« Turner not headed to Indy Combine | Main | Dolphins fire Turner to piggyback on O'Neill firing »

Dolphins fly trainer to Indy and then fire him

The Dolphins today fired longtime and respected head athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill. The club has given no reason for the move but it seems clear this is fallout from the Wells report.

But here's the thing:

The Dolphins flew O'Neill to Indianapolis for the NFL combine. And fired him there this afternoon.



At this hour, O'Neill is sitting in his room in Indianapolis. Shocked. Stunned. Upset.

He declined to speak with me when I called.

I am told O'Neill, whose reputation around the NFL is otherwise impeccable, feels he was mischaracterized in the Wells report. That report states O'Neill was uncooperative with investigator Ted Wells. It states he was aware of some of the behavior that Wells concludes was harassing of both offensive tackle Jonathan Martin and assistant athletic trainer Naohisa Inoue.

Obviously, that's the Wells version. O'Neill declined to speak and thus defend himself from those conclusions. But a source close to O'Neill tells me the trainer completely rejects the notion he was aware what was happening and, in some instances according to the report, laughed at the behavior. He believes he's been wronged by this report. 

By the way, none of this excuses the Dolphins for the manner in which they are handling this. Good, bad or indifferent, O'Neill is an 18-year employee of this organization. His tenure dates back to Jimmy Johnson as the head coach. This is not the way to handle a firing of such an employee.

The report has been out for days. ESPN's Chris Mortensen was the first to report this firing early this afternoon.

And the Dolphins aren't commenting and apparently had no actual plan for doing this the right way. Otherwise, why let O'Neill fly 1,200 miles away from home to get rid of him?



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

No Evidence

Zack Martin

"Athletic, smart, competitive, dependable college left tackle whose length dictates a move inside, where he has plug-and-play ability in a zone-blocking scheme. One of the cleanest prospects in this year’s draft."

Because he laughed at the Pearl Harbor joke?

Maybe he was a stowe away.


Now we fire a well respected trainer!!!

Thanks Jonathon Martin!!

This organization is a joke!!!!!!!!

I heard security just threw him out of the hotel....

Wow, don't know how much if any blame but to fly him halfway across the country and fire him? That's a real classy move. Wonder who fired him?

I heard security just threw him out of the hotel....

Posted by: wallyfin | February 19, 2014 at 07:53 PM

Without his luggage which was purposely put on the wrong flight to Mesa, New Mexico!

Mando - it sounds like you want to believe the parts of the Wells report that fits your narrative and you dismiss any part of it that doesn't. Bad journalism dude.

so it is lets fire everyone for what happened... now Armando wants to sympathise with O'Neill... make up your mind Armando... believe the report or not.

You cry and cry that Turner hasn't been fired because it's all right there in the report... now we should feel bad for O'Neill because he got canned with whats in the report...

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2014/02/dolphins-fly-trainer-to-indy-and-then-fire-him.html#storylink=cpy

Fatty: as opposed to swallowing the whole thing?

Unlike, oh, you, Armando's "narrative" is formed by months of reporting and study.

I don't take him as gospel - there are only four Gospels - but he is way more credible than some random dickweed in a comments thread.

I hope Philbin resigns under pressure and Turner is hired as interim coach. Anything to stop the "gaying" of the NFL. I'm so sick of all this politically correct BS. Everyone who talks about this over blown non story is holier than thou - it makes me want to puke. Let's get over it now - Martin is a puzzy, Incognito is a meathead and the Dolphins lack leadership. This is all there is to know. There is no more. How about we talk about the draft.

A.Williams also has a nice stiff arm.

I also like A.Andrews and T.West as RBs. But they are small school backs.

A.Andrews went to the same school B.Rainey went to. B.Rainey is a RB for Tampa Bay, Who crushed the Fins after Mike James went down. A.Andrews 5'10" 230lbs, last season 1730yd rushing 16 TDs.

T.West, 5'11" 225lbs, another small school RB. But what a season he had. 2509yds 41 TDs. He runs hard.

