The Dolphins offensive line knows plenty about sacks. They gave up more than any other team in the league least season. That would have most positional coaches out of a job, If you were also responsible for ignoring an embarassing crisis that transcended sports and ultimately consumed the franchise, it wouldn't help. On Wednesday night, the Miami Dolphins sacked offensive line coach Jim Turner. It was a move that was long overdue.
After the report came out detailing his active role in the Jonathan Martin and Andrew McDonald harassment saga, it was just a matter of time before the Miami Dolphins rid their organization of the positional coach who essentially stood by at best and at worst sic'd Richie Incognito and Co. on Martin. Soon after Martin left the team assistant offensive line coach Chris Mosley quietly exited stage left before the story exploded into the firestorm it is today.
Offensive line coaches usually bask in obscurity, but Turner became the focus of Ted Wells' high-profile investigation and soon it became apparent that he had to go. Not only was he egging on Martin's tormenters, but he also lied to investigators and attempted to get Martin to publicly defend Incognito to save his own hide. Incognito will probably get a third chance in the NFL and Martin may as well, but Turner's future in football is cloudy at best because he was the derelict authority overseeing a mess that may alter the professional workplace standards in pro football forever.
Not that it was needed, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also released a statement explaining the decision to fire Turner.
"The language and behavior as described in the Ted Wells report are against the core values of our organization," Ross said in a statement. "After receiving the report, I conducted my own internal review of the facts to determine the appropriate steps for our organization. Jim Turner and Kevin O'Neill are good people who care a great deal about their profession and the players whom they serve, but both exhibited poor judgment at times which led me to this conclusion.
"As owner, I know firsthand of the high-character and dedicated professionals in our building. I believe in our team and know the hard work and sacrifices they make every day on the field and in the community. However, this is an opportunity and a teaching moment not only for the coaches, staff and players in our locker room, but also for participants throughout sports."
Turner isn't the only one out of a job. The Dolphins also fired head trainer Kevin O'Neill for his complicity in the harassment of two offensive lineman and another assistant trainer.