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Names, people to keep in mind in coming days

Most of what goes on around a football team happens behind the scenes. Practices are closed. The locker room is closed except for a few minutes a day. Meetings are private. The draft room is off limits. And, of course, the hiring, firing or retaining of coaches and personnel people is way, way out of bounds.

(Unless the owner has a helicopter and he lands candidates he's interviewing on the field of the team practice facility).

Anyway, all that stuff is behind the iron curtain. But the curtain sometimes has little peepholes and sometimes names get out. And sometimes we learn that what we see in public is only a small fraction of what happened and was considered behind the curtain.

So allow me to share with you names of people that have to be swirling in Stephen Ross's head now that he's going to "look at everything," as he said about evaluating the Dolphins future direction:

1. Eric Mangini: Ross wanted to hire Mangini prior to the 2011 season but changed course when Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano balked at the idea. Ross loves Mangini, currently a Senior Offensive Consultant for the San Francisco 49ers, for reasons I am not clear on. Mangini obviously has experience as a head coach as well as defensive coordinator but Ross would not limit the consideration of Mangini to a coaching job. Mangini wanted to drive his career toward the front office and so if Ross fires Jeff Ireland, this is a possible GM replacement. Indeed, even if Ross retains Ireland, Mangini might be brought in to oversee both the coach and general manager. Ireland is no longer in the position of strength he enjoyed in 2011 so he'd be unable to dissuade Ross this time.

2. Brian Gaine: He is currently the assistant GM and Ireland's right-hand man. He's an up-and-coming talent to the point he interviewed for the New York Jets GM position a year ago. If Ross decides he wants to or must fire Ireland, it is possible he'd promote Gaine to the job overseeing personnel. It's also possible Ross would give Gaine authority over personnel while still answering to someone such as Mangini or Dawn Aponte or Carl Peterson (more on those two in the coming paragraphs). This is an interesting dynamic because Gaine is a loyal and honorable guy. He might be uncomfortable taking Ireland's post after Ireland promoted him. He might not want to be a personnel man answering to people with limited personnel background. Or he might get the thumbs up from Ireland and be an easy fit.

3. Aponte: Do not underestimate her ability to work the system and climb the ladder. She came to the Dolphins as a cap specialist and has ascended to Executive VP of Football Administration. She also bonded with coach Joe Philbin and is one of if not his primary advisor. One of her known goals is to be an NFL general manager. If Ireland is dismissed, she will likely want the job. And although she has zero experience in personnel evaluation, she'll argue she can do the job with the assistance of a savvy talent evaluator at her side -- someone like Gaine. Aponte's name is also being floated around the league office for a possible position there. She worked at the league office for three years. Before that she worked for the Cleveland Browns for a year and the New York Jets for 15 years. She is close with, you guessed it, Mangini -- the former head coach in Cleveland and the Jets.

4. Scott Pioli: He helped build the New England dynasty of the early 2000s. He was the GM of a Kansas City franchise whose downfall was not talent but rather coaching and quarterback play. Pioli would be a strong GM candidate if Ross fires Ireland. Like so many of these other folks, Pioli has New York Jets history. It is where he and Bill Belichick linked up prior to their run in New England. It must be said, Pioli would typically not be a GM candidate unless he can bring his own head coach. That's how he did it in Kansas City. But as GM jobs are scarce now -- only one GM so far has been fired this offseason -- Pioli might be willing to accept working with Joe Philbin for a year before making a decision to retain or jettison him after 2014.

5. Peterson: He has been and remains a friend and advisor to Ross. If Ross decides he wants to go back to the football czar dynamic -- one in which a guy like Peterson oversees the daily workings of the head coach and GM and reports those directly to the owner -- then Peterson would be a candidate. As you know, Ross does not want to fire either Jeff Ireland or Joe Philbin. He didn't plan to fire either Ireland or Philbin as late as a week ago before the season-defining collapse. So maybe the owner's answer to all this is give both Ireland and Philbin a "Make the playoffs in 2014 or bust" ultimatum while King Carl oversees their every move.

6. Mike Tannenbaum: Another person with New York Jets connections. What do you expect from an owner that lives in New York and whose group of advisors include former Jets employees? If Ross doesn't want to promote Aponte to GM she might bolt to the league office if that opportunity pans out. Tannebaum, the former Jets GM, would be a capologist or football executive answer in Miami. This would particularly be the case if Ireland is fired and Mangini comes to town. Tannenbaum and Mangini were a team with the Jets from 2006-2008 until Tannenbaum whacked him after the 2008 season. (That's the NFL, folks).

