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Dolphins starting to string embarrassments together

How has this Dolphins season, only seven games old, already been something of an embarrassment?

Consider:

We start with Mike Pouncey pictured wearing a cap requesting the release of suspected murderer Aaron Hernandez. The picture hits the Internet and causes a public outrage. When Pouncey wants to apologize for photo to quell the public indignation, as his brother Maurkice immediately did on the advice of his team the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dolphins forbid the center from saying anything. They apparently think saying nothing will make those offended feel better.

They also forbid Pouncey from saying anything after is subpoenaed to testify in front of a Grand Jury in relation to the Hernandez trial. Glad to see the team learned a lesson. Not really.

Right tackle Jonathan Martin on Monday then goes AWOL from the team when he gets upset over a lunchroom prank by teammates. He hasn't been around for three days. But the Dolphins, who refuse to acknowlege the national story, list Martin as doubtful for tonight's game against Cincinnati.

Defensive tackle Randy Starks, upset he is demoted from his starting job after going to the Pro Bowl last year, celebrates a sack by shooting his bench a one-fingered salute. The player denies it publicly, but the gesture was aimed at the coaching staff.

It took receiver Mike Wallace one game to show his unhappiness with the Dolphins game plan when he wasn't targetted at all in the first half of the season opener and only five times all game. Wallace, by the way, has toned down his distaste for how he's being used publicly but not so much privately.

Other players are also questioning the approach of offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. Guard Richie Incognito is unhappy Sherman stopped calling running plays in the second half of the New England loss and has been public about the Dolphins abandoning that which was working.

"I think we should just keep running the football 30, 40 times a game," Incognito says. "That's our blueprint for success. We have to run the football for four quarters."

The dislike for Sherman's play-calling can be found throughout the Dolphins organization. One high-ranking person within the team is dumbfounded by Sherman's approach in some situations, saying the coach misses "101 stuff" -- meaning fundamental things.

Coach Joe Philbin's relationship with the media has grown tense and, earlier this week, even combative. It wasn't that way last year even during a 7-9 season. The difference this year is the increased influence of Executive Vice President of Football Administration Dawn Aponte, a member of the New York State bar and a Bill Parcells disciple. Aponte, originally hired to manage the salary cap underJeff Ireland, got from under the general manager's umbrella when the two clashed. She has become a close Philbin ally.

Aponte shadows Philbin during television interviews, radio interviews and press conferences. During one recent taping of Philbin's coaches' show, she stopped the taping to straighten the coach's tie.

The second-year coach meets with Aponte before every press conference and accepts advice on what to say to the media. Can you ever imagine Don Shula doing this? Aponte's typical advice is for Philbin to say as little as possible even though the mission statement from team owner Stephen Ross, Philbin's and Aponte's boss, was to have the Dolphins become a more transparent and fan-friendly organization after the Parcells departure.

Bottom line?

The Dolphins are trying to be just as insulated since the Parcells departure as before because Aponte believes in the approach. Except these Dolphins should probably concentrate more on improving their play than they do at honing their message. Except neither Aponte nor Philbin have any of Bill Parcells' credibility for winning anything, much less multiple Super Bowls. 

And it doesn't look like that will change this season.

Comments

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If we get back to winning, this isn't a story. We lose tonight though, coaches are losing their jobs soon! Especially Sherman!

To be fair though, I can understand trying to keep Martin's mental health issues under wraps for his own good. Nobody in that organization should've spilled the beans. It's not fair for a 2nd yr guy to get labeled a head case unless they commit a crime.

Why do I get the feeling Martin is going to turn into a pothead and move to Australia to learn traditional medicine now?

It's amazing what 4 losses will do to a team.

It's amazing what 4 losses will do to a team.

Posted by: 1dolfan | October 31, 2013 at 05:21 AM

It's not so much the losses as it is how they happened. There was now way we were beating The Saints but we the last 3 were all very winnable with better coaching. I know players are supposed to execute but when your Oline leads the league in sacks allowed and you consistently get away from the running game, bad things are to be expected.

Philbin was brought here to be the HC but he consistently lacks the balls to put Sherman in check during critical moments.

What have I been saying all yr? Walk slow, drink water!

If Ireland and Philbin do the right thing...

That is show compassion, respect and zero tolerance regarding this incident. They will dress down these bullies and tell them to apologize to Martin, immediately!!!

I love Pouncey as a player but considering they way he insulted Martin (and that was at least one time which we witnessed on Hard Knocks)I have a feeling he was part of this heartless prank. Plus alot of times positional players sit with each other at chow time.

This type of act is cruel and inexcusable, especially knowing that Martin may have some insecurity issues and just lost his position.

I'm not saying he should be babied, just have some compassion for your teamates.

