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Stephen Ross is more blunt instrument than tactician

As an NFL owner, Stephen Ross lacks nuance. He lacks tact. He is a blunt instrument.

Recently, he was advised by the Dolphins and agreed that the best way to address the protestations of fans, including a rally outside of Dolphins camp, was to rush headlong into a one-on-one phone call to a fan to explain his team's rationale for this offseason.

It is an interesting public relations move but there are myriad reasons other embattled owners don't do it -- for one it has the potential to make as many problems as it solves.

I assume Ross got this one fan to agree with his rationale about how and why the club has approached this offseason. Great. I also assume some other fans feel good that the owner is willing to reach out to at least one of their number. Great again. Call all 40,000 season ticket holders if you want. Now, that would be truly awesome! That is the advantage of being blunt.

But there is missed nuance. There is failed tactic. Ross opens himself up for questions that I've already read via email from other disgruntled fans: When is Ross going to call me? I'm upset, too, I want a phone call! Is Ross going to call every fan or just the ones so upset that they protest? Isn't that rewarding the protest and penalizing patience?

By calling this fan, Ross has made his season ticket more valuable than others. So why does this person get a call and the guy who's had a season ticket since the 1960s doesn't?

Calling fans is cool, but I suppose Ross realizes that makes the fan he speaks with his unofficial team spokesman and the conduit to everyone else. If he understood nuance he would realize the move undercuts the worth of his actual team spokesmen. And that also makes the media (specifically me) more wary of you because you've been avoiding us since the Joe Philbin hiring and you clearly have stuff to say -- but obviously don't want to say it in a forum where you also have to answer questions.

It makes me convinced Ross has stuff to hide.

Ross by the way is now under fire in Chicago. It seems during this talk with the fan, Ross said the Dolphins were going to simply cut Brandon Marshall if no trade partner appeared soon. The Bears stepped forward. Except the account of the conversation between Ross and the fan makes it seem like the Bears got duped into taking a wide receiver that was going to soon be a free agent.

Ross thus makes Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery look like he got taken. The Dolphins found a trade partner in Emery and perhaps a friend going forward. But Ross effectively threw him under the bus according to accounts in Chicago and elsewhere. That's bad business.

Blunt instrument. Not tactically sound.

Ross supposedly said other things during his talk with the fan -- notably that if his coach wanted Matt Flynn, the Dolphins would have Matt Flynn. Well, Philbin called Flynn a handful of times before the player's visit to Miami. Did he call him to say he didn't want him? Did the Dolphins bring Flynn to Miami because they didn't want him?

The nuanced version of that and what Ross should have said is the Dolphins wanted Flynn but only at their price. So Ross either missed this or said this to the fan but it didn't get relayed correctly. Either way, it's Ross's problem because that is the way things are when a fan becomes your spokesman.

I like Steve Ross. I love his passion and I believe he has the Dolphins' best interest at heart. But he needs refining. He also could stand to listen to the right people more.

He told this fan that Peyton Manning sent him a letter explaining why he wasn't joining the Dolphins. OK, what has he done with that letter? Has he begun to address the issues that made the Dolphins unattractive to a Pro Bowl quarterback?


I also wrote Ross and the Miami Dolphins an open letter that published in today's newspaper. It lets Ross and the Dolphins understand how fans feel -- from my perspective, of course.

I hope they read it. I trust they will. But more importantly, I hope they take it to heart and don't just answer with a loud bull(bleep) -- which has been how the blunt instrument has reacted in the past.


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When is the protest? Im so there!! I was reading about a group that is setting up a festival for the first home game as a protest. So instead of going to the game we protest at the festival.


You are talking about decades of history. Not me. My comment was in reference to all the criticism over the last two weeks since FA began. The criticism is out of control and unwarranted in my opinion as I explained above.

Is it Irelands fault the media created expectations that Miami was the front runner for Peyton? Peyton never indicated that and his actions showed he had little interest. He went for a more stable team with a FO he can better relate to.

Now the same folks who complained about Ireland looking for acorns are disappointed he didn't want to over pay the acorn Flynn? Give me a break. If Philbin REALLY wanted Flynn, I'm sure they would have made him a better offer. Just maybe they like their options in the draft better?


In the first place, why would Ross or any other Dolphins official for that matter, care about the Public's opinion who know nothing about the Team's strategy? Tickets? You put a winning Team on the Field and you will sell tickets. Guaranteed. Ross must stand fast on his beliefs.

ALoco how are things in Massastupids?