If you'll notice there are a lot of New York Jets connections here. It probably makes Dolphins fans queasy because it's the Jets and, after all, their Super Bowl drought is longer than Miami's so what makes those folks so smart?

But here's the thing: Ross has multiple Jets people around him now.

L. Jay Cross is the President of Related Hudson Yards and is leading the Related Companies' project on the west side of New York City. Ross is founder and chairman of Related. Cross was president of the New York Jets from 2000-2008.

Matt Higgins was the New York Jets' executive vice president Business Operations from 2004 through early January 2012. He left the team to co-found RSE Ventures, a tech company charged with getting fans closer to sports and entertainment events. The co-founder and chairman of RSE? Stephen Ross.

Higgins was a valued advisor to Jets owner Woody Johnson during his time with the Jets. When Ross came out of the Dolphins locker room on Sunday he was accompanied by, you guessed it, Matt Higgins.


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No coach can make chicken salad out of chicken shyt.

OK Scott/Promichael/AllNewAmericanduche/weasel
right after I watch this game

and bucs now hire coaches. miami losing ground every minute, wake da f up ross

smells bad doesn't it?? FIRE ME ROSS

How come Ireland wasnt fired?

Ireland got fired didn't he??

dusty you are being ignorant. It's only been 4 days since Ross had to make a decision Those other teams knew for months,

Stop acting like a 12 year old, if you can.

takes u 4 days to realize these clowns should be gone, hilarious. think for yourself for once

Ross SHOULD'VE known for years.

If Ireland isnt fired I will vomit.

if ireland stays this franchise is dead in the water,finished. stadium will be a ghost town. and moved

dusty, you don't just fire people without a plan. Does it make sense to fire people and replace them with something worse? Is that what you would do? Probably.

Ross being a smart businessman isn't going to be firing anyone until he can evaluate the options. That takes a little time.

Grow the fk up, your opinions are so juvenile.

dusty is the type of person that would blow his head off to remove a zit on his cheek.

ossol your dumb as it gets. i dont blame u for hiding behind different names now.

so true zonk. ross so clueless on nfl. lets hope he fires ireland and doesnt tell new gm that he has to keep philbin, else nobody worth a damn is coming here

how come when ever Promichael is here dusty bottoms is missing and vice-a-verse a ?? actually nobody really cares but we know

Ireland should've been fired at the Dez Bryant incident or when Sparano was fired.......years ago.

we would be so much better now thats for sure zonk

What a mess. If any of those "qualified" candidates gets the nod -except cor Pioli- I'm going to seriously think over my loyalty to this team. Not a knee jerk reaction either. I have lived all over the country and always attended Phins games and tolerated the usual "your team sucks" jokes but at least there was always hope.

This black list of potential personnel decisioners is seriously flawed and brings any glimmer of hope down. SMH

ossol your dumb as it gets. i dont blame u for hiding behind different names now.

Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 01, 2014 at 11:01 PM

ok bill conners. you are the idiot. you fool nobody bill conners.

what kind of a loser keeps changing their name to antagonize people to make themselves feel better. Your a lost sole my lost friend, maybe get a hobbie

dusty has many names, too many, but bill conners is his favorite.

Just so you all know.

Todd Bowles will be a helluva coach, mark my words.

Middle of the year, during the losses, I half jokingly said Ross would move the team (or sell it) and the franchise would be moved to LA. After listening to the reality of what Miami now appears to offer regarding NFL fans willing to pony up for tickets for a poor product, this seems more like a probable reality. Contrast this to Detroit, where, even during the the 0-16 season the stands were packed. Same with The Browns and others with similar situations.
The Titans attendance dropped 20% the last year do to poor performance. In the Titans case, folks just tired of bad teams. In the Dolphins case, bad teams, bad stadium, and apparently lack of folks who prefer FOOTBALL to Futbol.

If the above is incorrect, then Ross had better get his act together. Philbin's inability to gather his troops, Sherman's inability to remember what is working from minute to minute, and Ireland's inability to draft are the "perfect storm."
They must ALL go. Or, before not to long, the franchise will.

Bowles? Miami will never hire a ni...g....g...er coach. Never. I don't blame them.

