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An open letter to Joe Philbin

An open letter to Dolphins coach Joe Philbin ...


Armando Salguero

The Miami Herald columnist

3511 NW 91st Ave.

Doral, FL., 33172


Joe Philbin

Miami Dolphins head coach

7500 SW 30th Street

Davie, FL., 33314



Dear coach Philbin,

It's been a while since I've heard from you. Actually, it's been a while since Dolphins fans have seen you or heard from you. We last talked the day after the 2013 season abruptly ended without a playoff berth. You briefly attended new general manager Dennis Hickey's introductory press conference -- but only long enough to hear his and owner Stephen Ross's opening comments. You left as soon as the question and answer period began.

And I get it. You don't like the media much. You probably wish that part of your job would disappear just like you wish the words "bullying" and "harassment" would disappear from Dolphins lexicon. I also understand you think your responsibility to the media and to speak with your fans through the media ended the moment your 10-minute NFL mandated season-ending press conference ended. That is why in the last six weeks you have not uttered a word in public even though you fired your offensive coordinator, you hired a new offensive coordinator, you were involved in a very public and very ugly disagreement with former GM Jeff Ireland and, in the past week, the Ted Wells report was released.

In handling your harassment scandal midway through the season, you did your NFL mandated daily press conferences and you answered some questions about the scandal. But rather than tell your side completely and defend your organization's honor, you often took the easy way out. You often said you could not answer pointed questions about the scandal or give a full accounting or explanation of the situation because the NFL asked you to wait until after the report was released to address the matter. And you often implied while dodging those long-ago questions that you would circle back around to them and give your fans your accounting for what blew up your and your team's reputation when the Wells report was thankfully, finally released.

That report dropped early last Friday. It has been five days and you haven't said a word about the report.

And what's more, as of this writing, you have no plans to say a word about the report. No press conference and definitely no question and answer session are planned or are on the horizon. You haven't even released a statement. Your next planned availability is at the NFL Annual meeting the last week in March. (Yeah, I'm sure you'll be eager to answer the tough questions fans and the media are asking now four weeks from now.)

Any other year and under any other circumstance, your retreat into the offseason bunker would be fine. It insulates you. It gives you a break from bothersome, meddlesome sportswriters like me. I get it.

But here's your problem, coach: This isn't any other year.

This year you helped author a disaster. No, I'm not talking about the on-field collapse the final two games of the season. I'm not talking about your desire to keep offensive coordinator and friend Mike Sherman when the entire rest of the planet understood he had to go. I'm not even talking about your failed relationship with Jeff Ireland and curious business relationship with executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte.

I'm talking about your harassment scandal and all the issues that scandal has given birth to.

The scandal has presented you with problems about what to do with an offensive line coach who apparently lied to you. It has created a delicate situation with some players who may never again play for you and some that almost definitely will remain on your roster and in your locker room.

And that scandal, coach Philbin, has brought you a public relations nightmare the likes of which began last October but is not nearly close to being over.

One of the reasons that nightmare isn't close to ending is because you, in your infinite lack of P.R. wisdom, might soon make it worse. You see, here it is Wednesday and as I already mentioned, you currently have no plans to discuss the Wells report in the near future. Your problem is that Thursday at 2:15 p.m. Hickey will step to the podium at the Indianapolis Combine and address not only the South Florida media, but the national media.

And what do you think they're going to ask him about?

Yes, the Wells report.

So unless something changes today or early Thursday, that will make Hickey the first Dolphins employee who will be asked about the harassment scandal because, well, he's agreed to step in front of the microphones and cameras and note pads and reporters.

But there's a significant problem with that, coach Philbin: Dennis Hickey had nothing to do with the harassment scandal. He was hired three weeks ago.

So someone who had zero to do with turning the gas on this fire is going to be the first to be roasted in front of the media? And the national media, no less? Someone who has less idea than you what happened in that Dolphins locker room between players is the guy this organization --  you -- are pushing forward to answer for it?

And meanwhile, you, coach Philbin, stay out of sight and out of reach? In the bunker?

Is that really the way you want to play this? Is that illustrative of your sense of fair play and what is right?

