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Dolphins' Ross may be one who needs to 'stop quitting'

CLEVELAND -- Perhaps it was a parapraxis. Or perhaps it was just a tragically constructed sentence.

Either way, Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne uttered this sentence after the Dolphins 17-16 loss to the Browns on Sunday: "I know one thing about these guys," Henne said, "they're not going to stop quitting."


Look, the Dolphins haven't quit. Players haven't. Coaches haven't. They are not getting results because they're not good enough or smart enough or whatever other reason you might cite. But because they quit?

No way.

Here's someone I fear might have quit on this team to a degree: Owner Stephen Ross.

My column in today Miami Herald discusses the topic.

The column discusses how Ross may be as much at fault for Miami's problems as the players and coaches. Why? The man apparently hasn't been fully invested in player acquisition this year.

In short, the column tells you where the Dolphins rank in player expenditure this year. It is a terrible ranking, perhaps the worst the team has ever had. And that, against the backdrop of Miami being second in the NFL behind only the New York Giants in player salaries in 2009, is stark.

So why the significant change? Simply, the Dolphins have been losing money at an alarming rate this year. So they're trying to trim back in certain areas. Player salaries is apparently one of those.

It is so well-known within the organization that two sources have suggested to me Ross has quit on his team this year and set them up for failure.

As the column tells you, I tried to get answers about this and other matters from Ross. Chased him as he was leaving Cleveland Browns Stadium. He didn't want to answer any questions.

Well, until he does, the questions will linger: Has Ross set up the Dolphins to fail this year because he limited expenditures on player acquisitions?

The evidence is damning.


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DB (from your earlier post to me),

I wasn't BLAMING Nolan. I realize it's the players and lack of execution or lack of talent. However, just as we blamed Henning for the offence last year, we also have to blame Nolan for the defence this year. It's the nature of their business. If you're going to play a team sport, it's everybody pulling together and if one unit isn't working, it's not OK to say the players are good and the coach sucks or vice-versa. You guy want to judge Sparano by how how the team plays on the field, Nolan has to be part of that too. It's not one set of rules for one guy and another set for another.


speaking of setting Sparano up...... How many people blame Tony exclusively for the sad state of the OL?

Ross: "Hello, Bill Cowher? Someone told me you used to coach football, is that true?"

Cowher: "Who is this"?!

Ross: "This is Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins".

Cowher: Click.....dial tone

Everyone wants a competent coach and GM to come here but what makes you think guys want to come here? In the same sense that coaches didn't want to coach in Buffalo last year, we're soon going to find out we're in the same boat. If there's guys on here thinking this is one of the flagship franchises in the NFL any more, then you're kidding yourself. You've got an owner who knows very little about football, is more interested in the sideshows and putting money in his pocket and a fanbase that's been lukewarm to this team for years. On top of that you've got a team that's had very little success in the last 20 years. You've had many failures here, including JJ, Wannstedt, Cameron, Saban and Parcells. Parcells after getting to know Ross a bit and find out what he's really like, couldn't wait to get out of town. So if you think this offseason it's going to be an easy task to bring the cream of the crop in to be coach and GM, I think you're kidding yourself. Last offseason, Jim Harbaugh chose to go to the perenially underachieving 49ers, a franchise just as dysfunctional as ours, rather than accept the challenge of coming to Miami. Accept it guys....it's our reality.

The one thing that Buffalo has had throw all their lack of success is a very loyal and rabid fanbase. So they at least have a leg up on us in that regard. They've been brutal for years but the fanbase has stuck with them. Miami?.....not so much.

Ross: "Hello Chucky?"

Gruden: "Yes"

Ross: "How would you like to coach the Miami Dolphins?"

Gruden: "Absolutely. As long as your willing to pay me & the 4 QB's I need on my roster."

Ross: Click.....dial tone.

I am not sure why we are mad at Ross either.

