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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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Wow looking at the 4000 yard club, I see name like Jay Schroeder, Jeff George and Elvis Grbac, you see where Im coming from.

#17 also was 7th in attempts as well, sadly his average per attempt was terrible at 6.66, almost last out of all the NFL starters. There's a number for you.

Look if you are going to play the stats card to support your argue for the QB here, you better use his shoe size, number of push ups, or times he can say the word 'excited' in an interview, because paasing stats aint gonna help your case Jimmy.

Where was the defense the past two weeks - Sacks? Turnovers?

How many passes were dropped?

I guess if you have no life, it is fun to bash the QB.

Behind the worst oline in the history of the team, he is doing great under the circumstances. Few if any QB's could have done any better with so many losses to oline and receivers in a matter of weeks.

He did beat 75% of the division winners. Yes he missed Wallace too often, he also completed more passes to Wallace than Big Ben ever did in one season. Ignore the facts as it suits you.

None of the typical blogger nonsense poking affects any of us with a mind of our own. We see.

The anti-QB folks are doing nothing more than jacking themselves off together,

Continue on (and no I won't take your dumb bait and respond, but your buds will)

12-4 if Moore had started?....I love a good laugh

It was the offense, stupid! 7 pts in 2 weeks

Mike Shula for OC!!! Do it!!!

Truth - bro you sound like a Raiders fan...

It's not about one player? Football is the ultimate team sport.

Fix the o-line, d-line, running game... the QB was not the problem this year.

lots of excuses for tannepuke lol

Tannehill makes EVERYONE around him worse. The sign of a bust QB.

How many passes were dropped?

Posted by: Jim | December 31, 2013 at 08:17 PM

Around a 5th of the passes that were inaccurate.

Take away half the dropped passes that were right on target and you have another 2 wins if not more.

Ah but that is no fun. More fun to bash he QB...most of you do it trying to irritate others, others do it trying to prove you were right about something.

Nothing more.

Well goodnight kids. Try to squeeze in a little NYE fun now. You can always come back tomorrow and the next 423 days to bash the QB more. It's free.

I guess if you have no life, it is fun to bash the QB.

Pisster: Bogwog

No. You have no life if you follow a team that doesn't have a QB sadly.

He did beat 75% of the division winners. Yes he missed Wallace too often, he also completed more passes to Wallace than Big Ben ever did in one season. Ignore the facts as it suits you.

Written by D-wad.

Dolphins division record 2-4. If that makes 75%, then Im a Dutchman and you are a genius.

No. You have no life if you follow a team that doesn't have a QB sadly.

Posted by: The Truth | December 31, 2013 at 08:26 PM

And you are here all the time because you don't follow the team?

Wow are you DUMB!!!!!!!!!

SHeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh DUMB!

Posted by: Jim | December 31, 2013 at 08:20 PM

Ok Jim if its not about one player then we can never evaluate any one player as an individual then ?

Ever think why players, make the probowl, get cut, get hired, get fired, get ripped in the press win the NFL MVP award ?

What you said makes next to no sense, though I hear it used as a complete cop out and excuse for poor performers.

Question for you. Based on the last two crunch games of the season wiht the playoffs on the line, who played a better game, when they met Thad Lewis or #17.

Second question who played better when they met in wk 17 Geno or #17 ?

If you say your QB #17, then its clear to me where you are coming from.

Posted by: Not a CLUELESS IDIOT!!! | December 31, 2013 at 08:30 PM

The Truth hurts you.

Posted by: The Truth | December 31, 2013 at 08:29 PM

He can't even READ and COMPREHEND at a 3rd grade level!!!!!

Division Winners (can you understand what that means bonehead LOL)

NE (beat them)
Cincy (beat them)
Colts (beat them)
Denver (didn't play them)

3 out of 4 = 75%
BWad was right.

And you are dumber than camel poop!

