Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin kicked off the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday morning by accepting his share of the blame for the recent bullying scandal.
“I want everybody to know, I’m the one responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins,” Philbin said.
Philbin was a late addition to the Scouting Combine speaker rotation, after initially not appearing on the list of coaches to talk.
And as the Dolphins first representative before the national media since the Ted Wells report was released last week, Philbin was forced to address topics he clearly wasn’t comfortable handling, though he tried to shoulder it.
He referred to the findings of the report as “inappropriate and unacceptable,” and vowed to fix it.
“We’re going to have a better workplace, I promise you that,” Philbin said. “I’m going to make sure that happens.”
Philbin was forceful and direct while addressing the overflow crowd of reporters, saying he had to be “more vigilant, diligent and visible.”
While ordinarily a man of deliberate tone, Philbin’s clearly trying to present a strong face for his franchise, which it clearly needs.
He was short on specifics, saying the organization hadn’t made decisions on how to proceed with Richie Incognito, John Jerry or Jonathan Martin, other than to say owner Stpehen Ross was going to meet with Martin soon.
There was an overall message of accountability, which was needed, and the only time Philbin stepped away from that was when he deferred to players on the question of Incognito being voted to the leadership council.
Otherwise, it was the fist step in cleansing the Dolphins’ image, which will take more than 15 minutes on a podium in Indianapolis to do.