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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?


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.


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I agree with your assessment. I have been a Ireland and Philbin supporter. I really thought Philbin's style would work as a head coach. He is very detail oriented and smart. But unfortunately he is a little too rigid and not very likeable. You would think being a father of 5 boys, would help him when it comes to coaching a team (arent a lot of football players just grown children?)

I like his line of thinking, when it comes to wanting good character players, etc. But his kind of players havent produced leaders in the locker room. Are players too scared to stand up and become a leader, after what happened to the leadership council from last year.

Ireland is kind of a mystery to me. If you look at the team this year, we look like we have the players to be a good team, but Ireland's biggest problem is he cannot draft an offensive lineman to save his life. Pouncey is good, but the rest of our OL picks have sucked. We really should have a better record right now. I do believe if we hire a new coach, it is probably better to get a new GM too.

This leads me to my next question. Who do we want as our next coach? I really think we can blow up the coaching staff and GM, and still compete next year with the players we have. I dont think it will be a complete start over.

My vote goes for John Gruden. We need a proven coach at this point. Gruden was never someone I wanted when we were looking last time we were in the market for a head coach. I do believe he is the perfect coach for this team, at this time. With our cap space and players we already have, with a few quality draft picks and some decent FA signings, we still can be in the playoff hunt next year.

Reasons I would take Gruden

-If you ever hear him talk about Tannehill and how you should use him, is spot on

- Gruden is a big name that generates interest from casual fans

-Gruden is a players coach and coaches with some fire. Players will play hard for him

- A coach who coaches to his players strengths

- Super bowl winning coach, who's QB was Brad Johnson. He won a SuperBowl with Brad Johnson!!!!

Tannehill, Martin, Egnew


Anderson, I agree Ireland didn't lose 3 close games. But where there's smoke, there's usually fire. Consider the history: the fissure in the relationship with Ireland and Parcells, then the fissure in the relationship with Ireland and Sparano, then the Dez Bryant debacle, then the fans showing disgust at him in public, now it's Dawn Aponte, and who knows what the relationship is with Philbin (if Philbin is on Aponte's side). Individually, nothing there may say anything about Ireland. But collectively, that sounds like someone who's hard to get along with at the very least.

I bring up the Dez Bryant ordeal because with the news on Martin, it's pretty damning to me. AT LEAST Bryant is one of the best WRs in the league. There's no denying that. Now Ireland saw red flags, and fine. But how come he didn't see any red flags with Martin. If this is an emotional problem, don't these guys go through a battery of tests to highlights those issues? That's Ireland's JOB to spot that. Just like the slow growth from numerous draftees for years. The Redskins got a 6th-rounder who was the 2nd best RB last year. Where's that kind of hit from Ireland? Odrick's becoming a stud, but he was a 1st rounder. Jordan looks impressive, 3rd pick in the draft. But what about the 2nd round? 3rd?

I've been pretty positive on Ireland this year. Haven't blamed him for much. Thought he did a pretty good job this offseason and will always be thankful that he was the 1st GM to draft a 1st-round QB since Marino. But enough is enough already. All that gets thrown out the window when in FIVE YEARS, all you can do is get to .500. That's not something to build on. That's STAGNATION! I put the blame on the players, the coaches, and yes, the GM too. They ALL are to blame IMHO!

Good spot on NFL radio, Armando. Gotta agree we have talent but I fear that this staff, namely Sherman, doesn't know how to use it to exploit opposing defenses short comings. This is a must win, if we want to be relevant moving forward. I believe that they can "turn the switch on" that they somehow shut off after an amazing, at the time, comeback against Atlanta. We have to play 4 quarters

Sure Mando, whatever.

The Philbin-Aponte thing? What are you getting at? He consults a lawyer when talking to the media? What a dummy (rolling eyes).

Winning cures everything. The media and fans are very fickle. While I question some of the play calling if the plays were properly executed there would be no questioning.

Clown car is full now

No practice on Thursdays either

No control Joe
Whadda Ya Know

that's right 0
0-5 Joe !

@ Rdubs : Brad Johnson was an outstanding quarterback who led the NFC in passer rating and was all-pro the year Gruden took Tony Dungy's team to the Super Bowl.

