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Dolphins' Philbin promises to be more accessible

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Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, coming off a high-profile bullying scandal that rocked his team and the NFL, said Tuesday he will be more visible and accessible to his players.

Miami's scandal in 2013 led to a league investigation into the Dolphins' locker-room culture. Philbin has maintained he was blindsided by an NFL investigation that Richie Incognito and two other offensive linemen harassed former teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team in October. Martin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers earlier this month.

Philbin took responsibility Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., saying the situation will prompt a change in the way he coaches.

"As I examined some of the things as head coach of the Dolphins I can do better, I think the visibility factor can be the difference," Philbin said. "That's one of the things that I'm going to do. It's not that I (had) never been (visible). But I think one of the things that happens sometimes to coaches is you're conflicted of whether I should watch that blitz tape or third-down film.

"Sometimes a better use of a head coach's time is to walk through the training room, walk through the locker room, walk through the hallways. It's not that I never done that stuff, but I think it's fair to say I'm going to do it more."

According to the Ted Wells report, Martin never told any of his superiors, including Philbin, that he was being harassed.

"I think a lot of times what happens in the building in the National Football League is everybody doesn't want to be the bearer of bad news sometimes," Philbin said. "The head coach is busy, so don't bother him. He's watching film, doing this and doing that.

"But we got to get away from that. Frankly, I have to be a little more vigilant in the enforcement of the policies and procedures that I want to have in the locker room that I want to have. That falls on me."

The locker-room culture has been a priority topic at the NFL owners meetings and the bullying scandal prompted conversation and change throughout the league.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the three players involved in the bullying scandal -- Miami center Mike Pouncey and former Dolphins offensive linemen John Jerry and Incognito -- must be evaluated medically before returning to the field.

Philbin acknowledged the scandal has caused some sleepless nights.

"When you coach, you want everybody to have a great experience," Philbin said. "You want to make an impact. I can't speak for 31 other guys, my colleagues, on why they got into coaching. But I know why I got into coaching. You want players to leave (here feeling they had) a great experience playing. When it's not, it's bothersome."
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