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.