When Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin heard that his integrity had been questioned by a reporter, he did something about it.
Word got to Philbin that Palm Beach Post reporter Brian Briggane had called Philbin "disingenuous" and a "liar" for how he handled wide receiver Brian Hartline's injury during the team's mandatory minicamp in June. When Briggane asked why Hartline wasn't in attendance, Philbin had said the receiver had a "personal issue."
Hartline's agent said his client had a calf strain. Hartline later revealed publicly later that he had an appendectomy. The reporter thought Philbin lied to the public, and said so in a blog post. The coach didn't see it that way, so he called Briggane.
"Philbin explained to me that for him, a medical issue such as the one Hartline was experiencing fell under 'personal issue' because it's not an injury," Briggane wrote Tuesday. "He added that if Hartline chose to tell people about it, as he did last week on (Miami radio station) WQAM, that was his prerogative."
The coach had the right to be upset, but he didn't fly off the handle. He just wanted to set the record straight before it became a problem. Philbin sounds like he is forthright with his players and even with those covering the team. He can even be pretty funny when he wants to be.
"I'll have no problem with you criticizing my coaching abilities, and I figure you'll get the chance to do that pretty soon," Philbin told Briggane.