Skip to content

Jim Turner likely won’t be with the Dolphins much longer

Turner_Jim

The Ted Wells report makes no recommendations regarding potential discipline for any of the persons determined to have engaged in wrongdoing.  For Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner, it doesn’t have to.

Apart from reaching the attention-grabbing conclusion that Turner gave former Dolphins offensive lineman Andrew McDonald a male “blow-up” doll as participation in the “running joke” that McDonald was gay, the report rejects on multiple occasions the truthfulness of information supplied by Turner during meetings with investigators.

Regarding the “blow-up” doll, for example, the report explains that Turner hid behind a lack of memory when confronted with information that he had given the doll to McDonald.

“We do not believe that Turner forgot this incident,” the report states, “which many others recalled.”

Turner also denied hearing the persistent homophobic comments to McDonald.  The report states that “we do not find his denial credible.”

In both instances, that’s a very polite way of saying Turner lied.  For many American employers, lying to investigators retained for the purposes of exploring an important issue of potential workplace misconduct is grounds for immediate termination.

The report also finds — again politely — that Turner denied knowledge of the so-called “Judas” fine, imposed when for example an offensive lineman blames a mistake appearing in game film on a teammate.

“Turner . . . denied knowing what the term ‘Judas’ meant in the context of the Dolphins offensive line,” the report explains.  “In fact, he denied ever hearing the term ‘Judas’ or ‘Judas fine’ used in the offensive line room.  He also denied lecturing the players on its meaning.  We do not credit Turner’s denials.  The evidence shows that Turner was aware of the ‘Judas’ concept and that he had discussed its meaning with the linemen, explaining how Judas had betrayed Jesus Christ and defining Judas as a ‘snitch.’”

Turner apparently played the Sgt. Schulz card because the concept of the “Judas” fine helps explain Jonathan Martin’s position that he couldn’t have reported the abuse he believed he was suffering to Turner or others in the organization.  “Martin believed that going to his coaches or other authority figures meant risking ostracism or even retaliation from his fellow linemen,” the report observes.

Still, Turner should have told the truth, especially on such a critical matter.  The Wells report finds that Turner didn’t tell the truth in at least three instances, and that likely will be more than enough evidence to support a decision by owner Stephen Ross to end Turner’s employment.

Even without lying to investigators, Turner’s text messages to Martin following Martin’s departure from the team provide grounds for immediate termination.  According to the report, Turner repeatedly urged Martin to “DO THE RIGHT THING” and issue a statement exonerating Richie Incognito.

“When he sent these messages,” the report explains, “Turner knew that Martin had left the team unexpectedly, had hospitalized himself in connection with a mental health condition and that Martin had previously struggled with serious psychological problems and had contemplated suicide.  We accept that Turner may have believed in good faith that Incognito was being unfairly attacked by the media, but [Turner] should have realized it was inappropriate to send such text messages to an emotionally troubled player.”

That’s a diplomatic way of saying Turner went way over the line by trying to command Martin, who already was in a fragile state, into doing something that would have helped Incognito and, in turn, Turner.  With so much focus on whether the players bullied Martin, the inescapable conclusion reached when reading the multiple “DO THE RIGHT THING” text messages from Turner to Martin is that Turner was trying to bully Martin, too.

As hard as it is to envision Martin returning to the Dolphins’ locker room, it’s even harder to imagine Turner showing up for work there again.  And while plenty of players apparently don’t want Martin back, they’ll likely react negatively, and strongly, if/when Turner is fired.

That’s because the concept of doing the right thing has gotten skewed and twisted in the Miami Dolphins locker room.  Efforts to now straighten things out will be met with resistance by some of the men who like it the way it is.

The best way to start getting their attention could be to do the right thing and conclude that Turner’s conduct toward Martin and McDonald, Turner’s creation of an atmosphere where reporting problems was viewed as “snitching,” and most importantly his trio of lies to investigators trying to get to the bottom of the situation makes him unqualified to continue in his current job.

Does Turner deserve a second chance?  Absolutely.  But he doesn’t deserve to get that second chance from the organization Turner ultimately betrayed by lying to the people who were trying to find out what happened to prompt Jonathan Martin to leave the team.

