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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.

Not.

Cool.

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?

Sad.

Comments

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It has become immoral to follow this team. I've never witnessed such a disconnect in my life!!

I think it's clear that Philban and the coaches knew Walker would be fired, but assumed O'Neill would not. This decision came from Ross, who was probably unaware O'Neill was on the trip.

If the report is incorrect, that's a shame, but based on that report...Ross did the right thing.

It appears to me that this is someone that the Empire wanted gone. He is gone.

Any alleviation from our previous coaching staff has to be an improvement.

Goodbye nfl. Goodbye Miami . The commandos a moron. The officiating is criminal. Miami's owner is a stumble bum, that caved in to a fraudulent scandal.I am done. Moving on to hockey. Been a dolphins and nfl fan for 40 years, but I have finally reached my limit. Goodbye.

This team was doomed when Robbie sold to crater face and shula was screwed. What a crying shame. The nfl is now fake like we'd wrestling. If anyone wants some jerseys hit me back. I'm dumping anything to do with the nfl.

Turner deserved to be canned. Firing this guy seems like a PC overreaction by Ross. While I don't condone the behavior , I hope Martin is satisfied with the wreckage he caused. He went about this all wrong and has left carnage in his wake. People quickly forget that while he was the victim, he was also an active participant at times. He's not exactly squeaky clean himself. I hope that loser never gets a job anywhere

I have a feeling that O'Neill may have grounds for and pursue legal action against any or all of, the Dolphins, Wells, the NFL. I'm not a lawyer but it seems to me that if O'Neill can show that the way he was characterized by the report is untrue then he may have a case against any or all 3 of the above.

Then again, maybe he'd be better served to just move on to another team if there is interest. He'd probably be better off. Pursue legal action if he finds that there is no interest in employing him from around the league. Trainers are invested in their players being successful and their teams winning just like the players are. He's not likely to experience that success in Miami. Not any time soon. If he can catch on with a another team, escpecially a winner, Miami will have done him a favor.

And yes, to fly him to Indy and then fire him is a big time sh*t move. But I wonder if the Dolphins were just too stupid to realize that they were sending him there and didn't catch him to fire him before he left. Afterall, it is hard to argue their incompetence. It apparently permeates everything, big and small.


Goodbye nfl. Goodbye Miami . The commandos a moron. The officiating is criminal. Miami's owner is a stumble bum, that caved in to a fraudulent scandal.I am done. Moving on to hockey. Been a dolphins and nfl fan for 40 years, but I have finally reached my limit. Goodbye.

Posted by: donald shoeman | February 20, 2014 at 12:19 AM

Fortunately, I've been a bigger hockey fan than football fan since I was a kid. My enthusiasm for hockey was renewed when Tampa got the Lighting and moreso when Miami got the Florida Panthers in back to back years (Im not from down south). Unfortunately, the Panthers have sucked for over a decade. But, atleast there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Panthers will make the playoffs next season. Book it!

If there is a formula for doing something the wrong way, the Dolphins have a patent on it.

Omahaaaaw!!!!

He is being a scapegoat here what is he supposed to do ?

Even if he saw the abuse? How do you tell sometimes what abuse is verses joking around. Heads had to roll in light of everything that happened, I don't believe for a minute that Philbin didn't know and he doesn't even have the courage to face the media what a weasel

As expected from Ross Classless...

And Ross wonders why no one wants to work for him.

Fly him then fire him ? Just proves Ross is clueless on how to handle the NFL and the Dolphins.

All media including Mondo seem to jump on the fact they flew him to the Combine and fired him because of the wells report. He has a chip on his shoulder about being mischaracterized as Mondo discussed. Perhaps he was caught bad mouthing the owner, coach or other people in the organization at the combine and tha got back to the team. He would have a ton of other teams coaches and players to vent too.

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