ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – There was a little bit of Joe at the annual NFL meetings in Orlando Tuesday morning, but it wasn’t coffee. Instead, Miami Dolphins head Coach Joe Philbin met with reporters and tried again to move past the bullying scandal that defined the team last season.
One issue that Philbin said he plans to change is his visibility in the locker room. He said that while he’s always been available to his team, he’s always looking at ways to do his job as head coach a little bit better.
“It’s not that I’ve never been (visible), but I think what happens sometimes to coaches is you’re conflicted with ‘Should I watch that blitz tape. Gosh, I got to get that third down film watched,’” Philbin said, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “Sometimes it’s a better use of a head coach’s time to walk through the training room, walk through the locker room, walk through the hallways. It’s not that I’ve never done that stuff, but it’s fair to say I’m going to do it more.”
It will be a fine line for Philbin to try to walk as NFL locker rooms are typically off limits to most people, including coaches. But the head coach has to do something to get his team to understand that not only is he in charge, but they should also come to him if they have problems.
“I frankly have to be more vigilant in my enforcement of policies and procedures that I want to have in the locker room and the program. That falls on me,” Philbin told the Herald.
Philbin continued, “But there has to be better communication both ways. From them to me to me to them. Players to me, me to players. That’s something I felt, as you have a little bit of time to reflect on things, certainly needs to improve.”
Only one player involved in the bullying scandal remains on the team, center Mike Pouncey. He was on the leadership council last year, but was also involved in the bullying of former teammate Jonathan Martin. Philbin said he’s not been told of any looming suspension for Pouncey and said he’s not sure if Pouncey will remain a team leader.
“The offseason program doesn’t begin until April 21st,” Philbin told the Herald. “I have a lot of faith in the guys in our locker room. I have a lot of faith in Mike Pouncey. And so we’ll see. But in terms of the leadership counsel and all those things, I’ve given a lot of thought to it and haven’t made any commitments as to how we’re going to do it next year.”
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