Joe Philbin today became the first Dolphins official to discuss the Wells report and the scandal that spawned that report. He stepped to the microphones in Indianapolis in front of the national and some local media (not me, I'm home) and started with a statement ....
Philbin talked of creating an atmosphere where players' experience with the Dolphins was "the best professional experience they had."
"Anytime that isn't accomplished, anytime a player or staff member or anyone has an experience contrary to that, it requires my attention," he said. "It needs to be corrected, it needs to be looked at, it needs to be fixed."
Then going futher in his memorized statement he added ...
"I want everybody to know, was responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins facility. I'm the one that sets the schedule, I decide when the practices are, I decide when players eat, how the practices are, how they lift, everything they do in the facility."
That's good. Everything means everything and Philbin is being accountable here.
Philbin said he got the Wells report at the "same minute" the public got the report.
"I think you can imagine when I got the report, some of the facts, the behavior, the language that was outlined in the report was inappropriate," Philbin said. "It's unacceptable. And I'm the one who is charge of the work place. And I can tell you ... we're going to do things about it. We're going to make it better."
Then Philbin stopped his shouting into the microphone and took questions.
Philbin was asked if he believes it is his job to know what was going on and if not, did he fail by not knowing what was going on as the Wells report stated?
"Look, I'm the head football coach," Philbin said. "The team, the performance of the team, the 8-8 record, that falls on my shoulders. I'm going to be more vigilant. I'm going to be more diligent. I'm going to be more visible. I'm going to have a better pulse."
Philbin defended himself from the idea that he didn't delve in depth with Jonathan Martin on his suicidal thoughts after May 2013 despite the fact those thoughts lingered for Martin.
"When I was made aware of his condition, I immediately connected him with medical treatment," Philbin said. "And I had subsequent discussions. Nothing at great length. And out of respect for Jonathan, I'm not going to get into the details of those discussions. He should be the one that speaks on his health status."
Philbin kept open the door for a Jonathan Martin return. He said owner Stephen Ross will meet with Martin, something Ross said in a statement Wednesday, and decisions will be made after that.
Philbin said no decisions have been on the future of any players mentioned in the report -- Richie Incognito, Martin, John Jerry, Mike Pouncey. We all know that not to be true. Incognito is not coming back. Ross has said Martin's not coming back.
"We haven't made any decision on anybody's future," Philbin said.
Phiibin then took on more responsibility and showed more accountability.
"I have to do a better job," he said. "We're going to look at everything. The way we educate, the way we communicate, the way we talk to one another. I'm going to look at every avenue. I have to make sure we create a better atmosphere and better environment."
Philbin was asked how he could abide with the Dolphins players voting Incognito a leader on the team in 2013 when he had assualted a female golf course volunteer at a team sponsored event in 2012.
"I didn't necessarily name him a leader," Philbin said.
But he allowed it.
"There's a leadership council that we have in place. The process is the players elect the people they want to be on the leadership council. Out of respect to the process that's how the votes came in and he was on the leadership council."
So in a presser where Philbin is taking accountability for everything that goes on within his team, he's now distancing himself from this issue. Bad moment.
Does Philbin wish he handled this whole affair differently?
"I don't have the benefit to look back," Philbin said. "I would have hoped that I noticed some of these things. I can tell you I never turned my back. If I had heard this type of language or these type of acts, I would have intervened immediately.
" ... I certainly wish I would have seen some of it. I would have intervened quicker and perhaps it would not have grown to this proportion it has grown to. But it's easy to look back. That's how it happened. That's how it unfolded. I have to focus on the future and correct the problems."
Philbin was asked if he thinks he should keep his job ...
"Steve Ross is the one that does the hiring for the Miami Dolphins," Philbin said. "That's a question you should ask him."