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LeBron on future; More national criticism of Philbin; Martin's pro/con list; Heat, UM, Marlins

Noon update: CBS has dropped former Dolphins great Dan Marino from the cast of its NFL studio show. Shannon Sharpe was also dropped. CBS hired former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and will likely also will hire a former defensive player to join James Brown, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason.

Though CBS needs a game analyst to replace retiring Dan Dierdorf, neither Marino nor Sharpe was offered that job.

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Monday night update: On his 60-minute interview that aired on NBA TV tonight, LeBron James was asked by former Heat guard Steve Smith whether he can picture himself playing elsewhere.

"At this point, I can't," James said. "We don't know what can happen from [now] to July."

James has two years remaining on his contract but can exercise an out clause to become a free agent this July and next July.

James said it isn't right to judge him on how many championships he wins: "I don't think it's fair. There are a lot of great players that haven't won."

He said the one thing that he wants to win that he hasn't is Defensive Player of the Year.

And he said the key moment after the Heat's loss to Dallas in the 2011 Finals was Dwyane Wade inviting him to the Bahamas, where Wade told James he had to be the man and play like he did in Cleveland. The Heat won two championships since that conversation.

See last week's post in my archives for more highlights from the taped interview.

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Ten notes and musings on a Monday:

### Ted Wells and Stephen Ross believe Joe Philbin handled the Dolphins’ locker-room scandal splendidly, but some national voices certainly do not share that view.

CBS' Shannon Sharpe said on ESPN Radio today that Philbin "should have known" what was happening in his locker-room and "he needs to go away for a minimum of three to six games." And...

“I thought the Wells report went too easy on Philbin, saying he was unaware of the plight of Jonathan Martin, an unidentified player and an assistant trainer, all of whom were being harassed,” SI’s Peter King wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback column today.

“How can Philbin have been in that building 15 hours a day, at least, and not known anything?" King said. "And how can Wells accept that this was a fine job by Philbin, and he was some sort of Boy Scout troop leader promoting wonderful citizenship? I do understand he asked Jim Turner about what was going on with his players, and Turner told him everything was fine. But what caused Philbin to ask Turner?

"Obviously his antennae were up. Philbin, whom I find to be a good man, still should know better, and this had better be a very good lesson for him, or his time in the head coach’s chair is going to be short.”

Then there was this from ESPN’s Mark Schlereth: “I’m left with this conclusion about the Dolphins organization from the coaching staff on down: They were either complicit, incompetent or both.”

### Beyond not even being aware that several of his players were demeaning and harassing at least three others (Martin, Nate Garner, ex-Dolphin Andrew McDonald), here are two specific questions I would love Philbin to answer (but I won’t hold my breath):

1) How did he miss Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey simulating sex acts during pre-practice stretching --- which they did for the purpose of harassing Martin about his sister?

2) When Martin didn’t show up for a mandatory weight training session on Oct. 7 (a day after playing poorly in the Ravens game) and then came to work drunk later that day, why did Philbin not see this as a warning sign? After all, Philbin had been fully aware of Martin’s mental health issues since May, and something like this should have prompted Philbin to take Martin into a room and press and prod him for details about whether he was taking his medication, what was bothering him, etc.

Wells’ report indicates Philbin never did anything of the kind, beyond occasionally asking him how he was doing, as a coach would do with any player.

### When Philbin told Jeff Ireland he didn’t have use for Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis, Ireland got rid of both of them. As it turns out, both Marshall and Davis were not only playing far better than Incognito was before Incognito’s suspension this past season, but neither caused his team any embarrassment last season, unlike, well, Incognito.

### According to SI’s King, commissioner Roger Goodell has met with more than 30 players to ask them how to make NFL locker-rooms a more tolerant, professional place. The question that must play out is whether the league will ask the Dolphins’ committee (Don Shula, Jason Taylor etc.) whether to refrain from making their own set of rules in order for the league to implement a uniform locker-room conduct policy instead.

### A few other random factoids from the Wells’ report: Garner believes he was harassed more than others because he has “interests that are considered non-traditional for a football player, such as computers and remote-control helicopters, and said that he was known as a “nerd.”… Why would Tyson Clabo keep $35,000 in fines in his locker from the offensive line’s kangaroo court?... Jason Weaver and Sam Brenner were fined $100 for failing to bring candy --- the same amount Pouncey was fined for being summoned to appear in front of a grand jury. Well, naturally.