Permalink 34 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Miami Dolphins, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
34 Responses to “Jim Turner likely won’t be with the Dolphins much longer”
  1. Phintastic says: Feb 16, 2014 8:29 AM

    And the hits just keep on coming…

  2. FinFan68 says: Feb 16, 2014 8:44 AM

    I doubt Philbin or Ross will keep a guy that knowingly lied to investigators on the staff. His replacement was hired a few weeks ago.

  3. epack13sb says: Feb 16, 2014 8:57 AM

    He’s done, Dolphins DO THE RIGHT THING!

  4. britishraven says: Feb 16, 2014 9:00 AM

    What a mess, it makes Dallas look like a well run organisation

  5. iammrbinky says: Feb 16, 2014 9:05 AM

    The Dolphins need to rebuild the coaching staff, bring veteran leadership into the locker room then work on replacing the entire OL.

    Parcells and Ireland did far more damage than any of the other clowns who have run the team since Shula was ridden out of town.

  6. kokomike says: Feb 16, 2014 9:23 AM

    If any players react negatively, and that is acceptable to the Miami Dolphins, it will be further proof the Miami dolphins need to be completely overhauled.

  7. annes22 says: Feb 16, 2014 9:23 AM

    Get rid of Turner and Martin and start again for goodness sake, right now. Stop the messing around. I’ll bet the fans don’t want Martin back, he was horrible when Jake Long left.

  8. nflgreedleague says: Feb 16, 2014 9:26 AM

    Turner should have been fired due to performance. Miami needs to hire an OL coach that can figure out blitz schemes!

  9. tictoccpthook says: Feb 16, 2014 11:19 AM

    The head coach is responsible. He should go and bring his staff with him.

  10. xpensivewinos says: Feb 16, 2014 11:47 AM

    Ross’ refusal to admit when he’s wrong is the only possible explanation for why Joe Philbin is still employed.

    So now, this can linger like Ireland’s employment did and Miami’s fan base (what little is left) will continue to erode even further.

    Stephen Ross’ ownership is an embarrassment to the NFL.

  11. thelastpieceofcheese says: Feb 16, 2014 11:50 AM

    It’s hard to believe that Philbin didn’t know all of this was happening.

    He has to be the most disingenuous HC ib the league or the most stupid.

    He should be responsible and also got to go.

  12. kona8190 says: Feb 16, 2014 1:06 PM

    Can I get 1 good reason for keep Phlibin?

  13. superleadhead says: Feb 16, 2014 1:15 PM

    How could they fire Al Bundy? He threw for three touchdowns in that High School Championship game!

  14. bsizemore68 says: Feb 16, 2014 2:36 PM

    A lot of ink about the Dolphins, I guess most people have had there say, so I will write my comment from an old Sonny and Cher song ” And the beat goes on “. Bill

  15. sammadison says: Feb 16, 2014 2:53 PM

    Turner should have been fired for the season he turned in as the offensive line coach. All of this new stuff in the Wells report just makes in a no brainier.

  16. Ed Bandell says: Feb 16, 2014 3:22 PM

    To fully understand all of what happened with Martin you have to read the Wells report and ALL of the text messages between Martin and Incognito.

    I am saddened that not only the media and PFT have not bothered to show ALL of the back and forth texts, but the Wells report also chooses bits and pieces to make their case against Incognito.

    Bottom Line:

    There is a harsh culture in the Dolphins locker room. It included all kinds of players, coaches, and members of management.

    Jonathan Martin is a disturbed young man that is emotional fragile and his problem (self admittedly) started in middle school and especially high school.

    Incognito is what most people who hate football would consider the prototypical out of control, boorish, nasty meathead jock. I wouldn’t want to hang out with him or be his friend.

    I do not find it appropriate to label one man as a racist for using certain references which I will not repeat, but for that same person to use racial slurs and blame his being “soft” on the certain types of schools he went to and his upper-middle class upbringing. Martin specifically introduces color. You’ll see what I am talking about if you read the report.

    I also find it disturbing that while the Wells report makes a case that when Incognito makes a remark that it is taken to be harassment, but when Martin makes these same comments to others, it is not viewed as harassment to those other players. Who gets to decide this? Either the language is appropriate, or it isn’t and is harassment to all.

  17. rajbais says: Feb 16, 2014 3:28 PM

    Just dump him and bring back Mike Sherman.

