The Dolphins today interviewed Jason Licht, Omar Khan and Brian Gaine for their vacant general manager job, the club announced.
You already know about Licht. As I told you earlier he is the Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel. I tweeted about Khan earler today as well:
Random fact: Dolphins GM candidate Omar Khan is fluent in Español. Mom is Honduran. He was headed to Miami today.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) January 10, 2014
Khan is interesting because unlike the other names that have either been released or leaked, he is not necessarily a talent evaluator. Yes, he has some talent evaluation experience. But the whole league knows Kevin Colbert is the man behind the Steelers talent evaluation.
Khan has at times assisted Colbert but his expertise is the cap and dealing with the league. He is a close and trusted advisor to the Rooney family, which owns the Steelers.
So why is the fact Khan is fluent in Spanish important? It is not lost on Stephen Ross that the Dolphins have a major public relations issue with their fans locally. It is not lost on Ross that Khan, despite the fact he's not from South Florida, could connect with some of those South Floridians as the majority of residents in Miami-Dade are Spanish speakers.
Gaine is the in-house candidate. He is considered a strong candidate because of his familiarity with the Dolphins and the roster. He has a good working relationship with both coach Joe Philbin and executive vice president for football administration Dawn Aponte.
My concern with Gaine?
While he is obviously not Jeff Ireland, he's been here for what transpired during the Jeff Ireland era. So if 7-9, 6-10, 7-9 and 8-8 wasn't good enough to keep one guy employed why is it good enough to promote another?
Perhaps Gaine can convince Ross that his ideas were different than Ireland's.
I will say this: In 2003 the Miami Dolphins, under then owner Wayne Huizenga, conducted a national search for a general manager. Among the men they interviewed were Ted Thompson and Jerry Reese. Neither got the job. The job was given to in-house candidate Rick Spielman.
Two years later Spielman was fired. Thompson went on to win a Super Bowl as Green Bay's general manager and Reese went on to win two Super Bowls as the New York Giants general manager.
I'm not saying Gaine is Spielman. I'm saying the Dolphins need to be very careful.
One more thing: The Dolphins will take as long as this process requires but would, in a perfect world, like to have a GM in place in time for the Senior Bowl. Senior Bowl bowl practices start January 20. At the rate of three interviews per day, it is easily possible the Dolphins can have a GM in place by late next week.