With a Thursday night game against division rival Buffalo looming, Miami Dolphins player Reggie Bush is back in place as the team's primary running back. A day after he benched him for the better part of the first half following a fumble, head coach Joe Philbin said he has put the incident behind him.
"He's not in any doghouse that I know of," Philbin said. "The guy shows up, he practices hard, works hard and is competitive. He is very, very professional."
Philbin did say that he will continue to make his players accountable for mistakes. "A zero tolerance policy," he said. "A coach's job is to prepare players to perform well. Their job is to perform. We have to put them in a position to be successful. That mesh didn't get done Sunday. It's on us, it's on them, it's on me ultimately, because I'm the head coach.
"We — meaning coaches and players — have to do a better job. With these guys, the proof will be in the pudding, but I suspect they have a high level of accountability."
Besides Bush, OL Richie Incognito was also benched during Sunday's blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans after he committed an unnecessary roughness penalty in the second quarter that pushed the Dolphins out of field goal range.
Like Bush (who tweeted Sunday, "I have to apologize to Dolphin Nation. My performance these past few weeks has been poor & I'm embarrassed right now! You guys deserve better."), Incognito was circumspect when asked about his benching. "I made a mistake, and he wanted to address it then and there," Incognito said. "So, it was handled."
One Dolphin whose mistakes did not result in a benching was QB Ryan Tannehill, who threw three interceptions against Tennessee, but he, Incognito and Bush were hardly the only players responsible for the 37-3 loss.
"It was an uncharacteristic performance by the whole ballclub," Philbin said Monday.
The loss dropped Miami to 4-5, two games behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East standings. Miami is also a game and a half behind 5-3 Pittsburgh for the second AFC Wild Card spot.
The Dolphins have a short week ahead of them, with a road game against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. "When you play like that, we need to make some corrections," Philbin said. "We need to make improvements, even though we're in a semi-time crunch."