He left these fools here and did not spend a crap load of money that these fools could waste.




never mind quitting, stephen ross is loosing! he made a bad decision and overpaid to much for an old stadium in a bad location where the heat negatively impacts the players more-so then ticket sales. when all your money is tied up in realestate and your front office is making poor decisions, you can't win. when your biggest offseason aquisition is reggie bush and then you play him at quarterback(same thing as running up the gut) you can't win. can't win in the offseason, can't win on the road, can't win at home, stephen ross is loosing money because he pays the players to play on sunday, and they're just sitting around the watercooler. ross is loosing his fans, because the fans are tired of loosing. in the last series of the cleaveland game henne seemed to crack or panic with the increased noise or intensity of the fans, he was scared to death and running from ghosts and for his life even though there was no one within 10ft. i like henne, but maybe the team responds overreacts to crowd noise and this might explain the winless and lifeless play at home, you have to admitt, and i think reggie recognized this immediately when he arrived, south florida is lifeless and pathetic, maybe if the players can play for there own sense of pride and start winning the fans will start to come out. when a player makes a play in front of small, lifeless crowd the cheering(positive reinforcement) is at a minimum, the players must feel like, who cares? well they have to care, play for pride and start stringing together some wins or it will only get worse.
good luck.

Poizen, update on the giants game. My neighbor came over after the game ended to hang out yesterday.

When he heard Miami lost, he asked me if I wanted him to sell the tickets & just watch it at my house instead LOL

I am undecided at this point as to how to proceed. At this rate, I don't want to watch an 0-5 team in person. On tv is bad enough.

But, if I did go, it would certainly be my #81! One of my favorite all time Dolphin players!


Dare I wear a jersey to the Giants game? If we are 0-6 by that point, will I be too embarrassed to represent? That's the question.

How comfortable will I be saying, "these colors don't bleed" with a professional team that's as good as a high school team?

I guess if I did I'd break out my orange Zach Thomas, if I wore my Marshall jersey you might tackle me yourself, LOL!!!!!

Albert @ 1:55 p.m.:

Mr. Ross has already hit several iceburgs during his cruise with this team. How else do you think I got to the size I am now?

Moduceious basically wrote an article about two inside sources who go nameless and have their own agenda. where are the actual FACTS. 1 week he blames the coachs then it's Ireland now it's the owner. How about the POS fans who do nothing but talk sh*t and don't support the team? Any business that costs more to run than what it makes tightens the belt. It's a fact of life. Take a F*cking look at the lack of jobs in this country. Stop looking for someone to blame and just deal with it. This team spends very large sums of money on very average players hoping to compete and keep you all happy, but nothing is ever good enough. Your city doesn't deserve a football or baseball team. You're a city of miserable cry babies!

It doesn't suck any less for those of us who support the team from other states either or make up for the almost $400 I pay Direct TV to watch our games, but at least I support them. You think your life is so rough, move to CA and see what it's like to have to earn a real living just to survive. $40k a year is basically poverty yet we still find ways to support 4 MLB teams and 2 NFL teams not to mention hocky and basketball. Ross spent millions renovating that stadium to make it more pleasant for you so called fans. The 49ers and Raiders play in stadiums that should have been torn down decades ago. If you think Ross is such a crappy owner take a look at who owns the Raiders and 49ers. We waited 52 years in SF for a World Series and we still sold out that stadium almost every game since it has opened 52 years without a championship and all. Yet you can't support your team just less than 40 years from their last title. Spoiled little needy b*tches

Regarding the Stadium(whatever its name is now), repeating; the only way to attract Dolphin's Fans to it and keep away other Team's from It, is to win on a consistent basis.

Turd Ferguson = Rex Ryan's Bowel Movement. Turd, Bowel brains or whatever your name is, go away.

Ralph, my point is, and you took one sentence out of the whole thing. I was also being silly... silly me.

Anyway. The point is, If Ross did indeed look to get Harbaugh, and lost, there was not another guy out there that would have made sense.

So he kept these clowns here, and now he may be working on bringing on a different person. If that is the case, why the hell would he spend all of his money on players for people he did not want here? And will only be here for another year?

It sucks as fans to deal with this result if this is the case. But it is better than him bringing in the next best thing and letting them screw the organization for another 3 years.

who knows, maybe Ross does know what he is doing.

When you think of Ross, as a business owner, are you really going to give Ireland and Sparano carte blanche to turn this thing around this year or are you going to say to them 'show me what you can do, before I open up the chequebook for you'. As has been documneted on here MANY times, there have been many costly mistake by these two guys. If it was our money and you were looking at their track record you wouldn't be throwing the money around either.

