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Theme of the day: Dolphins disconnect

The theme of this blog today is the grand disconnect in and around the Miami Dolphins.

Where to start? Oh yes, with Jeff Ireland and the looming coach search. Forgive me, but I don't get it. I don't see how Ireland is leading that search for the Dolphins as owner Stephen Ross signaled during his press conference Monday.

My column in today's Miami Herald gives several reasons why I don't understand Ireland spearheading the search -- among which are the fact most high-profile coaches that are available will want to bring their own personnel men and Ireland stands in the way of that desire.

There are other reasons but suffice to say, I don't see how having Ireland and a star coach can be a match. Ireland and an inexperienced or second-tier coach are a match. A star coach and his own personnel man without Ireland in the picture is a match.

Ireland and a star coach is not a match.

So there is a disconnect in what Stephen Ross wants out of this coach search -- a star -- and whom he has playing a key role in that search -- Ireland. Anyway, please read the column.

And that leads me to Carl Peterson. I've reported for months that Peterson is bound to replace Bill Parcells as the club's football czar. Well, ESPN"s Chris Mortensen reported Peterson would soon be hired to the front office role once held by Parcells.

The disconnect?

Peterson denied the report to The Herald's Barry Jackson. And Ross deftly side stepped the issue during his presser, saying he "hadn't had conversations with him with regard to that."


Parcells has been gone since October 2010, Ireland is alone in the desert of a 4-9 season, and the owner hasn't talked to his friend about an obvious position with his team even though they talk about football matters all the time?

Let me see if I buy that?NO!

I'm told Peterson is definitely in play. I've been told not to rule him out. My sources aren't as adamant as Mortensen's but they are definitely wary about the denial. They tell me what is true today -- that Peterson is not on board, may not be true tomorrow.

Hmmm, a disconnect between today's truth and tomorrow's.

One more thing: The Dolphins are a club that is diconnected in my opinion. You have the football team headquartered in the Davie training facility. The business operations are headquartered at Sun Life Stadium. And for the past four years, even before the move of the business ops to the stadium, there was a clear and obvious disconnect between the two.

This cannot continue. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I've never seen such a disconnect inside one organization. Ross has to figure out how to get the business side and the football side to all put their oars in the water and row in unison.

That hasn't always been the case in recent years. In fact, it has rarely been the case in recent years. And so the fallout is early season kickoffs that give the football team a homefield edge being moved to later in the day or to primetime. You have football ops telling the business side that players will not do Christmas videos. You have the head coach never really talking to the business people.

It's weird. It's a disconnect. It needs to be resolved.

[Broadcast note: I will be discussing the Dolphins coaching search on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo all morning from 6-10. We'll talk to guests, I'll give you insider information, and we'll have some fun with it as well. You can watch the show on The Herald's exclusive u-stream. Please check it out. And you can call toll free from anywhere in the United States. The number is 1-888-640-9385.


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still sleeping in the US I guess


While I am no big fan of Ireland, I think he could be a good match with an adequate coach.

Because the GM and the HC have to confront their respective ideas and assessments in order to come out with a good and consolidated outcome in terms of drafting and signing players.

Take Pioli for example. The guy was dubbed as a genius, but there is no doubt he mostly benefited from his conversations with Bellichick. Now he's in KC and the roster he has built there stinks big time.

Same for Bellichick. Without Pioli advice, he's not the same, and his last drafts were clearly below average.

Ireland has a good background, and he has made a few good decisions. But the fact is that he was matched with Sparano, who's the opposite of a football mind. The result was obviously not good.

My advice would be to match Ireland with a true football mind and let them confront ideas. I'm pretty sur they'll come up with good ideas.

Tony Sparano being fired gives Miami fans hope that this organization is finally getting a clue.
Jeff Ireland being retained as GM takes that hope and shoots it to $hit.

If Ireland stays you will see more Dallas rejects in 2012...I have zero confidence in Ireland, he sucks!

Ross is in way over his head. He has no idea how to handle the lime light, media, or manage the team. He is not used to having his decisions questioned and examined in his business world. But now he is in the NFL and keeps making his decisions like no one is watching. Ross impresses me as a As$

Tony Sparano being fired gives Miami fans hope that this organization is finally getting a clue.
Jeff Ireland being retained as GM takes that hope and shoots it to $hit.