It's called spinning to story to fit your column.

I agree, Ross isn't the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to football. However, I do think he wants to win. You don't make billions in NY real estate without a thing or two and being blunt is the best way to go. I don't think it's a problem that he doesn't pussyfoot; the problem is he inherited most of the people when he came in to this organization. Most leaders trim and trim and trim until they get their people in there. I don't think Ireland it the devil or anything of the sort, but as an incoming CEO, I thought he should've gotten his own people in there.

Sorry but all the organized protesting is a bit much. Seriously think about it, or don't. If you don't like it, don't watch the games and STFU. Someone the other day pointed out exactly why you don't replace the GM now. I'm not explaining it.

How long does idiot Ross keep moron Irescum?

Just like CRETIN JUSTSOMEBULL do go off topic.
The real sad part in having to put up with his posts.

The Jests fans dont like the protests. They want us to keep the status quo.

We fans are the Dolphins customers. Its time we STOP BUYING A LOUSY PRODUCT!

Second, blunt is right, Armando, very blunt. Some People have it, some others don't(Finesse). Better if Mr. Ross don't declare anything more to the Media.

God I hope they don't make any decisions based on fans opinions.

What we'd like to hear from Ross is he's SELLING THE TEAM! But we'll take he's FIRING IRELAND!!

Taking arrogance to the next level.

God I hope they don't make any decisions based on fans opinions.
Posted by: thavafin | March 25, 2012 at 07:18 PM

Yeah, a business that doesnt listen to its customers GOES BANKRUPT!

Third: Armanditooo, Mediaaaa, don't make waves^^^^^

We should sue the Dolphins for impersonating a pro team. LOL

Customers are generally uneducated and uninformed about the product. They just want it. I wonder what you geniuses would be saying if we had the first or second pick.

It's geeting to the point now where I can't even read this blog anymore. More Dolphins haters here than anything else with a writer that loves to egg them on. Absolutely pitifull!!

Posted by: nsbnative | March 25, 2012 at 04:31 PM

And what's this "OK what has he done with that letter (from Manning)? Absolutely pitiful!

I mean, even the most radical imbeciles in here will admit that firing Ireland now would sink the Team for the next 3 years, at least. Or is it that those, want the Team sunk? Hmm..

I wonder what you geniuses would be saying if we had the first or second pick.
Posted by: walter | March 25, 2012 at 07:29 PM

We'd be saying Irescum will get us another lineman. LOL

Oscar, its gonna take 3 years to undo Ireland's mess. Lets get started NOW!

Hard to believe Ross ia allowing Ireland to do the draft again.

As I wrote in the SS today, Reality, we feel that this bashing of Ireland from some is a personal thing. We Fans must understand that our pastime is also a business and as such, nothing personal should be allowed.

You attack Ireland but do not attack Ross. Ahh, you subservient People.

Oscar, indeed passionate fans do hate Ireland. He's totally ruined our team. And his lack of any class in the Dez Bryant incident was desbicible. FA's avoid him like he has leprecy. He's destroyed our once proud franchise.

Do you people actually read what you are writing before you hit the POST button? What a bunch of idiots - all of you.

The Buffalo Bills are having a meeting on the eve of a game with the
Dolphins. The coach says, "Look guys, I know the Dolphins suck, but we
have to play them or else we get in trouble with the NFL."
The quarterback peps up, "I've got an idea why don't you guys
all go down to the local bar, and let me play them on my own?
They're such a bad team it shouldn't be a problem."
"Brilliant Idea!" the coach says. "Let's do that!"
On the day of the game, the team is in the pub, and the coach
decides to check the score. He turns on the television and the
announcer says: "It's the Bills 7 and the Dolphins 0 at the end
of the 1st quarter."
The team cheers. At six the coach decides to check the final
score. The announcer comes on again.
"I can't believe this the Dolphins have scored on the last play
of the fourth quarter and converted the two points to win 8 to 7."
"What the hell went wrong?!" cries the coach.
They all leave the bar and jump into taxis to get back to the
stadium. They rush in to find the QB sitting in the dressing room
with his head in his hands.
"Well, what happened?" asks the coach.
The QB shakes his head. "It was all under control," he says.
"Everything was great. Then I was injured and had to come out of
the game in the 2nd quarter..."

From some analysis I have done, I believe our #8 pick will be used either on a QB they feel has franchise potential or on an OL. Now. now, don't get mad, they might trade down.

