INDIANAPOLIS -- Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin stepped to the podium and spoke as forcefully as he could. His first task was to take responsibility for the bullying scandal that led to the firing of his offensive line coach Jim Turner on Wednesday night.
"Some of the facts, the behavior, the language that was outlined in the report is inappropriate and it's unacceptable," Philbin said Thursday morning. "I'm the one that's in charge of the workplace. ... We're going to do things about it.
"We're going to make it better. We're going to look at every avenue. We're going to uncover every stone and we're going to have a better workplace. I promise you that. We're going to make sure that happens."
Philbin spoke without notes, sounding like a man who wanted to correct so many wrongs that have taken place in his organization over the past year. But he lost steam by the end of his 15 minutes at the microphone as the questions got tougher, and Philbin struggled to come up with answers. This was the earliest news conference we've ever seen at the NFL Scouting Combine, a last-minute addition to the schedule. The Dolphins knew they couldn't dodge the topic all week, but Philbin still didn't know the future of the key players in the scandal.
Philbin said the team has not made any decisions on the futures of Jonathan Martin, Mike Pouncey, John Jerry and Richie Incognito. Philbin indicated that owner Stephen Ross would like to meet with Martin soon, and it would be "inappropriate" to comment on Martin's possible future with the team.
Philbin took exception when a reporter noted that Philbin made Incognito a leader with the team. (Incognito was on the team's leadership council.)
"I didn't necessarily name him a leader. There's a leadership council we have in place," Philbin said.
As indicated by the independent report by investigator Ted Wells, Philbin said he was unaware of any problems until Martin left the team.
"The majority of things I did not know about when they were going on," Philbin said.
The Dolphins' decision to wait to distance themselves from Incognito and Jerry publicly is confusing. Philbin admitted he was part of the decision-making process that allowed Incognito to stay on the team after an incident with a female at a team golf function.
Philbin has survived the ordeal with his job intact because of the support of his ownership. He admitted that the last few months have taken a toll.
"It's been tough on a lot of people. Tough for our ownership, fan base. It's touched a lot of people across the country," Philbin said.