    Sherman has no job and Turner is a failed coach and employee to Philbin.

    By the way Fred Pagac and Bob Babich took demotions from coordinators in prior years.

    Why can’t Sherman?

  18. fishyinalittledishy says: Feb 16, 2014 3:45 PM

    Philbin made mistakes show me somebody who hasn’t I will be looking at something that isn’t human. Philbin is a head coach who has only been in the job two years give the man a chance to straighten things out. He was let down badly by his coaches his players who knew what was going on and his inexperience. Players too made big errors of judgement things got out of hand. Philbin will learn from this will probably define him as a coach for years to come.

  19. kwjsb says: Feb 16, 2014 3:51 PM

    Through all this, Having read the texts that were available, what are they going to do with Martin, his texts were just as bad.

  20. scaredhitless says: Feb 16, 2014 4:14 PM

    For everyone that thinks this is completely one sided:

    Turner, Incognito, Jerry, Pouncey = MEAN GIRLS

    Jonathan Martin, asst Trainer, McDonald = THEIR PREY

    Wells Report pretty much identified the MEAN GIRLS and THEIR ACTIONS.

  21. ivanpavlov0000 says: Feb 16, 2014 4:15 PM

    Ed Bandell – if you’d actually read the piece you just commented on … you’d know that this is about Jim Turner’s role in creating an environment that made Jonathan Martin feel like he’d be punished/ostracized for complaining to Dolphins’ coaching staff about the harassment.

    As for your question about who gets to decide whether something is harassment … the official HR answer is that the person whom the comments/actions are addressed to gets to decide whether it’s harassment. That’s the rule. Ask your HR manager/VP/whatever.

    Incognito makes it clear that he, Jerry, and Pouncey were well aware that Martin didn’t like the comments about raping his mother, raping his sister, and things they said about his sister while squeezing their water bottles. Incognito states these remarks continued because they knew Martin didn’t like it. That’s harassment.

    In a normal workplace, Martin would go to management and they’d tell Incognito, Pouncey, and Jerry to knock it off (or else – maybe even make them sign something indicating awareness of the “or else”). However, Martin’s boss, Turner, made it clear that complaints about teammates were Judas behavior, worthy of a fine (that would be recorded in the Fine Book that Richie Incognito wanted destroyed). Because of Turner, Martin couldn’t go up the chain with his complaint about his abusive coworkers. So he walked.

    Also, the report establishes that Incognito, Pouncey, and Jerry engaged in harassment of the team’s assistant trainer (whose boss thought it was funny, and was thus helpless).

    As for whether Richie Incognito is a racist … that’s a red herring. The Wells report (if you’d read it) says that Incognito isn’t a racist. Trying to claim he’s unfairly being called a racist is just dishonest.

  22. aintasinner says: Feb 16, 2014 5:10 PM

    How does Sean Payton get suspended for a year because he “should have known” about the pay for performance scheme being run by Gregg Williams, but Philbin gets a pass? Shouldn’t he “have known”, too? He should at least be suspended for a year and Martin indefinitely suspended. Which means he could be working for the Rams next year.

  23. promickey says: Feb 16, 2014 5:54 PM

    Well the only time one can not tell the truth with such frequency and get away with it is if one holds a political office.

  24. ariani1985 says: Feb 16, 2014 6:19 PM

    Philbin, from the green bay coaching tree, enough said.

  25. rodge1 says: Feb 16, 2014 6:59 PM

    Best Dolphins’ news I’ve heard in weeks.

  26. randomguy9999 says: Feb 16, 2014 7:31 PM

    Ed Bandell says:

    …….I also find it disturbing that while the Wells report makes a case that when Incognito makes a remark that it is taken to be harassment, but when Martin makes these same comments to others, it is not viewed as harassment to those other players

    ————————————————–

    It says right in the report that Martin attempted to ‘fit in’ by trying to use the same vulgar texting approach that Incognito and the others were using, even though he was very uncomfortable with it. Martins reasoning was that it would be the only way to at least ‘tone it down’ some.

    It’s immaterial if Martin was in a fragile state.

    Incognitos behavior is grounds for immediate dismissal for cause without a warning, compensation, or severance by any employer in the US, it leaves the league and the Phins open to huge legal liability.