Irescum asked a kid if his mother was a prostitute. He should've been fired on the spot.

sanchez & Tebow for QBs...and you just traded your best pure passer (Stanton)....in a passing league. So, you bring in a 'situational' QB, but release your proclaimed back-up QB. funny. somebody is not talking to somebody. I propose it is the jets that do not have a plan..

And ALL the EXPERTS talk about how messed up the fins are. Comical.

Santonio Holmes was a Captain of your illustrious team. Need I say more? I don't think so.

Watch, the yets will make Tebow (a 'situational' QB) a captain...rollin out the red carpet...

They should sell dashboard Tebow's.

It's a marketing windfall.

Hate or Love have no place in Business, Reality.

Funny man.

Yeremiah can rip your head off, cleanly.

Hate or Love have no place in Business, Reality.
Posted by: oscar canosa | March 25, 2012 at 07:57 PM

That doesnt apply to fans(CUSTOMERS). Are you saying we cant love our team? Or hate the Jests? GEEZ Oscar get a brain PLEASE!


I see both sides of your arguments.....and neither is wrong.....

Oscar, I'm done with you. I'll buy my next ticket after Ireland's fired. It wont be long.

No, Reality, I'm saying we shouldn't hate the Dolphins and love the Jets.

oscar who are you to tell us what we should or shouldnt do? huh?

Mando , you're trashing Mr Ross because he told it like it was and didn't lie , spin it or talk in circles like Belicheat. He said A Smith wasn't an upgrade and Coach Philbin told him he might as well pay Moore 9 mil a yr as M Flynn was good but not better than MM. I have more respect now for the owner because he told it like it was and didn't try any BS on the fan.

Hate or Love have no place in Business, Reality.
Posted by: oscar canosa | March 25, 2012 at 07:57 PM

So Apple fans cant love Apple products? WTF??

I never tell anybody what to do, only suggest(even to my patients).

I see some here are still peeved about Irelands question to Dez. I have heard different versions of how that conversation went, but we may never really know the real version. In any case, I think it is petty and no big deal. They are dealing with multi million dollar contracts. If he can't handle a question like that, how will he handle the taunting from defenders? This is football folks, not for sissy politically correct church boys.

It was a complete lie, I refuse to believe that even Ireland would be stupid enough to cut an elite player. Especially after we just spent 2 second round picks.
Mando , you're trashing Mr Ross because he told it like it was and didn't lie , spin it or talk in circles like Belicheat. He said A Smith wasn't an upgrade and Coach Philbin told him he might as well pay Moore 9 mil a yr as M Flynn was good but not better than MM. I have more respect now for the owner because he told it like it was and didn't try any BS on the fan.

Posted by: morphin | March 25, 2012 at 08:13 PM

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2012/03/stephen-ross-is-more-blunt-intstrument-than-tactician/comments/page/3/#comments#storylink=cpy

No one should expect him to call every Miami Dolphins fan, just as a music performer doesn't call every fan that bought a ticket or CD. Every now and again the music performer will talk to a fan and it's wonderful for them. How about all of the people who don't get to shake that performer's hand, or get a signature, or a quick conversation? Should the performer not reach out to any fan? What you are suggesting is not reasonable and Ross's call to the fan should not be looked at poorly, ever.

Ross doesnt have to listen to the fans. He owns the team. He can chose an empty stadium.

I like blue cheese, on baguette with red wine. But when my girls poozy tastes like blue cheese, I want to throw up.

Ross needs to remember the fans are his customers.

I just had another post cut out. I guess there is one regimen you can criticize and another you can't.

Nothing easier for Ross if he had wanted a marketing venue than to have signed Tim Tebow. He didn't. If we put a solid performing Team on the Field(now, it has to be very, very solid as there are many retirees and tourists from up North in that part of Miami that root for other Teams), the Stadium won't be empty. Guaranteed.

Heck, Ross already said Sun Lifeless was too big(for his garbage team).

Ross loves buying boatloads of his own tickets lol

You so called fans need to get in touch with reality or get a life or something I don't know but to constantly cry and cry and cry about freaking Jeff Ireland and steve Ross is just plain pathetic, they've only been here four years one, two, three, four, my god this team has won nothing in forty years get a grip for god sakes and by the way when people keep crying about Ireland asking that moron dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute why don't they put the whole conversation in there wich when Ireland asked Bryant what his father did bryant said he's a pimp when Ireland asked Bryant what his mother did Bryant said she works for my father what do you expect the next question to be? Exactly!! Wake up people

The Eagles had the greatest off season in all of NFL history last year, building the "Dream Team" in the process...and that turned out to be a nightmare. The Jets won the off season Super Bowl the previous 2 years in a row, but failed to make it to the big game. How many times has Daniel Snider tried to buy a Super Bowl and failed? Not once in all of NFL history has a team won the Super Bowl in March.

