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Perhaps one in-house candidate for Dolphins' opening

With Mike Dee leaving the Dolphins as their CEO, two questions linger before a nationwide search for his successor begins:

1. Are there any in-house candidates?

2. Are the Dolphins going to continue their wacky way of operating?

Here are the answers ...

If there is an in-house candidate her name is Dawn Aponte. That's it. No one else.

(I do not count Carl Peterson, former President of the KC Chiefs, as in-house despite the fact he is a close Ross friend and has indeed been working for Ross in other ventures. I count him as an outside candidate, albeit not necessarily a leading one.)

Aponte came to the Dolphins when her mentor Bill Parcells hired her in 2010. She came as the Senior Vice President of Football Operations, which was a long way of saying she was the cap specialist. She came well armed with experience, having served in a similar role with the Cleveland Browns and having worked for the NFL's Management Council prior to that.

Despite that vast experience, one of the first times Aponte was in the spotlight was when the Dolphins cut Joey Porter ... twice. The first time was a salary cap misstep that caused the Dolphins to take Porter back, endure his trashing of an organization he knew was cutting him, and then try the do-over when cap regulations actually allowed it.

Since then, Aponte has been something of a star internally. She has steadily increased her footprint on the football side and after participating in the hiring process in 2012, is one of coach Joe Philbin's closest confidants within the organization.

Aponte was promoted last year to Executive Vice President of Football Administration and her presence has become much more noticeable despite a clear desire on her part to remain in the background. She attends every Philbin press conference. She often has lunch with the coach after practice. She attends most practices or has her assistant attend -- I suppose so that he can report to her what happened.

She wants to be a club president and I don't doubt she'll get there some day. I just don't know if she's ready today.

She is, as I said, uncomfortable in the limelight. She prefers the background. And a club president or CEO cannot be in the background. A CEO needs to be in the community. A CEO has to forge media relationships. Aponte needs to improve or change that to be more viable for the job.

If the Dolphins, or any team, hires her as the club president or CEO, it would also need a CFO to run the nitty-gritty business affairs. Aponte, talented and worthy, is seemingly a better overseeer than a marketing person. And despite her credentials in finance, I don't know if counting pennies for the bottom line would be the best use of her talents.

So is she a candidate? Probably. Is she going to get the job? That question remains.

The next issue the Dolphins have regarding the hiring of this person is that the organization is way too divided into different factions.

Yes, most teams are split into business and football ops. But the Dolphins are seriously, tragically split. Unlike the Don Shula days when both sides of the organization lined up under the coach and marched to the same beat, the Dolphins often do not march in unison because, well, the right hand often doesn't know what the left hand is doing or doesn't care.

Bill Parcells liked a clear line of demarcation where it seemed no one could cross and that line hasn't been well erased since his departure.

And so you had football ops declining to help the business side with simple things such as players filming 30-second clips to be played at the stadium on game days.

You had football ops shaking their heads when they found out (through the media) that Jets T-shirts were being sold in the team store. 

You had Tony Sparano and his owner not really talking because the coach saw the owner as part of teh business side and not really a football man.

The interesting thing is that once Parcells was gone, owner Stephen Ross took over as de-facto president of the team. He was to be the unifying figure for the franchise.

Except that by that time, the business operations had been moved from the Davie training facility to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. So football staff was at Davie and business staff was at Sun Life. And, unfortunately, Ross is in New York.

An absentee owner.

While successful owners such as Jerry Jones, the Rooneys, Robert Kraft, Jim Irsay, Arthur Blank, the Maras and Tischs,  and many others are around their teams day-to-day and thus aware of practically everything that's happening on a daily basis, Ross is busy running his real estate development business.

What does that mean?

He doesn't see things for himself. He relies on the reports of others to tell him what's going on with his $1 billion investment.

That doesn't mean being present as an owner is more likely to bring a winner on the field. But I believe an owner who is fully invested and fully immersed in the day-to-day workings of his team is better equipped to make more sound decisions because his understanding of the various situations is greater.