The bottom line is, with 6 years with Ireland as GM, the team has 1 winning season. In a results oriented business, that is what is known as abject failure.
My 4 year old could draft better then him by randomly marking a draft publication with a crayon.

Not nearly as impressive as Shula taking a team to the Super Bowl with David Woodley as QB.

Come on Mando!!
This is BS!!! Write something better!!
There's nothing wrong with their approach. Bellicheck does it with the Pats and he's considered a genius. Btw, what a way throw the coach under the bus with Aponte. I'm pretty sure Mrs Philbin won't like it.

Who cares about Martin ... obviously not cut out physically or mentally to be a football player. Enjoy the money you made and a Stanford degree will enure you don't starve. We are left worse off than he is.

Bring in Chan Gailey!!

Jon Gruden won the Super Bowl... with Tony Dungy's players.
I've listened to Gruden enough to know that he would be a disaster as a head coach.

rdubs, Gruden with a strong veteran presecence on board and a qb already in place does make a whole lot of sense. Worth a shot ...

I agree JL, a few of these things happened when the team was winning and it wasn't an issue on Sundays then. I could care less about Aponte blowing Philbin or Pouncey wearing a hat that is endorsed by Exposing the Fraud.

Funny this article doesn;t mention the coach most respnsible for thsi team being under .500 and that's the d co-ordinator. He has an emabarassment of riches and not getting anything even average out of it...

@ Dfinc006 You know as well as I do that Mando tends to wax a little toward the negative in his prose.
I'm sure Mrs.Philbibin has learned to deal with women giving her husband extra attention. After all he is quite a looker isn't he?

Miami has one last gasp tonight

The Dolphins have a chance to take out a hot Bengals team that is riding high. Miami is desperate and has to pull out all the stops to get this one. If they can just get a little bit of momentum back they have 11 days before face a wretched Tampa team. I know it's one game at a time but winning tonight will go a long way but a loss completely derails this team once and for all.

In my opinion it's the coaches and personel to blame. There is talent everywhere you look but the system is flawed. Mike Sherman is starting to make Dan Henning look like Sean Payton and Philbin better start finding a way to motivate or he's toast as well.

The losses were all reasonable up until Buffalo. You can't lose to Thad Lewis and the Bills at home coming off a bye and you can't blow a 2 TD halftime lead no matter who or where you are playing.

Miami loses this one the season is up in smoke and Philbin needs to be canned.

Oscar this team needs the media to be flaming this team and staff. They are the only ones that can embarrass Ross enough to make a move. Fans don't have any power to make changes other than creating an empty stadium and even that seems to have not phased him one ioda.

This franchise is dysfunctional to the very core and has been for going on 10 years. Since they don't listen to us, the fans, then maybe it is time for all the dirty laundry to be presented in full color for all the world to see. Maybe then Ross and his celebrity partners will do something to right this sinking ship.

I agree Andy, this is our playoff game here tonight. It's the playoff game for Ireland and Philbin too. They blow this one and there is no way the team will finish over .500 this year. And that is an underachievement...

Is Martin or ANYONE else involved with playing for or watching the Miami Dolphins a surprise to anyone else? I find myself tuning into a game these days and having fits over those stupid god awful uniforms they have on only to get even more steamed over the product on the field. I don't believe that I have watched an entire game yet this year because it disturbs me so much. So yeah, mental breakdown indeed!!!

Lets face it, its just going to get worst. The cancer is spreading and its not the players fault, it comes a time that front office and coaching staff have to be responsible. Has anybody thought of this? Philbin has never been a head coach, not even called plays in Green Bay. Ireland had never been a GM,he was a scout. So having said that, its time to move on or nothing is going to change. I understand Philbin is on his second year, but his actions and demeanor say he is not a players coach, he is arrogant and self centered,and losing his locker room. Also lets face it, No proven coach is going to come and play for Ireland!

DC, you know more about football (& the Dolphins) than I do.

I think I meant more to imply that "fire Ireland" is irrelevant *right now*, whereas getting Sherman off the sidelines could make a difference immediately.