In My Opinion for GM my wish list
1 Bill Polian
2 Tony Dungy
3 Scott Pioli

For Head Coach
1 Bill Cowher (This Team needs his intensity )
2 Tony Dungy ( Good overall Coach well respected )
3 John Grudden ( Good Off Coach works well with QB
can also bring his brother as OC )
4 Mike Shula ( Miami will love to have another Shula )
5 Mike Zimmer ( Good Def Coach due to get his shot)
6 Josh McDaniels ( Billichick Pupil with NE insights )

Ireland must go another year with him will be a disaster Philbin will need to fired both the OC and OL Coach and be more aggressive on defense
if he doesn't fire Sherman and the OL Coach them he should be fired but I will only fired Philbin if we can be sure of getting Cowher or Dungy
in my opinion the best combination will be Polian and Dungy because they had work and be successful together but Cowher can be really good for this team
Maybe if Ross offer Marino a top executive position he can bring Cowher with him

No. You have no life if you follow a team that doesn't have a QB sadly.

Posted by: The Truth | December 31, 2013 at 08:26 PM

And you are here all the time because you don't follow the team?

Wow are you DUMB!!!!!!!!!

SHeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh DUMB!

Posted by: Not a CLUELESS IDIOT!!! | December 31, 2013 at 08:30 PM

Its amazing how the attacks come from the QB fans on this blog.

The arguement is lost or won when the insult come. Poetic license is allowed.

The more insulting they get, the more they know we are right, its psychology, rule 101.

new GM, HC, OC, DC bring in competition for Tanny in spring training, trade half the good players for draft picks and wella, you have more to hope for than you have now

No. You have no life if you follow a team that doesn't have a QB sadly.

Posted by: The Truth | December 31, 2013 at 08:26 PM

And you are here all the time because you don't follow the team?

Wow are you DUMB!!!!!!!!!

SHeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh DUMB!

Posted by: Not a CLUELESS IDIOT!!! | December 31, 2013 at 08:30 PM

Truth, you just got buried. Give it a rest. You can only embarrass yourself further at this point.

Posted by: Not a CLUELESS IDIOT!!! | December 31, 2013 at 08:39 PM

So what we lost to the winless Bucs and the Bills and Jets teams with losing records.

You can't win this arguement guys, your trying to defend the 24th ranked QB in the NFL... please.

Truth, you just got buried. Give it a rest. You can only embarrass yourself further at this point.

Posted by: The Blog | December 31, 2013 at 08:43 PM

Buried, no way. Im correct with what i've stated. You've taken either a new name or are a poor evaluator of talent.

I'll never accepted terrible play on this team. You guys try to bully everyone of the blog that is down on 17. I had the same from Beck and Henner fans. I beat them and I'll beat you.

If the Dolphins are going to fire Jeff Ireland, the guy the should hire as the new GM is Jason Licht (currently the Arizona vise president of player personnel. If you google his name you will see that he has had a great career in all types of front office work.

Truth - why are Roethlisberger, Flacco, Manning all watching the playoffs from home this year...

Because they're terrible QB's?

No! Because they're on inferior teams.

Matt Ryan only went 4-12 this year... allegedly because Julio Jones was injured?

What kind of season would these guys have had if they were sacked 60 times.

Football is the ultimate TEAM sport!!!

Tannehill is already better than Luck and RG3. At the 5 year mark of their careers, Tannehill is going be the pick of his draft. Wilson will be injured by then just like tweezle RG3.

All year long I've been hearing about the great Tom Brady not having any of his receivers from last year.

What i never hear anyone say, is that with the exception of Hartline, Tannehill (in just his 2nd year) was surrounded by new skill players, including the entire backfield (No Bush, No FB).

Having Reggie Bush in the backfield would have been good for 2 or 3 more wins, I am convinced (delusional? you decide). Having his leadership on offense, what would that have been worth?

Gibson didn't make it through much of the season, Keller never played a down in the regular season, and then the line...don't forget about the line.

I don't think Tannehill was the problem folks. He'll come out strong next year if our GM can get the line fixed.

Posted by: Dolphinfan4life | December 31, 2013 at 08:39 PM

I pass on Bill Polian. He is completely over rated. That team he had in Indianapolis was all Peyton. Once Peyton got hurt we saw what kind of team he really had 2-14. That team sucked without manning. It is easy to look like a great GM when you are riding Mannings coat tales.

BTW- Did you hear the latest from Bill Polian. He said that Phillip Wheeler had a great year. No wonder he does not have a job. Phillip Wheeler was rated the worst LB by PFF and all you have to do is watch a dolphins game to see Wheeler filling the wrong gap or getting trucked by a QB (like Geno Smith). I would much rather have Ireland than Polian.

