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Dolphins leadership? What Dolphins leadership?

The Dolphins are failing on so many levels these days I am having a hard time keeping up.

One issue that seems apparent to current and former players is the Dolphins' obvious lack of leadership.

You remember the leadership issue? It was one of the fundamental questions the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin relationship brought to light. I told you we'd discuss the questions one at a time in this space.

My column in today's Miami Herald shows why the Dolphins simply don't have a clue about leadership and that's not me talking. That's players from the past saying it, echoing it from mountain tops.


“I understand when it comes to the natural football things that take place in a locker room that happens with younger guys or older guys, veterans versus rookies – all of those things, they happen," former defensive lineman Willie McGinist said on NFL Network Tuesday. "But there is a certain point when you cross the line and there was a failure of leadership in that locker room that let this situation get out of hand."


The leadership void is deeper than that. It extends to the coaching ranks, particularly if a Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel report that coaches ordered Incognito to "toughen up" Martin is true. Are you kidding me?

If this report is true, not only is the coaching staff that is supposed to provide direction for the players utterly misguided in the definition of giving good direction, but it has other more potentially significant meanings.

If true -- and the Dolphins refuse to confirm or deny the report as they hide behind an NFL mandated gag order -- the fact a coaching staff would order what is basically a Code Red on a player and use a player who was admittedly mentally unstable in the past to do it shows that staff is not just an accessory to this wrong but is actually complicit in the sin.

And as the offender has been suspended and will be fired by not playing for the Dolphins again, so too the accomplice should be fired and not represent the Dolphins again.

If Incognito has evidence this order was given or if multiple Dolphins player tell the NFL this order was given, Incognito may still not play in Miami but at least he will have a plausible explanation for taking the action he did. He was simply following orders. Obviously, going off on a racially tinged attack is an offensive and ridiculous escalation of the orders, but it did comply with the orders. And so Incognito will live to play another day somewhere in the NFL. 

With respect to the Sun-Sentinel's reporting, I hope the information is not true.

If it is ... The nuclear winter is coming.



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Most guys are on incgos side, , ,ya, even the black guys

pa.yuengs, you are an idiot. I mean "even the black guys", if you are a sample of the kindnof "fans" this team has then maybe we do deserve this mess of a team.

Where did you read that JMartin admitted to having mental issues, Ectoplasm? You think you are going to get by with that assertion? On Internet? With People here that readX10 the volume and at X10 the speed that you do at? Ahhh, you poor ignorant bastids. Go and educate yourselves! At least, charge for your ignorance, MFs!

Writers are always trying to stir things up all the time to have that GREAT STORY, so much so they make things up.
The longer this goes on i have to believe martin wanted to get out of football anyways, look this game is for tough guys only what should have happened is Martin should have punched incognito and then you would have just heard about the fight and that would have been it. But maybe Martin is not cut out to be a NFL player how could you stay away from your team during the season when they are in the playoff hunt doesn't make sense no matter how you look at it. We have to move on without these guys but somebody had to see martin was weak and Incognito was crazy, how about drafting or acquiring smart and tough football players. The lack of leader ship thing is just to get headlines and national news Dolphins just need to win and that will shut this up!!!!

...and by the way, this is not even close to a "code red" situation. A code red is a disciplinary measure; a clandestine activity resulting in punishment inflicted to a unit screw-up. Incognito's actions toward Martin were to be closer to those of a close friend or big brother. They may not have been interpreted as such but were not a military-styled action.

By his own account, Martin wants to get back into Football. He didn't say when or where.

btw, this brings up a good point on Internet(virtual World) and the legal System(real World). All those nasty tweets and voice mails Incognito has sent, are they admitted in a Court of Law as evidence of wrong doing vs anybody else? Anybody here knows about this?

I previously stated Philbin ordered the Code Red. But it might actually have been Ireland. This might have been his idea and solution for drafting the guy in the first place.

Yes. It might have been Ireland.

Oscar I'm going to admit my mistake about Martin's mental issues. In fact I did have trepidations to include that in my comment but since it was on Mando's I figured he must know something but I could be wrong.