### I found interesting that Martin put together a pro/con list in early May as he weighed his decision about whether to remain a pro football player. Here's what he listed, as shared with a friend and printed by Wells:

The pros of continuing his career:

### Football games are fun

### I can make a lot of money playing football and be set for life

### I have a legacy that will live after I die

### Not many people get to live their childhood dream

### I am the left tackle for the Miami Dolphins

### If I quit, I’ll be known as a quitter for the rest of my life

### My legacy at Stanford will be tarnished

### I will never be able to look any coach from my past in the eye

The cons of continuing to play football:

### I hate going in everyday.

### I am unable to socialize with my teammates in their crude manner

### I already have a lot of money. I could travel the world, get my degree. Then get a real job

### I could lose 70 lbs and feel good about my body

### I won’t die from CTE

### Maybe I’ll start to LIKE myself

### I don’t need to live lavishly. I could live very frugally

Martin has decided to continue playing, according to his agent, who will meet with the Dolphins this week.

### The Heat doesn’t have many problems, but here’s one that must change as it begins its post All-Star break schedule Tuesday in Dallas: If you’re going to rank last in the league in rebounding (as the Heat does again) and third from the bottom in rebounding differential (ahead of only Milwaukee and the Lakers), you can’t be 23rd in field goal percentage against, as this Heat team is. (Miami was second, fifth and sixth in that category the past three seasons.)

The good news is the Heat is still in the top 10 (tied for eighth) in points allowed. But the high field-goal percentage against (46.1) irks the coaching staff and must come down in the second half.

### We’ll be curious to see if Greg Oden becomes more of a rotation player that situational player. Players he’s guarding are shooting 5 for 15 against him.

### We mentioned last Wednesday that despite concerns of a few Marlins people, Jose Fernandez says he will continue chit-chatting with opponents during games and won’t change his demeanor. Over the weekend, he cited his background as one reason for that.

"I was born in Cuba. We play baseball a little different. That's who I am. I can't go out there and show no emotions. I'm going to have fun; there's no doubt in my mind."...

The Marlins decided to pass on bringing back Emilio Bonifacio, who was designed for assignment by Kansas City. Bonifacio signed with the Cubs this week.

### UM’s spring football schedule, released today, includes two scrimmages, both on campus: noon Saturday, March 29 (Greentree) and 6 p.m. Friday, April 4 (Cobb Stadium). The spring game has been scheduled for 6 p.m., on Saturday April 12, at Sun Life Stadium. UM opens spring practice on Saturday, March 1. Only the two scrimmages and the spring game are open to the public.

Comments

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Matt

Philbin should be fired along with Turner. I support Martin. Incognito is a cancer.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Martin may have decided to keep playing but I find it hard to believe any team will ever give him a shot.

Aside from the fact that he's mentally unstable and torpedoed Miami's season by leaving the team over a lunch room prank, he's just awful at football.

Gave up more pressure than any other tackle his rookie year and graded out horribly this season before he went insane.

I'd be surprised if he ever played another snap of football and shocked if mommy and daddy didn't use that as an excuse to sue the league for "blackballing" him.

Reality Bites

Martin was never a very good pro player, definitively not good enough at LT. He and his parents knew this and used it as an excuse for an ongoing payday.
He should have stood up to Incognito and gone directly to Philbin if needed. Didn't do either, seems like a wimp.
The fact that Ireland entrusted him with the LT position shows how clueless and incompetent Ireland is.

UM Spring football is almost here. Time to proclaim how good these canes look in shorts and make some baseless predictions of playoffs and Heisman trophies.
What would a Spring in Miami be without some clueless banter.

IMAWriter

Sometimes I wonder if it's just the city of Miami that brings out the worst in these athletes? If not for Pat Reilly, perhaps even the Heat might be in the same boat as were my Canes, and now the Dolphins.

Listening on iHeart radio to a WQAM post game show sponsored by a "Gentleman's Club" does give one pause for thought.
I moved from Miami in the early 70's. Is this what Miami has become?

I realize players on all NFL and NBA teams seem obsessed with strip clubs, but based on the bully-gate videos and repartee between Richie, his "posse" and the victims, I'd venture a guess that attitude in S. Florida contributed to all this.

it certainly did for the Canes as regards the Shapiro debacle.

