with anything that went on. Mr. Ross said in his press conference “In every locker room, and in every work place, every voice needs to be heard” and I agree with him. There is one prerequisite though. In order for a voice to be heard it must first be used. That’s what gets me the most about this. It didn’t need to become this embarrassing national spectacle. It didn’t need to happen at all. If Martin would have said anything it could have been avoided completely and he would not have had to endure all the stuff his lawyers have said he endured.

    I think this was the typical stuff that goes on in many locker rooms. It was not a problem until recently. I think that Martin couldn’t handle the pressure that comes with losing his job and he snapped. It seems that all this stuff is a way to fog the issue with a national story that looks as if it falls in line with the bullying headlines of recent months. It didn’t need to get to this point. It shouldn’t have. If it turns out that Martin did go to team authorities with specific complaints about maltreatment and was ignored, then I would view this differently but it does not seem to me like that happened in this case. We will all see when ALL the facts come out.

  48. cheapglazers says: Nov 11, 2013 7:13 PM

    At least you don’t own the Buccaneers

  49. herrcules13 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:16 PM

    “Now that makes me mad.” (Droopy)

  50. apkyletexas says: Nov 11, 2013 7:17 PM

    Stephen Ross lives and invests in real estate in New York City. The Dolphins are just a plaything.

    If he wants to run it as a serious business, he should get more involved. The Rooneys eat lunch with the Steeler players every day in the team cafeteria, ride the elevators together with them, park their cars in the same lot. The Rooneys only have one business – running an NFL team – so they take it seriously.

    Culture starts at the top. If Ross is unhappy, he should look in the mirror.

  51. mcrummel says: Nov 11, 2013 7:20 PM

    Please just sell the team. Why can’t we get a good fulltime owner with some football knowledge? It starts at top & runs down hill.

  52. akfinfan says: Nov 11, 2013 7:24 PM

    Does Martin have worse “Nightmares” about Incognito?

  53. ambitoos says: Nov 11, 2013 7:24 PM

    Mr Ross. You know as well as the rest of us that you and the Dolphins and Incognito are about to get sued big time. Martin has been collecting evidence for some time before he left the team. You can’t save this team from the black eye it has earned. Good bye and good riddance, Jeff Ireland.

  54. annes22 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:25 PM

    Steven Ross lives in Palm Beach.
    The Dolphins are a hobby, not sure what is wrong with that if you can afford it. I don’t suppose he cares one bit, what everyone on here thinks of him. He’s rather a successful business man, and the Dolphins are a “side show’ for him.
    Just wait and see what the NFL investigates, because no one has a clue what happened yet. Everyone is guessing right now.

  55. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Nov 11, 2013 7:28 PM

    CORRECTION: It can always get worse Mr. Ross…

    Look at…. Oh wait this is probably the worst situation going on in any NFL team.. Bucs would give you a run for your money though…

  56. jaychristsays says: Nov 11, 2013 7:31 PM

    Ross is angry at Jonathan Martin but he’s going to take it out on Ireland and/or Philbin. Who he’s mad at and who he takes it out on are two different things.

  57. dolphinatic13 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:32 PM

    Is this embarrassing for Dolphin fans?
    Yes
    Is Incognito innocent of any wrong doing?
    No
    Is there a double standard where that damn “N” word is concerned?
    You bet your ass there is…

  58. beach305 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:36 PM

    These guys are use to being the star players on their highs school and college teams, but in the NFL they struggle. That’s why you hear a lot of players say that they loved college so much, because they were the MAN without pressure to perform.

    I think Martin was one of those guys that you see leave the team because of the pressure of it all. Remember the first season of Hard Knocks, when the Raven’s rookie quite the team?

    The difference with Martin is that his Mother is a Harvard Lawyer who specializes in workplace standards.

  59. daddyb1gdrawz says: Nov 11, 2013 7:38 PM

    This will come off wrong but if this is what it takes to rid ourselves of Ireland it was worth it. I dont know who to blame in all of this. I dont know if Martin is a big punk or Incognito is a bully. All I know is if this is the act that gets rid of Ireland I want to thank Martin from the bottom of my heart.

  60. Ferdinand says: Nov 11, 2013 7:42 PM

    This statement would have meant a whole more of it hadn’t taken two weeks to say it.