Regardless Martin did have some sort of issue with Cogs and perhaps as the smart young man he is knew that it was actually the coaching staff enabling Cogs to "push" him harder. How on earth then could Martin go to that coaching staff about any disagreements he had with Cogs.

You also, correctly, indicate that there are way too many unknowns about this story. To those for instance that keep saying Martin did not stand up to Cogs, what if he did and he continued to mess with him. Again we still do not know.

What I do know is that if anyone in that staff enable Cogs to toughen up Martin he or they must go. Now I am not naive not to think this happens in a lot of locker rooms, nor that Cogs is not the only jerk in the team or the league for that matter but if you are Joe Philbin and knew that Cogs was selected to represent the players you just had to know there was something wrong inside that group of men.

I mean as a head coach you lift every single stone to see what is wrong with your team. Let me ask you prior to this incident becoming public, what was the worst unit in this team? The OL by a mile, so why wouldn't the HC not even had questions about what could contribute to the malfunction of the unit. I think this Martin/Cogs debacle affected BOTH players' performance on the team. Yet again more proof, besides the utter incompetence we already had witness prior to all this, that this coaching staff and frankly everyone but the owner (I kno I kno) must go!

Know what this is starting to remind me of is a duke lacrose media hanging. Media is promoting the best story but not all the facts. Remember if it was up to the media those players would be in jail and they actually lost the rest of the season and all for generating a hype to sell papers. Guess the readers and reports will never learn lets find out what is really going on. I do believe either way both players will not play for the NFL again







So a lot of you are saying now that Martin, a smart young man who could have done whatever he wanted to, being a Standford grad and from a well off family, that he could not hack it in the NFL. You act as if Martin has never been in a football locker. He has been part of that culture since high school.

He had to have at least an idea of what the NFL was going to be like, again he did not have to pick he NFL. You should go ask Andrew Luck what he thinks of the man that saved his back all of those years at Stanford.

Martin came from a privileged background. He excelled in the classroom and in his football endeavors. However, he was failing in Miami at his effort to become the team's left tackle- a position he coveted. Is it such a leap to suspect that this was the catalyst for his break?

At this point I honestly don't know what to think. I'm teetering on both sides. I guess I will wait to hear from the NFL on this.

If any player is deems soft by coaches or other players, then you know something is goin to be done about it! What that is I don't know, but this isn't volleyball!!

I wish I had been on this blog back when Ricky quit on the team.....

No doubt those calling Martin SOFT now....most likely would have called Ricky much worse....

But now Ricky is the unofficial spokesperson of Incognito.....and adored by the same blog meatheads that would have thrown him out with the bath water....

But hey.....whatever is convent for you @ that moment....right?

Why let the facts of the story get in the way....when Ricky Williams can speculate a few fantasies that fit your narrow view....

Talk about....can't see the forest thru the trees....man if that statment ever fit anywhere...any place....it fits here....

You guys think you're immune to all this? The same thing is going to happen to you but on a Grander scale. You just wait.

So bill you don't think this whole thing could have not affected his on field performance? In fact I bet it did and it also affected Cogs as well. BTW who needs SIX players in the leadership council anyway. Cogs should have never been there anyway but since the players elected him that was a massive red flag gone completely unnoticed by granpa Philbin and co. And lets not forget our super duper GM and director of personnel Jeff Ireland who put this bunch together. Ireland is not GM material, he is a decent scout, period, way over his head and with not executive skills. Thanks Mr. Ross!

yet another reason I will never pay to read your product. Can you be any more dramatic? If I were in charge in in the FO. You and all the media members who hyped this up. Would not be allowed in the building. Much alone granted an interview. Code Red really? So your narrative is driven from fiction? That is really funny. How about Alice in Wonderland? Does that have any bearing on this?