My boss will be running this team before too long. Brace yourselves for an even bumpier ride folks!

AND ANYONE, who thinks certain prospects will not come here because they did not like how we treated our head coach or whatever...

THIS IS A BUSINESS! They all get it, if they dont want to come here they never did.

these coaches fire players mid season who do not perform. they look for upgrades for their players every year. It is the same thing that Ross does for coaching.

All prospects interested last year are still this year. If there are any.

Misinformation or disinformation are many times the cause of faulty thinking.

Ralph Ortega, Tony Sporano has his fingerprints all over this teams failures too. He has failed miserably in building an OL. Which by the way is his coaching expertise, his team was terribly out of shape in the NE game and he has made it a habit of loosing to inferior teams. Yesterday his team commited 10 penalties, had two turnovers and a missed FG. We should of won easily yesterday. What you saw on the field was bad preperation and lack of focus. These are habits you aquire in practice. The Coach has to awnser for this.

Regardless (Craig and others), we're (well, me at least) complaining about Ross, but he's the ONLY one in the organization who's DEFINITELY not going anywhere. He just bought the team, doubt he'd sell if off just as quick.

So, whatever fix is made, it's going to be at a level below Ross.

At this point, I don't really care what changes are made. I just care that changes ARE made, because obviously there's no winning to be had with this group of Coaches and players (and GM).

Everyone wants a competent coach and GM to come here but what makes you think guys want to come here? In the same sense that coaches didn't want to coach in Buffalo last year, we're soon going to find out we're in the same boat. If there's guys on here thinking this is one of the flagship franchises in the NFL any more, then you're kidding yourself. You've got an owner who knows very little about football, is more interested in the sideshows and putting money in his pocket and a fanbase that's been lukewarm to this team for years. On top of that you've got a team that's had very little success in the last 20 years. You've had many failures here, including JJ, Wannstedt, Cameron, Saban and Parcells. Parcells after getting to know Ross a bit and find out what he's really like, couldn't wait to get out of town. So if you think this offseason it's going to be an easy task to bring the cream of the crop in to be coach and GM, I think you're kidding yourself. Last offseason, Jim Harbaugh chose to go to the perenially underachieving 49ers, a franchise just as dysfunctional as ours, rather than accept the challenge of coming to Miami. Accept it guys....it's our reality.

Posted by: Craig M | September 26, 2011 at 02:33 PM

What do you suggest? All you just did was point out the obvious. Most of us know it's gonna be hard to find a legit coach & GM. Especially after the Harbaugh mess. Your plan? Stay with what we have? Promote from within?

Fearing the unknown & sticking with what you have, like last year, is NOT an option anymore.

Might I remind you, that Had Ross gone with his gut & fired these clowns(at least Sparano) last year, like he was justified to do, we'd be almost done with it.

Instead, we are a laughing stock as a franchise, whose owner has a shady reputation, trying to lure the brightest & most competent minds to fix it all.

Did you really think you were going to get away with it?

My vote for dumbest post of the century. The entire post is really stupid, but the excerpt above - first he praises Sparano, then says anyone who knows anything about football knows Bush is not an every down back.

Well dunce brain, why is the coach you are praising continuing to use him as an every down back? Why? When Thomas is already clearly better.

Posted by: Sueda | September 26, 2011 at 01:42 PM

No need for personal attacks. Bush was brought over to be an every down back and I doubt Sparano had anything to do with that decision. If you have been watching the Dolphins for the last couple of weeks, I'm sure you have noticed that Bush has disappeared in the second half. In fact, during yesterday's game Thomas had 23 carries and Bush had 11. So,"dunce brain" Bush isn't being used as the every down back since he is getting less than half the carries Thomas is getting.

My point was that Sparano is not the problem. He may or may not be a good coach. I don't know. All I know is that the players on this team aren't good enough and I do not believe any coach could win with them.

last place in the division
longest losing streak in the NFL
1-12 at home
can't score on any team
can't stop any team from scoring
hc illiterate
gm a failure

real fans should boycott 100%, no games, no jerseys, nothing. they don't deserve a dime of support.