This locker room is starting to show some real cracks and alot of that comes from mismanagement and coaching

I recall reading a pre-2012 draft article containing Tannehill's measurables and noting that his hands were much smaller than that of Luck and RG3 and thought it might be a problem. I think we're seeing that he fumbles when hit and his accuracy is in question. Small hands for a QB is very problematic. What does everyone think?

we are a total mess right now Mr Ross bring in a coach with some fire and passion for winning and a o/c with fresh up to date playbooks maybe after the 5th loss n a row will make Ross see change needs to happen.The ravens fired there o/c in the middle of the season and looked were they ended up we need change

Mark my words...

Sherman will be the scapegoat and get fired sometime soon. He will be their sacrificial lamb to appease the fan base and the media.

Only the problem won't be resolved. Not until Ireland and Philbin are jettisoned too. IIIIf, Ross ever finds the courage to do so!!

What a continued embarrassment of a franchise!!!!!

Starts with Ross, who has to remain in the background. I was never the Ireland basher as most, and was ok with giving him more time. Most successful franchises need stability rather than changing GM's and Coaches every two years. Otherwise confusion and dissension grows with short and long term goals of win now or lose my job, vs. building a successful franchise. HOWEVER....you gotta look back and check the results of these moves by Ireland. One after another have gone bad.
This years draft moves, although perhaps a little early to grade, is not looking good at all.

Agree, Philbin has to separate from his friend Sherman, fast!!

How many years do we have to focus on building an offensive line? Its been a forever project.

Too early still to grade Tannehill, but all our doubts are definitely growing.

Another major step back to the organization is coming....new GM and start the process all over again. Ross stay out of the draft room, play fantasy football if you gotta.

uccccchhhhhh!!!!!!!

Ravens were 6-2at this time last year though

Just for a laugh I have picked my entire Fantasy team from Bengal players this week,should be interesting and rewarding.

MIKE MAYOCK for GM!!!

MIKE MAYOCK, MIKE MAYOCK, MIKE MAYOCK, MIKE MAYOCK!!!

Then go after John Gruden!!!

A consolation prize could be Mike Shula. As long as he and Mayock hire a stellar staff, Shula could bring back respectability and emotion.

Wow,the hits just keep on coming.When players,and people within organization start questioning the coaching,this ship has a major hole and is sinking fast.Tonight should tell you everything about this team.If we get blown out,new regime will be in the works.Disappointment again,go figure.

Just curious change is coming. .... his much of what you say is sarcasm?

Dolphin org is very secretive and deceptive even on non-consequential matters. what happened to the owner giving the directive to be more open/transparent with the fins own fanbase? trust is hard to rebuild.

Mattybfromnc

Some sarcasm mixed in to make my point. What are you immune to sarcasm? Just read the other blogs.

But as a long time Dolphin fan, my passion for wanting a winning, playoff team is always real.

Now back to Mike Mayock.... Mayock! Mayock! Mayock!

PS: Just call me "Change"

RUN, RYAN, RUN!!!!!!!!!!!

wow, discontent within a football team.....filled with emotional, volatile, aggressive, angry, unstable players (who else could play this game?)--shocker--geez, maybe we should go out and sign a guy who tortured and killed dogs (oh, that was already done), or play a young guy and then put him in rehab 2 hours later (nope....Niners claimed that one).....etc, etc--wacky dudes, lead to wacky ways--Philbin just seems overmatched, thats all--and yes, Sherman should go.....or I cant think of alot of reasons for him to stay, based on what we've seen.

Lightbulb!!

If this locker room is really unhappy, then this is the perfect timing game to lay down and allow themselves to get rolled by the Bengals. They would be acting out publically so that something is done.

Then, I would take bets that someone gets the boot. Probably Sherman, which is unfortunate because he's only part of the problem.

Don't be surprised if this happens. Just sayin.

So lets get this straight, our tackle is a soft mental midget, our center supports a buddy who alleged murderer and allegedly was running guns with him. A coaching staff that is filled with no name college losers. A head coach who never called plays for the packers yet acts like he's B.Walsh. And ignorant moronic fans who still believes this team is going to the playoffs ARE YOU SERIOUS DOLPHINSFANS ? Welcome to the laughingstock of all of pro sports welcome to the MIAMI DOLPHINS a tradition since 1985 the TRADITION CONTINUES YOU CANT MAKE THIS STUFF UP ONLY IN DAVIE FOLKS PATHETIC !!

Dysfunctional was a term that was used indiscriminately a few years back but it certainly fits in this case.

And yeah, Sherman will be the one sacrificed sooner or later. Sure, he needs to go but that still leaves other problems. Why does this feel like a carbon copy of the Sparano-Henning deal? Remember that?

Ross should bring in a real football guy to be the president of the team. Bronco's brought in Elway and see the difference it made. I'm sure there are some excellent coaches that might want to return to coaching given the right circumstances, but with the circus we have all we get are clowns.