WELL SAID...............










Well said Armando.

My gosh, what is happening to this franchise? It is one act of incompetence after another. Never mind "suck for Luck". Now I want to "suck for Ross to sell".

What I wanted to see and hear yesterday was an owner - ALONE at the mic - taking the organization on his back. Saying he tried to give the structure he inherited a chance, but it didn't work. That now he was starting over...cleaning house...riding the place of mediocrity. Making everyone - every scout, every coach, every key personnel member - interview for their job. Convince him they did no contribute to this mess, or leave. Then, he could start from scratch with a bright new GM who would partner to find an energetic HC that could build with the new young talent that would be brought in.

What we got instead was Problem #1, joined by Problem #2, behind microphones. Indirectly blaming Problem #3.

Where is the leadership???

Some people here were chastised by others for saying that no coach of any stature would want to come to Miami and coach the team with Jeff Ireland as the GM.
If you really think about it, it's actually the combination of Ireland and Ross that makes the job of coaching this team less attractive.
I can't imagine Cowher wanting to coach this team after he publicly denounced the way in which Ross went after Harbaugh while Sparano was still the coach. Cowher found it disrespectful for him to do so.

Be careful what you wish for.
Others are throwing out Jeff Fisher's name like he's going to come in here and turn things around. Some were smart to point out Fisher didn't exactly light things up as a head coach. This reminds me of the debates that were had over bringing in Vince Young and Carson Palmer as the starting quarterback. Thanks, but, no thanks. Fisher can stay "on the sidelines."

The Coaching Search Will Be Hindered By Who's At The Top
With Ross as the owner and Ireland running things into the ground as GM the list of coaching candidates for this team probably isn't going to include a star coach. Calls to Cowher and Gruden will probably get their voice mail with a message that says, "I'm not interested in coaching your team. Go away."
In the end they will hire a guy that was their fourth or fifth choice to be the coach of the team and hold a press conference to make the announcement and make it sound like he was their guy from the beginning.

And...it may be a minor thing, but...STAND UP! This was just like the famous awkward press conference last year when Sparano had to join in the farce. What is it with these press conferences where you sit down and address the media? This isn't the board room. STAND UP and show some leadership. Take responsibility for this mess. Promise your customers that you are earning the $$ you are asking us to spend on your product. Leaders don't sit comfortably when trying to motivate the troops. SHOW SOME STRONG LEADERSHIP.

LMFAO - Exactly right. I'm not a fan of a big name coming in, but it would be nice to have that option. No one - a big name or a bright "up-and-comer" - is going to want a piece of this circus. Especially with better options opening up elsewhere.

"Suck to Sell".

Cmon Armando do we really think Carl Peterson is being truthful with tne media?? NO!

What we got instead was Problem #1, joined by Problem #2, behind microphones. Indirectly blaming Problem #3.

Where is the leadership???

Posted by: JAM | December 13, 2011 at 06:27 AM

JAM, if you look around, leadership is missing in far more consequential areas of this country as well.

Tim - sad but true. You are very right about that. I wonder where the concept of leadership has gone? Still - one of the reasons I watch sports is to escape from things like that for a few hours.

I said it last year Ross messed up his credibility for life when he went after Harbaugh with Sparano still the Head coach. And he has futher hurt himself with the way Sparano has been treated since with the utimate yesterday just throwing the man to the curb. There is not a star coach anywhere that will work for those baboons. They might want to go to the high school level to find their coach. Or my favorite equal Eric Mangini!!!!

Any list of coaching candidates has to include Winston Moss and Joe Philbin. Ross and Ireland said they are looking for someone who is a "football guy" and these two fit the mold.
With Moss having roots in Miami you would think he would get a look along with Chudzinski.
Philbin joined the Packers in 2003 as an assistant offensive line coach and was promoted to OC in 2007. I'd say he's doing a pretty good job.
Moss joined the Packers in 2006 as the linebackers coach and held the same position with the Saints before that. Moss is a big reason for the success of the Packers linebacking unit.

Bring in some of that Packers mentality!