I'm simply pointing out, Joe, that for anyone thinking it's a formality that the top GM or head coach out there is coming to come here just by Ross picking up the phone is kidding themselves. There's going to be other teams out there looking for head coaches just like we are. I expect teams like Jacksonville, Indy and maybe even Seattle will be looking for a new head coach this offseason and if any of them end up with the chance to draft Luck it will make them that much more attractive. If I'm Jeff Fisher, I'm weighing what situation would be best for me, before getting back into the game.

Mando, this is getting old my man.

Tony and Jeff can't keep blaming everyone but themselves. And now you are sitting here blaming Ross. The man doesn't know anything about football. My boss doesn't know anything about anything.

That's why he hired me. I'm the guy who saves his butt day in and day out. If I fail to save his butt he told me I would be gone in a heartbeat.

But I'm not going to turn it around like its his fault the company is going south. Its my fault because he trusted me to make profit for him.

Why the heck should I blame him for that?

I am available to coach guys. Free tatoos for all of our new recruits er...players, plus I will let the players scalp their comp tickets so they can make a little more cash on the side. Go Buckeyes er....Dolphins!

My point was that Sparano is not the problem. He may or may not be a good coach. I don't know. All I know is that the players on this team aren't good enough and I do not believe any coach could win with them.

Posted by: SunnyDee | September 26, 2011 at 02:58 PM

He's not part of the problem? LOL Sorry, as part of Sparano's extension, he was given allot more say into personnel this year. You just said players are ther problem, so by your own definition, he is part of the problem.

You know, all those "upgrades" like Burnett, Bush, Gates, Clay, Columbo, Carey to Guard... The non existent upgrades we should say, Sparano was involved in them.

If you don't think he's at least PART of the probelm, the dunce name might apply. Just sayin...


I don't know what is going on with you but you have been firmly in Jeff and Tony's corner since the start of this season.

To the point where you throw the owner under the bus.

Man up Mando! Ross is the owner. Jeff and Tony are not. But your loyalty lies with Jeff and Tony instead of Ross.


We know Ross doesn't decide who gets interviews and who does not. Is that why you kiss the rear ends of Tony and Jeff?


You're making it up Mando. You're making up stories because Tony and Jeff own you.

sorry guys,haven't been around today because i am busy planning spazaons bon voyage gala for next week. ya'll r invited,lol

keep losing,we may finally get a franchise qb again. and a whole nex staff

Mando, I think it's time you write an article telling the truth down here. You have covered South Florida sports for a long time and I have lived here 16 years now. Quote "The Dolphins are losing money at an alarming rate"
How can that ever be???
The fans down here S U C K
Thats right, you know it, the players know it, the media knows it, but no one wants to come out and say it.
1. The Florida Marlins: Two World Championships since 1997. The same as the Red Sox have had in 80 + years. The Red Sox have sold out every single game for it seems forever. The Marlins, who have had plenty of competitive years since get what, 2 or 3 Thousand at some games??
South Florida Fans S U C K
2. The Miami Heat win a NBA Championship and how are they rewarded? The owner has to cover the seats the next year because it looks so bad o TV with all the empty seats.
South Florida Fans S U C K
3. The Miami Dolphins, have had some horrendous years, no doubt. But within a 75 mile radius lives over 3 MILLION people. Three F'n MILLION, and yo can't get 75,000 people at the Stadium for 8 games per year??
South Florida Fans S U C K

I'm surprised any owner would want to buy a team down here with these half-ass fickle fans who only come out when a team wins. Denver has a 7 year waiting list for tickets. 7 years to get the opportunity to sit in the cold and snow to watch a team that has certainly seen much better years. The Giants sell $10,000 seat licenses for the upper deck and people stand in line to buy them. I'm sick and tired of every crybaby, whimsy ass who only comes out to the Stadium for ANY Miami sport only for the winners. As usual I'm sure a bunch of jack-offs will come on here criticizing me, but I can care less whose feelings get hurt . The fact is,

South Florida Fans S U C K - S U C K- S U C K

If all the alumni gathered together perhaps they could buy the team and make it a great one (like in the past) and therefore it would become a good business too.
The fact that Sparano and Ireland are still in the team is of course Ross' fault.
I wish the team was sold out to someone who really cares this team and who knows about football.
Rebuild this team top-down.


