Joe Philbin: If NFL finds workplace not safe, I’ll fix it


Dolphins coach Joe Philbin met the media Monday for the first time since the suspension of guard Richie Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team stemming from his alleged harassment of tackle Jonathan Martin.

Philbin said several times that neither Martin nor his family had made the team aware of any alleged misconduct by Dolphins players against Martin until Sunday despite several conversations between the coach and the player. When they did, Philbin said he made the decision to suspend Incognito and told the team’s owner Stephen Ross about the nature of the allegations. Ross asked the NFL to come in and conduct a review of the workplace. Philbin didn’t have word on when the review would begin, but said he’d cooperate fully with it whenever it begins.

“If the review shows this is not a safe atmosphere, I will take whatever measures necessary to assure that it is,” Philbin said.

Philbin wouldn’t discuss the specific nature of the information Martin provided to him and also avoided questions about issues with racism in the locker room that referenced the voicemail Incognito allegedly left for Martin. He also said that it wasn’t the time to discuss whether either player would ever play for the team again and that the issue has been addressed in a meeting with the other players in the team.

77 responses to “Joe Philbin: If NFL finds workplace not safe, I’ll fix it

  1. “If the review shows this is not a safe atmosphere, I will take whatever measures necessary to assure that it is,” Philbin said.

    A little after the fact, Coach?

  2. incognito: adj. “With one’s identity disguised or concealed.”

    He should have acted more in line with the meaning of his name and disguised his ugliness.

  3. I like “If the NFL finds…” because it is not the Fish’s or their coach’s responsibility, but if forced to by the league they will act someway. Pitiful.

  4. An earlier report said that Philbin had been made aware of the harassment in the spring during a meeting with offensive players. Why didn’t he address it then? If he and the GM and owners knew about this and did nothing, then suspensions and fines along the lines the Saints organization received, should be handed out for conduct detrimental to the league. They allowed a player or players to extort money from and to harass one of their own team members in the name of keeping a talented jerk on the field to better their chances of winning. They essentially had a bounty on one of their own team members.

  5. obviously the rest of the line was in on at least some of it as they voluntarily pulled the lunchroom thing…. it will be interesting to see how far this goes

  6. Philbin acts like he is unaware of the shenanigans in that locker room. He is either lying or the most naive, uninvolved coach in the NFL. Either way, who the hell would want him as a coach?

  7. A kid with poor genetics, raised in an environment that reinforces negative behaviors and promotes emotional stunting, goes on to become a life-long football player. Over the years he develops CTE, and the lesions on his brain further impair what was already poor judgment and cognitive abilities. His injuries manifests as a disability, and as he begins to grow more alienated from a world he understands less and less, he turns to drugs and alcohol to cope.. This brain-damaged, pill-addled alcoholic now suffers from steroid rage that is all-consuming; his friends enable his behavior because he is so rich.

    I’m not saying this excuses Richie, but the dude is probably functionally retarded. He can be suspended from the league, but he couldn’t be legally executed in Texas.

  8. If the NFL finds it unsafe? Philbin and his staff were actually IN the locker room. All this stuff went down on his watch, right under his nose. He’s as good as gone.

  9. Seems to me a Head Coach shoulda been on top of that malarkey. I can understand if this was still Philbin’s rookie year as coach, but after coming to know the real Incognito for a full season, I can easily fault him him for allowing this to go on in his locker room.

    The tone of his comment is reactionary which is merely clean-up duty. If he wants to lead, he needs to be pro-active and lay down the law, and set the tone for his players–and say so publicly.

  10. In addition to being an overfed bully – this Incognito character can’t be too bright.

    What kind of idiot leaves voicemails, emails, text messages, etc.. of the nature that he did? How in the world did he ever think he wasn’t going to get caught?

    Being a total prick is an interesting way to piss away one’s NFL career … try earning that kind of cash out in the public sector.

    What’s next for this fool – pro wrestling?

  11. If half of the stuff that is being reported is true and the coaching staff had no idea it was going on, coach has got to go. Along with the team captains who stood by and let this garbage go down as well.

    Where the heck is the leadership on that team? How do they have any wins with what sounds like a pretty toxic locker room?

