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The reason the Dolphins did nothing on Monday

The Dolphins carried on Monday, business as usual, while other NFL teams undergoing change fired their coaches and one fired both their coach and general manager.

The reason for the relative calm?

According to a source familiar with the situation, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had never expected Monday would be about possibly firing general manager Jeff Ireland or head coach Joe Philbin and so he wasn't prepared to do either.

The Dolphins owner instead expected Monday to be about his team preparing for a playoff game next weekend.

And that, Ross planned, meant the Dolphins brass would have remained status quo going forward -- with Ireland as the GM and Philbin as the coach in 2014.

But the Dolphins not only lost their penultimate game against Buffalo but their season-finale against the New York Jets as well. And that changed everything.

Suddenly an owner who expected to be making no change at GM or head coach this offseason was forced to begin considering just that.  And that, the source says, is exactly what is happening.

Ross is, as he told The Miami Herald Sunday afternoon, "looking at everything."

He is weighing all his options. He is consulting with trusted people. He is considering the ramifications of standing pat as well as making moves.

Understand that this can be complicated.

Fans and even media can call for the ouster of this person or that with no ramifications. Ross doesn't have that luxury. If he decides to fire someone, he has to have a plan in place that he believes will lead to a better situation than the current one.

He cannot, for example, simply fire Ireland and keep Philbin -- the sceanario believed most likely -- without weighing how he would replace his general manager. Would he conduct a search that would be hamstrung by the fact he's already got a coach on board? Would he conduct a search for a GM candidate to whom he'd give authority to fire Philbin? Would he promote a GM from within?

Ross also must consider if he wants to change the structure of the organization.

Does he want a GM and a coach who report only to him, which is the Dolphins current structure? Does he want to hire a czar of sorts to whom the coach and GM would report? Does he want to simply stand pat and not fire anyone?

The Dolphins did nothing on Monday. But apparently owner Stephen Ross was working.


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The Truth,

I agree but many of these clueless bloggers can not see the connection when the offense is shut down while going for the playoffs or shut down by real playoff teams like the Ravens or Patriots. It's the limitation of his range that kills the offense. DC's take away what T-hill does well but give him the type of throws he is weak on. These bloggers suggest that it's the OL even though T-hill had time in the game against the Jets.

Formfactor or whatever your name really is of Course Ireland is part of the problem draft better players get better results acquire better FA's and get better rsults that was Ellerbe who got run over over by Geno Smith at the Goal line that was pathetic. Our Line backers are soft the entire team is pretty much soft can't stop the run and can't run the football.

Say what you want about Parcels but that was his philosophy and still works today give Tannehill a running game and he will be even better.I don't need to say any thing about stopping the run like I mentioned the linebackers are soft they got to go, not talking about Misi here just the other two.

I don't care about the dead money those guys suck and should not be brought back, put them in there and you will get the same results they cannot get off blocks and don't like to tackle or hustle and Ireland is the one that brought them in, so yeah he is partly to blame.

I would hire Scott Pioli. Look what he did in KC. * pro bowlers.

Let's get one thing straight john gruden is going nowhere!!!! He's made it clear being a talking head 15 weeks a year beats the heck out of running an nfl team for a few years and then getting fired.... The man is happy right where he sits. So let's please be realistic and not call for gruden he's not an option

After the meltdown in buffalo Ross should have been prepared for what happened against the jets Sunday.

the team itself actually belongs to the fans. He sees himself as "all sovereign" and fans as "necessary evils" that comes with the turf.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 31, 2013 at 01:13 AM

You can say the same thing about every owner. And, guess what, the team actually belongs to them.

Tannehill was ranked 38th in the league in yards per attempt, a very important statistic...

HEY ROSS, As a business owner you should first look at what he fans(your customers) are demanding. Want to fill those seats!?, want Dolfans to believe again!?

Did Ireland ever say one word to the fans about the Incognito-Martin deal? Ireland, clearly hates the fans but its mutual.

,.....Then, bring in another Q.B. to compete with Tannehill. Cause this kid just doesn't seem to have the intellect required.