Ship shape

Philbin is clueless too because he never recovered from his son's mysterious death. He spent no time grieving. Went straight to work as head coach. Pacing the sidelines with an open jaw and acting like nothing is comprehensible to him. Philbin is a moron. And Ross is a bigger one for keeping him as coach.

IMAWriter

Philbin's son's death wasn't mysterious. He committed suicide. Unfortunately this supports your argument as regards Philbin. Tony dungy and Andy Reid suffered the same fate. Reid is especially close to his players, always was. Just ignored his kids, who ran wild. Dungy is secretive, and wouldn't have been MY first choice to be involved in all of this.

IMAWriter

BTW, a happy President's Day to all.

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 02/17/2014 at 04:12 PM

Hush nerd, no one cares about your fake internet rivalry.

Ship shape

Wise behind his years. He knew his dad was going to be a failure as a HC. Coulldnt bear the thought that his old man was over his head. Can't really blame him.

GMan

So tired of this story. This world has gone crazy...it is football. Philbin is a boss not a daddy. Quit and get on with it. Do you know how Martin is going to be treated by other players when they go against him in the future?

Good Riddance, Go Get Your Masters In Psychology Overly Sensitive Smart Guy...

Any Football Team's Offensive Line is like a 5 man steele link chain and only as strong as it's weakest link... Jonathan Martin's link, physically and mentally, was about as strong as Paper Mache and the entire team's better off without him.

A Former 1970's Oakland Raider

Jonathan Martin, all you had to do was walk up behind Incognito in the lunch room and in front of the entire team, take your food tray and slam it up side his melon head as hard as humanly possible as you could and then wrestle with him for a minute or so. Your teammates would have broken it up in matter of seconds as you would have gained the unyielding respect of them all and they would as a team see to it that you'd never be bullied or bothered again.

Mahoney-Pearson

A front seven of Moten, Chick, Wyche w/ DZP, AFigs, Thomas, Grace.

I like that for starters.

[]_[] know it

Martin is a vag... go read every one of the text messages between him and incognito on dead spin and you'll see that Incognito was a jackass but far from a bully. Martin did the real victims of bullying a grave injustice by his shenanigans to try to get out of football but still get paid.

Michael Anderson

DUMP PHILBIN AND HIRE DAN QUINN!

Michael B.

Posted by: Mahoney-Pearson | 02/17/2014 at 09:15 PM

I take it that you are saying Moten and Wyche at DT's with Chick and Thomas at DE's and Figs and Grace inside with DZP in the middle.

Well, Moten playing at 290 at DT as a Freshman way before he's ready could very well get him killed by midseason. True Freshman do not, or should not be asked to come in and play 40-50 plays a game. We thought the same about Jelani Hamilton out of St. Thomas 2 seasons ago and he's still not ready. Thomas has the best chance to contribute right away, but again, a True Freshman having to play 40-50 snaps at Weakside DE is just not feasible. Who knows what we get out of Chick at Strongside DE. Bloated and slower or trimmer n quicker? Wyche ? Not a game changer by anymeans. Sure we're happy to have him, but there were no other top ranked schools beating his door down. His only other offers were Washington St. and Arkansas St. that were solid offers. Plus he still must finish that semester of JUCO and qualify or could even get a wild hair like before and opt out, sit a year and go elsewhere. I'll count on him once he's admitted and if so, he'll be a rotating 20-30 plays a game plug DT. Again, not a game changing NFL prospect or even close really. Grace and Figs we still know nothing about really except Figs is often injured and Grace just really ok. DZP, thank god he came back as he is the one upperclassmen that does have solid Pro potential.

Then after all that, we'll still need to address the 6 backups at those 3 positions that will have to play 225-35 plays a game and provide quality depth. Then the safteys will be a concern. We should be good at the corner. All I'm saying is, yes we'll have some good Freshman talent. But if we count on them to haul the major load, it's going to be disappointing. We need upper classmen to step up. Do we hav them? I just don't see, with the scheme we'll be sure to run again when the bullits start flying as Golden and his buddy will certainly go conservative I promise you. I know Golden has talked about being more aggressive, but until they do, it's just talk.