  12. That was poorly typed.. But for you all wondering how a person could make such offensive, seemingly subhuman comments… There’s an illustration of the type of “human” we’re probably dealing with.

  13. I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall of the team meeting with the rest of the team.
    Where is Hard Knocks when they are needed?

  14. You do realize that the season is barely halfway over and The Fins already look like the biggest joke in the NFL. Can’t wait to see what Philbin has up his sleeve for his second act.

  15. Why should te other teammates step in to fight Incognito for Martin. Ultimately incognito needed to go but it’s not the dolphins teammates fault a 2nd year player wouldn’t speak up and defend himself. If they said anything, Martin would get even less respect cause he needs somebody (probably smaller than him since Martin is huge) to defend him.

  16. How could the coaches not be aware of this? How could the players not be aware of this? They knew, for the most part, at least the offensive lineman. It’s like trying to keep a secret from your family.

    So then the questions becomes: how could the coaches allow this? How could the players allow this? These are supposed to be brothers, the people who have your back.

  17. Philbin the farmer says: “If the horse runs out of the barn, I will make sure I close the barn door.”

  18. At least this gives everyone an excuse to solve the problems. No one on here has a clue what happened, you are just assuming from what you are reading. I’ll bet if Incognito is let go for good from the Dolphins, he gets picked up this year by a team.
    Goodness knows what the future is for Jonathon Martin, he obviously has some problems that need sorting out. This is the NFL, most players are tough, but this whole thing is weird. Normally lunch trays are not thrown in the NFL, this usually happens in school.

  19. LOL at everyone saying what a bad guy Incognito is (He is a a$$ BTW). Before this event 90% of you would have loved to have this guy on your team. He even made the pro bowl last year. And for everyone who is saying “OMG what a horrible franchise to let this happen” Does anyone honestly believe this is the only time this has happened to any NFL franchise? Wake up. Junior Seau did this stuff in San Diego as well minus the racial slurs. Martin deserves some time away before deciding if/when to return. Personally I believe he is done in Miami and possibly the NFL. There will always be a stigma surrounding him now. The Media is taking this whole event to another level however.

  20. After thinking about it, I’m guessing Philbin’s mealy-mouthed promise to make the players’ environment safe has to be said that way because lawyers are now involved and the franchise needs to mitigate potential liability by not admitting to any knowledge about the issue.

  21. At first I thought this was more out of control PC. I’ve been proven wrong. Incognito is an a hole and I’m glad he’s suspended. If this stuff was going on, where were his teammates? Where were the coaches? Over the line is over the line. I’m glad the truth is coming out.

  22. I wouldn’t want either guy on my team. NO doubt Incognito is a POS dirty player & everything else. But this isn’t like a grade school yard where some bigger boy is picking on a guy half his size. Martin is a big guy. He looks bigger then Incognito. Fight back. Eithe don’t listen and give in or get physical with Incognito. Sounds like Martin let Incognito (others??) walk all over him from day 1. Martin also was a 2nd round pick so its not like he was in fear of getting cut if he didn’t go along. Whats he gonna do when some Dl-man is mouthing off to him on the field?? Run to Coach or Mommy and say that player yelled a naughty word at me?? A team also doesn’t need a Rat around. Handle this stuff inside where it belongs. In these days of PC. It’s already being blown out of proportion by the sports media. Only Ditka had enough balls to say punch him in the mouth. The others are worrying about stuff like cuss words being said. Just wait until the mainstream media get talking about it. Martin is a victim because he let himself become one. Maby he knows deep down the NFL isn’t for him. He’s soft……

    Maby someone can remember the details. But when Ditka was the Saints HC. Didn’t they have real hazing going on where a player (think a TE) actually did get an ass beating and was in fear for his life…..

    I don’t think that voice mail is an actual real threat either. It’s Incognito being an AssClown because Martin has refused to step up and do something in the past….

    A lot will remember the movie Full Metal Jacket. I can just imagine if Martin lived back in the Viet Nam era and was drafted into the military and had to deal with a real life Gunnery Sergeant Hartman/Lee Ermey……

  23. Hopefully Roger Goodell suspends both Philbin and Incognito for a season! Sean Payton was ultimately held responsible for what took place in his locker room and the same rule should apply to Philbin and every other head coach in this league!