Despite this, the Dolphins aren't likely to change course, at least that's what a club source said Wednesday. The set-up will remain the same. Football ops and the business side will remain separate and apart with Jeff Ireland and Aponte and Joe Philbin over on that side -- with none really ultimately answerable to the other. And the new CEO will be over on the other side -- with him or her not really answerable to the football ops people.

All will be answerable to Ross, of course. But Ross will remain in New York except on game days and other visits.  


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I'm not sure Ross not being around things has much impact on the team's or the businesses success. As an owner you hire good people to run the individual ventures. You trust in these people. The NFL owners today all have multiple businesses they run besides the football team. They have their hands in a lot of different things. They hire good people to keep them informed and make important decisions. In this day and age of technology, it's just not necessary for the owners to be baby-sitting all the time. For any of us that have experienced it, there's nothing worse than an owner or manager who likes to micro-manage. Everyone is afraid to do their jobs, walks on eggshells and everything is over analyzed. Best owners empower their people and trust them to do what they're hired to do. I believe for the most part, this is the approach that most resembles how Ross runs his businesses.

So what's wrong with that? Who cares if 30 sec clips show up on the scoreboard? How does that translate to success on the field? I can see how it can hurt marketing the club but who cares?

"Winning cures all", not sure if it was VL who said it. Probably.

Steve Ross, worst owner ever?

no, no more fatcells pos'.
no !

" I can see how it can hurt marketing the club but who cares?"

That sounds like the kind of attitude that kills football teams, or any other kind of business.

oscar, every drunk at the track says that.


What a waste of a article. How many teams, businesses have you run ? You can barely run a blog without it being silly, Dolphin bashing nonsense.

President, Business Operations Eric Woolworth .miami heat.

if it gonna b a broad, then make it paula deen.

Darkoak (from the last blog)'

I have no issues with people debating whether we were right to let Long go and whether it was right to turn things over to Martin. Time will tell on that one. What I have a hard time having to listen to is this horse Shyte about whether Long was the right pick and how he's not as good as Joe Thomas. Who gives a Shyte! He doesn't play for this team any more. Guys talk about this stuff like they're jaded lovers or something, It's kind of pathetic!

Anderson, all nfl teams are armed with enough money to fund player salaries and all other team expenses through their tv deals. Marketing raises funds for other stuff and to line the owner's pockets like Jerry in Dallas does. Doesn't really impact the on field product. Green bay and Pitt are two of the smallest markets in the NFL. Winning makes good marketing for those teams. Not 30 second clips on the jumbotron.

From last blog.

Ellerbe Can Cover. Ellerbe Doesn't Look Like He Will Fake A Injury. A la Dansby.

Posted by: Dashi | July 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Dansby was an OLB switched to MLB in Miami who never adapted to the switch given his inability to call audibles or occupy space in zone D. The weakside OLB Pos. (in 3/4 which he played his whole career) as I'm sure everybody here knows without explanation requires a pass rusher who can set the edge and cover Backs out of the backfield. In other words a Pos. of read-n-reacting more than thinking before the snap and calling out a formation or changing a D call. This was the one glaring weakness in Dansby's game as a Miami Dolphin which cost us late in those 4th Qrt. collapses were he couldn't adjust to how the Offenses had adjusted to us audibling the D plain and simple!

Lost on some of you is the 2011 Season when Burnett then in his 1st Season with Miami called an audible in S.D. were Rivers hits V.J. on a long pass play were the DB's confused by the call (in large part because N.Carroll was starting at CB and Jimmy Wilson was on the field as well in Nickle) Everybody roasted Burnett for making the call given he was in his 4th game as a Fin (Henne's last start and 1st for Moore)and he later apologized for it but I remember thinking it was more an indictment of Dansby's inability to adapt and get out of his base D to counter what S.D. was doing which if memory serves thy had abandoned they're run game which we were stuffing and were attacking us in the middle of the field before the long pass inside our 5 to V.J.

