INDIANAPOLIS -- When Joe Philbin left the Green Bay Packers to become the head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2012, he had a vision of the program he wanted to run.
This certainly wasn’t it.
A late addition to the interview lineup at the NFL scouting combine, Philbin stepped to the podium on Thursday morning and shouldered the blame for the chaos surrounding the Dolphins following Ted Wells’ report chronicling the bullying incident between offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin.
Philbin maintained he wasn’t aware of Incognito’s harassment of Martin, but forcefully indicated that didn’t mean his hands were clean, either.
“I want everybody to know I'm the one that's responsible for the work place, the environment in the Miami Dolphins facility,” Philbin said. “I'm the one that sets the schedule, I decide when the practices are, I decide what time players eat, how they meet, how they lift, everything that they do in the facility.
“Some of the facts, the behavior, the language that was outlined in the report was inappropriate and it's unacceptable. I'm the one as I mentioned earlier that's in charge of the workplace."
Philbin went on to say the behavior of Incognito and fellow offensive linemen Mike Pouncey and John Jerry were “inappropriate” and “unacceptable,” but a decision hasn’t been made on the future of any of the players. Philbin expects to meet with owner Steve Ross soon.
The comments and decision to speak at the combine came one day after the Dolphins fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill for exhibiting poor judgment during what Wells called “a pattern of harassment” that included racial slurs and vicious sexual taunts.
While in Green Bay, Philbin was seen as the right-hand man to Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who came out in support of Philbin and defended his character midway through the 2013 season. Philbin was the Packers' offensive coordinator when he got the Dolphins job.
Philbin, who is 15-17 in two seasons in Miami, provided few details into the Dolphins' next move, but guaranteed the team will redeem itself from the embarrassment of the fiasco. He also pledged to be more “diligent” and “visible” to have a “better pulse” on the locker room.
“I can tell you, I can tell our fans, I can tell you sitting here, I can tell our players, we're going to do things about it,” Philbin said. “We're going to make it better. We're going to look at every avenue, uncover every stone and we're going to have a better workplace. I promise you that. I'm going to make sure that happens.”
firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.