  24. Their locker room was filmed for hbo and the rest of the world to see last year. That crew didn’t see anything to wrong did they? All this “abuse” for 2 years and not one person said a thing huh? Seems like his Stanford lawyer parents saw some dollar signs with a racial slur and are gonna milk this as much as they can. Dude got demoted back to right tackle and prob got made fun of for it. Got upset and threw a hissy fit ran off and now we have to listen to this crap? Stick up for yourself you are a grown adult! Football is a violent and physical game for the thick skinned. If you are an offensive lineman and are afraid of another lineman on your team how are you gonna be successful in this profession? Your job is to instill fear in the opposition right? Not trying to sound insensitive to the guys mental state but isn’t this game built on intimidation and imposing physical harm to others? Maybe this game isn’t for him(Martin). He’s got a Stanford degree I’m sure he can put it to good use

  25. Reports also have that same cafeteria prank that Martin was upset about happening a week before. The target that time was Nate Garner and Martin was in on it. Incognito cross a strong line and deserves what falls out from his actions, but players including Martin enjoy the pranks, jokes and hazing.

  26. This franchise is a joke. They deny anything happened until they hear that there is twitter messages and answering machine messages as further proof of what happened and now they are going to take care of it now. What a joke. Suspend the entire franchise for 3 years and make them all go to anger management classes.

  27. There is no way Philbin knew about the texts or VM messages. None. Martin had several 1-on-1 conversations with Philbin over the last few weeks and said nothing about it, according to Philbin. (Not saying they didn’t happen, just that Martin didn’t tell the HC) Philbin was no doubt aware of the “hazing” stuff (the funny haircuts kinda give it away) but not necessarily anything beyond the established norm on many teams.

    What he is talking about is if there is an unsafe atmosphere that he/we are not yet aware of. Think about it. As soon as the team was made aware of the stuff Incognito did/said towards Martin, Incognito was suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. I believe if others were involved in similar behavior towards Martin or anybody else they would be reprimanded suspended also. I think that is what he meant with that comment that everybody seems to be bashing him for.

    It is a disgrace that this was taken so far. This team is in dire need of players with strong leadership skills and the personalities to handle this crap before it escalates.

  28. So everyone wants head coaches to spy on their players from now on?

    He probably thought it was just players being players – coaches lay off the lockerroom cause players want some privacy away from the coaches, but if everyone wants teams to begin spying on players like the NSA – then fine, whatever.

  29. Fans Yesterday: Goodell is making the NFL soft.

    Fans Today: “Poor Martin. He ran to his parents because he’s sensitive to being picked on”

    NFL FANS = Hypocrites

  30. This is one story the NFL wants to go away yesterday but it is just getting started. I know one thing. Miami will be a better team if they can welcome Jonathan Martin back immediately and start winning games. They need to move on right now as Richie is not coming back. EVER.
    and Goodell wept.

  31. their center was just indicted on federal gun running charges and there’s a decent chance he was involved in a shooting in college. Oh yeah and his buddy is a mass murderer. I wonder why the young guy in the locker room might think the threats are real?

  32. Incognito is a guy who, despite needing to grow up, I would want on my team any day. Martin is a guy who, despite his physical talents, wasn’t meant to play this game. Lets stop feeding into this bullying garbage that this government wants to keep jamming down our throats. We are failing as a country because this is the garbage we are being told to latch on to. “Bullying” is yet another government invention designed to weaken us as a society. Stop buying into it.

  33. I am kind of confused that Incognito is suspended but Jason Pierre-Paul is not for man handling Prince Amukamara and flinging him into a tub. This issue is bigger than just the Dolphins and is a league wide problem with a long history in jock culture. It is similar to prison culture where you look for the weakest person and just go after them. Maybe Mike Ditka is right and the only solution is to stand up for yourself. Odd that a someone could rise so high in the elite level in sport and not have that instinct to push back.

  34. Richie, wow after reading your dads rant. I think it’s time to get out of the NFL and run for Congress. You’ll fit right in hater.

  35. Philbin is clueless. Martin didn’t feel like he could go to his own coaches about the situation in the locker room. Philbin, as the head coach, created an environment that a) allowed this to happen and b) a member of his team didn’t feel comfortable enough to go to his own coaches. That is all on Philbin.