Want to fill those seats!?, want Dolfans to believe again!?

Posted by: TonyPaige | December 31, 2013 at 06:55 AM

They had a good attendance last game. Some fans dont care how bad we are.

Offense ranked 27th in the NFL, Defense ranked 21st in the NFL
specifically what makes you say were close considering these numbers?
Well ahh, the numbers, the game is not played on the stat sheet and so
my feeling is that week 17 we had a game that had we won, which we didn't,
we would have been in the playoffs. So thats where im getting the barometer that
were not that far away and were close"

Someone fire this person posing as the Miami Dolphins Coach as soon as possible!

I thought the bar for Ireland was firmly set at playoffs for this season. Of course I thought he should've been fired with Sparano.

Most bloggers think that it's a meltdown or lack of motivation from the coach. The issue has to do with coaches and coordinators who know their stuff realizing what they have to do to shut the Dolphins down. They see the limitations at QB and where to attack on defense (linebackers)and more. The changes that the new regime brought in via Ireland have not been for the better. Ross unloaded a good OC, DC and interim HC about 2 years ago. He can blame himself for that mistake.

How complicated can this be???!! He thought his team would make the playoffs and didn't so fire everyone on Monday!!! Yes a kneejerk reaction to a bunch of jerk coaches and GM!!! I don't care who you bring in, they will be better, Lovie Smith, Shanahan, Gruden, Cowhler, Christ bring back Shula, hire Madden!! Maybe Marv Levy, don't care , just fire the current group of bafoons you have now!!

I'd bring in a new GM and let the GM make the decision on Philbin and Tannehill.

Good God! Who in their right mind would come to Miami to be the new OC? Sure that sounds tempting. Head Coach and GM are literally being walked to the guillotine and you would effectively get one season to right this ship. I am sure ANY OC worth his weight will be lining up to apply. We are in a difficult situation, especially with ALL the recent Head Coaching jobs currently open.

I believe we need a Czar type person (NFL HOF calibre) installed to give this organization some much needed creditability so we can lure a GM and HC. And PLEASE, hire a HC with some freaking passion.

The leadership question on this team is a big issue. The MEEK Philbin, wanted a meek QB that never gets his players motivated or pumped up when they need to be.

The fact that Ross had no contingency for us not being in the playoffs can't be true can it ?

After watching his team get smashed by the Bills and being unable to compete on a consistent basis all year long, he surely had some clue ? For a billionaire to not have a backup plan is nonsense. I can't see him holding on to Philbin either. during his post game interview he really didn't look concerned that we had blown a great chance to be in the playoffs, he casually stated, "we just didn't make plays", he is getting paid $2 million for this attitude. I've see na had enough of this regime and the QB, we need to start over sooner rather than later.


What DC did Ross unload? The guy in Atlanta left on his own decision.

I don't get the sense anybody in the Dolphins organization has any idea what they are doing. Has any franchise in pro sports made more mistakes than the Dolphins in the last 10 plus years? They look even worse compared to the consistent excellence of the Patriots. There is one positive. They saved me spending $200 on Sunday ticket this year and I'll save the same money next year because only a crazy person would pay money to see this bunch play (live or on tv). They are just too frustrating.... I can take a team losing but to show no passion at all and to not even show up with the playoffs on the line - No excuses for that. I hate it when people just don't even try. This team seems far away from ever winning even a division title much less a Super Bowl.

Bottom line is this.


I say it should be Ireland and Sherman. Willing to give Philbin another year. But Ireland and Sherman have a history of being very bad at what they do.

Bottom line is this.


I say it should be Ireland and Sherman. Willing to give Philbin another year. But Ireland and Sherman have a hisSOMEONE HAS TO BE FIRED FOR THOSE LASTtory of being very bad at what they do.

Posted by: Black Finhead | December 31, 2013 at 07:15 AM


Philbin is the Miami Dolphins, his personality reflects this team completely.

Apathetic, weak , meek and unapologetic for being awful during the big games. With two weeks to go, you need one win over teams with rookie QB's and losing records, you would say a good team at 8-6 would win at least one of those, or even compete well.

