As more details emerge about the “bullying” Jonathan Martin was the victim of by fellow offensive lineman and teammate Richie Incognito, I am astonished by not only what I’m hearing, but also because I don’t know what to think of it anymore, honestly.
One thing is for sure, what has become more evident over the last few days is how absolutely clueless Miami Dolphins owner Steven Ross is. The reason I say that is because if he knew, or cared, about achieving success on the field, he would have replaced the man responsible for bad drafts, questionable signings and a coaching staff who can’t feel the pulse of its own locker room if it were an actual beating heart.
Owning the Dolphins has always seemed like more of a commodity to Ross than anything. Do I completely blame him? I don’t know; if I was a billionaire, I guess I would have to spend my money on something. Nevertheless, the Dolphins were once a storied franchise and Ross has attempted to welcome the celebrities into the world of football instead of reintroducing winning ways to the team’s fan base.
He was conned out of millions of dollars by Bill Parcells when he first purchased the team heading into the 2009 season. Parcells’ decisions are still debilitating this franchise because the man he brought in to be the general manager, Jeff Ireland, who asked current Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Dez Bryant if his mom was a hooker, is still there.
This same Jeff Ireland hopped on a plane with his boss to California to try and convince Jim Harbaugh to coach their team. When that didn’t work, they offered their then head coach Tony Sparano a contract extension just to fire him in the middle of that same season. This same Jeff Ireland who openly admitted on HBO’s Hard Knocks that he had didn’t, in his opinion — and for what it’s worth, he was right — have a No. 1, 2 or 3 receiver on his football team after he traded Brandon Marshall prior to the start of that training camp for some draft picks. And lastly, this is the same guy who is responsible for bringing the likes of the aforementioned Incognito and Martin.
This same general manager hired current coach Joe Philbin, who has no idea what is going on in his locker room. The man preaches character and keeping guys around that best exemplify that. Sure, if that’s the excuse you want to use to explain why you cut Chad Johnson, I’m okay with that, but how do you explain this Martin-Incognito deification storm?
If character really mattered to your football team, then not one single current starter on that horrendous offensive line would be there. What makes even less sense is that this offensive line is the worst in football. It’s not like these locker room destroyers are giving Ryan Tannehill all day to throw the ball and Lamar Miller isn’t exactly leading the league in rushing. Instead, the only statistical category the Dolphins can say they are atop is allowing the most sacks in the NFL.
Where we should be talking about a gutsy performance from the defense on the Thursday night victory against the Cincinnati Bengals or this upcoming Monday Night Football matchup with the worst team in football, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we are taking about the dysfunction in the locker room, bad management, lack of accountability, racism and bullying.
Something within the organization has to change. All Ross needs to do is stop by the American Airlines Arena one night and watch how the Miami Heat organization is run. Then, in the same day, head a few miles west and check out the new Marlins Ballpark. Walk around, marvel at its beauty and get lost in the sound of your own voice echoing off of the empty seats.
It’s coming Ross. It’s not the heat that is keeping the fans away, its your ignorance.