  61. hdahs143 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:48 PM

    A nightmare manufactured by a bored and unaccountable media.

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for retractions.

  62. randomguy9999 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:53 PM

    thenewenglandpatriots12 says:
    Try having Aaron Hernandez on your roster Mr. Ross…

    —————————————————-

    dunno about that one… Hernandez got arrested, then fired in the space of a couple days and then the Pats moved on.

    this Incognito / Martin circus is just getting started, the Phins lost 2 starters, are going to have an investigation going on during the season, the whole team is running scared waiting for the locker room culture to come out and make headlines, there’s also the chance of civil rights violations.

    it will take a couple of seasons before all this crap gets straight and there will be league wide fallout…

    the key thing that happened that started this was the hiring of Incognito… Ireland knew he was batshxt crazy and still hired him. How many times do teams have to learn that one player who is a lunatic can wreck the entire team and no matter how he plays, it isn’t worth it?

    the most amazing thing is that Ireland still has a job after all those picks that didn’t work out….

  63. apkyletexas says: Nov 11, 2013 7:58 PM

    annes22 says:
    Nov 11, 2013 7:25 PM
    Steven Ross lives in Palm Beach.

    ===============

    Correction – one of his homes is in Palm Beach. He lists his residences as Palm Beach and New York City.

    Is he at the Dolphin facility every day? Does he eat lunch every day in the cafeteria with the players? Does he talk to them on the elevator? Did Martin or Incognito see him as a hands-on owner that they could talk to, or was he just another billionaire hobbiest.

    I know the Mara’s are very hands-on with the Giants, and that has contributed a lot to their success. Here’s what Jerry Reece says about John Mara:
    “He lets me do my job. He lets Tom Coughlin do his job,” Reese said. “But he’s always around, he’s always asking questions, and I like that about him. He’s got a lot of irons in the fire, but it’s like he’s here all the time. Even on the cold days, he’s out there at practice, and when the players see him, they know it’s important to him, and they’re like, ‘Wow, the owner is out here watching practice, it’s 20 degrees out.’ ”

    If Stephen Ross wants to improve the culture, he might want to be around more, be seen more, communicate with the players and coaches more. To be successful at owning and running an NFL team, you’ve got to have serious commitment to all aspects of the business.

  64. phinfan527 says: Nov 11, 2013 7:59 PM

    Canseco had his steroids and told the world and players are still getting suspended years after he broke the steroid news. This will be no different in years to come. One incident in any training camp and one player complains like Martin and that player will be nailed to the wall. Locker rooms will be monitored more closely now. Watch and see. This will be brought up during OTA’s and well after that.

  65. onebucplace says: Nov 11, 2013 8:03 PM

    This is nonsense. The real villain in the NFL is Greg Schiano and yet the entire pregame is talking about the Dolphins who are bullying the Bucs out the spotlight.

  66. dietrich43 says: Nov 11, 2013 8:05 PM

    It could be worse, your GM could have suggested they punch each other…. oh, nevermind.

  67. scrp2 says: Nov 11, 2013 8:14 PM

    All Dolphins players agree they are not suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

  68. lanman11 says: Nov 11, 2013 9:05 PM

    No Mr. Ross, your worst nightmare would have been moving your video camera from the stands down onto the field.

    Welcome to the Manufactured Controvery Club you poor bastard.

  69. robertopicadillo says: Nov 11, 2013 9:41 PM

    What’s more of a nightmare is his GM and coaching staff

  70. lawyermalloy says: Nov 11, 2013 10:59 PM

    “Having an independent investigation, I thought, was very important”-Ross
    As this matter seems to be on a “litigation fast track”, Mr. Ross can’t be that nieve to think that any investigation to “protect the Shield” will be independent.

  71. BringBackTheFlex says: Nov 12, 2013 10:49 AM

    ““What’s going on is something that couldn’t have been a worse nightmare,” Ross said.”

    Really? A couple of grownups having an argument?

    How about your ProBowl TE killing a couple of people? Ya think that just MIGHT have been worse?

    Idiot.

  72. baredon says: Nov 12, 2013 11:02 AM

    The owner’s “dummy” look is amusing… And he does not have a clue…

    Story sounds like this has been going on all over the NFL for years and everyone went along with it… And when I say “everyone”, I mean ALL… ALL knew about it and ALL went along…..

    ALL are to blame..

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