Todd Bowles - HC
Chudzinski - OC

agree on bowles fin

ima no doubt. either miami or jacksonville will def be moved soon

I'm tired of all you idiots, dusty bottoms, oscar, Mark, kris, Irelands soiled diaper, you never listen to me because your all idiots. I'm just so sick of it, it hurts me that you guys never listen to me.

Miami needs its first Jew coach. We need brains, we've had too many total faker buffoons.

Geez Samuel, did you lose your wife to one?

The sad truth is that Ross is at the very root of this debacle. Ireland, just like any of us would have done, gave in to Ross wish to hire Philbin rather than McCoy. Ireland had to know Philbin's coaching agenda was in complete opposition to the thpe of roster he har assembled.

From that moment this team was doomed to fail and it is yet more proof that you can not fire either Ireland OR Philbin, Ross has to fire both or promote within to keep Philbin.

Nutshell as bad as Ireland bas been, and he has, Philbin and his staff of cronies has been worse, way worse. As much as I hate to interrupt continuity the state of this franchise demands a swift executive decision to clean house and restart with a clean slate. Too bad Ross is really listening to a group of people who have achieved very little in their NFL careers except for Pioli.

Just had my 10th anniversary. My wife is my favorite person on the planet Earth.

we have a jew in ireland you complete idiot

dusty, you don't just fire people without a plan. Does it make sense to fire people and replace them with something worse? Is that what you would do? Probably.

Ross being a smart businessman isn't going to be firing anyone until he can evaluate the options. That takes a little time.

Grow the fk up, your opinions are so juvenile.

Posted by: Ossol | January 01, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Totally disagree. Plan?
Hire a reputed GM, coach and let THEM formulate the plan. Ross's problem is he listens to all the wrong people.
If he'd just compare the team's collapse with the other team who fired coaches, he'd see the Fins collapse was as egregious as anyone's.

Sheesh, last year the Bears fired Lovie Smith, after posting a 10-6 record.
Try too remember ALL of Ross's missteps since taking over ownership. The 'carpet", the multiple "owners', all worthless. The Jimmy Buffett debacle, the Harbaugh episode. Allowing Ireland to insult Dez Bryant, which went public. The so-called "Bully-gate" debacle.
Is this the mark of a someone who should be making these decisions? NO.
But with no other choice, Ross has to be a man and do the right thing. Pay Philbin his last year..if it's 2 more, again Ross made a BAD deal. Toughski-Shitski.
Can Ireland and the entire coaching staff.
There is enough talent to go 8-8 with a grapefruit coaching. The quality HC, along with a quality draft can get the Fins to 10-6. The home/away schedule for 2014 APPEARS favorable, though it's the NFL, so you never know.

we have a jew in ireland you complete idiot

Posted by: promichelle | January 01, 2014 at 11:24 PM

That of course is not true.

Happy new year to all. Yeah as has been mentioned this is a horrible list. Hopefully its just Mando trying to get blog hits. Pioli is the only one who seems decent.

Two GM candidates I would be looking at

Tom Gamble- Worked for the 49ers for 8 years and is now the Eagles VP of player personnel. Howie Roseman appears to be the cap guy while Gamble scouts the players it looks like.

Eric DeCosta- He is the Ravens number 2 right now. Teams went after him an offseason or two or go so they gave him a raise. They intend for him to be Ozzie's successor.

Scott Pioli- He actually did some really good things with the Pats and the Chiefs. His biggest mistakes were a terrible QB and a coach. Two pretty big mistakes, but hes better than all the other listed candidates.

Anyway whatever Ross does, he must do it fast. 2 of the better coaching candidates in Bill O'Brien and Lovie Smith are already off the market.

It's just amazing though how coaches change, owners change and players change yet the only thing that remains is the mediocrity. Not sure what the answer is but I do know it starts with the QB position. Not ripping T'hill but the special QB's rise to the challenge rather than shrink to it.

That of course is not true.

Posted by: Lenny Levine | January 01, 2014 at 11:27 PM

It most certainly is young man

IMAWriter, what is a reputed GM? They don't grow on trees. It is rare any of the good ones have success on more than one team.

If you are a writer, you need to learn to do some research.

The 'plan' I speak of is that Ross needs time to see what is available and who would be interested. Can't you see the thought of having to replace anybody didn't arise until 4 days ago???

Sorry, you just don't knee jerk fire your coach or gm without doing due diligence. Maybe YOU do, but of course that is why YOU are not a billionaire.