Everyone should remember that Martin's Parents are both Harvard grad LAWYERS, they are the ones running with this
story and Martin is such a wuss that he cant sit his parents down and explain the real truth of him walking out. Even he admitted at the beginning that he was the one with the problem and nothing to do with the pranks.
Also he himself has participated in some of the pranks. My opinion of course. And again there is always something positive that comes out of the bad, which in this case, hopefully ,just hopefully ,we might get rid of Ireland and all the coaching staff, take no prisoners!

This team will be dismantled from the top down, no doubt in my mind! There has been a lack of leadership on this team for a long time. It all starts with Ireland. no a good time to be a Dolphins fan!

Kris...Ricky may have been soft spoken like Martin, but he at least showed guts while running away with the rushing title in 02. There are soft spoken intellectuals in this league, some perform at a very high level while others simply don't show up. Martin was soft both physically and psychologically. He couldn't handle the truth that he wasn't cutting it on either side of the line, so he found a way out by calling out Cogs for bullying. He comes from a long line of very smart people who I am sure put this notion into his ear long before this became public. RIcky may be allot of things to allot of people, but I give the guy props for his play on the field.

This entire situation will turn out to be all about nothing,but in the scurry to be politically correct someone lost their job for simply doing his job, albeit a bit over the top, but he was doing what he was told to do for the most part.

I wish Incognito could be hired to toughen up the NFL, the media, and America.

Ecto, yes, I'm certain Jonathan was affected greatly. But we saw his play from the beginning and it was severely lacking.

Could we blame this on NFL "culture"? Sure but the NFL has "trial by fire" as part of it's ritual. Those that can't hack it are cast aside. Who has a problem with that?

I doubt the ivy league lockerrooms mirror NFL, inner city, or big college lockers...

El Duque, I'm with you. His parents are at the root of this current development. I'm sure they recognize that he cut his own throat- not only in the NFL but for any future high level position in industry or government. Who wants a quitter and especially one that's a wuss.

I am very sure this whole situation will go away. The NFL will give this situation allot of lip service, make some policy changes, sacrifice a few lambs to appease the public, and move on like the juggernauts they are. This is a multi-billion dollar business with heavy political ties and will not fold simply because of a shady scandal like this one. Once the internal investigation is completed things will settle down. There may be a congressional investigation and maybe not, it all depends on how far the league wants to go to make this go away.

Cogs is finished here, that is a given, and Martin will not play in this league again for the simple fact that he will be considered a whistle blower by the league and a pariah by his peers. This type of behavior has been going on for years hovering under the radar and it will continue, but now it will go even further underground due to the publicity that it garnished from a player who simply couldn't cut it at the professional level.


This has already cost pus one player...possibly two....

This is gonna cost us a coach (not sure if it will be the HC...but it should)....and possibly yur GM....

A lot of jobs are @ stake over this...

And how many of millions do you think it will cost Mr. Ross....how much has it cost him already...

I seriously believe that Ross would differ with the "nothing" scenario.....

As far as Ricky goes....I am not posting on his spokesman ship skills...or lack thereof....

I am merely stating that I am sure many an ill spoken word has been said about the man.....and now he is adored....and I find it laughable...

And I like Ricky....if Stache tried to ride me that hard....and then JOKED in the games ding press conference that he was gonna run me more next year...I may have done the exact same thing....

I think this whole thing comes down to a matter of scale. I can believe that the coaches asked Cogs to toughen up JMArt, however I don't believe that they thought that Cogs idea of toughening up a guy would be as rude and crude as how Cogs went about it.

I have no problem with coaches wanting players to toughen up, this is not butler training. However I think that coaches should not leave the methods employed in such endeavors to be open-ended to the point of using "any" methods the team mate chooses with which to perform the task. You have to set limits.

Let's face it, the Phins had a lot invested in this player based on where he was drafted, they wanted to maximize their investment, I understand that. But I also think that based on this, the homework was not done at the GM level to determine the true "toughness" of the individual prior to making him such a high draft choice.

So to start off with, the Phins should not have drafted someone if they did not believe that he would be able to perform at the level of savagery that is the NFL. For that I blame Ireland for not doing his due diligence.