Right you are ericatl. We'll no doubt find someone who wants to be a HC, but without a strong GM and strong talent, what will we have? This team has been mediocre for too many years, and it will continue to be that (at best) with the current "grocery buyer" and "ingredients". We needed a complete reload. Anything else is just a courtesy flush to remove this season's stench.

interview questions:

1. How do you prepare your players in the offseason to get them ready for the beginning of the season?
2. How do you motivate your players to want to win every week?
3. What kind of importance do you place on strength and conditioning and nutrition and what role do they play in the success or failure of the team?
4. Is your mother a, nope, scratch that.
5. If you were the head coach of this team right now how would you go about making it a playoff contender every year?


6. What changes would you make and what would you keep the same?
7. How close is Green Bay to the Great Lakes? (Ireland question)
8. What qualities do you look for in players?
9. What qualities would you look for in assistant coaches?

10. Explain how you were a leader in your current position, with your current team, and how will that help you in this position.


Your posts are dumb, obvious and childish. You are laughing at people that know 100 times more than your junior ideas.


How about whats your favorite flavor of ice cream and do you open open the door for a lady?

That interview will get you a gay boyscout leader with pimples.

Telling it like it is!!!! Ya gotta finish the job and bring in a quality NFL GM - not someone who's track record reflects mores losses than wins...

Maybe Peterson will be given the job of firing Ireland so that Cowar can have full control....only hope we have left..or we draft only average players for another 4 yrs. Not one impact player, but truthfully sparano had to go he was clueless...

True story. Shula after he retired telling the story about his interview with the fins:

Team: What is your 10 year plan?

Shula: I don't have a 10 year plan.

Team: Well than what is your 5 year plan?

Shula: I don't have a 5 your plan.

Team: Well what is your plan?

Shula: I only have a plan for the game coming next Sunday.

GOOD-BYE Tony Sparano (I wish you GOOD LUCK in the future).

GOOD-BYE Chad Henne (Get healthy and GOOD LUCK on a new team).

GOOD-BYE Jeff Ireland. This organization needs to clean house.


Mando, you say disconnect, I say they are in denial. Denial about Ireland being inept. Denial about how terrible the on field personnel is. Denial about zero playmaking ability. Ross hasn't hit rock bottom yet. He still employs Ireland, he still thinks he has a great foundation of players. Haha. The more things change in Miami, the more they stay the same.

The disconnect is with you and the Dolphins Mando. Evidently, by keeping Ireland, Ross doesn't want a "Star" coach as you say. I didn't hear Ross say that once. I did hear him say they want to find a young Don Shula. When Don Shula was first hired as a head coach he wasn't a star and that's the point. You have to find a young talented guy and make him a star. Hiring a former "Star" coach never works.

Hard to believe Ross got to be a billionaire making decisions like this. If you want to suceed at anything, anything, you surround yourself with the best people you can find. Hiring friends is the surest way to fail.

Tony, excellent point. Rarely does a coach that has won a super bowl earlier in his coaching career, repeat his success. There are tons of examples. Start with Parcells and go from there. Coaching success has many variables. The most important is talent acquisition. Second is luck and I don't mean Andrew. There is a ton of luck involved in winning a SB by having great players in place. Third is a great front office. None of these variables exist in Miami and they won't as long as Ireland is the GM.

Mando ,please quit your job,its a shame the Dolphins have you as there cover reporter. you cant be smarter than a 6 year old, or even a five year old......please die

The Dolphins need new ownership, or Ross needs to hire a football person to over see both. And Carl Peterson aint the guy. He's done a lot less then Parcells and who wants another mess like Parcells brought the Dolphins?

No self respecting "star" coach will set foot in Miami knowing how Ross and Ireland stabbed Sparano in the back like that. No new young coach will be seated in Miami till after the season is over, way over. So why didn't they let the man finish what he started?

It is pointless to continue hoping this team will do the right thing, this same cycle of events and dumb decision making has been going on for a decade. We are becoming the Matt Millen Detroit Lions, the AZ Cardinals prior to their superbowl, and the Al Davis Raiders of the past decade. A GM that is worthless and an owner that is cheap and must have lost his mind.

