Damage control continued this past week for the Miami Dolphins. With the release of the Ted Wells’ report a week ago, the Dolphins organization release offensive line coach Jim Turner by mid week as well as head trainer Kevin O’Neill.
As per the report, Turner was aware of the bullying that Jonathan Martin received from Mike Pouncey, John Jerry and obviously Richie Incognito.
O’Neil was believed to have knowledge of the racial tones that were directed to an assistant trainer where Richie Incognito seemed to be the ring leader. The firings were most likely damage control and with them the Dolphins should be in a better position from a football standpoint.
It will be hard to measure the performance of O’Neill during the 2013 season, but offensive line coach Jim Turner certainly did not prove to be invaluable. Even before the whole bullying scandal hit the media, the Miami Dolphins front five was already one of the worst contingents int he NFL.
Yielding 58 sacks to Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins where by far the lead in sacks allowed category last season. The ground game also seemed nonexistent most times as they finished with less than 25 yards rushing on several occasions, this includes the two yard rushing appearance in a 22-19 loss to the then winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At the combine this past Thursday, Joe Philbin addressed the media taking responsibility for everything that happens regarding the workplace from now on. Even though the report seems to exonerate Philbin from any wrongdoing, the disturbing factor is that he was unaware of the problem.
An NFL head coach need to be deeply involved in the goings on of every aspect of his players life within the realm of the workplace. Ex-NFL executive Bill Polian claimed that Philbins aloofness was not atypical of new head coaches.
Philbin’s record as the Dolphins coach is just 15-17and obviously not outstanding, he should still get credit for keeping the Dolphins relevant in the playoff race. Considering everything that happened and the timing of it all, the collapse didn’t occur until the final two weeks of the season.
Even though the Wells Report takes much of the blame away from Philbin, his leash is undoubtedly much shorter. From this point on, bigger things will be expected of the Dolphins and Philbin will not be able to fall back on any excuses, especially when it comes from Miami’s performance on the field.
As far as Turner and O’Neill are concerned, they will be joining the job hunt with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and Jeff Ireland. This can be considered addition by subtraction as Miami has shown in recent history an ineptitude to gather big name free agents to the roster. Cleaning house seems to be just what the Dolphins needed.
Now if the circus is truly done with it’s visit to Miami, the Dolphins should be able to move forward from this and begin to build on the foes non-losing season in five years. However, if Miami is not able to make progress in 2014, Philbin can very well be added to the long list of coaches and executives dismissed from the Dolphin organization.