You have to give Joe Philbin credit for taking responsibility, says Joe Philbin

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Philbin takes responsibility in a self-serving press conference.

Joe Philbin addressed the media this morning in Indianapolis with a fire in his voice that was seldom heard during his team's tenure on "Hard Knocks." He seemed determined to send a message of personal accountability for the dysfunction the Dolphins suffered in 2013.

"I want everybody to know, I’m the one responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins."

But Joe didn't say anything at all during his 15 minutes behind the podium besides repeatedly, and loudly, pointing the finger at himself and demanding that everyone recognize him for taking the blame. He punted on whether or not the team would retain Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey, and he offered no insight as to what if any changes were being made in the workplace. That's all understandable given that they can't change the entire culture overnight, but Philbin ostensibly scheduled this press conference for a reason, self-flagellation being the main one.

"I want everybody to know, I’m the one responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins."

Ever hear of pendulum theory? It's a pretty common technique used in sales, among other professions. If a person is too hard on himself, the natural reaction of others will be to try and rescue them. Go too far and you end up looking like Willie Lohman from Death of a Salesman or Gill from The Simpsons, but if you pull back just a little, it's human nature to try and get you back to positive. When Stephanie on Full House got a bad grade on a test, apologizing for being the stupidest person ever to live in the history of the world might have gotten her a hug from Dad instead of a punishment.

In Philbin's case, making a big show of demanding the blame for a series of incidents might get him back into the good graces of ownership as a stand-up guy instead of getting fired. But make no mistake, it's entirely self-serving for Philbin to go with the "buck stops here" approach.

"I want everybody to know, I’m the one responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins."

Incognito Mess

The puzzling part is Philbin flunked his test back in October. Philbin said that aside from a couple of minor details, he has been largely aware of the incidents since November. Kind of hard to see what he was so fired up about today besides the fact that his dirty laundry's now out in the public eye. So why not make this statement back in December? The Dolphins sat with their thumbs up their butts and waited for us to find out what they already knew, and now their only course of action is to aggressively and assertively demand blame during a press conference.

"I want everybody to know, I’m the one responsible for the workplace environment at the Miami Dolphins."

Sure, he threw in all sorts of coach-speak about how they're evaluating all angles, but if there's any remotely possible way that Incognito can remain on that football team, Philbin needs to go. The report itself is damning enough, but Richie showed his true colors when he thought he was being exonerated and celebrated by telling the world that Jonathan Martin had told him in confidence that he was considering suicide. In this case, it seems the "evaluation process" will consist of determining whether or not the Dolphins can find talented enough replacement players to give them the breathing room necessary to claim the moral high ground by cutting Incognito and Pouncey.

But until then, please direct all blame to Joe Philbin, per his request.

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