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Izzo relies on “pulse guys” to avoid locker-room problems

Izzo Getty Images

If Dolphins coach Joe Philbin didn’t know what was happening in his locker room, he should have.

Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo explained on Friday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show that Izzo relies on workers other than assistant coaches to keep an eye on the locker room.

“I think our trainer and our equipment men are my two pulse guys, even over my assistants,” Izzo said, via MLive.com.  “And I’ll tell you why.  When we’re up [in our office]) working and [the players] are down in the locker room, the trainer is there, the equipment man is there.  They give me better pulse than even my staff.”

Izzo called the Dolphins’ situation “alarming,” but he pointed out that locker-room activities don’t always reflect normal life.

“We’ve tried to nip things in the bud,” Izzo said.  “Players get in arguments with players.  Sometimes it’s just ‘guys will be guys,’ sometimes it’s taken too far for a million different reasons.  You do need to have a pulse on your team and that includes in the locker room, out in public and on the court.”

Philbin obviously didn’t, or the Jonathan Martin situation wouldn’t have exploded the way it did.

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17 Responses to “Izzo relies on “pulse guys” to avoid locker-room problems”
  1. jbl429 says: Feb 15, 2014 4:12 PM

    Max 14 players on an NCAA basketball team. 53 players on an NFL roster. Big difference.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 15, 2014 4:16 PM

    Well Izzo’s style is a little more proactive. He tries hard to stay in the mix and be intimately involved and in tune with the team so that he can affect the players with his coaching influence and help them any way he can.

  3. finsmakemecry says: Feb 15, 2014 4:18 PM

    Dolphins had a great guy like that in John Gamble during the latter part of the Shula years. Please pass the name along to Coach Philbin.

  4. fdugrad says: Feb 15, 2014 4:20 PM

    It is WORSE than Philbin “DIDN’T” have “pulse guys.” His two leaders, who certainly could be referred to as HIS “pulse guys” were the biggest offenders of unmerciful treatment!! This is what passes for supervision and leadership by this head coach! Philbin MUST be sent down the road. He has absolutely NO credibility now, and he won’t going forth from here.

  5. vaphinfan says: Feb 15, 2014 4:46 PM

    So the traier and equipment guy checked players voice messages and text messages? Go out with the players on the town? Are on the court to cuddle a player when his feelings get hurt?

  6. FinFan68 says: Feb 15, 2014 4:50 PM

    I think you guys are wrong on this. If anyone at all is to blame for Philbin not knowing it is Martin. He is an adult, not a child. He wasn’t willing to say or do anything at all to make it stop until it became a crisis. That is what some kids do, not adults. It’s real easy to cast stones on this. I guarantee that coach does not know everything going on with his players. Philbin acted appropriately throughout.

  7. epack13sb says: Feb 15, 2014 4:57 PM

    Ummm, that’s it the Dolphins didn’t have a Pulse…Time to find one!

  8. r8drn8tn says: Feb 15, 2014 4:58 PM

    Philbin is the leader of the team and this makes him responsible. Perhaps they could give him another shot since it is so late in the process and he did win 8 games during the media storm that was last season. But leaders set the tone and energy. Bad leadership creates bad environments.

  9. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 15, 2014 5:03 PM

    That was fine until the players realized who was ratting them out to the coaching staff. Whereupon
    the “pulse” guys became silent and motionless.

  10. axespray says: Feb 15, 2014 5:07 PM

    Belichick didn’t know his player was murdering people.

    The Falcons didn’t know Vick was running a dog murdering ring.

    I guess we should expect head coaches to spy on their star players from now on…

    then act surprised when they keel over and have a heart attack at half time due to the stress.

  11. doctorrustbelt says: Feb 15, 2014 5:31 PM

    Philbin has been too busy getting rid of the high profile, low character pseudo-locker room leaders (jake long, reggie bush, karlos dansby, etc. – SEE: support of wife beater ochojohnson) and ireland was too busy loading the team with low character players/contracts for Philbin’s drafting of high character rookies to make any effect in that dysfunctional locker room.

  12. The Steelers cast such an immense shadow over the league. There's no wonder why we are so widely envied. We are superior. We have six Lombardis. What do you have ☹? says: Feb 15, 2014 5:56 PM

    Tomlin is apart of the locker room. Go ahead, take notes.

  13. howiefeltersnatch says: Feb 15, 2014 6:20 PM

    Pulse guy = snitch

  14. whysomanylosers says: Feb 15, 2014 8:17 PM

    Izzo is the best coach in college B-ball… but I am not sure how that compares to pro football.

  15. justalonewolf says: Feb 15, 2014 8:33 PM

    OR, maybe the media is blowing it up to be bigger than it actually is because you know it’s good rag writing, the hacks keep their job another week or two.

  16. suhisbetterthanu says: Feb 15, 2014 10:58 PM

    Coach Izzo is a beast, there’s no part of the Dolphins franchise that measure up to his quality.

  17. thelastpieceofcheese says: Feb 16, 2014 1:07 PM

    What about the pulse of the team via the herald and Sun-Sentinel Dolphin’s beat writers.

    How could they miss these aberrant behavior? What happened to their “sources”? They had to just look the other way. Why aren’t journalists held accountable?

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