A string of embarrassments? This is actually good news, as this is what we are looking for, some consistency! Also, can we all agree that the clash with Dawn Aponte was not the fault of Jeff Ireland?

Ed @05:58

To answer your question, QB's with smaller hands are prone to fumbling more. Remember Dave Krieg of the Seahawks (not sure of your age)? He fumbled a lot also. Now some of Tannehill's fumbles are due to the strip sacks that came from the left side. This is typical of all QB's. No excuse for the other fumbles though, especially the fumble on the long scramble during the Saints game.

the Philbin PR stuff is fringe......the players are the issue, and lets face it.....the NFL is a mirror of society on steroids (figuratively and literally)......anything is tolerated.....look at how its ramped up in the past 10 years......more tolerance for gun violence, domestic abuse, atrocious language....a group of 10 yr olds F-bomb as they pass on you on the street, no pride, no shame, no idea of what they're even saying--now stir that all up with a bunch of volatile aggressive football players.....and bad things happen--its across the league, not just here (oohh, Starks giving the middle finger.....grandmothers give the middle finger these days!)---did we all think these were Boy Scouts?.......expectations, folks

problem is you need a coach who can corral it, keep it from going off the rails.....we'll see if Philbin is up to it--pretty much thinking alot of this all went on years ago, in various forms, but the media coverage just wasnt there......it was better that way.....we dont need to know alot of this now......just as we didnt know alot of it then---again, were they Boy Scouts 10-20 years ago?

Finally fire Ireland, hire Cowher as HC and he brings in his people... That's
it.... if not, Mr Ross go away, go to your Real
Estate and leave us alone.... you stink period...

Yeah, starting to get sck of this wishy washy sht. Can't even be honest about the most simplest things. Considering looking for another team or just players to root for.. or maybe not even that. Seems like the NFL is flat out rigged sometimes (or trying to be). FTS. Wasting who's time?...mine!!!

M.McCoy should've gotten this job Period, this clown needs a cue card to give a victory speech to his players. You can't make this stuff up and as far as Pouncey goes he's just fine. Martin is a weirdo who is too damn sensitive and crapped in his pants and is now in a mental institution incredible can't make this stuff up !! This is all on J.Ireland he's proven he can't draft. This is another draft class bust an Ireland and Dolphin tradition since 1978 I might add !! This team will finish 3-13-5-11 at best so the traditional draft watch party on this blog around Thanksgiving huh fellas guys like Dashi Kris Mark in Toronto and Oscar should know best in here well fellas ?

plenty of missteps, but seriously Mando.....do we need to know that aponte helps philbin fix his tie?--is that relevant, helpful, or useful in any way.....or does it just stir the anti-philbin pot for no good reason?--who cares?.....ie.why add that?--is that material?......make him a better coach, worse coach, smarter, dumber.....or just not a confident dresser? WAY too much coverage/details of unimportant issues......do we know if Andy Reid gets his tie adjusted?---or Coughlin?.....or YOU, before you go on camera?--seriously......more sensational than needed, no?

Don't forget the GM who spends 60 mil on a guy who struggles to catch the ball, and his top 4 draft picks on players who are nowhere near ready to be NFL starters (or even really play). And the dipshit owner who gives human EXTENSION after doing so.

With each loss and each breaking news story, it seems that the list of people Ross needs to fire increases.

For starters - Ireland, Dawn, Philbin, and the coaching staff. The roster needs major adjustments.

The Dolphins are worried about the message, not the product. That's the number one problem.

Being deceptive about the product is costing the team money and effort that could be used to improve the team.

The Parcells way has been tried in Miami for six years. It's a disaster. Let it go.

I would love to see Tannehill's stats when he rolls out, it seems like he gets a completion every time.

In spite of all the above genius opinion... a win tonight all this conjecture, sarcasm, hindsight, fantasy and silly negative comments everything flip flops again.

Come on Jmart. Don't act like a spoiled baby. Time to put on your big boy pants and get back to the team. You don't really want to be known as a quitter do you?

great mace......so you're one of those second guessing, "told you so" after the fact louses, huh? ......how do you know McCoy would be a good coach here?--a little adversity and you show youre true colors.....you're weak dude.....remind me not to sit next to you on the boat, when its sinking

We don't know what the case is with Martin (or anyone else on the team). Mental issues can be far more serious that a wrecked knee.

Even though I am critical of the work done by Philbin and Ireland, I am well aware that both men have had to deal with very, very serious situations in their families.

Some organizations just do not function well.

outside of the straight tie issue, which Mando seems to be particularly concerned about......I'm pretty sure Philbin has dealt with more adversity than this in his life.....in his recent past.....not long ago.....within his family--I think he'll figure it out.