As for the coaching staff that may have ordered a "code red" on Martin, there should have been a level of engagement agreed upon and limits put on the amount of "encouragement" given the targeted player.

I don't agree with the idea of negative reinforcement, however I also do not agree that you pusify the way you go about getting someone to reach their full potential. There has to be a balance between "tough" and "love" in the whole idea of using the tough-love principle.

I think Cogs just took it to another level and it all got out of control. I don't see this as the scandal that the media and talking heads are trying to make this out to be.

Did the level of involvement of the two players exceed the boundaries of common sense? Probably, however I am not close enough to the principles to be able to make that judgement. I will defer that to the NFL investigation.

I just hope that in the end, the proper level of discipline is meted out. I think it would be grossly unfair to either player if there is an over-reaction to how much one pays for these deeds, especially if this was a sanctioned event from the coaching staff.

As to the punishment of the coaches, I would assume that the NFL bylaws have suitable boundaries under which coaches actions are deemed proper, did the staff exceed those limits? If so, then appropriate sanctions are in order. However if there is no clear cut line which has been presumably breached then the NFL itself is guilty of not setting these limits and the coaches should not become scapegoats due to that lack of an official boundary.

At this point I am going to reserve judgement on culpability until all the facts are in.

"There is a bright side, however. People speculating this saga will divide the Dolphins or splinter the locker room are not correct. Dolphins players — both black and white — agreed this week that they like Martin and love Incognito. They agreed that if both return to the locker room, they would be accepted.

You know why there was so much agreement? Because they were encouraged to do so by Philbin during a team meeting and many of them are great followers".

From Armando's article....

Great line....

I have been saying all along and even emailed Armando to say keep this in mind as the story unfolds. this is some sort of plot that Martin/ his parents(lawyer)/ his agent schemed up to get him out of Miami or football all together.
Too much adds up for this to not be a scheme of some sort.

Hey Amando....cool your jets. I haven't such a media frenzy based on speculation. Other than the voicemails and texts that Icognito sent and was rightfully suspended for there is no indication of anything that does not happen in every locker room. Did coaches indicate to the linemen to toughen up....probably. Was Martin singled out....probably. I see that no different than John Jerry and Martin Egnew being singled out last year. Of all the quotes I've seen I like Ricky Williams' the best....maybe Martin is not cut out for pro football..I would recommend the media just settle down and let this play out. But, that does not sell papers so I know that is wishful thinking..


Excellent post....

And the bigger question is....which one of COGS patented "tough guy" training techniques worked....

It's week 11....and Martin is still viewed as soft.....

Talk about a head and a brick wall situation....

If coaches had a hand....huge fail on their part....

fair but ironic point armando--I consider this part of your workplace, yet I dont think you demonstrate much leadership here at all, most times--on YOUR blog (your photo at the top) you allow insulting personal attacks, ridiculously offensive language, offensive references to race, religion, sex, orientation.....most/all of which would not be acceptable in most workplaces--why is that?--lack of leadership?.....you dont police it maybe?--why?--because you A) dont see anything wrong or distasteful about it or B) you're not aware of it because you simply dont have the time to monitor this all day long (understandable)---but neither is acceptable in my opinion, on YOUR blog--similarities to the Fins/Philbin situation are striking, no?

Kris..do you really believe that Martin will be accepted back into the locker room after all of this hoopla and embarrassment? Not likely under any circumstances. I am pulling from memory from my days as a player. Most guys will say they will accept a player back simply to appease the masses, but in reality they will never trust him again and he will be shunned by his peers for as long as he is in the league. You simply can not call out a leader on your team and have him suspended and simply expect to be welcomed back with open arms, maybe in a fantasy world this could happen, but in reality it doesn't hold any water.

Now that a bunch of lawyers are involved...it's going to be blown way out of proportion. Dolphins coaches asked Incognito to toughen up Martin because he has been coddled hanging around wusses his whole life. Martin is weak and wanted to take someone down with him. Great...the wussification of the USA continues.