We are actually having a VERY good off season so far. We didn't give up the farm for one head shot from retirement Manning or the very inexperienced 2 game starts Flynn. We sure weren't going to go into the season with Matt Moore as our only veteran QB and 2 rooks, so signing Garrard made perfect sense. We successfully resigned Slaton, Baker, Merling, Mastrude and Spitler. We picked up a solid backup OL in Hicks, and ST ace Westerman. We got rid of locker room cancer Marshall, who would have been cut, but the Bears gave us 2 3rds for him instead. The money saved was then used to resign our pro bowl NT Soliai, so now we don't need to draft a DT.

Matt Moore finished the season 12th in the league with a very respectable 87.1 QBR. Dan Marino’s carreer QBR was 86.4. Compare Moore’s QBR to Mark Sanchez’s 78.2 and Tim Tebow’s 72.9…the Jets probably have the WORST QB situation in the league, as they have just set themselves up for a certain QB controversy! The first time Sanchez throws a couple of picks, everbody in NY will be calling for Tebow. The fact of the matter is that there are 20 NFL clubs in this league with QB situations WORSE than ours. Our most dire need is NOT QB, it’s the right side of our offensive line and our defensive secondary…we lost the games we did last year because Marc Columbo didn't block anybody all year long, and we couldn’t cover anybody going down the middle of the field all year long. We let Bell go because he's old, slow and can't cover any more. We fix our secondary and offensive line, and we're a playoff team. Use our first pick on either Reiff or Decastro (preferably after we trade down to get another pick or two), and draft a QB late...I want Case Keenum in the 5th or 6th round.


I root for Miami and anybody that plays the cheats, Jets and the Crimson Tide!

People here look childish. Who cares that Alabama cheats? They have great players and if we get our hands on those, RB, LB/DE or safety, I'll take them.

Armando, you just don't get it. Stephen Ross is


He doesn't have the Dolphins best interestes at heart because he has no freaking clue as to what the Dolphins best interest should be. There are petitions on change.org calling for him to sell the team, and I couldn't agree more.

Games Matt Moore folded in the 4th qtr: Giants, Cowboys and Patriots. He played like crap the entire game against the Jets and Philly, then he threw two horrible picks the last game against the Jets. He stinks!

If Ross were the type of owner who meddled constantly and over spent on FA with mixed to bad results that would be one thing. I personally don't think much of Snyder or J.Jones but applaud their efforts and believe they will given there relentless pursuit of winning learn from there mistakes and eventually get the right mix in place. They are after all modern day versions of Al Davis or Football's equivalent of The Big Boss Steinbrener and while you may have not liked their tactics they learned adapted and eventually fielded winner after winner.

The Dolphins are stuck with a far greater problem in Ross whose mistakes and ways of approaching his team are becoming a far greater dysfunctional distraction making the structure and not the team the problem. I remember former Patriots owner Victor Kiam and believed him to be hands down the worst owner in NFL history because when he wasn't putting his foot in his mouth like he did in the Lisa Olson incident he was running his team like an amateur hour case study in how NOT to do things. I remember thinking there would never be a more clueless owner in League history until having spent 4 Yrs watching Ross.

The parallels between these 2 are a striking case study. In Kiam you had a guy who pegged a College AD to run his club (Sam Jankovich from UM) which was a big mistake. What does a College AD with no experience know about running an NFL franchise. He later had that incident were a female reporter (Lisa Olson) was in the locker room and was by today's standards sexually battered when cornered by a host of naked players. Granted a woman has no business in a male post game locker room but Kiam would later joke in a team banquet he hosted that she had seen more Patriot missiles than the Iraqi Army.

This guy would loose a large part of his fortune with the Jackson Victory tour and have to sell which eventually led to Kraft for our misfortune, we could only be so lucky. I wont go into the large number of mistakes made by Ross in his handling of the team down to his club in the stadium and circus atmosphere on game days because were all to familiar with it but the more I sit and watch Ross the more the dysfunctional train wreck Victor Kiam comes to mind!!!!

Geeze, anyone has the right to say anything after the last 16 terrible years they fielded for us paying fans

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