And both RBs are stocky. Which is a trait that hopefully new GM likes, from looking at the RBs they have drafted in Tampa Recently.

Go ahead Dashi - draft talk. I love it.

Scott: firing the man is one thing. Flying him to Indy and firing him there???

What is mentally wrong with you?

... Dude may be guilty as sin; idk. But I know that Ted Wells wasn't personally present. He's relied on sources. Sources tell their versions of the truth. If Wells is a good lawyer, he can sift through pretty well. But I don't know. The Wells report is not The Truth. It's another set of "facts" to add to the pile.

Regardless, firing the trainer in this manner is shameful. Whoever did it is lacking in self-respect, and in his own way is as much a head-case as Martin or Incognito.


As Vince Lombardi would say:

"WTH is going on out there!"

If only the Herald hired someone to go to the combine to ask the tough questions.

They could've went up and talked to the trainer.

Really? You have this crapfest the the first fall guy is Kevin O'Neill?
This team and its "brass" hits themselves in the face with poop at every opportunity.
Who next, the choreographer of the cheerleaders?

no, its not sad…..not that important…..who knows what the details were, why they waited to fire him in Indy……but who really cares?--"not cool"…..yeah, whatever….welcome to the real world, where employers do "not cool" stuff with/to their employees every single day--aint that big a deal….

Dashi - how about the RB from Boston College - I forget his name. Is he draft eligible. He's baddasss.

SS says Hickey, Aponte & Philbin fired O'Neil. Fired by committee ?

Anderson - Mandos just another jock sniffer who moonlights as a journalist. He's a charlatan.

its called collateral damage……hardly a novel concept

Things like this paint the picture of incompetency. Why did they fly him out there then? Something had to happen for this firing to suddenly occur. My guess is that the Dolphins got word today of what the NFL plans on doing as far as suspensions and what not. O'Neill was probably not going to be suspended in any way so the NFL left it up to the Dolphins as far as what to do with O'Neill. They promptly fired him. Thats the only thing I can figure out as far as the timing of this.

fattyparcells | February 19, 2014 at 08:08 PM

Wow, somebody wants dashes' opinion. LOL. Are you Jimmy Cefalo by any chance?

Well you have to admit, flying the guy out there and then firing him is just another example of how completely disorganized this team is.

I just want to talk some football and forget about this non story - that's all. Who do you like with pick 19 Gadsen?

who knows why they flew him out there Frank?--but who really cares or is gonna lose much sleep wondering about it, or thinking about it beyond today?

Fire the whole damn staff do it


There are a few comments on the Palm beach post blogs defending O'Neill. My understanding is that he is an excellent trainer. That said, Ted Wells found him to be uncooperative as he cut his interview short with Wells. Then apparently, Wells was able to prove from other sources that Oneill lied in his interview. This is not shocking in the least. The big question is the timing of it. Why fly him to Indy to just fire him. Something happened behind the scenes today that led the Dolphins to fire him. Im damn curious what they found out but I wont lose sleep over it.

Turner should be next....

The bigger question is why fly a trainer to the Combine anyway?

Scouts are one thing but why a teams trainer?

Actually, the firing seems very cowardly. They're afraid to even have him in their building when they fire him.

Probably took out a trespassing warrant so he cannot come into Davey facilities to receive his belonging. Most likely his belonging will be FedEx to his home. Also, needs to pay his own airfare home.

Cowardly and cold!

In Hickey and Philbin we trust.

14-2, AFC Champs

Just opening a spot for Dan Marino!

Lol JK JK. He's probably had His phone carrier block his phone from receiving any calls or texts from Stephen Ross and anyone in Davie, FL

It just seems like a knee jerk reaction for Turner not being fired yet. Who's call was this? Philbins? Hickies? Ross?

Philbin preached integrity and character. He has neither.

Just when you think the Dolphin organization can't possibly have any more stupid, insensitive, illogical, and Dolphinesque acts left in their repertoire, somehow they manage to come up with yet another one. Don't these guys, and the gal, know how to do things without looking like total morons?