I hope not. I hope that before 2:15 on Thursday, you decide to do the right thing, the decent thing, and make yourself available to answer the questions you so artfully dodged in October and November.

Here we are three months later so I hope you have a well rehearsed explanation for how you didn't see players re-enacting sex acts during practices that you ran. I hope you have a good explanation for why Jim Turner, the offensive line coach you hired, isn't yet the former offensive line coach you fired. I hope you have a good explanation for why you never had an in-depth conversation with Jonathan Martin about his pondering suicide anytime after May 2013 when you assistant coach reported to you that's what he was dealing with. I hope you can explain why red flags didn't go up for you the day before Martin finally went AWOL when he blew off morning weight lifting and then showed up late and drunk to the practice facility. I hope you have an explanation for how it is you let Richie Incognito become a team leader in 2013 when you knew he had assaulted a female volunteer at a club golf function in 2012.

Those are questions I'm hoping you can answer directly, sincerely. Those are questions fans deserve the answer to.

Much has been made by your boss, club owner Stephen Ross, about the budding great relationship you and Hickey already share. Indeed, Hickey has fully bought into you as well -- telling anyone who'll listen how much he respects your abilities and your professionalism.

But I wonder if that's going to be the same way he thinks after Thursday if he's pushed forward as the proverbial sacrificial lamb to answer questions he has no business being asked while you, the man who headed the Dolphins throughout the scandal, opts to stay in the shadows.

Don't let him take that bullet for you, coach. Don't ruin a good thing so quickly. Don't take the easy way out. Don't fail the accountability test.

Do the right thing for the sake of your new GM and the sake of the organization you represent. Avoid another black eye. Do the right thing.







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Great article. I hope you ask all these tough questions when you get a chance. Be good.

Philbin needs the cue cards from Dawn Aponte. How does he still have a job?

And when he was hired we were told he is a outgoing and fan friendly coach not like the last coach. Amazing!

Get off your high horse. Are you really trying to goad the man into an interview or press conference? You must still be upset your reporting was completely off concerning the GM search. Learn to report the news and not try to create it.

Philbin needs to be fired

What happened to accountability that he preached. Needing high character guys in the locker room. I am still trying to figure oit why b. mashall was traded.


I really think he likes you but would rather wait until later than sooner to deal with you! : )

Where are the professionals accountability? Oh wait, this is a barbaric sport with a working environment not conducive to weakness. Philbin has this team pointed in the right direction and has the opportunity to revamp/resurface our biggest problem. He and staff should spend every waking hour evaluating players to make this team better. Not waist time talking to the media.

This is one of your best articles
I applaud you sir
Yes these questions need to be answered by the Coach
It seems to me he did not have the balls to confront the players nor the Fans back then
he owes us answers
Ross you need to pay attention
Is this what you want for us Fans
a coward as our coach
he will loose all the respect of most of the fans and the players if he doesn't step up and answer these questions like a man

Armando this is what we need from our coach - come clean Mr. Philbin stop the masquerade
We fans want to hear these answers now that they have been posted

I agree
answer us or resign you incompetent fool
a coach is supposed to coach the players not manage schedules and briefings to the boss and cozy up to Dawn Aponte
You smell like a rotten politician coach

Please also answer why did you not play Jordan ?
What was your involvement in drafting Jordan
where you opposed to that move ??
Or did you encourage Ireland to give up our top 2 picks for someone you were not going to play
Or did you not play him to spite Ireland
You must have approved of that draft move - why when we had glaring holes elsewhere but none in our D front line
It's time to come clean if you want our support
did you pull a house of Cards political maneuver to oust Ireland - sure looks that way not playing any of the 2013 draft picks.

Carlos - that is an excellent observation

Best post ever Armando!!

Pete Carroll =throws the ball around with the players doing warm ups

Philbin = picks up trash during warm ups

Philbin not qualified for job = no in game adjustments, horrible motivational speaker
terrible O line coaching, not savvy with the media, can't call plays, not a players coach

Awesome words!!!!! Maybe he'll listen!

You smell like a rotten politician coach

Posted by: Alex in London | February 19, 2014 at 01:22 AM

Naah. He's an excellent politician coach. Just not a good football coach. Not even close. Thanks again, Ross.