Sigh, I agree just clean house, do it the right way. How about Dawn A giving Soilai a take it or leave it offer what a menopausing beeeeatch! Nothing worse that a women on menopause

well Truth.....with final brilliant statement, not sure Sigh should be so happy that you're agreeing with him.....what, are you like 14?

What did Ireland and Aponte clash about?

alot goes to Philbin/coaches, but there are also plenty of veteran players in that locker room.....whose leadership is needed right now, and I'm sure they're capable....teams pull together and police themselves all the time.....so its time to see if guys like Wake, Soliai, Denney, Clabo.....are up to it

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

The problem is not that any of the individuals are men or women, but it's how they go about doing their jobs and, especially, how they treat people.

On another topic, where are all the people who wanted TE Jared Cook? Come on, show your face, pal. Who do I sound like? Lol

Aponte isn't cut out or the job. Take it or leave it is not the say yougo about resigning veterans players who actually produce for the team. The whole organization is dysfunctional and if you blind homers like Benz can't see what you're dumber than I thought

The entire organization is crazy

Must be nuts !

Boycott the games

3-5 Happy Halloween

5 losses in a row, so far

Philbin is qualified to run a Merry Maids franchise
not an NFL team

Vegas never lie! Why watch football when you know the outcome

LOL

This team is uninspired, what is the usual cause of that? No leadership period. None from the players, none from the coaches, none from the FO. In sports if you lack inspiration, you will never succeed.

I have been a fan since day one. I was a season ticket holder when you could buy them for $6.00. Not only that but back then they didn't make you include the preseason games. All seven home games for less than a hot dog and a beer costs at one game now.
True fans don't just celebrate with their team after a win they support their team when things don't go as planned.
The hardcore fans out there who don't jump on and off the bandwagon according to how well the team performs week to week need to come out tonight, get loud and help OUR team beat those damn Bengals.

It's starting to feel like Cam Cameron all over again. The team is on a 4-game slide, and they're playing "practical jokes" on each other? Is that the "men-of-honor" locker room Philbin's been touting the past 2 years? And Jonathan Martin is so fragile he has a breakdown in Year 2 of his NFL career. Is that the crack-scouting by the GM and his personnel dept? Our lawyer-chick-capologist is now the Asst. HC and PR chief? Is this a wicked Halloween prank or what?

Looks like 2 watt and others will get what they want at the end of the Season (if this goes the way it's heading), a complete and total overhaul of the team from the GM on down. You won't see me complaining one bit either. I'd rather have criminals who win football games then this 3-ring circus.

Ireland didn't lose 3 close games.

Jury's still out on Tannehill.

No need for a Sherman jury. The man isn't going to start learning all of a sudden.

Fire Sherman.

The implosion has begun. It started in the second half of the game Sunday afternoon and has continued through the week leading up to the game tonight. This franchise has become a total and complete embarrassment for top to bottom.

Ireland's six year run is coming to an end, Philbin is a stuffy old imbecile who has absolutely zero coaching experience , and Sherman needs to go back to what works for him, retirement. His playbook is outdated by at least ten years and needs to be burned.

I really don't care about the little things like Philbin having his tie adjusted or having to have cue cards made up for him to make a speech to the team, but I do care about how he is managing this team and his underlings. This situation has come to a head and is going to spiral out of control if we get a major beat down tonight on national television.

The players are pissed and are lashing out publicly. I am sure of one thing, the leadership of this team has got to go, from the top to the bottom. It can't happen soon enough for me.

Mr. Ross,

We are appalled but not surprised at the recent events that have embarrassed our beloved team. Those of us lucky enough to be outside the bubble that most NFL coaches live in have a bit of advice to you.

Pick up the phone and call Bill Cowher to begin contract negotiations. We suggest you offer him what he wanted last time: "Complete control of football operations".

VP/GM/HC duties...give a proven winner the reigns to the team or watch the value of your investment spiral down like a Led Zeppelin.

Philbin & Sherman have already lost the locker room and the chance this team makes the playoffs is zero. We realize you see Jeff Ireland as a second son, but sometimes you have to toss out the baby with the bath water in order to scrub the bottom of the tub.

Sincerely,
A long time Fins Fan who is crying himself to sleep at night.

You just can't go by what all these Media guys publish. That there is a problem, or several, within this Organization is obvious. But we really don't know the extent and severity of them and/or if they can be fixed. Events, like Tonight's Game, eventually will tell us what the real story is.

Free Miami Dolphin tickets cost too much

The coaching staff and GM have definitely lost the team.
Although I've been as critical of Martin's play as anyone else, he is a human being afterall, and I hope he is OK and able to resolve whatever issues he is facing.

6-10 Do It Again

or 7-9 All The Time

Well it has finally happened,we have become the New York Jets of the south. Disfunctional locker room and horrible coaching. Yet another dagger in the hearts of the fans! Welcome to our circus!

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