The Truth is in both games we were schooled by division opponents with far lesser talent. Philbin arrogance and stubborness to call the same offensive and defensive plays shows me he is not just bad, but pathetic.

Other HC's are laughing at him and realise that he is the proverbial deer caught in headlights, not a strategy guy, leader or inspiration. Im sick of the BS that he sprays after the games to. Now he puts the cherry on top and calls Sherman, an, "Excellent Coach", sure Joe. Now tell us all that Hitler was a great guy and just a little misunderstood. Get him out of here please.

After the meltdown in buffalo Ross should have been prepared for what happened against the jets Sunday.

Posted by: DDW | December 31, 2013 at 06:40 AM

No truer words written. I mean really, did Ross NOT KNOW this was a classic trap game. Did Ireland, Philbin and Sherman NOT KNOW this was a trap game?

Jets were playing to EMBARRASS Miami. And they succeeded in doing just that. Ryan got his team to to embarrass Miami on their own turf. We didn't get our team ready to NOT BE EMBARRASSED.

Its been 43 years since a SB win.....
Its been 14 years since a playoff win.....
Its been 6 years since a winning season....

The Dolphins didn't do anything on the NFLs Black Monday because there was simply no reason for the Dolphins to fire their HC or GM on this traditional day of bloodletting.

J Ireland's impact on day-to-day operations has become smaller over the past year, and one could reasonably expect it to continue in that same direction. One singular remaining responsibility- a huge one I wish Ross would trim- is Ireland's final say on personnel matters.

Put J Philbin on the same footing as the HC of the organization this team needs to beat: B Belichick of the NE Patriots. Allow Philbin to acquire and assemble the parts necessary for his Offensive & Defensive systems to work.

Talent, coaching and schemes all combine to produce the best teams in the NFL- but talent weighs most heavily. Remove the roadblock to top talent that is Jeff Ireland and see where the team goes.

Posted by: Black Finhead | December 31, 2013 at 07:22 AM

Why give Philbin a pass ? He got schooled by a rookie HC with a practice squad QB, then to highlight the point at home, we are wasted in all areas of the game and outcoached of the field by REx Ryan and Geno Smith.

Smith came into this game as one of the lowest ranking passers in the ENTIRE league. If you keep Philbin, what will change, he is a Sherman guy and a pathetic coach to boot. There will be a coach out there that can turn this franchise around, if Philbin stays then we go nowhere.

Get Philbin out of here now.

Ross is a total joke as an owner.

Ross has no idea what to do!!!!!!

If Ross doesn't make decisive changes to this organization, no half-measures, no appeasement measures, I mean DECISIVE, no holds barred, decisions about the direction of this team there is NO hope for next year or the year following that or the one after that etc.

It is readily apparent to anyone with a pulse that this fish has rotted from the head down for a long time now. That HAS to change if Ross is truly serious about winning.

So far I see a good start in the fact that he has had Nat Moore by his side the last several games, I have watched Nat confer with him after some stupid decisions were taking place on the field. I have seen Ross nod his head in seemingly agreement during those times. Hopefully Nat is putting some football intelligence into Mr. Ross head.

Nat was one of the smartest players the Phins ever had wear the uniform. I would love to see Ross hire Nat as head of football operations. Let Nat decide who stays and who goes.

I don't like the idea of hiring some outside mercenary to run our team, I prefer to see someone that played for this team, that genuinely LOVES this team be its chief steward.

If not Nat, then another former Dolphin, Zach Thomas comes to mind, who better dissected opponents than Zach? Who was a more cerebral linebacker than him?

I'd love to see both Nat and Zach back here running the show in some capacity of authority or other, hire from within the Dolphin family. Another prodigal son I'd like to see back in the fold is Mike Shula. He's been around the block now, has earned his stripes, and is primed and ready to take on a team of his own. He has shown that he is not just a name, he has what it takes to lead and the name is not a bad one to have either.