You are in an impossible situation with this organization and the double speak that has been going on since Ross took over. I don't think this club is going anywhere until Ross sells the team. He doesn't talk when he should (Are you courting Harbauugh? No?), he does talk when he shouldn't (Henne hall of fame?), and when he does talk, what he says shouldn't be said(Sparano is 'the right man for the job' after flying to Cali). What a first rate ahole of an owner and person this guy has been.
Oh well at least he is old. Die old man. Die.

The more I think about that press conference, the more disappointing it was. They looked feeble, disorganized, not on the same page, awkward, no conviction, no leadership. I'd have thought a guy of Ross's stature should have done much better.

Something tells me our average record for the next 5 years will be 8-8.

I would forget about the Dolphins until Ross is gone... why bother? You are going to need something to do in the meantime. Do you ever watch that show Descontrol? It is the staple of my Saturday afternoon. Come over sometime and I will make you a sandwich and give you a back rub if you bring the oil.

Mando loved Ireland last year as Mando lambasted Tuna.

Mando loved the idea that Ireland was trying to get Logan Mankins.

Ross needs to disconnect this team with his ownership. I never thought I would say this but Hes worse than Huizenga. The ownership must change to move this team in the right direction

why ireland and star coach not a match? maybe the star coach will be fine with ireland running the scouting as long as the coach has the final say. Ireland is very thorough and with supervision he could be very good.

Well, Armando, it was Ireland that took Ross on the hunt, although unsuccessful, of Jim Harbaugh so I don't see how he is not qualified to do it again.

if ireland is indeed in charge of player personell, as you say, then it is he and NOT sparano who is ULTIMATELY responsible for fielding a team that sellfishly squanders away the built in cushion that a 16 game season provides. i've said it all season long, and i'll say it again, the absence of LOU POLITE will result in losses that will create a loosing season. how many times did we try running for short yardage and got stuffed on every attempt in that eagles game? from game #1 to game #13 miami has displayed it's inablitiy to convert what LOU was able to do 99.999% of the time. nice job ireland! now mimai once again has to deal with change, change in coaches, players, playbooks... no continuity or stability, the only thing that remains constant is rebuilding and change. miami fans will have to endure, yet again, three years of patience and ugly football as a new regime gets it's standard 3 year cushion to produce a superbowl caliber team. IRONICALLY, amongst all this change, one thing remains constant, and that is miami's decision to never have the same system, core players, quarterbacks, and or coaches for a span of more then 4 years, and how is fisher considerd an upgrade over sporano, and brian bellick? come on... these guys aren't upgrades, infact i really believe brian bellick truly hates miami, for whatever reason, he NEVER has a good word to say about the fins, he talks like he has coached a perfect season. miami is doomed for another 5 years.

I continue to be mystified at the Public reaction to Dolphins news here in Miami. First with Parcells, then TS and now with Ireland People here never seem to be satisfied with anything and even voted(with the help of the Media) to put pressure on Shula to resign. That's the main reason I believe that NO Football Team will be successful down here, not even GB.

Well let's just hope that IRELAND doesn't ask Cowher if his mom was a prostitute. lol To quote GORDON GECCO, "These guys are f-ing brain dead..if they owned a funeral parlor nobody would die"

Is it prejudice, is it ignorance or inmaturity that so distorts the perception of Dolphins Fans in Miami regarding their Team? I believe it's a combination of all the above.

I would just like to say a few words.

UUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!! Why the @#$% is Ireland still the GM????????

Well, Armando, it was Ireland that took Ross on the hunt, although unsuccessful, of Jim Harbaugh so I don't see how he is not qualified to do it again.

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 13, 2011 at 08:48 AM

Do you really believe the kid Ireland took the Billionaire Owner Ross on the hunt? Or visa versa?

Funny how some of you think Ireland has god like powers. He is Ross's gopher. Billionaires don't let kiddies call the shots. Jeffy does not tell Ross to fire up the personal jet I am taking you to California.

First off...Ross just bought this team so don't count on him selling it any time soon.

Second, Ireland is our GM no matter what, so for get about Cowher riding in on a white horse and convincing Ross to fire him.

Third, Miami is a coveted job in the head coaching circles and believe me, they are lining up to take this job...forget JAX or KC, Miami is in the AFC East!