Posted by: 6bucks7games | October 31, 2013 at 08:33 AM

Soooo... let us know how you and that other feller enjoy the blow out by the Bungels tonight. Shoot, I don't even see this team beating the Bucs next weekend.

To me, winning this game tonight will not fix the underlying issues with this organization. Sure it gives the fans something to be happy about, but that is usually short lived and by the next weekend things go back to the status quo, losing.

Too many times in the last decade we have seen this team lose games they should have won, time and time again. Too many times we are already talking about the draft early in the season because the wheels have fallen off. How many more times do we need to see this happen? The owner either needs to sell and get out of town or get somebody in this organization to take responsibility for the team and to the fan base.

"There's nothing wrong with their approach. Bellicheck does it with the Pats and he's considered a genius."

If you haven't noticed, he also wins football games. That is an important difference.

If Philbin's "approach" were to wear a chicken suit on the sidelines, and we won games doing that, I'd be all for it. But when the chicken suit isn't working, it's time to take it off and do something else.

jon gruden won a championship with tony dungys players that tony dungy couldn't win a superbowl with.

You have a point there, Wash. Don't misunderstand me. It's just that I prefer to find out more detail of where the real problem or problems lie, then let these Wolves out on them. We don't want to harm People that are not to blame. Besides, it is also possible that JMart's inability to adapt to the Team might have been the cause of the OLine problems. Let's watch Tonight's Game, then we'll take it from there.

don't forget he took a raiders team to the super bowl too.

I wish I knew what it was like to be on a losing squad, then maybe I could have a little bit more sympathy for the players in the locker room, but in my day losing was unforgivable and was punished severely. I don't know how many times I had to run the bleachers for every pass I dropped in practice, but it showed me that there was a consequence for not doing my job. I played on some pretty damn good teams back in the day and didn't get paid one cent for my effort, but I played with passion and pride.

These players have got to revolt and take this coaching staff to task before they completely quit and just muddle through the rest of the season.


So Gruden won with Dungy's players? Did Dungy win the Superbowl in Tampa with HIS players? Doesnt your statement kind of support my statement, regarding us having good players and with better coaching we might be in playoff contention? I am not saying Dungy is a bad coach, but Gruden finished the deal. 6B7G, what coach would you like?

Oscar, have you been contacted to consult on the Martin ordeal?

Anyone think my DJ Jazzy jeff posts had anything to do with his breakdown??

Maybe should feel guilty ... but I don't.

Maybe someone should shave another penis into his head.

@ WashPhinFan We the fans are idiots and so is the media. Management would be well served to ignore us. Listening to us is what got the team to it's lowest point ever.
We were tired of going to the playoffs only to lose somewhere short of a Super Bowl victory. We were impatient and when the "Great" Jimmy Johnson made his interest known we along with the media clamored for him.
Management listened, showed the greatest coach who ever lived the door and started our slide into mediocrity.

rdubs, i agree. I wouldn't necessarily trust Gruden to build a team but to take over a vet team that underachieves? There's a proven track record there ... twice!

Mr. Ross,

Here's the offer to Mr. Cowher:

$5M per year for the position of VP of Football Operations that include General Manager duties, along with Head Coach.

You have the final say on all player/personnel decisions.

If you make the playoffs in year one, I'll personally cut you a check for $1M.
If you make the Superbowl $2M...win it you get another $5M.

This offer is open ended and can be signed anytime between now and Jan 1st 2014.

I'm sorry Oscar, but the problems are everywhere in this organization. It starts with the owner right down to the ball boy. There are no innocent parties involved,everyone is responsible for the events that have unfolded this year, some more responsible than others, but the fact remains this organization is being run into the ground, the players know it, the fans know it, and the media knows it. Mismanagement of the players and staff is a cancer and it spreads quickly, losing only magnifies the result.

Dawn needs a session at hogtied.com

No man, let alone the head ball coach, should take any advice from a woman. Is this a fuckinghgfh joke?? Philbin is a beta.

Posted by: 6bucks7games | October 31, 2013 at 09:41 AM

I for one was never on board with the firing of Shula and his staff. I thought JJ was overhyped and in the end it showed. I have no clue why he quit, but I have a pretty damn good idea.

regarding the Dawn/Joe issue, whenever a woman enters a man's personal space and 'fixes his tie' there is something else going on.