This is pathetic
what new lows are we going to see from Philbin
is there more crap coming
We needed a clean sweep not just Sherman and Ireland
we will not regain confidence until we replace Philbin and Turner
Armando some bloggers will defend Philbin and or Turner
but the majority of us are with you
enough is enough

Salguero catching feelings.

The finest article armando you have ever written. I have not always agreed with your opinions (mostly not agreed) to say it kindly but finally a reporter with some balls asks the tough questions and demands answers. The Miami Dolphins are a joke and I think its time that Stephen Ross sell the team back to the fans. He has destroyed this franchise and "Clueless Joe" and his band of gutless turds are evidence of that. Joe Philbin as it turns out was a horrible hire and I was his biggest supporter. Boy was I wrong about him. The guy is flatline, no pulse and cant inspire a tadpole to swim let alone a dolphin to jump.

great article. thank you for bring this to the forefront for many many disappointed Dolphins fans. We used to be champions, we used to mean business. Thank you...keep at em'

Proud of you, Mando.

Naah. He's an excellent politician coach. Just not a good football coach. Not even close. Thanks again, Ross.

Posted by: We're Close | February 19, 2014 at 01:33 AM

Yes just like the series House of Cards - what a great comparison Carlos
Philbin does remind me of that type of politics
dirty to the core
will do anything to keep us un-informed so he can keep his job. All the while making our Dolphins the laughing stock of the NFL and getting rid of people in his way.
What is next in this soap opera will he become part owner
Someone please pull the wool from Ross's eyes.

Philbin is a pathetic, clueless weasel.

You know, Stephen Ross' kinda guy……..

It is no a waste of time to talk to us fans thru the media
we would like to hear the answers to these questions and many more
we deserve the truth
we can handle the truth

It is really amazing that so many of you let yourself be manipulated by Armando.This man should be ashamed to sign his name to such an article.What Armando is doing is not reporting at all .It is goading,taunting ,insulting or in other words ..bullying.Apparently this bully believes Philbin is weak and is going for the jugular vein.Philbin should slap him down the next time they meet while saying "take that you bully".

You need to leave me alone. I'm simply doing what people do in our great politically correct society these days. Say nothing. Even if you must speak, tell lies and point the finger in another direction. Never take blame. Never admit fault. Never apologize, try and look like leadership even when you know you don't.
I don't have to answer you Armando. Owner Ross has given me all the authority I need.

Head Ball Coach

Philbin has been instructed to say nothing and let discipline fall from the NFL head office. Then he'll talk.

It makes him look weak and gutless, unfortunately the PR team is running the franchise.

I commend you for your effort, Armando, but it is too late. He is very smart and has managed to weasel out of this whole affair. Perhaps we can nail him on some of the things Carlos exposed above. With a little help from our Friends.

Who the hell cares what any of you think. You are inconsequential sheep.

We're Not Close,

There are ample reasons to dislike Dan Marino. He wasn't a team player and his efforts on the field weren't 100% efforts. He deserves criticism for the two reasons I've mentioned if nothing else. Even Jay Fielder had more heart than Dan Marino. Jay went all out, gave 100%, gave his body. Dan turned 3rd and 1 into 4th and 3 many times because he was scared to get a bruise and move the pile. This cost the Phins countless games in his career. If he gave his best effort, I wouldn't play the result and dislike the guy because he didn't win the SB. His hissy fit, me first attitude reflected his poor efforts. Audibling away from running plays to heave the ball down the field thirty yards. Jimmy Johnson, Terry Bradshaw, Phil Simms, Dan Dierdorf and even Dave Wannstedt know the game better than any delusional Dan Marino fan. Their criticism of Marino is spot on. Jimmy Johnson removed Dan's ability to audible for good reasons, attempting to force the issue with the running game because in order for a running game to have a chance people have to be patient with it, something hissy fit Dan was unwilling to do. Dan pouted about this for years, 98'-99', and promptly didn't invite Jimmy Johnson to his retirement press conference. Your boy Dan acted like a little boy on the field and off, and most of the criticism towards Golden Boy Dan is well justified. It's childish for you or anybody else to get butthurt and spew ad hominems over constructive and valid criticism of your failed hero. In the end Dan was a loser. The team got better after he was fired. He should have been fired or traded sooner.