    If Martin isn’t brought back to the team, and he isn’t picked up by another team, it will end his career and you can expect a $30+ million lawsuit against the Phins, NFL, Incognito, Pouncey, Turner, and he will definitely win.

  27. seattlelibtard says: Feb 16, 2014 8:03 PM

    In the end, who really cares? It’s just another crappy AFC team on the road to mediocrity.

  28. doggeatdogg says: Feb 16, 2014 8:36 PM

    Ross made a commitment to Philbin who was hired with no experience as a head coach. He needs to realize he is a sort leash. He also needs to let true senior leadership flourish in the locker room instead of feeling threatened by it.

  29. boomgrounder says: Feb 16, 2014 8:42 PM

    Turner should be fired but Philbin should be fired too! He is the Head Coach and was responsible for the entire coaching staff. If I was Ross the owner I would start anew with this franchise. This locker room culture is rotten to the core.

  30. lovethelions says: Feb 16, 2014 8:47 PM

    Fire EVERYONE and get a whole new front office and coaching staff! This has got to stop and the GM and head coach SHOULD have know what was going on. If they did not, they should still get fired.

    Find a new coach! If no ‘great’ ones are available, find a good one, give them a year to prove themselves…and go from there. I would not want any of this to come back in a year or two, when someone may have a grudge for being let go for a completely different reason.

    Come on…who doesn’t want to live in Miami? :)

  31. doctorrustbelt says: Feb 16, 2014 8:47 PM

    I Told Ya.

  32. Ed Bandell says: Feb 17, 2014 12:12 AM

    “As for your question about who gets to decide whether something is harassment … the official HR answer is that the person whom the comments/actions are addressed to gets to decide whether it’s harassment. That’s the rule. Ask your HR manager/VP/whatever. ”

    The Wells report seems to be making several claims then that are very inaccurate according to your definition here.

    1) The report concludes that Martin, Player A (later revealed to be McDonald), and a trainer were victims of “a pattern of harassment…”

    2) McDonald never states HE felt harassed.

    3) The Trainer never states HE felt harassed.

    If it is up to the individual to determine the harassment, then the Wells report oversteps its bounds.

    Oh, by the way, I think you are harassing me. All that matters is my opinion of your conversation with me, right? Give me a break.

  33. Ed Bandell says: Feb 17, 2014 12:16 AM

    “It says right in the report that Martin attempted to ‘fit in’ by trying to use the same vulgar texting approach that Incognito and the others were using, even though he was very uncomfortable with it. Martins reasoning was that it would be the only way to at least ‘tone it down’ some.

    It’s immaterial if Martin was in a fragile state.

    Incognitos behavior is grounds for immediate dismissal for cause without a warning, compensation, or severance by any employer in the US, it leaves the league and the Phins open to huge legal liability.

    If Martin isn’t brought back to the team, and he isn’t picked up by another team, it will end his career and you can expect a $30+ million lawsuit against the Phins, NFL, Incognito, Pouncey, Turner, and he will definitely win.”

    This sounds like a whole lot of manipulation and an excuse. Are you telling me that Martin’s behavior is excused because he was only doing it to “try to fit in?” Really? It is okay that he used racial slurs, made fun of McDonald just like Pouncey, Jerry, and Incognito did? It is okay that he hires hookers, demeans women, and threatens people too?

    If you believe what Incognito said and did is grounds for what you claim, then it applies to Martin as well. He did the EXACT same things.

    The behavior is either wrong when everybody does it, or it isn’t.

    What if you really didn’t want to kill a person, but you did it anyway because you thought you wouldn’t be accepted if you didn’t, you thought you wouldn’t be made fun of anymore. Does that make it okay? Does the law care?

  34. footballhater123 says: Feb 19, 2014 9:18 AM

    Jim Turner is the likely scapegoat. That’s ok, he was a walk-on at BC who became captain, a marine, and a favorite on Hard Knocks, mainly due to his colorful language and style. Jim Turner is one tough son of a bitch. Whatever happens to him, he will come out on top, fighting and earning everything he has achieved. The problem is not with Jim Turner, but with football culture in general. Ever watch a Pop Warner Game? There is a sick freaking culture in the game, starting very early. So sick of a bunch of wusses blaming other people of their short comings. Want to change football? Start with the owners. Good for Jim for not ratting everybody out.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!