Fourth: We have a solid core of players that will respond to new leadership because winning trumps all.

Fifth: Do not under estimate the power of change at both the HC & QB positions in the off season...Moore may start, but RG3 will be under center by game 6.

In knowledgeable Circles, Ireland is considered THE best up and coming personnel man in the League due to his work in Dallas and that's the reason Parcells brought him along to Miami. But, here in Miami, by the Press and by the Fans, that fact is disregarded. Hmm..

Boulder, the reason is loyalty, plain and simple. This isn't rocket science. It's a tight-knit community of "football" people. They have all these little families they come out of, circles they run in, etc. In the end, it's NOT just about the product on the field. It's the gossip, the office politics, setting yourself up for your next job, not having to look over your shoulder.

Ireland did the worst thing you can do to a HC, undercut him. The ENTIRE NFL saw this. If you think EVERY other team didn't shake their heads and discuss what happened last Season you're kidding yourself.

I wouldn't ever trust Ireland if I'm a potential HC. He undercut his OWN FRIEND, if I didn't really know him, how would I ever be comfortable with him.

People here are getting just a little too worked up. One thing I'm sure of, is Ross can't shed money the way he has been. This franchise needs to start paying for itself. In order to do that, he needs a functional team, with a functional HC, a franchise QB and wins. THAT'S the ultimate goal. He's leaning on Ireland right now, because that's all he has, but he's a businessman. In business you don't burn your bridges until you have to. So there's no reason to dump Ireland UNTIL the time you realize hiring the guy you want won't accept Ireland to remain. THAT'S when we'll see Ireland go. When Ross woos one of his "star" HC's, they say they'll come, ONLY if they can bring their personnel guy. And that's when Peterson will step in (if not sooner), and toss Ireland out, and all will be well.

Mark my words, that's how this will play out.

Frankly, I have faith in Mr. Ross. He said EXACTLY what I wanted to hear. He said he wants an offensive-minded HC (if it's not a "star" Coach) who has experience developing a young QB. He said getting a franchise QB THIS year is essential.

I've been waiting for those words for 30 years.

First, REALIZE your mistake (Ross just did). Second, FIX your mistake (hopefully that's done this Draft). Third, MAKE it work (that's up to the next HC).

Follow that plan, don't let anything get in the way. We'll be back at the top sooner than anyone here thinks.

And many Fans in Miami firmly believe that the present Team is not much better personnel wise than the One that went 1-15. To me, unbelievable.

There is no disconnect, keeping Ireland means we won't be getting a so-called superstar "retread coach."

MR. Ross mentioned he wanted a Shula type of hire.
That means a young coach with potential, but who has the same winning strategy of Ireland and Ross.

Don't expect to see a spread offense coming to Miami. It will be run first, complemented by a good passing game.

The key as always will be getting the right quarterback and adding a few more pieces.

Thanks Tony for building this team, and sorry you won't get to experience the results.

Ok guys we kept Ireland, say hello to Jason Garett former head coach of the parent club (Dallas Cowboys).

This team does not need blown up. They should have given Tony 12 more months, unless they can get a big name to come in.

The more I think about this mess Brian Billick might be able to put the best coaching staff together without destroying the little progress that we made this season. Nolan came from that tree. I do not want him to go, but he probably is gone. I also think Our new young OC could work under Billick thus not blowing up the OC that seemed to be finally improving.

My last comment is can the fans start taking up a collection to buy out Ross, he is a New York Jets carpetbagger. He tried to buy them and I wish he would have. He has created a leaderless ship in Miami. Told all you Wayne haters things could be worse.

Go Dolphins. And Tony you deserved better respect from the fans and management of Miami, we will pay for this crap with a second tier Head Coach.

Bring on Jason Garett!! And that just might be our only good option. Herm Edwards shows up and into the black hole we go farther.

Being a Dolphin fan for the last 19 years has decreased my life span by at least 20 years!!! This is such BS! I mean come on Ross, get a F'ing clue!!! You want a "Star" Coach, but want to keep Ireland??? If what you want is to win and excite the fans, then FIRE that troll and let all the "Star" coaches out there see that they'll be getting the dream job. No limits to what they can do. God I miss Joe Robbie, Don Shula and Co.

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