5-1 in 1999 with Damon Huard.

4-7 with ringless Dan (NFL record for pick six's with six).

62-7 exit.

Chased J.J. into retirement.

Brought the fans Wannstache.

Still the team improved greatly without ringless hissy fit Dan.

11-5 in 2000

11-5 in 2001

It's not a coincidence that the Phins had a 1000 yard rusher three out of the next four years after Dan's well deserved firing either.

Keep Dan away from The Dolphins, keep Dan away from the interns.

I'd like to see a statue erected at the stadium which depicts the image of a little girl with her back turned to Dan Marino's statue...head bowed down, wiping a tear from her eyes. The inscription "Are you my daddy ?"

Stoic Dan still smiling.


Or perhaps she could be smiling ? The inscription "Daddy, when do I get to meet the family ?"

Poor Jonathan Martin got his feelings hurt and Cogs is a horrible human being.

Danny Boy cheats on his wife and fathers an illegitimate child and he gets a pass.

As a matter of fact, no Citizen of this World is inconsequential now, if they can manage to have access to Internet. This here is a whole new different ballgame, and if you pay attention, you can see the changes that are occurring now and perhaps, perhaps, can imagine the ones that are coming in our Future.

Kris, you as well as Dashi and YG are doing better without the spell checker but it should read Philbin.... is at the ROOT of our mediocrity. Still, keep up the good work.

Posted by: oscar canosa | February 18, 2014 at 06:01 PM


Thanks Oscar....I think.....

So, according to Garner, this type of locker room behavior of not accepting Players that are different from the norm in Football, be they nerds, qu-ers, or highly educated People, has been going on for about 6 years. Let's see, 6 minus 2014 makes it 2008. What changes occurred in The Miami Dolphins in 2008 that could have contributed to this behavior? Well, if I remember correctly, Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland came in that year, and Stephen Ross bought the Team in February of that year also. Any other big changes here? No. So, if we believe Garner, we must search those individuals mentioned above as culpable for the toxic atmosphere that has prevailed in the Dolphins locker room.

So, all locker rooms are that way? Yeah, well, prepare for an abrupt change of pace.

FIRE ROSS (Daytona)...

When you are are your meds....you make some valid points....regardless of wether I agree with them or not ....this is a formum were everybody's voice should be heard....and even the anti-Marino sentiment should have a place....

me....i've moved on from being star-struck by Marino....what he did was impressive...especially in the era in which he played...but in the end...it didn't produce a ring...and in the end...that's all that matters...I even think he would tell you that...

Good ost @ 3:27 Oscar...

(is something I have never said before)

Posted by: FIRE ROSS | February 19, 2014 at 02:50 AM

You have a personal vendetta against Marino. You don't like him as a person. You are entitled to that opinion which I do not share. But I am looking at him as a ball player. If he made it to that many pro bowls then a HUGE number of people admire him for his accomplishments and don't give a rat's ass about the things that stick in your craw.

If I were among the sheep I would like The Dolphins new logo or still follow the team with a rooting interest. If I were among the sheep I would believe in a supernatural being that has a divine plan just for me...how egotistical,how convenient. I would take part in the indoctrination ceremonies before every NFL game, hand over my heart, tears in my eyes, empty pride in a land, a piece of cloth (The Constitution is subjective). I would refer to soldiers as heroes and not victims, and I would have a music collection that features only the latest releases I was influenced to buy, believing that music is fashion and not art, and that music comes with an expiration date. Ross has proved that he will bend at the whims of the fans on occasion. He did so when Phins fans booed Chad Henne, and he subsequently blew up a decent team to start over with Tannehope aka Tannebust. Aponte and Philbin believe in the power of the media, that's why their policy is to avoid the media at all costs. The media turned on Ireland because he was an extension of Parcells' policy of believing the media to be communists. Aponte, a Parcells disciple, is of his teachings. As we all know at this point, Aponte is head of The Dolphins PR at this point, and Philbin is acting under orders. The media is quickly turning on The Dolphins organization yet again...and it's well deserved. How would you feel about a group of people who were making it more difficult for you to do your job. The public admonishing is justifiable. Both the media and the fans are owed some answers. Trades for "An undisclosed draft pick" are insulting to those who follow the team. Why the secrecy ? Pouncey wasn't made available to the media after his free Hernandez blunder either, yet the far more successful and classy Steelers made his partner in crime available. In today's twitter culture fans want up to the minute info. The Dolphins aren't giving any. The Dolphins are rapidly losing fan support. Their policies related to the media aren't helping matters. Hell hath no fury like a reporter scorned. Give em hell, The Dolphins died a long time ago. The whole organization is garbage at this point.

