Saturday, February 15, 2014
Jim Turner's future in Miami in jeopardy
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins have experienced great change this offseason. The team hired a new general manager in Dennis Hickey, a new offensive coordinator in Bill Lazor and will have more than 20 unrestricted and restricted free agents in March.
But there could be more changes coming on Miami’s coaching staff. Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner’s future is now hanging in the balance following the release of the Ted Wells report on Friday.
Turner had a reputation in Miami as a no-nonsense coach. There were many suspicions that he could be a potential fall guy in the Dolphins’ high-profile bullying scandal involving offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. It turns out the Wells report cited Turner as not only a person who failed to put an end to Miami's poor football culture, but was at times a willing participant.
For starters, the Wells report indicated Turner was aware of some of the harassment involving his offensive linemen toward Martin and failed to do anything about it. He was a key part of Miami’s systemic failure that I wrote about Friday. But the worst evidence against Turner was his participation in an ongoing joke that another player on the team was gay. Turner bought that player a male blow-up doll for Christmas, according to the Wells report.
That kind of poor leadership by Turner is an example of how his group of offensive linemen led the charge in Miami’s screwed up locker-room culture. The Wells report described Turner's group as having a "freewheeling, 'anything goes' atmosphere.” That must change immediately in Miami and most likely will cost Turner his job.
The Dolphins recently hired new assistant offensive line coach John Benton from the Houston Texans. There is a solid chance Benton will be Turner's replacement in Miami. The Dolphins are expected to make wholesale changes with the offensive line this offseason -- and that probably includes their position coach.