All this and we still haven't touched his work in pass D were he was a complete liablity and I could go on with example after example for another couple of paragraphs. At MLB you need a smart player aside from athlete look Zach wasn't the best athlete but he knew how to read and fall into the soft spots in the zone's were he made alot of plays aside from calling out the D on audibles putting everybody in the right spot a weakness with Dansby, no denying it! London Fletcher in Wash. right now even at 37 is probably the best at putting his D in right call and the reason he's still highly functionable in todays game. I don't see how Ellerbee could do worse, IMHO!

Forget Joe Thomas..Matt Ryan instead of Long was the ticket.

Ross only cares about the money. Winning is an afterthought to him.

Those Catholic Coaches, Lombardi, Shula, were tough but mostly they were Teachers. Joe Philbin?

dee u can take the orange carpet
gator day
and flub liv with u and shove them up u'r axx.

what other owners don't reside in the teams city other than f'n jet ross?

Has anybody had a shorter tenure as team exec. as Marino.?LMAO

Ross is like a used car salesman trying to use nonsense to sell his crappy product to anyone he can. Its like desperation time.

Marino quit after what, 10 days?

Once I read Parcells hired her I want nothing more to do with her, give the job to Mark in Toronto before Dawn A!

Craig, I feel like your taking a shot at me at 12:36.

Remember when Peter whatever his last name is pick the Dolphins to win the superbowl in 2006 with Culpepeper under center. LMAO BWWWHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA.


bruce,is that u?

f4l, this blog is no place for insight @12:40


Ross worst owner in sports.

Dee leaving is DOOM

there, feels like home again

You Can Tell Mando Is Back. He Has A Gift Of Turning Everything Dolphin Into A Negative. It Is Like He Gets Paid To Troll The Fins.

It Went From Hating On Dawn To Hating On Parcells To Hating On Ross. A Typical Mando Post.

So You Are Saying Kraft Spends More Time With The Pats Than He Does At "Kraft Enterprises". I'm Calling BS On That One.

Instead of writing my last post, I just should kept reading after f4l's great post.

Truth, thanks for the plug, can I write you down as a reference?

In what billion daollar entities do you see the owner at the office on a day to day basis??? pff, once a quarter if you're lucky.

This is probably Mando's biggest case of propaganda ever. I agree Dashi.

How would Mando know how to run a business anyway, he's worked most of his life at the Miami Herald. A dying business .. does the owner fo the Herald work there on a daily basis? I don't even know who that is but I doubt it.

dee u can take the orange carpet
gator day
and flub liv with u and shove them up u'r axx.

Posted by: 2 watt | July 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Dee also put in the infamous Club at the Stadium and idea that could fly in MLB were on a hot day or double header in 82 home games you could go to the Club and watch from the moniters. The Yankees put one in their new Stadium and you don't get the backlash you get from it in a Football Stadium were the action and 12th man (noise) make a difference with homefield on every Sunday in a short Season with only 8 home games. He also had the idea for Fins H.O.F. complete with Theme Park and Hotel on the Stadium Grounds (easily his dumbest idea he had) instead of improved parking at one of the worst NFL venues for it with no real means of public transportation.

Analyzing the contributions of Mike Dee I don't think he will be missed much given his ZERO input into what matters which is the product the team puts on the field. That said it must be difficult running a business were operations sets up a model that the business end can't market properly aside from setting both sides up for unhealthy competition as each jockeys for position in an internal power struggle. Maybe Aponte given here proclivity on the operational side can apply it to her business acumen and begin to bridge the gap between the 2 which seems to be yet another thing the ill equiped and inexperienced former H.C. turned Executive V.P. left in disarray.

F4L @12:42 Great Post I Was About To Re Post It Myself.