The team really hates the fans and media.i..q

If Philbin stands pat (likely) and says 'nuts' to the open letter from AS, what does Hickey have to answer? He's not responsible for Turner or any coaching staff decisions. He'll defer to Philbin. He'll also probably deflect on the Well's report citing possible upcoming NFL discipline. He's going to TRY stay on the draft needs/personnel script. Tough job. Philbin is either a coward or is being told to avoid media by Aponte and other lawyers. Or both.

It all depends on what Dawn Aponte's cue cards say.

Great post Mando, bring in Danny boy to run the Dolphins, Ross can divert heat, have on the ground accountability, great PR at a very bad time for the dolphins, and Danny will clean house and bring in winners to coach these guys. the fact that turner wasnt fired for perfomance before the wells report is disgusting.


You do not have to try and inspire Joe Philbin getting out of town. If he does not make the playoffs it will happen. Replacing the entire OL and praying that Pouncey does not get suspended for a long period will make the Dolphins better. The OL; the mental state those guys were in and their lack of ability was a major issue for the Dolphins. I see only perhaps McKinney doing one more year in Miami and Pouncey back for next season. The Dolphins with cap space will go to free agency, the draft and get better. Turner will also be gone when he gets suspended. Tannehill will have to win his starting role which is good news.

I think HOME should draft new players for the Dolphins.

HOME has a much better track record the last 4 years.

If you see HOME at the combine, please do an interview and get a few pictures.

Thank you.

I almost forgot...

GREAT LETTER Armando....

I know those that are "tired of talking about it" will curse the day you born....

But I think it was a fantastic read....and ask some real relevant questions about what is happening NOW....not fantasy about drafts and FA that we have ZERO control over...

Joe Philbin has managed to get his boss fired....and @ the same time keep the heat on one of his subordinates (Turner)...while @ the same time....gliding right thru this mess like he is teflon Don....

How low this fanchise has fallen....Why Ross is keeping him around is beyond me....

All I can tell you is this Joe....you had better field one "heck of a football team" come September...or I doubt you will be around to dodge any questions come thanksgiving....

This man, Philbin, is supposed to bring back credibility to the Dolphins? Please.. I want to puke.. All you organizational types from the dolphins need to keep your traps shut and learn the definition of credibility, respect, fair play and a dozen others. You are the problem as well and make me want to puke as well!

Philbin, and no I am NOT gonna call you coach as you have not earned it yet in Miami, you are nothing but the weakest person in South Florida, if you do not get from behind 'Her' skirts and address this up front! Time to be a man and work on your own reputation! If not, you are worse than all of the participants in this scandal. Every time you look at someone in the business you will know that they are laughing inside at you!

Now for you Mr. Ross: The entire NFL likes you at the bottom of the barrel you see. One less team they have to worry about beating. One less team they have to be concerned about and one less city they have to compete with for a Super Bowl bid. You are building quit the reputation for yourself as well. It is NOT a good one and the longer you try to correct the ship the more difficult it will be to turn around. You should have cleaned house from top to bottom. Stupid move not doing it. How many fans leaving will it take? Oh yea.. Thinking of moving the team? That would be not so smart either.. You will then be known as the man that had no clue that move a championship franchise after running it into the ground and basically has no clue but he wants to come to our city and repeat it.. Nahhh.. not a good idea either!

No more money from me.. No more Sunday ticket, hats, jerseys, shirts, glasses, outdoor items, bumper stickers, etc. Just my little contribution to your pocket book since you don't give a crap about fielding a respectable team anymore! PS: I AM DONE!

Open Letter To Armando

Dear Mr. Armando Salguero,

I understand your plea for the HC of the Miami Dolphins to speak and show leadership and handle difficult matters head on. Isn't that what he led us to believe he would do from the beginning?

