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Dolphins fire back on idea of structure problems

When Stephen Ross outlined the characteristics he wanted in his next general manager, high on the list was he wanted someone who would collaborate with coach Joe Philbin in helping the franchise move toward better days.

The reason the Dolphins general manager today is Dennis Hickey and neither Nick Caserio nor Lake Dawson is because Hickey met that criteria. And both Caserio and Dawson weren't prepared to keep Philbin as Miami's coach thus did not meet the criteria.

A team source is telling me Caserio, who was highly impressive in his interviews on Friday and Saturday, wanted to become the Dolphins general manager and then start by cleaning house throughout the organization. He wanted to hire a new head coach.

Dawson was willing to keep Philbin for a time -- probably the 2014 season -- but eventually wanted the ability to keep or dismiss Philbin after the season was over.

That was the problem both men had with the Dolphins structure.

And it was a problem because both men were told by owner Stephen Ross he is completely committed to Philbin as the Dolphins head coach this year and beyond. 

The Dolphins are pushing back hard on the idea Miami's GM will have to share power on the roster with Philbin. An NFL source told me earlier today Dawson didn't like the idea that Philbin would have some say -- not full say, but some say -- on the 53-man roster.

The issue, the Dolphins say, came up in practically every single interview including finalist interviews. Each candidate was asked what he would do if he and Philbin disagree on a decision over a player or the 53-man roster.

Some candidates said they would go with the player they want anyway. Some candidates said they would try to convince Philbin to join their opinion but would not take the player if no consensus could be reached. Another candidate said he would move on to another player because he figured Philbin would ultimately not play someone he didn't initially like.

But none of those answers were wrong because, the team repeated to me strongly, the general manager has the final say over the draft, free agency, and the 53-man roster.

Dennis Hickey will have final say over the draft, free agency and the 53-man roster.

The general manager can overrule Philbin on those matters.

The general manager reports only to Ross.

"It's up to Dennis," a club source insisted.

The one thing not up to Hickey will be having a say over Philbin's future. On that, only Ross has that say. And clearly right now he's committed to the head coach.


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This whole ordeal has confirmed every negative thing anyone has said about Ross and his moron advisors. They are all a bunch of bumbling fools who have their heads up a dark hole.

So basically its the GM having final say on who gets drafted and Philbin deciding if those guys are going to play or not, it was flawed under Ireland and it'll be flawed under Hickey. Expect the same results. Expect to see more of the situations we saw with Egnew, Jordan, Miller and Taylor.

As i mentioned on here a few times now, Philbin's going nowhere failing a colossal 4-12 season. Ross has hitched his wagon to him and rightly or wrongly he's here for a while.

YG, the History Channel has a special on **YOUR** God!

It's called: I know what I saw(UFO's).

Your Welcome!

Hilarious reading the posts on this blog... you would have thought the Dolphins finished 4-12.

The team went 8-8 and could have been 11-5 if not for the Incognito fall out and Sherman's play calling.

It seemed to me that Sherman didn't want Philbin to succeed by going away from conventional wisdom like continuously throwing against bad run defenses. Maybe he thought he was going to be the next head coach.

Regardless the Dolphins have upgraded their offensive coordinator and possibly their GM.

And I really don't care what anyone says about Aponte, she has one of the best financial minds in the NFL negotiating salaries and contracts.

Right now the Dolphins have $35 million for free agent signings compared to teams like Detroit, Dallas,and New Orleans who are all over cap and will likely loose top players.

By the way anyone who would give full control of an organization to a rookie GM who's high spot on their resume is being in charge or player personal is truly insane.

The only person I'd give that kind of control to would need to have prior GM experience building Super Bowl caliber teams like a Ron Wolf, Bobby Beathard, maybe a former coach like Jimmy Johnson or a former Hall of Fame QB like John Elway.

The Job isn't that difficult. Not how Ireland left it.

5 Things Hickey has to do for the Fins to make the Playoffs.

Resign Grimes.

Get a LT.

Get a RT.

Get a RG.

Get a DT to pair with Odrick.

The other holes(FS, LG, LB, Backup RB, Big WR/TE), we can deal with. Even if hickey doesn't fill those holes this team is a playoff caliber team.

Fix the line. The running game and passing game will improve.

Hilarious reading the posts on this blog... you would have thought the Dolphins finished 4-12.

Posted by: Scott | January 26, 2014 at 08:39 PM

I highly applaud such great optimism. However, by 2014's end, I greatly fear you'll pray for 4-12 after a 1-15 to 2-14 finish.

Pete Carroll, John Fox, and Bill Bellicek have a good deal of input into the roster, they also have very strong GMs, it is very possible that this front office will work. Everyone has to be on the same page.

Like I predicted a couple of blogs ago, Caserio was a Belichick spy.

And some of the finalists would decline the job when Ross decided to pull his head out of the dark hole it was in and make someone an offer.

Craig, I disagree.

I don't think Philbin has much job stability at all.