I'm getting worried about myself, because I'm starting to feel bad for Richie and less so for Martin.....yikes...

benz...good point. Monitoring this site would be a major nightmare, but Mando seems to not care much about what is said on here. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, until it is used to harm or degrade another, then it goes beyond any freedom our founding fathers intended it to be.

Perfect time for Ross to move the team. He got screwed by the Legistature on his play for stadium $$$, the Florida fan base is fed up with going on 20 years of garbage coaches and teams since Shula was forced out, --time for a fresh start. Move the team to LA or wherever, change the name, and start over like an expansion club. At least expansion teams sell out their shiny new stadiums for a few years.

I'm getting worried about myself, because I'm starting to feel bad for Richie and less so for Martin.....yikes...

Posted by: RitchieStrikesOut | November 06, 2013 at 08:13 AM

I feel for Richie in a way myself. His upbringing was over the top with his controlling, overbearing father figure. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree in this case. Richie is like allot of guys I used to play with, he is a controlling, egotist, not very intelligent, and a major brute, but one hell of a left guard.

Good post Benz.....

Last night....I played a "game" with one of the supporters of the COGS camp....let's call him..."Marc".....

What I did was,...call "Marc" some names that I knew wern't true....when he defended himself against such accusations....I what he said....and called him WHAT I WANTED TO CALL HIM....because that's what I wanted to do....

I didn't use a racial slur....I didn't insult his mom...I didn't even threaten to kill him....I merely insinuated that he was not very good @ a former job of his.....

Long story short....Mark got very upset....even to the point where he didn't want to talk to me....

All this took place I the spa n of maybe 5 actual minutes....in 5 minutes...I had "Marc" not ever wanting to talk to me again"....

But "Marc" thinks that Martin should have been able to withstand actual threats and intimidation daily from a co-worker that he saw on a daily basis....and then we he didn't see him...had to be subject to tweets...text...and voicemails....

What a world we live in...when we expect the next guy to endure....for years....what we can't handle for 5 min....

Kris your opinion on this whole matter is a complete crock of shyt! Just like your entire existence. You've been mad at the team for a month and you have no idea what you are talking about on a daily basis...they get rod of Daytona and you swiftly take over as the biggest TROLL on this blog...FAHGUT!

Kris...lowering yourself to a level of insults will only draw attention away form you not the other way around. There are idiots in every crowd and including the net and blogs like this one. I have learned over the years of posting on blogs such as this one that I tend to ignore those who chose to stir sh*t up just to get attention. Marc is no exception to the rule.

As I said from the start. Most people who never played football or have been in a locker room are totally clueless. They just don't understand the mentality or what it takes to play this game. Player after player is coming out and standing up for Incognito. Wallace says he loves Richie. Bess and Williams are former players coming out in support.
What some of you dont get is this IS NOT a black vs white thing. There is no prejudice here. When guys are tight and need to back each other up, they can and do joke around. Everyone wants to talk about a colorblind world, this is a colorblind world in the locker room. This is how these guys joke around. Get it through your heads.

The big question is what this will bring to the locker-room and whether they will play for the coaching staff and their teammates, or whether they are divided.

Without any true leaders, I am guessing that there is finger pointing and a lot of guys who are not fans of Philbin. Let's see how it play out.

Either way, I think the best thing Ross can do is tell Philbin and Ireland to hit the road after this season.

Only other way he saves the franchise is to sell it.
I hope Ross pulls his head out of his butt real soon.

Fold the franchise. End the misery.

Stop the racism on the Dolphins!!

Shut the FK up Armanso....jesus....you will ride this horse til its dead huh...you fkin suck and I'm done with this blog and you and all your fkerz in it...you suck ballzz...hope you all die

Posted by: Jack! 10.6 | November 06, 2013 at 05:26 AM

I guess one can only dream.....@ least we know your not a man of your word.....as if we ever beloved that....

One observation I must make here is that regardless of where you stand on this issue, JMart did breach protocol in the way he handled this issue.

If he felt that his coaches were not going to be helpful in resolving this issue there were other avenues to pursue besides running off to the media, or running out on the team.

