Dolphins were told to defer questions on Martin to Philbin

After Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline and Dolphins tackle Tyson Clabo provided on Wednesday some candid, pointed comments suggesting support for exiled teammate Richie Incognito and criticism of absent teammate Jonathan Martin, we wondered aloud whether anyone with the Dolphins had told the players to zip it.

As we’ve continued to sift through the haystack of reports emerging from the first open locker room session since Incognito’s suspension, it’s now clear that the Dolphins players decided to ignore the instructions they were given by the team.

According to Robert Klemko of, players were told to defer questions about the situation to coach Joe Philbin.  Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post mentioned in a stream of compelling tweets on Wednesday that Hartline said the players had been “ordered” not to comment on Monday, but that the players decided to “defend ourselves” on Wednesday.

Hartline also added that the players believe they’re being bullied by the media.  But the media merely has been reacting to a story that took on a much different feel once Martin’s representatives provided the now-notorious Incognito voice message to the team, and the team decided quickly to suspend Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team.

That’s the point the players and the growing wave of Martin bashers in the media are missing.  If there was a rush to judgment, it was committed not by the media but by the Dolphins

While none of the players have directly blamed the team for suspending Incognito, the decision to defy orders possibly arises from the visceral sense that Incognito has been wronged by the organization.

And that’s the irony of what happened on Wednesday.  At a time when so many football types chastise Martin for not handling his business in house, players like Hartline and Clabo opted to not handle their business in house, ignoring the instructions they’d been given and griping openly and publicly about how Incognito has been treated.

But the media didn’t suspend Incognito.  The team did.  And now the team has to decide whether to discipline the players who openly disrespected their coach by not following his wishes.

If they do, this thing could become an all-out mutiny.  If it isn’t already.

16 responses to “Dolphins were told to defer questions on Martin to Philbin

  1. You missed the point (again). The attitude of the players is reflecting the frustration of the coaches. This is not a mutiny – it’s the exact opposite. That locker room has never been more united than it is right now. Don’t take my word for it – go read some of the South Florida columnists this morning.

  2. Big shocker: look who is tenaciously defending the media’s role in this – conveniently ignoring how loud, long and hard he (and others) beat the drums in the vilification of a player.

    Now that he’s getting push-back on it, he now points the finger at someone else.

    As the well-known segment on a popular sports show goes, “C’MON MAN!”

  3. Remember Don Shula? Weren’t those days great? No mutiny, no goons. Just tough as nails, mutual respecting, PROFESSIONALS.

    Ireland’s influence on this organization must end. Now. Turf him out and rebuild this once proud organization. I’m just sick that the team I loved so much as a child has decayed to this point.

  4. So the media deserves no blame for chastising Incognito over the voicemail that clearly lacked context? Let’s remember, the reporting didn’t start with the voicemail reports. It started with Martin leaving, then speculation that Incognito was involved.

    Martin didn’t even provide evidence until Sunday. It was almost a full week of reporting about how bad of a guy Incognito was. The players going outside of the organization, after Martin already did, is simply them defending their teammate that was put on blast for nearly a week. You can’t blame them for giving a voice to the other side of the story, which has been largely ignored until yesterday

  5. I’m not really sure why this whole thing is a story? I take it none of you have ever been in a locker room before?

    Oh right..the media is involved and none of the teams are playing to their full potential. This is the Season of the Gimp.

    It’s a shame when a beef between two men take front stage of a multi billion dollar business like the NFL.

  6. The Dolphins are putting in “fun” in Dysfunctional. Seriously…players claiming they are being bullied by the media?

    These guys are too stupid to defer questions and just get to work.

  7. We all knew the Jags would stink. TB has been an added bonus this year and now the ‘fins are cleaning up as the laughing stock of the 2013 season!

    I love watching great teams play one another, that’s called the playoffs, but watching teams implode in season is just as satisfying.

  8. “But the media didn’t suspend Incognito. The team did.”

    No, you didn’t suspend him, but you sure did vilify him and turn him into the “big, bad, racist.” There is always a rush to judgment with you guys…especially when you can slather it in racial overtones.

  9. The Dolphins players are showing their true colors.

    29th ranked offense (worst o-line in NFL – 35 sacks)

    20th ranked defense

    Bad players and poor locker room leadership.

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