I'm not accusing them of extramarital affairs, but the way Mando portrayed the scene, it screams of sexual innuendo

The problem lies with the organization. When things are not going right it is the GM's job to identify the problem, bring in the people associated with the problem and find solutions. This is not being done because no one is admitting there is a problem. Ireland should have had Philbin in his office 3 games ago and discuss the issues. Philbin would deny that Sherman is the problem, Ireland would accept that and move on since he is not a football guy. Thus no solution. We all know that Sherman is the problem and if Philbin does not have the back bone to kick his butt, then he is part of the problem too. Ireland overseeing it all and not doing anything about it, makes them the three stooges. Entertaining for kids but not as leaders of our beloved DOLPHINS.

We don't do things that way anymore, Wash. We prefer the methodical approach so that we can gather a certain degree of certainty of where the problem/problems lie and what they are and then we can do something about them in different ways. Was Shula the only responsible one for the situation that got him fired? Of course not. Rash decisions only complicate matters.

lol @ 9:53....that would be just perfect. Extra marital affairs...lol, just priceless.

I am interested as to why no one is speaking about what the actual prank was in reference to Jonathan Martin. We have a full blown clown show going on down there in Davie. This is getting tiring....after 20 years, the joke is no longer funny. The Dolphins were the winningest franchise in sports back in the Shula days and now they are a pathetic embarassment. It is sad that there is no longer a respected organization in Miami that plays good, hard-nosed football. I have followed the Dolphins since 1974 and the franchise is at or near its all-tine low point. Hugely dissapointed.

The way this organization is going... I will be surprised if we win another game.. The ownership is going to have to change unfortunately... Shame on you heizinga for putting us with this owner after all you did basically destroying this team. I do believe we may be able to beat the bucs but we better bring our dolphins "A" game which is the practice squad quality of a real NFL franchise. I think it will be good enough to beat the bucs by a fg. We are going to need a QB, TE, LT, RG, and RT in the first rounds of the draft!! And hopefully a new GM or it will be another wasted draft. Tonight? Bengals 35 Fins 6


We can blame the GM on down. But anyone who makes valid points, yet blames any of this on Ross is not very smart. Ross has made mistakes, but Ross wants to win and puts his money where his mouth is. Blaming it on him is not acceptable or accurate

Slam...Anderson...Rdubs...Great point...

But I don't think its time for a coaching change just yet...its to early for Gruden or anybody else for that matter....

I said before the season started that I thought we might go 6-10 or 7-9 due to strength of schedule....


they have a chance to do better than that...we are 3-4...not 0-7....

Philbin DID predict this collapse (encouraging that he had foresight)...(discouraging that he could not prevent it)

The effed up in some personal choices....but I don't blame Ireland....i'm positive that Sherman pressed harder than anyone else for that pick....and thus the mententored one...Philbin....he went alng...

Fix that...or he fixes himself...and we ar on the way...

3 Bad Coaches starring:

Mike Sherman - Sherman has been getting exposed since the losing and the 3rd and inches momentum killer in New Orleans. The loss vs the Bills was on him. You have to understand the the circumstance that Buffalo was being led by Thad Lewis. You are at home. The Bill pass rush was starting to get to the pocket and something bad was bound to happen and strip sack it was and the rest was history. You have to run the ball when you're on thier side of the field and get into 3rd and manageable not keep allowing Tannehill to take all the hits and pressure of the game in that spot. Against Pats the anti-run campaign continued and put the Miami's struggling Oline and McKinnie in a hell of spot deep in his territory and what do you know the Pats get a strip sack. Sherman is predictable and terrible in recognizing his teams strengths and weaknesses. He is a my way or the highway old school, idiot.

Kevin Coyle - He's been decent but decent is not good enough with the talent he has to work with. Reshad Jones has regressed in his 2nd year under Coyle. Dion Jordan, Will Davis and Jamar Taylor haven't progressed. Jordan is the biggest head scratcher. As Armando has said "good thing's happen when he's on the field". Coyle has been pretty good play calling but motivating players he sucks.