Jason Licht

Hire Jason Licht for new GM


Bloggers like Truth don't believe a word they say. It's just a game for them. They are so bored in life they get their jollies trying to provoke other bloggers. It's obvious.




If Tannehill was cut (no chance of course), he would be the hottest FA QB on the market. We know this of course and so do the juvenile TanneBashers.

How about find players who can catch a ball or run the ball or don't lay done when times get tough?
You can go thru all the GMs or coaches you want but....?

blog fodder,

you are right. tannehill is not he problem. the offense is the problem. now i have to make myself clear. sherman has to go. he was the one calling the plays and developing the game plan ( or lack there of). the play calling was pathetic, but he overall offense was even worse. the predictability of the plays was like nothing ive ever seen before. i watch the games with my family ( brother and father) and everybody in the room knew what play was being run as soon as we lined up. im not sure exactly how many plays we had in our playbook but, it seemed as the though we were running only the same 12-15 plays all year. there was no game planning week to week and no changes in formation, routes, etc. for example, mike wallace was lined up wide right all year long. thats it! he lined up in the same spot every play! i mean how can you run an offense like that! hes your best play maker and the defense knows exactly where he is going to be every play. sherman has to go.
philbin i think maybe has to join him. its philbins offense as well. he looks at the game tape every week so he can see the problems. he was either too stupid not to notice the problems or he was too scared to say something to sherman. either way, that just not going to cut it.
i think our players were motivated to play the last two games, there just wasnt much they could do about it. the the defense knows what it coming, its impossible to succeed in the NFL.
with a good offense tannehill can be a very good QB in this league

This is from Omar Kelly on Jeff Ireland:

"Didn't the talent he gave Joe Philbin put this 2012 team in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008? Wasn't coaching the major issue that cost this Dolphins team wins all season? Ireland doesn't coach the team. He doesn't decide who plays, and who doesn't. He doesn't create the game plans. He doesn't give halftime speeches, or make adjustments. But it is a fact that the team he handed Philbin WAS in position to make the playoffs if they won one game out of the final two? True or false?"

Kelly argues that Ireland gave Philbin a team that was 8-6 playing two mediocre teams. Philbin lost to two inferior teams, including the Jets at home. That is on Philbin not Ireland.

He also said that only Ross knows who is responsible for the LB swap. Philbin did not like Dansby because he was outspoken so did he ask Ireland for the change. Philbin argued that Miller could do the job and that he would not complain about playing time like Bush. He was wrong about both of those moves. Is it Ireland's fault or did Philbin request the changes? Only Ross knows.

Hartline going down was the straw that broke the camels back. He was throwing to 7th round picks and UDFA's practice squad Marlon Moore who never got picked up by another team no matter how many times we've cut him.

Tannehill is a class act. Never a complaint about the sacks, never points a finger, never an excuse.


Please don't quote Omar here. He is an irresponsible jackazz with an agenda, and dumber than a rock. A bible-thumping idiot. He told us Thomas was done for the season when he wasn't, he jumps the gun pressing for sensationalism time and again when he is flat out wrong.

Omar is a shithole journalist that knows nothing.

Jason Licht

He is highly regarded in the NFL and interviewed for the Bears general manager's job in 2011.

Licht (pronounced "Light") began his personnel career as a scouting assistant for Miami in 1995. He was a quality control coach for the Dolphins in 1996.


Reading Omar is nothing but a big waste of time. SFLA journalism in general is pathetic. They don't even have a High School level of English.

Omar < stained toilet paper!

he has bounced around a lot.

Jason Licht (/ˈlaɪt/; born February 13, 1971) is the American football Vice President of Player Personnel for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League.