I believe Ross is only going to give him the proper chance. That to me, could mean he's done after a bad 2014 season.

Conversely, Philbin had year 1. Always difficult for a team in transition(OK, not always-lol). Philbin went 7-9, he went one better at 8-8. I could see Ross letting him go if he doesn't at least go 9-7 and make the playoffs.

I could be wrong about that. But what I'm not wrong about is that Ross ALMOST HAD to keep Philbin for this 3rd season. If Ross had fired Philbin after only his second season, just think what that would do or how that would affect the eventual search for his replacement.

The people calling for Philbin's head this year are Tards, plain and simple. What good coach would want to come to Miami knowing that Ross might only give them a season or two..........?

This whole narrative of Miami being the laughingstock of the NFL is a figment of Mike Florio's imagination. Florio hates the Dolphins, and anytime something remotely negative arises regarding the franchise, Florio chimes in with a negative post, often quoting from Salguero himself, who has been feeding this frenzy to a certain extent. The fact is, virtually no one outside of the fan base is thinking about the appearance of the Dolphins GM search because, frankly, they don't care. Now, what happened? The Dolphins interview a bunch of candidates, narrowed it down to a short list, and went through the list until they came to a candidate that accepted. The process worked exactly like it was supposed to, and exactly as it works in hiring processes around the world each day. If you only offer candidates you know will accept, then you will never get the best candidates (who always have multiple options). On the other hand, that is why you create a short list to begin with, because presumably, everyone on the list would be a good option.

Ain't no way Grimes resigns for this calamity disguise as dysfunction. Please alert us when you return from Fantasy Island.

Grimes will have to be "FRANCHISED or he walks. Then he still walks in 2015. Why in hell would Grimes "VOLUNTARILY" resign for more dysfunction?

It isn't freaking "rocket science" to figure this stuff out.

The way I see it we need 3 new running backs.

1. Thomas has had his chance. He looks good for a few plays at a time, not more. He is a power back just shy of having power.
2. Miller is not fast enough to be a scat back, too small to block, and he can't break a two finger tackle.
3. Gilliislee looks like a practice squad back

Posted by: Scott | January 26, 2014 at 08:39 PM


But I'm afraid you make way to much sense for a Blog Full of Short Bus riders.

Well..........MAYBE it's just Sam I am(really YG). He would DEFINITELY give complete control to a wanna-be GM, of whose name he hadn't even heard before this past week.

If Ross had hired Gamble, Caserio, DeCosta or McCloughan and given them complete control, then it would have been easy to hire the right coach and coaching staff.

By keeping Philbin, he limited himself to perhaps two choices in the entire NFL. One was in-house employee Gaines. The other was the assistant something or other on the worst team in football over the past five years (and who was going to get fired).

Ross failed. Again.

Those thinking a couple of OL and a RB are going to fix this team are probably going to be very disappointed.

Ross gives control to Aponte and Philbin. And gets a below average scout to draft more busts. Hickey may be a nice guy, but what is his record. There is nothing in it that says he is ready for this job or that he has any talent. He was the ONLY person that would accept it. That is far different from being the right person for the job.

CBS, not long ago, printed that "some of the dolphins' players want out". Probably just the media trying to make something out of nothing. But if a movement begins it can be self fulfilling. Land slides can start with only a small rock moving if the circumstances are right! If a couple of the players want out it could snow ball. If true I don't have any confidence in Ross handling an insurrection.

This exercise over the past 3 or so weeks has been interesting and at times fun. But if the players head for the exits then I'll be right behind them. Hope it's just BS.

Ross is not this loyal. Don't be fooled Dolphins fans. He is only staying this loyal to a fault because he has already looked like an ass trying to hire one coach (Harbaugh), while he still employed another (Sparano). Ross is saving face here in the hopes that in the future he can fire Philbin, not look too bad doing it (because he did try to save his job this season), and attract a high profile coach in the future. Maybe a Cowher or Gruden. Cowher and Gruden, even Brian Billick, wouldn't think about coming here after what he did to Sparano, especially if he followed that up by firing a coach he just hired two years ago.

Don't let the dramatics and reactions of some on here fool you. Although, I don't care for the way Ross handled this and hate the structure of management. The new GM only has to understand we need to rebuild the OL and build the offense. The team is not in shambles.

I'm not as down on Philbin as some but not sold either. I do believe that Lazor can be very good and should be able to help T-hill and the offense. Lazor maybe the most important move this offseason. He has to be an upgrade over Sherman and if that holds true this offense can potentially turn this team into a contender with the correct offseason moves and a good strategy.

If Ross had hired Gamble, Caserio, DeCosta or McCloughan and given them complete control, then it would have been easy to hire the right coach and coaching staff.

Posted by: Sigh | January 26, 2014 at 08:51 PM

This is the consensus thought when every GM from a good background gets hired. Only problem with the logic is 90% of them don't work out.

