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Thursday, November 7, 2013
Philbin allows free-speaking locker room

By James Walker

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins suddenly have a free-speaking locker room over the past 24 hours.

Surprised? You should be.

Most of this year Miami has been secretive about topics such as injuries, strategy and changes on the depth chart. The Dolphins under head coach Joe Philbin have been much closer to Bill Belichick and New England Patriots than Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.

But something has changed since Wednesday when this media firestorm grew with Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito, who is suspended indefinitely following accusations of harassment and misconduct. Players have addressed this issue openly and, at times, passionately. Most veterans are siding with Incognito.

The usually tight-lipped Philbin said he doesn't mind.

"Those are their comments, and they should stand on their own," Philbin explained. "Everybody is accountable. One of the things that we talked about yesterday in our program, we talked about honesty, we talked about respect, we talked about accountability. If you're going to put your name on something, those guys are accountable."

The Dolphins and their players have often treated injuries like government secrets. Asked what changed with transparency this week, Philbin simply added, "It's an open locker room. People ask questions and they responded to the questions. I wasn't there."

According to Philbin, he's doing his best to block out the noise. The Dolphins (4-4) still are in the wild-card hunt and have a game to play Monday against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8).

But this national controversy involving Incognito and Martin did reach Philbin's family in recent days.

"Unfortunately I called my 92-year old father yesterday, and he was on the computer, so I had to tell him to get off the computer," Philbin said, sparking laughter. "Honestly, I don't think I'd have enough time in the day to read all the stuff that's out there."