You are right bro, we do S-U-C-K! PLUS, WE SWALLOW TOO!

South Florida Fans S U C K - S U C K- S U C K

Posted by: bobbyd12 | September 26, 2011 at 03:30 PM

You mean they are smart don't you? They don't invest in trash. You are supporting a billionaire with your money who doesn't do jack squat to give you a winner. Who sucks? You are sucking Ross... Swallow carefully

Please inform Mr. Ross that I would appreciate it if he would return my nose and glasses. Thank you.


You're exactly right....the fans down there DO suck!! No question. I tried to use the example earlier today and the difference between us and the Bills is that they have DIEHARD fans! Like the fans you talked about in Denver, they sit through the elements and have put up with crappy football for years and years now! If you guys haven't been to a game in Buffalo you really need to experience it. Loyal to the bone!! It's a party! The first thing Fred Jackson said yesterday was 'it was fun to win in front of some great fans'. I refuse to believe the Bills are more talented than our team (take a look. It's made up of a bunch of undrafted and seventh round draft picks). I refuse to believe Chan Gailey is that much better a head coach than Tony Sparano. And I refuse to believe the economy is THAT much worse in South Florida than it is in Western New York. These guys LOVE their Bills and they're scared sh*tless that when Ralph Wilson dies the team will move. Our fans? Ehhh.....'whatever. Never really liked the team that much anyways'. That's what we're dealing with. That's our reality.


Why support junk. Do something useful with that money and donate it to a charity.

Stephen Ross --- Pathetic Owner.
Jeff Ireland --- Pathetic GM.

That says it all.

My new favorite teams every week is anyone playing the Jets or Patriots. Because I sure as hell can't expect this team to compete on their own!


And to all those who think Ross is the WORST, understand Ralph Wilson has been pulling money out of that team and doing things on the cheap for years!! He moved individual games to Toronto so he could put more money in his pockets, despite angering a very loyal home base of fans who don't want to drive up into Canada to watch theit team. He's been signing coaches on the cheap because nobody wants to coach there. He hires a GM who is 70 years old who on the first day of FA last year ww asking what he'd be doing at midnight on the first day of FA said 'I'll be sleeping'. The Bills are never players in FA and they refuse to spend money. Guess what?....they're 3-0 because they have a bunch of players whop bust their a**es every week because they know if they don't they won't be in the league for very long. Us?....ahh, I'm tired of talking about it!

bobbyd loves losing, hes been losing all his life. its just normal to him. but real fans dont accept losing, we have passion and want to win so badly. new regime and a franchise qb could do it. dont tell me cowher and luck wouldnt fill that stadium

Amazing how Chan Gailey and the Buffalo Bills are 1000x more exciting and have 1000x more heart then this sorry bunch.

We are the team Buffalo looks at on their schedule and pencils in a win.



If fewer d-heads like yourself supported this trash their would have been more motivation to right the ship. An empty stadium is far more powerful than a half full stadium.

Enjoy your tailgate barbeque and stop complaining, you are getting what you paid for.

I wish their was a home game this week so I could express my frustration with this pathetic team and owner. Wait until the Broncos game. It is going to get ugly with the boos!

Hope Ross is at that game.


Hey Sean Smith.............................................................................................


You guys can go round and round on this, but reality is reality. This team had deficiencies at the end of last year. They weren't improved except for whatever the draft picks bring. Ross is learning a valuable lesson here. First off, when you have a guy feeling that a coach is failing or you aren't happy with him, you act. That is, fire him. Then you search for a new coach, not vice versa. We all knew Sparano should be let go and so did he but he made a circus of it and worried more about saving face.
Secondly, in this league, you get what you pay for. This team has refused to make the moves to put them over the top. One more lineman and playmaker on offense and a safety on D could have changed the look of this team. They had the money and didn't act. I'm not saying they would be SB bound, but they'd be a better team relatively speaking. So in the end, Armando is correct. Ross is ultimately to blame. It was obvious to me then when I said it and more so now.

