The Wells report has been delivered and it implicates three lineman the offensive line coach and possibly the head trainer. So what’s next for the Miami Dolphins?
The Dolphins are reviewing the report and are rightfully keeping their mouths shut. Stephen Ross will have to make a decision on what he is going to say to the media outside of the “We do not accept this type of behavior in our locker room” rhetoric.
The report says that Jim Turner the teams offensive coach was aware of some of the harassment. It says that while the assistant trainer was getting harassed the head trainer was witness to it and even laughed at times. The report paints a volatile picture of a locker room that couldn’t win on the field and was in utter disarray off of it. From racial remarks to vulgar texting and a meltdown by the teams 2012 2nd round pick with a history of mental distress dating back to middle school. Ross has his hands full.
Gone is one issue, Jeff Ireland. According to the report Ireland may have indeed told Martin’s agent that Martin should use “fisticuffs” to handle the issue. To what degree Ireland knew of the issue is unknown and really shouldn’t be speculated on. The Wells report has stated that none of the management were aware of the depth of harassment.
It’s very safe to say that HC Joe Philbin will not face any reprimands from the situation but it should be noted that his lack of governing his own locker room makes him look weak and it was a point of contention when Tony Dungy said as much during the Jonathan Martin interview. Philbin not knowing is more relative to his trusting of his coaches.
It will be difficult for Jim Turner to retain his job given the circumstances of his name being brought up within the case. At one point the Wells report states that Philbin told Wells that “this better not be going on” after Martin had left the team. Still Philbin fails in one major area. The fact that Incognito was fined by the team $55,000.00 for his golf harassment incident should have been enough cause to remove Incognito from either the team or as a team leader/member of the leadership council. Philbin apparently felt that Incognito’s sexual harassment of the woman didn’t warrant removal from that group.
It may have changed Incognito’s approach. Or not.
The Dolphins will need to tread very carefully moving forward as the report gives Martin plenty of fuel to file legal action at some point so whatever decisions Miami makes now could be under the microscope later. Considering that I am not half way through the report yet means that there could be a lot more coming to surface that I have not read yet…and that is very likely. Ultimately the Dolphins will need to place blame and while most will be directed at Incognito some of it won’t and where that lands will need to be figured out.
Mike Pouncey’s name appears in the report often beside that of John Jerry and Incognito. While Jerry is easy to get rid of, Pouncey is not and it will create a bit of a PR nightmare for the team when a decision is finally come to. The report has finally arrived but it’s ramifications will continue for quite awhile.
I will say this, as a result the NFL should mandate that Miami be the center of this years HBO Hard Knocks. That should be an interesting atmosphere this off-season.