Why would you fly someone to Indi just to have him fired? That makes no sense in the normal world, but when it comes to the Duh-phins, there is no such thing as normal. What a bunch of idiots.

no one in the fl state has integrity..........

One more cherry on the crap sundae that this once proud organization has become. As a lifelong fan, I am disgusted by the state of the Miami Dolphins.

INTEGRITY ............??

Morons,this way the axee can land a gig with everybody there at Indy but Armando AND THE TAMER OF apes are the only 2 peeps who are smart enough to know this eH?

The report just doesn't make sense. John Jerry hanging out with the trainers??? Yeah, right. Guy's a fat bum who can't keep his chub in check for training camp. Adios!!!

Who would have thought the team would go even further downhill AFTER Ireland left?

This team has been one non-stop saga of embarrassment since 62-7.

Just a thought but maybe Hickey, Aponte & Philbin fired O'Neil as a result of discussions in Indy prior to meeting with Jonathan Martin's representatives.


Do you know if O'Neill was given the chance to defend himself against the accusations?

Will anyone be given a chance to state their side of the story?

Maybe he should have defended his employee as he was getting harrassed instead of laughing. Then he wouldn't be fired in Indy...

He did a classless thing as his boss... what goes around comes around!

Aside from the poor human resources aspect to the individual fired, the way this was handled is not going to make other coaches and players want to come to Miami. Looks like Jim Harbaugh and Peyton Manning made the right choice.

Wayne has to beg JJ to not quit but he does anyway

Marino forced to retire

Wannstedt calls Rickey right, Rickey left 19,368 times until his balls fall off
Wanny with no Rickey steps down in shame mid season

Saban comes in to be a hero, doesn't get the right brand of cup cakes delivered, and swears he is staying yet abruptly quits

Cam Cameron loses all respect from everybody on his first draft day. Fail Forward Fast. That is exactly what he did. 1-15

The trio of Charlatans, Parcells Ireland and Sparano perform a brief optical illusion, then go backwards and stay there.

Ireland gets coach fired.

Next coach gets Ireland fired.

Philbin comes in preaching integrity and brings us BullyGate which only he didn't know about,. OC fired, 6 GM candidates turn down the job, Wells investigation finds not a drop of integrity, trainer flown away on business to be fired when his plane lands. None of the main culprits have been punished.

To be continued...

JasonR: exactly. We are becoming a bigger clown show than the Jets. That is sad.

I'll always be a Dolphins fan, but sometimes it's like being Catholic under a series of bad popes.


62-7 eH?.The jags let up in the 4th Q so it should have been 82-7 eH?

And the beat goes on. Bill

Philbin should be fired because he is a hypocrite. If a coach can not handle 53 guys and know what's going on he is useless!!! Crap is not supposed to run uphill, cut off the head!!!!

Another class act move by Ross. I'm just wondering how this guy became so rich, what an ASS!!

If you notice Ross has big lips!

I think Armando is hysterical. Philbin should be roasted even though the Wells report puts no blame on him. Turner should be fired in part for what the Wells report stated. The "well respected" trainer O'Neill feels wronged by the report and is mistreated by the organization. Selective skewering of people based on the Wells report for some and others given a pass, Guess it just depends who is on Armandos crap list and who he has an agenda against

Fire Philbin- hire Dan Quinn!

It's incredible... Not just defend this guy Martin he's a shame, a poor baby in a men world, but the way Ross works ... Nothing good in Fins future. Very very sad!!!

Maybe they did the guy a favor and gave him a free trip to the place with all the guys are hiring?
Probably gave him spending money too. Mandy sure jumping to conclusions...

I've been a 'Phins fan since the early 70's rooted for them come hell or high water. Held out hope for each new season, next year playoffs, deep superbowl run - joke is on me. Truth is this organization has as much class as a $20 whore and I'm being generous to the whore. Painful to watch - BTW Philbin should go. Fly him FC to Ukraine then fire his arse! Ross sell this team and ship it off to LALA-Land, please.

More evidence that Stephen Ross is the most incompetent owner in all of sports.

1 2 »

The comments to this entry are closed.