Monday, August 13, 2012

Philbin's swift action on Johnson right thing to do


On Sunday, coach Joe Philbin and the Miami Dolphins made the tough decision to cut Chad Johnson just one day after his arrest for domestic battery. They spent little time gathering facts and certainly didn't let any of the legal process play out.

That incurred backlash from some in the locker room, most strikingly from team captain and emotional leader Karlos Dansby.

"I just hate we didn't stand behind him," Dansby said in a interview on The Sid Rosenberg Show on 640 Sports. "I know the guys in the locker room would. But the organization felt a totally different way. They probably have more information than we know, and they had to do what they had to do. Still, it's tough to lose a good man."

Johnson, despite his outlandish reputation, was popular in the locker room and in the brotherhood that is an NFL team, team leaders are expected to go to bat for the players they take the field with.

“He was gonna be our guy," Dansby added. "We had to stand behind him even though the situation came about. I just hate the fact he didn't get that third strike and that's just me personally."

According to Philbin, the team's seemingly sudden decision to cut ties was not a reaction to this incident but because of "a body evidence from June 11 forward."

"When he came in June 11th we sat down and we talked and we were very clear, I was very clear as to the expectations of the program," Philbin said, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. "It just didn't work out."

Philbin is setting a standard, an expectation of conduct for his players. Johnson's litany of missteps, including a profanity-laced press conference and the bizarre circumstances of his arrest, did not reflect that standard.

No one player is bigger than the franchise and what it strives to represent. That is why it was the right decision to release Johnson.

In the short-term, the Dolphins have one less talented option at a thin position and some disgruntled players. Philbin is drawing the line in the sand on how he expects his players to conduct themselves, and this decision shows commitment to that and going forward there will be no exceptions to the culture he wants to create in Miami.

That message is not lost on every player in the locker room.

"You know what you're getting into with Coach Philbin and the Miami Dolphins," said third-year defensive end Jared Odrick, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "It's something we're all apart of as a team, and we're all onboard."

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