I want changes made, I'm tired of seeing outsiders, strangers take on the direction and leadership of this team. It's past time we hired from within the legacy that is the Miami Dolphins.


Nolan had the Dolphins as a top ranked defense when he was here in Miami. Last season Atlanta had a great season with him as DC. Atlanta lost a lot of defensive players so one can not blame Mike Nolan for that. He had it going in Atlanta the year before and in Miami. Sometimes it's the players not the coach.

After 4 years of losing, Ross was caught by surprise at losing?? Are U F'N kidding me?

When things go wrong, the first impulse is to bail out or have somebody else bailed out but continuity has its place also. And it is crucial to determine what when wrong in order to implement what kind of change and how much of it is needed, if any, to correct the situation. It's obvious Ross is not a Football Man and he will need help in determining what is wrong and how to go about it. Also, he is a very busy and smart man and you can bet he will not be caught with his pants down again making him and his Franchise look ridiculous. You can take it from there.


Nolan left only after Ross would not hire Todd Boles as HC and did not consider himself as a HC candidate. Thus the word unload. I could have characterized it more specifically.

Posted by: billcale | December 31, 2013 at 07:24 AM

Philbin to get more power are you kidding, the guy couldn't run a bath. He assembled this team and coaches over the last two years and has allowed us to go nowhere and regress.

Offense 27th and defense 21st, with the talent we have no this team, thats not good enough, in fact its a joke. Why fans want to keep a guy that has this very talented team tanking is a mystery to the rest of us.

The Truth is that good coaches don't crash and burn, watching emotionless and passive as the house burns to the ground they take action and do it with passion and urgency. Philbin's gameplanning is so static, he never did anything to fix the situation.

Now he talks aboout tweaking things here and there in the off-season if he is still here. The tweaking and adjusting knobs on his headset isn't going to get it done, ever. Cam Cameron did the same and we never heard from him again. Seriously if Philbin was sacked this week, which I hope for can you honestly see anyone taking him ?


You totally missed my point. Nolan left the team he was NOT fired by Ross as you alleged.

Anyone else notice about T-hill that he just seems like one of the guys? Meaning no real field general feel to to him. I mean watch him when he leaves the field, he sits down. You rarely see him working the playbook or photo book with receivers. You never get the feeling is pumping up running backs, wideouts, or CHEWING out the O Line for letting him get his arse handed to him. Watch Drew, Payton, Arron, or the once great Dan, etc once they come off the field and they are WORKING not sitting or playing grabass on the sideline. And the for the love of GOD please practice the long ball accuracy. The lack of the work given to that aspect alone should really make Ross question his coaching staff.


Please read my response to you again on the word unload. The real point is that Nolan left after not being considered for the HC vacancy. The regime of Boles, Daboll and Nolan were a better option than the direction Ross took.

"Trap" games are only for the un-cautious.

Truth, I can appreciate your view and tell you that it is very hard right now for me to be a Philbin supporter. But the reality is that he will be the HC next year. And I don't think that's a bad thing if he can get the type of people and run the systems he promised when he first came in. BTW, he did not assemble the team over the last 2 years...

Fools rush in where Wise Men fear to thread.

When things go wrong, the first impulse is to bail out or have somebody else bailed out but continuity has its place also.

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 31, 2013 at 07:35 AM

Oscar, very astute.

This is what I have been trying to tell people!

One more year for all.Everyone tied to Tannehill. 3rd year for the QB is the bigget jump to greatness.

Fire Ireland now, you have to have someone who can do it now just months away. Gaine is the only answer in my book.

Philbin shoud get one more year with a different OC. Bob Macadoo was a name I heard dropped. qb coach from GB. Tannehill's biggest strength is throwing on the run, bootlegs, roll outs!

mr ross you need to dump,ireland,philbin,sherman asap!you need to decide soon whether you want a winning team or a losing team and thats what its been for yearsas of sunday if youndecide not to make changes i will and many of my friends will root for another team.
i consider you a poor owner to let thiscrap continue,stop sitting in your big chair deciding what to do,get upmoff yournfannie and fire these people, we don't need a lethargic off.cood,and a robotic head coach,and a devilish satan as ireland,make the move now!