Can anybody read? Jeff Ireland is not the coach.

disagree on pioli, he was awful in kc. most hated man there

Any coach that needs cue cards from Aponte and can't speak on his own and stop congratulating the opponent I don't want as a coach. Hope there is good news tomorrow.

get a life you loser, you get rid of the crap that's the only way to do it. You are the dumbest fool on here with your non sense

Oh and Ossol,
just encase your slow mind didn't get it, by crap I'm talking Ireland and Phillis

Ossol, I meant reputable.
The Bucs may have gotten the best available coach because they acted quickly.
BTW, why do you have ton get insulting? Another BTW, you have absolutely no clue as to my financial situation, but I do about yours. With apparently little concern for whom you insult, I'd wager YOU'RE no millionaire. If you say you are, you've further insulted the intelligence of those here.

Iereland's firing would hardly be considered a "knee jerk" thing.Apparently you haven't followed the past couple of years of draft ineptitude, or read the fact the Fins rookies logged the LEAST # of minutes for all 32 teams in the NFL. By a LARGE margin.
Philbin couldn't muster his troops for a HOME GAME against a rival with a losing record, one whom the team defeated only 3 weeks before.

Fans want no more of the same.

sorry fellas,
sometimes I defecate right where I eat and sleep. I call other people names just to make my self feel better. Gosh, that felt good to say out loud.

I also use a bunch of different names and attack people because my life sucks and it makes me feel better. Please don't hold it against me ok fellas

thank you promicheal, being a loser must make you feel very alone and embarrassed, it's ok!! acceptance is the first step kid

promichael, I been there man, congrats for coming clean dude. your a better man/troll/squid than I am man. I never came clean. I'm still doing it. It is very lonely

thanks guys, I need help. I can see that now

Ireland's Soiled Diarrhea Diaper,





I've come to the conclusion that Jordan wasn't drafted to be an immediate impact player this year. He was drafted to sit and learn behind Wake for the next two years and then take his spot when Wake's contract is up. I think that may have been the whole purpose of this years draft. His top 3 picks this year were all injured coming into this season and for the most part, barely played. Don Jones, the 7th rounder had as many impact plays (sacks, forced fumbles, fumble recovery) as Jordan did.

I think both Ireland and Philbin survive this, i think some position coaches and one if not both coordinators go. I think they will both be under the gun to make the playoffs next year and the moment the team is out of contention, both will be gone, just like Sporano was when he lost that final game and had no chance of a winning season.

Pioli's drafts have actually been like Ireland's last draft. Pick a guy and he sits behind a starter. with the exception of Berry. 3 of his 4 1st rounders are starters (all on D). 2 of his 4 2nd rounders start on the OL 3rd round he found a starting LB and OG, and 2 serviceable backups. 4th round - none of his 4th rounders have survived. 5th rd - Only starter Kendrick Lewis has survived. 6th and 7th - 4 reserves and his kicker out of 9 picks.

Daniel in Pasadena,

You may be correct but why trade up to the #3 spot to chose a player who can not give the team immediate help and then pick players who are injured and can not help for the immediate season. That is just acorn dumb. Ireland will most likely lose his job for this kind of recruiting. Especially when the OL needed help. Poor evaluations by the GM seemed to have him believing that he had a good OL.

This last post to Daniel in Pasadena,

this is my post and not from the idiot who has been using my ID name late this evening.....

The one thing that really perplexes me is how everybody says it's easy to find guards anywhere in the draft. We drafted one in the third round, signed a former 1st rounder in Danny Watkins at the end of training camp, signed another former Cowgirl in David Arkin during the season and when everything crashes with Martin and Incognito, we pull a rookie off the practice squad to start ahead of them all. WTF

And UCF wins the Fiesta Bowl!

I'd take Bortles and Storm Johnson!

gross. enough with the retreads. especially JETS retreads!! bring in someone young and creative!!

Dawn Aponte is the MAN!!!!
I say give her a shot....at the very least, she'd be much better than Ireland...!!!

I keep hearing about GM,OC,HC being fired and I agree but what about the DC? Did anyone notice how the Dolphins couldn't stop anyone when they needed to? I know our offense needs to stay on the field more and give the defense more rest but come on we lost some games because defense couldn't make stops on 3rd and 4th downs against teams

I say hand the keys over to Mike Holmgren. Whatever position he wants...GM, HC, and OC.

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