Joe Philbin - winning cures all but Philbin has delegated too much and hasn't stepped up during this losing skid. This is why he deserves the most blame. He has to over ride Sherman or demote him at some point. Loyalty is a great virtue but not in business and that's what football and coaching is. You are the Supervisor and you have to supervise and dictate. Maybe Philbin privately and publically feels Sherman has made the right calls or maybe he's behind the feed and burp session behind Dion Jordan but enough is enough. Philbin has a chance to turn his seasons fortunes tonight with a marquee win and right the ship vs a terrible Tampa team. If he can get to 5-4 that final Wild Card plays out with a showdown vs the Chargers and 2 vs the Jets which could be the deciding factors for a final playoff berth. We lose and it's all she wrote for this season.

My 10 am tirade I meant right the ship with a marquee win vs the Bengals then vs Tampa the following week before a possible playoff for playoffs vs the Chargers lol

Posted by: WashPhinFan | October 31, 2013 at 09:53am
Had Shula still been on board I'm certain he wouldn't have passed on Randy Moss if he fell into his lap.
Marino to Moss, I wonder how many TDs they would have rung up?

even if the FINS do collapse....

we know how the story goes...

first the HC sacrifices a coordinator....u8s fans are screaming for Sherman...but Coyle will suffice....it will show Mr. Ross that Philbin is serious about "doing something"....

IF...after next season...we are 3-4...4-4 @ the half-way point...then the seat around Philbin will seem awfully hot...but the good news for some will be....If Philbin ges...there is NO WAY Mr. Ross can justify keeping Ireland....

So patience is a virtue....1.5 years away from some pepe's dreams comming true...


1.5 years from seeing a winner on the feild....

its a WIN WIN situation for the fans...

Interesting how we have the 17th ranked pass attack and Sherman is awful.

yet we have the 20th pass defense and 19th rush defense yet Coyle is doing a pretty good job.


Posted by: oscar canosa | October 31, 2013 at 09:56 AM

Point well made Oscar. No Shula was the scape goat, nothing more. Maybe it is time for an outside source to be hired to come in and evaluate the staff from top to bottom. We used to call them "head hunters" back in the day. They come in and evaluate staff and management and decide who stays and who must go. It works in the real world why not in football or any other professional sports for that matter ?

The NFL is a business and is run as such for the most part, each team is a franchise and should be held accountable for poor management since they are flying the company flag. If you embarrass the company flag, then you get your franchise pulled plain and simple.


You make a valid point. I think the problem is our Defense and Offense dont compliment each other at all. Neither side steps up when the other is faltering. The New England game was a good example. It seems like when our offense turns the ball over, our Defense always gives up a score(I know its not everytime, but is sure feels like it) I realize turnovers arent the Defense's fault, but could you take the ball from them every once in a while.

Why does our D-line suck when the opponents have the ball on our 5 yard line? Remember when we were able to stop people on goal line stands?


who said we Coyle is doing a good job....

and why are you so happy with "average"....

twist the numbers to say what you like...

here is a number for you...3rd in the AFC EAST...and can be tied for 4th if the lose tonight....

can also be tied for 2nd if they win...

how bout them #'s....

many of us are lookin @ the WHOLE picture....not just a way to justify Tanne's ineffectiveness....

Hey Ross the books are great, just put up the FOR SALE by owner sign up and move on

Word on the street is that Aponte is a sexual dynamo. I mean, I have heard that she is up for anything, and I mean ANYTHING in the sack.

We have the 17th ranked pass attack because we throw 40 times a game. Plus these stats don't take into account the fumbles, int's, etc. You have to look at the whole picture and stop cherry picking useless stats. There is only one stat that truly counts in football, which team scored the most points on game day.

Posted by: NHFINSFAN | October 31, 2013 at 09:53 AM

I didn't read any sexual innuendo in Dawn fixing Joe's tie. Women "invade my space" all the time and I never think anything of it.
Are they making passes at me and I have been missing them like Brandon Marshall in the endzone when he was a Dolphin?

My god the Dolphins are turning into the Marlins!! A pathetic excuse for a franchise with a continued culture of losing. Unreal. Not sure how anyone could really justify spending money watching this product?

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