Sorry, Folks, but no decision from Ross on this matter will happen overnight, as it should be. Probably by February.

I'm currently in chemo for cancer and have a blood oxygen level about half normal. Yet, I managed to get to the game and had more energy than any Dolphin player or coach. That kind of lack of enthusiasm comes from the coaching. philbin is footballs version of Eor and couldn't motivate a frat boy to party. Get rid of him and everyone else responsible for this despicable team!

Why is no one mentioning the fact that our offensive line gave up more sacks than anyone in the league. Tannehill was running for his life constantly. How do you expect a young quarterback to perform when he is expecting to get crushed on every pass play? Plus the running game was so bad that the opposing defense could pretty much pin their ears back and go after Tannehill. Fire Sherman, get a real OC and get some damn O-linemen. This team has enough talent to be a playoff team.


I agree Philbin was not given by Ireland what he needed to make his systems work. However the issue is how to get a better personnel guy, fire Ireland and not have the new GM want his own coach. The answer might be demoting Ireland and hiring a Czar to oversee operations. That would make Ireland like a manager of scouting. He will not leave because no other organization will ever hire him with his track record.

is all about the QB, no team on the NFL can win with a mediocre QB that CANT throw a deep ball correctly (not even once) and cant do a snap count, but, since the GM bring him here, and the coach insist in playing him and not changing the insane snap count (GO=passing / GO GO = running) they also MUST go.

Tannehill was responsible for many of the sacks. Very slow delivery, bad decisions, and poor accuracy. Just pretty pathetic for a 1st rd pk.

It's not astuteness, billcale, it is Wiseness. We, are the Wisest of the Wisest everbeen. Those LV supercomputers pale in comparison to Us.

Would've, could've, should've won 10 games. But Didn't and that's the bottom line. The team sucks. Irescum had 1 winning season in 6 years. Time to kick rocks loser. Failbin 15 and 17 in two years. Time to go. Hennehill, enough said. Time to go.

Me? Jim Turner and Zach Taylor will not be here now, for a start. This is NOT boot camp.

JIS @ 7:30. Think you are right on that. I think Nat Moore knows we need a new GM and has advised Ross accordingly. Finding the right person is the reason for holding off right now. Once a GM has been found, Moore will be introduced as the Head of Football operations and then changes will be made. Ireland out, OC and DC out. Philbin's future would depend on the new GM.

When things go wrong, the first impulse is to bail out or have somebody else bailed out but continuity has its place also.

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 31, 2013 at 07:35 AM

Oscar, very astute.

Posted by: billcale | December 31, 2013 at 07:49 AM

All true, but when is enough ? The longer we wait, the longer it will be to turn this situation around. Philbin got the players and blew his chance IMO.

We took Sporano on for another year and he went 4-9. Cameron was so awful he had to go, Philbin isn't the guy, I see it,(see earlier comments), however if you want to waste another year that's your choice.

BTW what do you see him doing to help us next year, on what evidence do you place such faith in him ?

oscar, time for you to go mis-diagnose someone?

I have never mis-diagnosed anyone here.

I have absolutely no faith in little litter pickers.

Posted by: promichael | December 31, 2013 at 07:52 AM

Philbin was given everythin he asked for guys. Do you seriously think that the HC doesn't have an influence on the players that come here.

The play calling and coaching lost us games and the faith shown to 17. Please look again at Philbin as a leader, the refs school him, the opposing coaches school him, he has his Cue cards at the ready to address his men, come on would that inspire you. He is told to raise the volume to his words to get the message across and its so laughable that the message isn't getting through.

Go watch the last two games again, see how flat the players are on the field and on the sideline, no energy, no passion no clue as to fix the situation. I've watched the same plays run for 32 games off Philbin now and Im completely done with this guy. You will be to I guarantee it, but it will be too late and another season will be in the toilet.

Nat Moore? Doesn't strike as the guy to keep these GM and Coaches in order. But whomever.

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