A football locker room is a bunker, it's like Vegas, what happens inside that locker room, STAYS inside the room.

JMart always had the option of contacting his union rep on the team, if that would not yield the results he was looking for he could have gone to the NFLPA leadership with his concerns.

He also could have confided in his agent, any agent worth his representation fee would have told him to stay away from the media, to stay with his team and work the issue from within.

If that was not a satisfactory place to take his concerns he could have contacted the NFL leadership itself.

I do not know if he tried any of the aforementioned paths, but if he did not he did a huge disservice to himself, his team, his representation and his family.

Like it or not he is done in the NFL, I seriously doubt that ANY coaching staff or FO of any of the other 31 teams would even consider taking a chance on him, he will forever be viewed by NFL insiders as a liability, notwithstanding his inability to perform on the field to NFL standards.

Whoever was mentoring him on what path to take is obviously NOT an NFL person, if in fact there was any outside involvement.

If he did confer with his agent and the agent directed him to go public or to walk out on the team, then that agent probably just sealed his own fate in the business.

This issue is going to have a huge impact on a LOT of families, and I fear that most of that impact is not going to be favorable.


The good that SHOULD come out of this is some of the players FINALLY step into that leadership role, with the same PASSION you see leaders on other teams (Russell Wilson, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady, DeMarcus Ware, etc.). Not sure we have anyone with the mental might to be able to lead men, but if so now's the time to make their presence felt.

I also agree with you, if there was a directive to "toughen Martin up" by the coaching staff to Incognito, heads will roll. Not for the directive, but because they were ignorant and insanely stupid to give that task to a known hothead, crazed unstable man like Incognito. And I agree firing the position coach probably doesn't go far enough. It should be Philbin.

By the way, to the "defenders", let me say I liked what Philbin was "trying" to do here. I like the changes he "attempted" to bring to the offense. I liked many things he was "planning" to do. AND, I think changing staffs AGAIN is going backwards. So this isn't something I'm happy about, it's definitely a setback. I just think this issue may not be resolved without a measure of that consequence. And the team has no one to blame but itself, top to bottom.

Incognito and Pouncey should be in jail with A. Hernandez.

If the accusations are true about the Code Red from the coaches and/or Ireland, I don't care how bad of a dude Cogs is. He is the fall guy for a bunch of pansies and losers. And Martin is a smart enough guy to know what he did. He is well educated and wealthy and can find a life outside of football.

I feel little to no remorse for him, and equally no remorse for Philbin or Ireland. GOOD RIDDANCE fellas!


I agree.....but I just wanted to try this experiment....and the results were just as I expected....

But still...I had to see....

It seems a rather arbitrary thing to say, "hey, go toughen up Martin" without some context or direction along with it. Not sure uh am buying it. Thre are too many holes, too many facts that still need to come out before i want to start calling for heads to roll. There is plenty of time for that once we have a more complete story.

Don Shula would NEVER have an Incognito on his team.

Incognito is a jackass and the Dolphin coaches are CLUELESS.

Just wanted to let you know how much of a douchebag you are...giving the chance I would slap you and yo muthafkin momma!

Posted by: Bobbyd12 | November 06, 2013 at 08:26 AM

I couldn't agree with you more on this point. I played on teams that included multiple ethnic people...we all played lights out, had each others backs, and could have cared less who was black, white, green, or purple. A football team is a band of brothers, sure we played pranks on each other, the coaching staff, and heck even the cheer leaders, it is simply part of the game and the comradery that it entails. These guys play, eat, sleep, and fight for each other every week and especially on game day.

Don Shula would NEVER have an Incognito on his team.
Posted by: Just Saying | November 06, 2013 at 08:35 AM

Incognito is a jackass and the Dolphin coaches are CLUELESS.
Posted by: Jay | November 06, 2013 at 08:38 AM



I like was Philbin was doing as well....that's why it is hard for me to want to cut ties with this coach....

Even thru the turmoil...and the projected rough schedule....we stil...somehow...got to 4-4....with an ugly win over the bengals...

A firing is definetly a set back....

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