Finally, we better find a QB. I know there are 3 on the roster that are up for the job. I can see a musical QB situation the entire first half of the season easily breaking a new one in. No way, Kaaya is ready out of the gate without a Spring as a Freshman. And even if he does get some snaps early along with Williams and Olsen and they all play some. As the old saying goes, if you play 2 QB's all that means is you really don't have 1 QB. And we're going to see 3 next year at times. Watch.

Michael B.

And how we only have 4 scholarship Runningbacks on the entire roster and 2 of them will be out for Spring with busted ankles, is a major concern come September.

That number, even if all were perfectly healthy is unacceptable. There should be a minimum of 6 or 7 period. So look for a young backup DB or two to switch over this Spring for depth. In reality emergency non quality depth.

Dom

wyche was committed to USC before he swapcped to Miami FYI because he wanted to live on east coast but played juco in CA. #2 Alquaddina Muhammed was a DE highly rated and a bit skinnier I think than Chad Thomas, so I can see Chad giving the DE spot some reps.
the other JUco DT should help, and dont underestimate the 3 star DT out of Jersey who shot up the rankings late from a low 2 star to a top player in NJ(top 20 I think) courtel JEnkins at DT.

We do have alot of DE Depth now, maybe chick bulking up is best to Play DT, as we need that Speedy DT we always had when we were dominant. Coach needs to bring in 5-7 DE/DT every year, and have those 8-10 man rotations so everyone is fresh. We are on the path back Are we a NC contender no, but we have talent.

S Morris causes alot of bad Defenss for this year because of the 3 and outs on O. With a good QB that gets the ball to the playmakers, thats what we need.

IF healthy, Yearby is the same quality talent Duke is, so now we have no drop off. Would have been nice to Keep Powell or Get Sony or Dalvin cook, but so be it.

next year he will bring in 2-3 RB's, and team with 1 more class of 3-4=5 stars(No 2 stars in this class) we will be on par with FSU type talent.

11 ESPN 300 players, and the 2 JuCO DT's both made the Rivals 100 for top juco players regardless of positon. Nice class, #10 on espn

johnnie j

While on the subject of the Canes there certainly is some young potential but the lack of experience for the most young talented ones coming in will be key.Can all these guys mesh?Will there finally be some decent chemistry with the young and the old er?See the previous posts made some good realistic points but the scheme and (sick and tired of beating a dead horse)coaching up.....again is the SINGLE most important thing.It just seems like Al and buddy try to minimize that part of it because that s the worst part of the team.Good college defensive coordinators DO make a huge difference.Just hoping collectively that this year s team comes together as 1 unit.

AnonymousCane

Look for Trayonne Gray to play running back and excel at that position. JMO!

D

Enough of this nonsense about a loser that isn't tough enough to make it in the NFL. The Dolphins columns in the paper should only cover items that us fans care about which is things that affect winning and losing not locker room gossip which is the type of crap I'd expect to read in a woman's magazine. As to Philbin, he should be fired or not for how the team performs and they should have made the playoffs this year after only having to beat one of two horrible teams in the last two games but did not so he should be fired.

AnonymousCane

BTW...long before signing day I told you Thomas and Jackson to the U and Valentine to LSU....just patting myself on the back. LOL

Dashi

The LeBron thing is easy.

If the Heat don't win a title, LeBron will leave.

Or get rid of the Puppet Coach if you want to keep him.

Now if the Heat win the title and he knows he has a shot to win 5 or 6 straight. LeBron will stay. Even if he has no head coach to help maximize his ability.

LeBron will have that over Jordan. Jordan had the best coach to ever coach in the NBA. Who coached LeBron? LeBron did this the hard way, he did it himself.

AnonymousCane

One other thought for the day and I'll get the hell out of RealityBites way. Gary Ferman at Canesport has a negative agenda against Al Golden. JMO but something happened and he doesn't have the entree or something has changed. He supports all the negative comments on his blogs as referenced by his comments on his blog in the last two days under the heading of a blog entitled,"I am convinced that many of our posters are not UM fans". He doesn't deserve UM's confidence or support in any way!

Fatty Parcells

Martin is a puss - he went about this the wrong way and the whole thing is blown way out of proportion. Big Ben raped two girls and it was talked about for 2 days and then swept under the rug, never to be brought up again. This overblown non-story is the never ending fairy tale (with Martin playing the fairy).

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