Now I ask you this, have you looked into the reasons why maybe he is not talking? Could it be he has been given orders from his Boss, or even legal council, to not touch the subject? And if so, do you suggest he break orders from his superiors?

Furthermore, in essence, you are complaining about Philbin censoring information he does not want out in public. So I ask you, how is this any different than you censoring your own blog?

Really, there is no need to bash Marino. Irrespective of what we may think of his personal life we will never know the ins and outs of why he did what he did. It does not matter. What does matter is what he did on the field. No one can really argue with his accomplishments. No SB ring is a minor blip and blown way out of porportion in a game where one player decides the outcome. I am writing this because so many are quick to critize Marino but what I don't see anyone writing about all the times the offense was putting up 30 plus points a game while Olavadott's defenses where giving up 35. The run game was absent because the Fins did not want to run not because of audibles. Throwing the ball gave them their best chance of winning...period. So enough about Marino. That is in the past.

What matters now is the 2014 Dolphins and what lays around the corner. Philbin should stand up and face the media. He should be the face of the debacle which happened on his watch. To think he had no clues is wishful thinking. If he did not see his players on the practice field doing things beyond normal hijinxs then he is in denial. Like I have posted before, this whole issue stems from a lack of systematic leadership. From the coaches, to the players, to the clown posse known as the Dolphins player leadership council, and finally down to supposedly team leaders. None said a word. And know you have a coach who when given the opportunity to right the ship hems and haws over firing not only an ineffective o-line coach, but one that was in on the problem. If senior leadership condones those actions from subordinate coaches, eventually it gets down to the player level. So in the end what transpired should not come as a surprise. Bottom line is the head coach is unsure of what decisions need to be made in order to move the team forward. This cannot be solved with cue cards, sheltering from the media, or overall silence on the line.

Agree with poster who said you can add "why didn't you play our draft picks" to the list of questions. Especially Jordan. We were told everyone was on board with Jordan, and last I looked in the dictionary, "everyone" would include Philbin, Sherman and Coyle. But Philbin says personnel is not his job. Neither is public speaking. Neither is mentoring, apparently, either. And the offense? Well, Sherman got fired, not him, so I guess he wasn't responsible for that either.

I think you've just met Mr. Teflon. Wins and Losses? Doesn't mean so much, apparently, to Ross. As long as you can convince someone you're doing a job, and blame everyone else in the FO for your problems, you get to stay.

Let it go armondo. We fans just want it to go away. We dont care about his non-answers. Stop your personal crusaid against the coach. He isn't going anywhere and your hit pieces are not helping the matter what so ever

Outstanding article Armando!!!!

Handout pitchforks and torches much Armondo? Are You going to pitch in on the new banner to be flown?

A great thoughtful inquiry that raises issues that we don't have the ability to ask of the source. This is not addressing the symptoms of situation but the root source, which is what we deserve to know. Thanks for being our voice, in particular for those us out of state. Gracias-TurdFurgesonNC!

Why would he talk with you Armando?

You are the worst "reporter" to ever cover the Dolphins. You never have anything good to say, and constantly stir up trouble. I agree with others that said this article isn't "reporting", it's taunting and bullying.


Did you already forgot the owners request to give them some time to study the report? Perhaps they aren't ready to answer on your ludicrous time table. Why would they be in a hurry? They have to cleverly craft their answers because no matter what they say you will twist it and cajole it into something horrible, because that is apparently your only function. You are an absolutely terrible "reporter".

I am still amazed that Turner is still on the team and PFT reports he is going to the combines. He must have something on Philbin to still be on the coaching staff.
The Dolphins do not have to wait for the league to act
to get rid of him..they can say Turner does not represent what the Dolphins are about.Plus the O line wasn't that good last year, so he isn't even a good coach!

Good read. Meanwhile, how the hell is Turner still employed?

You should have adressed that letter to owner Ross.
A scandal of that magnitude goes way beyond the mediocre Dolphins employees who are involved (and that includes Philbin): it tarnishes the club and even the city's image.
It is Ross who should face the music and adress all concerns about the business he owns.

So Philbin is like Obama right Mando!


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