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Friday, November 1, 2013
Updated: November 3, 8:08 PM ET
Miami's Joe Philbin preaches respect

By James Walker
ESPN.com

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin on Friday addressed reports that starting offensive tackle Jonathan Martin left the team this week because of bullying from teammates.

"I'm aware of this report, and I can say without question that we emphasize a culture of team first, accountability and respect for one another," Philbin said. "Any behavior that deviates from that is inconsistent with the values of our organization.

"This is something that we take very seriously. It will not be tolerated."

Martin, 24, did not play Thursday night in the Dolphins' 22-20 overtime victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. After the game, Philbin said Martin "has been excused with a non-football illness."

Multiple sources told ESPN.com this week that teammates teased Martin in the lunch room Monday, which caused Martin to become angry and leave the team. Fox Sports reported Thursday that Martin has been the subject of persistent bullying within the locker room and is now receiving professional assistance for emotional issues.

Philbin declined to answer whether any of Martin's teammates will be disciplined.

"Sometimes stuff happens," he said Friday. "Stuff happens in the family, and it's not always great and we have to deal with it."

On the field, the Dolphins showed resiliency by sticking together and beating the Bengals. Miami (4-4) snapped a four-game losing streak and is at .500 at the midpoint of its season, two games behind first-place New England in the AFC East.

Chemistry and togetherness could be the difference in whether the Dolphins have a strong second half and make a postseason push in November and December.

"I've never been on a team or been part of a team where there wasn't respect among the players -- amongst themselves in the locker room -- the staff amongst themselves, the players respecting the coaches and the coaches respecting the players," Philbin said. "If you don't have that in this league, or Pop Warner, or high school or college, you don't have a chance. You have no chance. And I believe strongly in the men we have in the locker room, and I believe strongly in the staff."

Tyson Clabo started in Martin's place Thursday night.

"We care about J-Mart a lot. We just want him to be all right," Clabo said after the game. "I want him to come back to work. He's a talented, young football player. I can't say what he's feeling. But I know if and when he wants to come back, I will be there to shake his hand."