Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, general manager Jeff Ireland and club CEO Mike Dee met the media in the past hour. It was relatively cordial. There was absolutely no news made -- which I'm sure the Dolphins intended. And best of all for the local team, it wasn't an unmitigated disaster.
The truth is once Ross got comfortable in the setting -- a meeting room at the Palm Beach Breakers Hotel -- he got on something of a roll and answered questions fine. I have issues with some of his answers, but at least he seemed prepared, confident and eventually at ease.
That's the potatoes.
This is unvarnished. I give it to you without editorial. Make up your own mind:
Ross talked of the team's new approach which is supposed to embrace transparency: "We're in a new world today. You can't have a bunker mentality."
Obviously, the perception among people at this meeting, both media and two general managers I canvassed quickly, is that Miami has an institutional inability to lure talent. Ross rejects this notion: "This is the best place in the NFL for players to come ... I wouldn't go from what one or two people might say."
Ross got a little heated when asked about his inability to land Jim Harbaugh, Jeff Fisher, and Peyton Manning: "I'll do it again and again," he said raising his voice. "... Nothing ventured nothing gained."
Ireland said he felt like he had addressed some needs on the offensive line. I asked him if he sees starting-caliber players at the position and he gave me all the names on the roster but didn't say, "We believe (fill in the blank) can start. Training camp will determine if we're right." Obviously, this remains a weakness for the time being.
Ross confirmed what I told you last week about Miami's lack of interest in Tim Tebow: "We dismissed that early on" because Tebow doesn't fit the offensive system.
Obviously the quarterback position was prominent in the discussion. At one point Ireland said, "We feel good where we are at the quarterback position at this time.
Ireland did also say he's made it clear he needs better play from the QB position and the "QB position has been addressed," meaning the attempt to land Manning.
Ross obviously wants more. On the search for a franchise quaterback: "We're going to keep looking. We're very excited about Matt Moore ... That's a good place to start with.".
Ross said he met Archie Manning in December and he was hopeful that meeting, plus the fact Manning has a residence locally and love living here might be helpful in getting the quarterback. "But Manning wanted to go somewhere familiar," he said..
Ross must seriously undervalue Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall. He said "It's not like we've lost anything" when talking of the offseason. Miami did trade Marshall. Ross added that the team got "fair value" for Marshall..
I asked Ross if he's rebuilding. He dodged the question: "We think we have a fine nucleus ...We know where there are some weaknesses. We're looking to correct that.".