Dolphins' Philbin: 'I have to do a better job'

Head coach survives changes following bullying report

By By The Sports Xchange
POSTED: 9:11 AM PST February 20, 2014    UPDATED: 1:45 PM PST February 20, 2014 
Miami Dolphins helmet
INDIANAPOLIS -

Joe Philbin survived sweeping changes in the Miami Dolphins organization prompted by mediocre results and an investigation into the workplace environment at the Davie, Fla., facility.

"I have to do a better job," Philbin said in the first press conference of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday morning at Lucas Oil Stadium. "I'm going to be more visible. I'm going to have a better pulse."

The Dolphins are in constant contact with the NFL regarding potential punishment for the team and any players under contract. Philbin would not comment on a report that he wanted to release Richie Incognito prior to last season or the specifics of any conversations with the veteran offensive lineman.

In light of the release of the independent investigation by Ted Wells -- finding Incognito, center Mike Pouncey and offensive guard John Jerry guilty of harassing Jonathan Martin and another player -- Philbin opened his media session with a four-minute statement of which the theme was accountability, asking that the ultimate blame for any fallout present and future rest with him.

"We talked a lot about the type of program I wanted to run in Miami. One of the things I told Steve was, any player we have or any coach, we wanted to create an experience that ... was the best professional experience they had.

"That they look back on their time as a Miami Dolphin and say that organization was committed to helping me reach my full potential."

Philbin said owner Stephen Ross reached out to Martin and that a meeting is expected in the future. The coach said he did not reach out to Martin following their initial meeting in November, at which time he put Martin in contact with medical professionals.

"Ultimately we're responsible for everything," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "We're responsible for our wins and our losses. ... We are responsible for the players in our locker room."

Philbin finished 8-8 in his second season with the Dolphins, the fifth consecutive out of the playoffs for the franchise. He was interviewed by Wells on Nov. 18 and said that he was aware of "most of the details" of the report before it was released.

"Some of the facts, the behavior, the language, the facts outlined in the report. It's inappropriate. And unacceptable," he said.

The Dolphins agreed to a "mutual parting of ways" with general manager Jeff Ireland in January. Offensive line coach Jim Turner and head athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill were fired Wednesday.

"We're going to do things about it," Philbin said. "We're going to have a better workplace. I promise you that. We're going to make changes."

Some of the reminders will be more subtle. There is a message board at the main exit of the facility that reads "24-7, 365" a reminder that "everything they do impacts me," Philbin said.

"I don't have the benefit to look back," Philbin said. "There is a common decency that people need to have toward one another and when that is violated, it's an issue. Had I known and intervened quicker, maybe it wouldn't have happened."