I Agree. That Is Why I Believe Te'o Would've Been A Great MLB. His Game Was More Mental Than Physical. But A MLB Can't Be Scared To Tackle Like He Did During The Title Game. Te'o Was Scared Of Lacy.

A MLB Has To Be The Smartest Defensive Player And A Sure Tackler. He Is The QB Of The Defense.


Mando has Worked His Whole Life At The Herald. He Is The Ultimate Conformist.

It Use To Say On His Bio He Has Worked At The Herald Since He Was 19. Which Means He Has Been Working At The Herald Before He Was A Journalist. Or He Has Been Reporting Without A Degree For A While.

Wonder Why He Took It Down?

Many shady things about BP's stay here(and elsewhere). But what is crystal clear now is that his worst mistake was hiring Tony Sparano as the HC. Why on Earth would, he, come up with, him?

If this team has ANY department that has nothing to do with winning. It should not be a part of this team. This side that side is the recipe for mediocre... I have to say I was pretty excited about this team until I saw how this organization is still run. Now with the way this team communicates one part here one part there in two separate companies and a 3rd in NY??? It dont matter whats on the field, if yr not communicating and working together as a team on and off the field yr NOT winning period!!!


Any Coach Named Spo Is Usually A Puppet Coach. And Control Freaks Usually Like Puppet Coaches.

I understand, D. But the current control Coach in SoFla at least wins.


Totally agree with your comments @1:18pm. Next thing you know Armando will be telling us that the Dolphins lack of success the last 30 years is because of the fact Ross hasn't been there every day. The reality is that all of these business owners are busy. None of them are there hands on every day, including Jerry Jones. If we really want to stretch facts, I guess I'd argue if Kraft was really on top of things he would have known what a lowlife Hernandez was.

I read some of Parcells comments about when he left the Dolphins. This egomaniac still doesn't get it. He was involved in bad decision after bad decision, including having Sparano as his HC. The reality is had he left earlier we would have been in better shape. By the time he eventually left the damage had been done. This guy will never get that.

That Is Cause Of LeBron. The Heat Better 3-Peat. Or We Will Really See What The Heat Head Coach Can Do. LeBron came Here To Win Titles, Not Just Make The Finals. Remember He Wants To Be The G.O.A.T.

How Do You Let Go Of Mike Miller And Keep J.Anthony. The Difference In Salary Was Minimal. And Teams Might Be Willing To Trade For M&M. Who Will Even Play JA.

The Heat Have Barely Reached Their Potential.

Good Coaches Make Their Team Overachieve. Look At Philbin, Look At Redmond, Look At The Guy Who Coaches The Panthers. The Team Play Better Than Their Talent Suggest.


The argument about the 4th Qrt. collapses falling on the feet of Danby for his inability to adjust the D is one you've been pushing for a couple of Seasons now and I give credit were it's due! I had been seeing it as well in disgust! The truth is Dansby was improperly used by the team since day one and you can't lay that on his feet.

The only player I can recall in NFL History to switch from the Outside to MLB and play at a high level was Wilbur Marshall when traded from Chicago to Washington and even here I had my reservations given Wilbur to me was just as good as LT and I thought he hit even harder to tell you the truth. In 85 NFC Championship he nearly killed Rams QB Jim Everett were he fumbles and the fridge picks it up for 6 in what was the difference in that game also nearly decapitates Lions QB Eric Hipple that Yr. It was so devastating you can still youtube the play (got you the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3ZYPjX1o9U play is at 3:40 of video)

Sure he was solid at MLB and the Skins won the 91 S.B. but Marshall to me was the 2nd coming at OLB! I saw him while a Gator in the Kerwin Bell, Charlie Pell ERA and man was he special! I got a little off topic there but you get my point I still remember Shula and Olivadotti switching Cox inside were I thought he wasn't very good to be honest. He missed alot of RB's coming threw the hole were Thurman Thomas made him look stupid often especially in 95 playoff game were they racked up over 300 yards rushing on us (NFL record which will stand for a loooong time)

He was also terrible in pass coverage given he was very slow. He was kept at MLB by Wannstedt in Chicago and cut 2 Yrs. later before Parcells resurrected him with Jets back on the outside. So please no talk of Cox in Middle because he was lousy there. Watch Dansby have similar rebirth in return to Cardinals at OLB in 3/4 with everybody saying well why didn't he play like that in Miami?? Truth is I never got why we didn't move him back to his spot when it became evident he wasn't mastering the Middle Pos.??