Playing to lose for high picks and to buy time to research who to hire to replace all the cancerous coaches and players. Saving up lots of money in the meantime because it's damn sure gonna be needed to acquire quality replacements. Will be good to see headcase and main team disrupter B Marshall gone too. Definately not producing for what he cost and Henne is also a big part of the problem. You watch Colt McCoy and Henne yesterday? McCoy is light years ahead of Henne in development and in way less time. The play calling was atrocious again by Daboll. Ross, Parcells and company have brought this franchise to it's lowest days...sacrilege!!!!!!

This is a BS accusation. First, Ross has spent heavily on the Dolphins. Second, Ross was willing to spend $10M a year to hire Harbaugh. Third, under the Collective Bargaining Agreement the teams are basically obligated to spend their whole salary cap. As an aside, Ross is worth $3B and has given away hundreds of millions to his alma mater at the U of Michigan - not a man trembling over a million here or there.

Ross is a Miamian and highly motivated to have a successful team. Ireland has actually brought in a significantly upgraded player staff during his time here. Our problem is not the quality of our players. Our problem is that our players are underplaying their talent because they are operating in schemes that create no advantage, mismatches or opportunity, schemes that our opponents have figured out and because our team was poorly conditioned. This is a coaching issue. If Bill Belichick swapped teams with Sparano and managed the Dolphins, he could annihilate the Patriots with these same players. Sparano is in over his head. Sparano is not now and never will be a Shula. Sparano will never even be average. He is bottom quintile.


You're absolutely right. How times have changed. When I go to cheer on the Dolphins in Buffalo I know that the slightest bit of adversity the Dolphins will fold like a cheap table. I know it's coming and so do the rest of the fans. FRAGILE is the word I would use. They're pampered and spoiled and can't hadn;e adversity. The Bills were getting clobbered yesterday 21-0 and came back and won. If that was us we would have quit and lost 42-7. It's still the makeup of the guys on the team. Who stepped up and made a big play yesterday on the defence when it was needed most? Answer....NOBODY! That's how it's been for too long with this team.

Go Bills!

That's a team with some heart & desire. They don't care who they're playing or how far behind they are.

They got after Brady, and, Fitzgerald was allowed to go out and sling the thing around, even after 2 picks.

Fun to watch.

Suck For Luck, Suck For Luck,

I said it before but it's too bad that Ross isn't the guy who made his billions with Blockbuster video. Maybe then we'd get a new owner.

Just watch what happens in the off-season when Carl Peterson comes in to be the new GM and brings his good friend Herm Edwards in to coach. You'll be wishing we had Ireland and Sparano back....LOL.

When fans of North East states voice opinions of local phin fans, LIKE HE JUST DID, BobbyD chastisizes them for not being true fans. Living in crime, poverty ridden, liberal, freezing wastelands.

Yet, he now cites the Sox & NY Giants as examples of what loyal fans are? LMAO Way to contradict yourself & look like the biggest jacka** on this blog in the process!

At least you finally came to the realization that YOU SUCK TOO, MR. REAL FAN!

TJ, the team that Tomlin won a Superbowl with, was Cowhers team. The team he lost a Superbowl with is also, to a lessed degree, also cowhers team.

If Cowher came here & turned us into a version of the Steelers, NO ONE would be complaining!

Their successes speak for themselves. We can do alot worse than Cowher!

Poizen is correct that the crybaby nut job Brandon Marshall is a cancer on this team.

Go Dolphins!

How did Ross get to the point of losing money at an "alarming" rate?

~there's a salary cap and revenue sharing
~he owns the stadium and pockets concession, parking etc. revenue
~until last year, home games sold out
~owners just got an improved deal from the players' union

Why did he spend to re-sod baseball infield? Huizenga did not.

Brandon Marshall, buck the trend. Pretend you are white and actually have some heart and work hard.

Not a Bills fan, BTW, but I am a fan of good, gutsy, football and it was a kick to see a bunch of upstarts like Buffalo come back and knock the Pats off their throne.

If we (the fins) had been better prepped, we may have given the Pats a 1-2 start. But we weren't, and we didn't, and now we are still looking for our first win....

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