SBD/November 14, 2013/Franchises

Curtis Martin Agreed To Be Part Of Dolphins' Panel Due To Its Importance To The League

Martin was not aware of the advisory group until he got the call
Pro Football HOFer Curtis Martin is one of the five people Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross said will be on an independent advisory group to look at the Dolphins' organizational conduct policies on the heels of the team's bullying scandal, and Martin said he agreed to participate because this "incident is something that is important not just to the Dolphins, but to the league," according to Gary Myers of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Martin said, "At the end of the day, I’m always interested in things that involve the culture and the name or the brand of the NFL." Myers reports while Martin "has no direct connection to the Dolphins organization, he does have a relationship with Ross." Martin when he first retired "solicited the advice 'of people who were where you want to be' and he met with Ross to 'pick his brain.'" Ross in the midst of the recent turmoil "thought it would be a good idea to hear what Martin has to say." Martin: "I just received a call and he said, ‘You’re someone that I really respect the way you think and the way you look at things. I know you’re an honest person who has a good opinion.’ They would like to pick all of our brains when it comes to how to deal with this." Myers notes Martin "was not aware Ross was forming an advisory group until he got his call, but was not surprised he asked him to be a part of it 'just because of the relationship that we have'" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/14).

LESSON LEARNED? In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes Ross "finally surfaced at a news conference Monday to discuss forming blue-ribbon committees, tacitly blame General Manager Jeff Ireland and say he scheduled a meeting" with Jonathan Martin, but the "biggest issue is he talked to everyone in the sports world except the people he should have talked with first." Ross "never talked to his Dolphins players," and he "still hasn't." Hyde: "Isn't that the central topic in this story? Talking with players. Keeping lines of communication open. He wasn't going to talk to players in the hours before Monday's game. But in the days before?" Players were made known of Ross's comments by the media after Monday's game and they "had never heard of any formed committee." Meanwhile, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin on Tuesday said that the players' leadership council was "meeting with him that night." Hyde noted that was "interesting" due to Richie Incognito's place "on it and the role of a lack of team leadership in this story." Dolphins DE Cameron Wake and LB Dannell Ellerbe, who are both on the council, were asked about the impending meeting and indicated that they "had no idea one was called." Hyde: "Again, doesn't this suggest the Dolphins haven't learned enough from this episode?" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/14).

IRELAND'S FUTURE: In West Palm Beach, Greg Stoda writes Ireland should lose his job "when the housecleaning happens -- and it ought to if the Dolphins don’t make the playoffs." The Dolphins "probably can save Ireland by qualifying for the post-season, because winning erases, or at least masks, problems even as deep as the morass in which the franchise finds itself." Otherwise, the "stench" from the bullying situation, if "added to another disappointing record, should be enough to push Ireland out the door" (PALM BEACH POST, 11/14).
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