One day after the team strongly came to Incognito's defense and openly questioned Martin, the Dolphins tried to steer the conversation toward Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wide receiver Brian Hartline, who was among the most outspoken Dolphins on Wednesday, wanted to make one thing clear: He wasn't defying orders when he made his comments.
NFL Media's Jeff Darlington reported on NFL Network's "Around the League Live" that Hartline told him the Dolphins were encouraged by coach Joe Philbin to speak honestly and "stick up" for themselves. A report from MMQB.com previously suggested that Dolphins players were told to defer questions to Philbin and simply ignored that advice.
Hartline said Philbin has done a "phenomenal" job and claimed the drama hasn't affected the team's focus. The Dolphins do not meet with the media Friday, so things should quiet down until their Monday night game.
NFL teams always clamor to play in prime time, but the Dolphins probably would have preferred to not have their two consecutive prime-time games right in the middle of this mess.