  36. 1rockyracoon says:
    Nov 4, 2013 8:08 PM
    Philbin is clueless. Martin didn’t feel like he could go to his own coaches about the situation in the locker room. Philbin, as the head coach, created an environment that a) allowed this to happen and b) a member of his team didn’t feel comfortable enough to go to his own coaches. That is all on Philbin.
    What are you basing that on? Do you think he had a policy about stuff like this? Let’s not forget there are two different aspects to this:
    1) the “normal” hazing type stuff that goes on in many NFL teams
    2) the absolutely over the line stuff that Incognito apparently did

    Martin didn’t say a word until well after his meltdown. The week prior, he actually was involved in the exact same lunchroom prank that caused his meltdown. As soon as the team was made aware of Incognito’s vile garbage, they took decisive action against Incognito. Do you really think that Martin believed Philbin would ignore the racist comments and threats if he actually brought them to him? I don’t.

  37. The Dolphins suspended Incognito, a player, but will they also suspend Philbin if the NFL investigation determines that he knew about this but did nothing?

  38. @gnomad and those that give his line a thumbs up.

    Pouncy was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury. If you new anything about the process whatsoever you would not confuse that with “indicted on federal gun running charges” or are you just interested in BS?

  39. rugolin says:
    Nov 4, 2013 7:37 PM
    I am kind of confused that Incognito is suspended but Jason Pierre-Paul is not for man handling Prince Amukamara and flinging him into a tub.
    The JPP thing was probably sending a message but it was more in-line with the “normal” antics in a locker room. Incognito was canned because he used racial slurs, threats (after the Hernandez situation came to light) and vile language directed personally towards a teammate. Not the same thing at all. I personally believe that ALL the hazing and “rite of passage” crap (picking up checks, tied to goalpost, dumb haircuts carrying pads, etc.) should be stopped but I’m probably in the minority on that one.

  40. The Dolphins offensive line have given up 35 sacks, and surprise-surprise, they don’t have good chemistry and don’t operate as a unified group — they aren’t a team.

    Bring me in as an assistant GM/hatchet man. I’ll clean up this mess in a hurry.

  41. FinFan68 says: Nov 4, 2013 8:45 PM
    Martin didn’t say a word until well after his meltdown.
    Actually, all the press stories say Martin brought this up with Philbin back at the beginning of training camp. After that, as a player you just have to go with it. You’re told to grow a thicker skin and put up with it.

    The fact that the o-line has given up 35 sacks, and the season is only half over, tells you there’s a major problem with team chemistry in that unit. The coaches either knew about the problem, or should have known.

    Eventually Martin correctly concluded the coaching staff weren’t going to do anything and decided enough was enough. And contrary to many suggestions, beating the daylights out of Incognito would not have solved anything. Bullies are the first ones to go crying to the teacher/coach to say, “No fair he hit me.”

  42. @8drink

    you are right – I overstated the situation. That said, there was a story here or somewhere else, suggesting that their interest in him was likely as more than a witness.

    Regardless my point is still intact. You are a kid just out of college and one of the guys bullying you has been associated with some really scary stuff. Regardless if it turns out unfounded, it is enough to give any sane person pause.

  43. Lol, Hey folks, remember when ppl were saying the jets were a circus? Well look at these teams and tell me the jets r still a circus: Pats (their starting TE is in jail for murder and was a meth head), TB (0-8, don’t know how to play Revis and their starting QB, is the 3rd stringer for MN), JAX (well…They have no fans and are headed to London), Miami (well what can I say, just turn on Espn), giants (2-6), just awful, QB has taken many steps backwards. Nicks quit on the team, they don’t have a DLINE or secondary – those gms against freeman & Barkley do not count) — I could keep going, the only thing circus like w/jets was the Jesus freak & Revis — as well as the bashing and unwarranted predictions from the media & mike francesa…

  44. Jessep: You want answers?
    Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to them.
    Jessep: You want answers?
    Kaffee: I want the truth!
    Jessep: You can’t handle the truth! ….
    Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
    Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.
    Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
    Jessep: You’re goddamn right I did!!!!

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