Dolphins call to say they weren’t trying to squelch dissent


The Dolphins aren’t comfortable with the perception that they’re trying to quell dissent in their locker room, amid decisions that aren’t necessarily popular there.

After we wrote this morning that they were sensitive to player criticism of personnel moves, something coach Joe Philbin has cautioned his players about, the team reached out to PFT.

Senior vice president of media relations Harvey Greene called to clarify a point.

It was suggested in Barry Jackson’s Miami Herald story (which our report was based on) that a Dolphins publicist, “unaware of the topic,” ended an interview with Reggie Bush as he told Jackson the trade of Vontae Davis was “tough.”

Greene explained that his objection to Bush talking was based on scheduling issues, rather than content. Bush has asked to reduce his media commitment by talking once a week, and had talked the day before. So when Jackson approached him and began to ask questions, another writer mentioned to Greene that Bush was going off the script.

Greene also pointed out that all the defensive backs were available, including Davis’ close friend Sean Smith, so there was no deliberate effort to conceal hard feelings about Davis’ departure.

“We do everything we can do to make sure everyone’s treated evenly and fairly,” Greene said.

Greene’s a pro. He’s been doing this a long time, and is regarded as one of the most helpful P.R. directors in the league. And he worked for George Steinbrenner, so he knows how to do the limbo to get out of uncomfortable situations.

We also talked to Jackson, who hadn’t been in the locker room the day Bush was scheduled to talk, while he was making preparations for Tropical Storm Isaac.

If Bush didn’t want to talk to Jackson, he could have easily said: “Hey, Barry, I talked yesterday. So no thanks.”

But he talked. Locker room interviews are by nature voluntary, and if Bush minded, he didn’t express any unwillingness to answer questions to Jackson.

I’m willing to accept that the Dolphins didn’t swoop in from above on Jackson in an effort to police the truth, but that doesn’t change the salient point here.

Philbin and his new coaching staff is sensitive about players criticizing their decisions.

At the same time, that same staff volunteered for a behind-the-scenes reality show, a staple of which is coaches criticizing the performance of players, often in quite colorful terms.

I’ve heard from enough writers I trust who have worked with Philbin over the years to believe he’s an honest and principled man. That is not universal within the coaching profession.

He’s just trying a little too hard in this case to put the toothpaste back in the tube, and to keep players from espousing opinions that don’t follow the company line.

10 responses to “Dolphins call to say they weren’t trying to squelch dissent

  1. What would it take to get Tebow on the only once a week schedule. That would be awesome (and maybe even miraculous)!

  2. I still don’t see why this is news. A Coach trying to change the Culture of a losing Franchise is not news. This has been an underacheiving group of vets on this team that beat to their own drum. Now Philbin has come in and said we will now beat to the same drum.
    All great teams operate this way. Philbin is simply trying to change the losing attitude and the way this team conducts itself.
    I say hip hip hooray. It’s about time someone with a plan took over. Time to put out or get out.

  3. The Dolphins haven’t had much direction the last few years, Parcells comes in to right the ship, and leaves early, then they get known for running a wildcat for a sesason and then ditch it.

    Philbin is trying to get the team on the right track and all headed in one direction which is the first step in becoming competitive again.

    I can’t stand the Lions, or care for 9ers but thats what needed to be done to make them competitive and eventual playoff teams.

    So we will need to wait and see what Philbin can do.

  4. So they apparently weren’t putting toothpaste back in the tube, but still were?

    All good teams quiet dissent. And the best teams simply get rid of it when it appears.

    Teams don’t win unless players buy in, and the guys that are being cut loose weren’t exactly winning football players.

  5. If Philbin and his new coaching staff are sensitive about players criticizing their decisions they should of had a policy in place to prevent that.

    It was a bad idea for them to be on Hard Knocks with a first year coach anyway. Get the team squared away first.

  6. The decision to be on Hard Knocks was made by the moronic owner, not Philbin. Ross is now making certain decisions and hiding behind Ireland and Philbin to avoid criticism.

    As far as trading Davis goes, it was the right move. Obviously the coaching staff got a good long look at him in training camp and decided that a talented underachiver was not worth keeping. Vontae wasn’t shutting anyone down at CB.

  7. As a Texans fan, people tell me that the AFC South is the worst division in the NFL but do people know that the AFC East exist. Neither the Jets nor Dolphins can score 14 points a game. Atleast the Jags and Colts will be competitive when they lose. I still see the Bills as an 8-8 team while the Titans could win 9 or 10 games. Far and away, the AFC East is the worst division in the NFL.

  8. @dalucks

    As a REAL Texan fan, The AFC South is by far the worst division in football. You cannot base your comments off what happens during the preseason. And to my knowledge, the Jets and the Patriots have been in the AFC Championship game three of the last four years. No Colts, Jags, Titans or our beloved Texans. To say they are the worst division is ludacris. And as a Texans fan you should not be so quick to talk down on another team, it wasn’t so long ago we were in the same boat. You and I both know what it’s like to be the fan of an underachieving team. The Dolphins will eventually get things worked out the same way the Texans did. Remember this, those who live in glass house shouldn’t throw stones.

  9. get rid of bqd players n add better ,, dont get rid of good players toget a hope on better, davis w as a 1st rd pic k n agood corner…why take a chan e with draft picks that could backfire he wa one of the better draft picks we got,,, but ihope they got a plan…mike wallace is worth a 1st rd all day

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