Aponte is the only choice I totally agree with that choice !! She's a woman I can totally trust with J.Philbin both running the Organization !! We're in real good hands with Dawn Aponte as President&Ceo of the Miami Dolphins Organization In Dawn I Trust !!

Instead of writing my last post, I just should kept reading after f4l's great post

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | July 18, 2013 at 01:15 PM

Thanks for the plug was watching Worst Gangsters on Bio last night and they featured Christopher "Dudus" Coke the head of the Jamaican Shower Posse and the havok they unleashed on Toronto. Left lots of bodies in your area which is unusual up in your neck of the woods.

what other owners don't reside in the teams city other than f'n jet ross?

Posted by: 2 watt | July 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM


Glad you asked.

The DeBartolo's lived in Ohio when the 49ers were a dynasty.

John Henry, who has won the World Series twice as the Red Sox owner lives in Palm Beach County.

Only stupid people think this is an issue.


Dansby Can Be A Good OLB. But I Believe In Arizona He Will Still Be Playing MLB. D.Washington Is Out For The First 8 Games. The Cards MLB.

Dansby Is Also Built For The 3-4, Not The 4-3. Which Exposed Him Even More.

The Funny Thing Is Dansby Was A SS In College. He Should Know How To Cover And Line Up The Players Around Him. He Wasn't A Converted DE Like Misi.

Allegedly Dansby Was Also A RB In High School. He Is A Good Athlete He Just Got Fat From Living The Good Life.

Maybe we could get Parcells back.


Ross doesnt live in Miami and doesnt it seem like he's working for the Jests?

Greatest LB unit in History. Jim Lynch, Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell(especially). KC Chiefs. We used to beat them pretty regularly, though not handily.

Who cares?? Lets talk about the product on the field please.

Mando trying to kiss a little butt before camp so he can get some inside info during the season.

Ross graduated from Miami Beach High and had Dolphins season tickets for three decades before buying the team.

He runs his real estate business from NY but interesting Armando doesn't mention that Ross has a huge home in Palm Beach County.

I'm starting to see that Salguero is actually a very poor source of information.

Is it true what somebody in this Blog said that Dawn Aponte is "doable"?


I am looking forward to our mall date and pedicure tomorrow. Oh, and do you know what a little birdie told me? SHOE SALE AT BLOOMINGDALE'S!!!

Oh, how I look forward to our special day together and sharing feelings.

When Ross honored Florida Gator and Denver Bronco Tim Tebow on the Miami Hurricanes and Miami Dolphin home field, it alienated a ton of fans. Not to mention we lost the game and heard fans screaming for our opponent.

TGH get over it! Ross seems like a good guy who really wants the team to win. Yea he made mistakes but so what? who hasn't? You have to learn from your mistakes and get better. He's investing a lot of money and resources into the team to produce a winning product. You guys act like the dolphins have been the jaguars or browns the last couple of seasons. They need a qb and hopefully they have one now.

From a fans point of view, I've never seen a worse owner then Ross. He's pathetic. Remember when he tried to hire a HC before he fired one? LOL

Listen, I owe no financial allegiance, or of any other kind, to TMH or to Ross. I can speak here whateverTH I want. You don't like it? Censure my post.

Oscar, please calm down and think about our wonderful pedicure tomorrow!!

Some idiot above saying that if he had studied more in HS he could have become a Neurosurgeon. Yeah, right.


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