Miami Dolphins

Jim Turner, who once taunted Dolphins lineman with a blow-up doll, is back in the NFL

Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner of the Miami Dolphins’ on the sidelines prior to a game against the New York Jets’ at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Sunday, December 29, 2013.
Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner of the Miami Dolphins’ on the sidelines prior to a game against the New York Jets’ at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Sunday, December 29, 2013. AP

A central character in the Dolphins’ bullying scandal is getting another — and perhaps final — chance in the NFL.

The Bengals on Thursday hired Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner, whom investigators concluded not only was aware of the harassment of Jonathan Martin and others, but participated it. Turner will coach the Bengals’ offensive line under Zac Taylor, who was a member of that infamous 2013 Dolphins staff.

Apparently, Taylor believes Turner has served enough time in purgatory, coaching at Texas A&M the past few years.

Turner became a bit of a villain when, as Ted Wells believed, he became “certainly aware of some of the insulting comments directed to Martin by [Richie] Incognito ... [and] never sought to stop the behavior.”

Turner also allegedly knew that Dolphins players engaged in homophobic taunting of another, unnamed Dolphins player and even joined in the abuse.

“During the 2012 Christmas season, Coach Turner gave all of the offensive linemen gift bags that included a variety of stocking-stuffers. In each gift bag except for Player A’s, Turner included a female “blow-up” doll; Player A’s bag included a male doll,” Wells’ report stated.

Any chance he had to save his job vanished when Wells revealed that Turner had been untruthful with investigators. The Dolphins fired Turner five days after Wells’ report was made public. He later sued Wells and his law firm for defamation, but last year, a federal appeals court dismissed the suit.

Turner, a 54-year-old ex-Marine, was out of work for two years before taking a job at Texas A&M, where he had previously worked with Taylor from 2009 to 2011.

“As I said in my news conference [on Tuesday], I’m focusing first on putting together a staff that our entire team will be proud of — one our players will be excited to play for — and these four coaches will be a big part of that,” Taylor said in a written statement. “They are good teachers and good communicators who will think outside the box, and that’s important for helping to develop the type of offense we plan to employ.

“We’re continuing to assemble our new staff. We want to make sure we hire the right people, because it all starts at the top. As I said before, we’re going to take our time to make sure that everyone is a perfect fit. There’s still a lot of work to do, and I’m looking forward to announcing more of the staff as it comes together.”

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Adam Beasley has covered the Dolphins for the Miami Herald since 2012, and has worked for the newspaper since 2006. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications and has written about sports professionally since 1996.
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