He played linebacker for the University of Nebraska football team as a freshman in 1989 and offensive guard in 1991 before transferring to Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he played defensive tackle from 1992 to 1993. In 1995, Licht was hired by then-Miami Dolphins scout Tom Heckert as a scouting assistant before serving as the Dolphins' offensive assistant/quality control coach in 1996. He then spent the 1997 season working for the college scouting agency National Football Scouting and the 1998 season in the Carolina Panthers' scouting department. From 1999 through 2000, Licht served as a college scout for the Patriots before being promoted to national scout for the 2001. He then was promoted to assistant director of player personnel in 2002, a position he held for one season before re-joining Heckert, then the Philadelphia Eagles' vice president of player personnel, in 2003 as the Eagles' assistant director of player personnel.[1]

Upon Heckert's promotion to general manager in 2006, Licht was elevated to vice president of player personnel, but was fired by the team in May 2008.[2] In June 2008, Licht was hired by the Arizona Cardinals as a personnel executive.[3] He left the Cardinals and returned to the Patriots as their director of pro personnel in February 2009.

In 2012, Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo was fired by the team. During the team's hunt, Licht was among the candidates for the general manager job, and he and Phil Emery were the two finalists.[4][5][6] The Bears hired Emery, and Licht returned to Arizona as the Cardinals' director of player personnel beginning in 2012 and was promoted to vice president of player personnel in January of 2013.

Licht has been on staff with one Super Bowl Champion (New England-2001), 2 NFC Championship teams (Philadelphia-2004, Arizona-2008), and 2 AFC Championship teams (New England in 2001, 2011).


Regardless of what you think of Omar, what I quoted is true. The Dolphins had a team that lost a lot of close games that Philbin did not make the proper adjustments to win. In the end the team was 8-6 needing only one game to make the playoffs. That was the team that Ireland gave Philbin at the beginning of the year. Philbin failed to prepare and motivate his team to beat 2 teams that had losing records including the Jets at home. There is no denying that.

Philbin did not like Dansby because he was outspoken so did he ask Ireland for the change.

Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | December 31, 2013 at 09:32 PM

How could you possibly know this? You can't. Whatever nonsense printed in the media is only that, nonsense.

Why do posters confuse their imagination is reality?

The media is all too powerful and the general public is far too eager to accept anything in print. They are naive.


Players have to execute. We lost half the oline. Mckinney arrived mid season. We were playing Brennan and other UDFA's. The Buffalo game was a big disappointment, call it an off day. But the final game. Hartline went down early. Tannehill was throwing to perrenial practice squad Marlon Moore an a couple of 7th round picks.

Between the oline fiasco and losing Keller, Gibson, and Hartline...too much to overcome.

Sometimes it is about coaching and adjustments. In this case....we just did not have enough talent on the field.

That is my point we don't know. Only Ross knows who was responsible for the change at LB. Remember that it was Ireland that brought Dansby and Burnett for Sparano. Logic would make you think that they were not Philbin guys and that he communicated to Ireland that change was needed. I think that if Philbin would have gone to Ireland and said I really like Burnett and Dansby, they would still be here. However only Ross knows what went into that decision.

Personally, I wouldn't waste one second on the toilet reading Omar. He is a dumb fk loser that does not deserve the job he has. He has an agenda against those that don't give him info. He frequently reports false stories as facts. Too frequently. He is a gossip queen desperate to be first at any cost, even the truth.

Above and beyond all that, I'd likely accept a 10 year old's opinion over Omar. He is not cool or smart or competent on any level.

Yes, it bugs me that people can't see this and still read him. It only serves to promote sheer incompetence.


I don't really like Philbin but I do like Ireland. Ireland gave Miami a team that was 8-6 and in position to make the playoffs.

A lot of fans on this blog want Ireland fired but the reality is that this team was in position to make the playoffs. They were 8-6, controlled their own destiny, and were facing two bad teams.

Though I agree, the Hartline injury was huge. TH basically was left with Clay and Wallace are reliable targets and the Jets were able to take them out of the game.

Hiram.....good posts....I agree...well said.

Frankly I think all the local journalists are illiterate rot. They can't even proof read their own work!

Philbin keeps saying every week that the Dolphins JUST didn't EXECUTE !!!! They can't execute anything with the people they have. They are what they are !!!!

Philbin is a robot. He couldn't motivate two dogs in heat to do the wild thing.

This a virtual scrap heap of losers.

Isn't Tannenbaum the idiot who gave Sanchez that big contract that eventually got him fired in NY? yeah, that's the guy i want to bring in as a capologist.

Are you going to hand out razor blades with this article?

Damn dulphins need to find a way to get manziel and get rid of hennehill.

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