MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mess that is the Miami Dolphins organization continued to deteriorate Monday, despite owner Stephen Ross speaking for the first time on the matter and announcing a new committee to look at the state of the team.
Ross said the most important thing in the entire situation was that the Dolphins “care about Jonathan Martin.” Ross said he has reached out to Martin and will speak to the disgruntled offensive tackle this week. ESPN reported Tuesday the two will meet on Wednesday in California.
Ross announced Monday night that he has formed a committee to be proactive in making the Dolphins organization, “the best work place that you can find in the NFL.” The initial members of the committee named Monday night are: Tony Dungy, Don Shula, Dan Marino, Jason Taylor and Curtis Martin.”
“These are probably people that have as much respect as anybody that have ever played or coached the game,” Ross said. “They care about their players, they care what happens and they also I think can give me the advice, working with Joe Philbin because I have the total, utmost confidence in Joe Philbin as our coach.”
Marino spoke to Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr on Tuesday and said that he hasn’t spoken to anyone else as of yet.
“I will tell you this, this is a job in progress,” Marino told Mohr. “Yesterday, he (Ross) asked me if I would be a part of it. I am a Dolphin for life. I think this is a work in progress. Since last night, I haven’t spoken to him or any of the other guys who are on the committee.”
When asked by Mohr why doesn’t Ross just do things himself instead of forming another committee, “That’s a good question,” Marino said. “I think he’s just looking for guys who love the game of football. I think getting the NFL involved; with the investigation will help him get to the bottom of it and fix everything that needs to be fixed.”
Dungy talked to ESPN.com Tuesday and said Ross reached out to him about joining the committee. Dungy said he also believes Ross is “very serious” about cleaning up the mess left by the current situation.
“I think he’s disappointed that this happened on his watch, and it could have happened to anybody,” Dungy told ESPN.com. “People ask me how much should a coach know? How much should you be aware of what’s going on? You do have to count on your players, your leadership. What I did is set the atmosphere on what my expectations are. But I counted on Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp to let me know. As a coach you are kind of counting on that.”
One person Ross didn’t mention was general manager Jeff Ireland. The embattled general manager hasn’t commented publicly on the situation since it broke last week.
For his part, Ross left the door open to personnel changes, “We are looking at everything. Right now, I have total confidence in my staff.”
While things off the field were bad, the Dolphins’ players had talked over the past week about the Incognito/Martin scandal helping to galvanize the team as they prepared to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday night.
But that galvanization didn’t show up and the Fins were dominated in the first half by the Bucs and late in the fourth quarter when it counted the most, the Dolphins gave up two sacks and an interception to close out the game.
“I think that what’s going on in the locker room actually affected the whole team,” said Dolphins fans Osiris Hernandez. “I mean you could see it. I don’t know if they can recover. If they don’t finish on a strong note; I think they should clean house, start anew.”
Even football legends have weighed in with their thoughts as the Dolphins face an unprecedented amount of self-inflicted problems both on and off the field.
“It’s awful,” Archie Manning told AM 790 The Ticket. “I really feel for the whole Dolphins organization and nation who have to put up with this.”
As the Dolphins’ soap opera continues to play out in the press, Ross’ press conference Monday at least slowed the bleed. But questions still remain about who knew what and when? Plus, the Dolphins’ strained relationship with the fans and the media isn’t helping their cause.
“I just want to make one thing clear. Everybody within the Miami Dolphins organization cares about the organization,” Ross said. “They care about their players, we want to get this resolved, we want to put this behind us and we want to do the right thing.”