The Dolphins are in full PR Spin mode now. They are saying everything to put a fat coat of lipstick on the pig of a process they performed with the GM search. I do not believe a work of it. Anyone can say anything. Look at what actually happened.

A LOT of prospects refused the interview. Two declined a second interview. Two turned down the job. The only one (other than Gaines) left was Hickey and he knew was going to be fired.

This is like...the hire of Philbin. A fifth tier candidate or worse.


What is your issue with Soliai and / or Starks? I would think that one of them would be resigned.

Great. A GM is saddled with a coach he may not want and a coach is saddled with players he may not want. There's a recipe for "success" if ever I heard one.

This is the consensus thought when every GM from a good background gets hired. Only problem with the logic is 90% of them don't work out.

Posted by Bodine
So the solution is to hire a GM from the team with one of the WORST records in the past five years? A team with it's last playoff win 11 years ago?

Every hire is potential. Hickey has drafted poorly (or has he EVER done any real personnel work) and the Bucs have sucked big time.


The pitifully funny part of the Harbaugh debacle was Ireland's role. Ireland was on the plane with Ross and was there to assist in the swooning of Harbaugh.

OK..........so Ross was new to the NFL Game and how Owners operate. Ross was very inexperienced and learned the hard way that Head Coaches are not hired the same way CEO's are in the business world.

Ireland has no such excuses. If the Dez Bryant affair wasn't bad enough, Ireland really proved his ignorance in the Harbaugh deal. HOW....or....WHY......didn't Ireland intercede during this episode? There's just NO logical excuse, Ireland is a complete Fvcking idiot.

I hoped for the best while he was here. At one point I even thought that he just might be able to pull it off. But NOPE! Nuff Said, I'm just glad the Tard is GONE!

The OL is the ONLY area that needs to be rebuilt?

What about the defense which was horrid against the run and which was torn apart by the Bills and Jets the past two weeks?

Wallace and Hartline are close to be league leaders in dropped passes.

Tannehill is the 25th ranked QB in the NFL and the second worst in deep ball percentage.

The RBs are suspect. The defense, such as it is, has three of its better players as free agents.

The coaching staff was horrid the whole year. And the QB coach and OL line coach are still on the team.

Something magical happened in Publix today.

I was walking in the frozen foods section.

A Realist

If Ross is acting in a particular manner, such as you described. His actions now are an over compensation for what he's done in the past. But his actions are what matters, keeping Philbin, not his intentions. For his actions are what matters. If he says something that will have a long term effect on this team then it becomes Ross' vision. Either of the team or himself.

And then I saw an elderly woman.

Start to defecate on the floor.

I'm having a very hard time comprehending just how incompetent this management team really is. Just when they rid themselves of Ireland they replace him with someone whose record and reputation around the league has me thinking we just took 3 steps backwards. As a 40 year Dolphin fan from NY, it pains me to acknowledge the Jets have far superior management and leadership.

Another old woman came pushing her cart.

And then she slipped and fell in it.

Ireland needed to go. But so did Philbin and Aponte and the rest of the coaching staff.

Ross did everything halfway and the process of hiring a new GM revealed just how badly the team is run at the top.

The GM prospects that fled this job had other options and had future options. They choose to make less money with a lessor title than tie their future job prospects to Philbin, Aponte and Tannehill. They were smart individuals.

Hickey knew he was about to get fired. He's older and had never really made a mark at Tampa Bay. The Bucs have not won a playoff game in 11 years and their won-loss record in recent years is the worst in football. Of course he would LEAP at this job. Even if it was a one year deal, it was worth it.

Ross is a part-time owner. He has declared that Henne and Tannehill to be future All-Pros. LOL. Doubtless, he will state that Hickey is the new Ozzy Newsome and that Philbin is superior to Don Shula.

Heck, Ross will claim that Cogs will be in the Hall of Fame if he thinks it will sell a ticket.

I am Odin, I am immature for my age, plus my fanny doesn't make any noise when I fart, just a swoooosh sound. You guys thought I was a grown man huh?? hahaha
la la la, tweedle dee, Yippee do da mama.


OK Ma I'm coming, I'll be right up.

Yes I turned off the washing machine, I couldn't concentrate on my typing.

Yes mom!!
I do have my underwear on, I washed the skidgy marks off your computer chair ma.

Posted by: SphinctersEYE, (Odin's Conscience) | January 26, 2014 at 08:05 PM


Things are clearer it Seems those other GM canaidates did
not want Philbin. They know he can't develope the players
they select.

I knew Ross always wanted to give Aponte a Hickey but this is ridiculous however mission accomplished!

The absolute best way to guarantee you will NOT attract any quality coaching candidates would be to fire Philbin now.

Perhaps some of dimwits have forgotten that JOB SECURITY and STABILITY are two things every single worthwhile candidate is going to have at the top of their list. Not to mention that the coaching fraternity in the NFL is a small and close-knit group for the most part, and friends do NOT like to see their friends f*cked over.

But some of you guys just seem blissfully ignorant of this reality. You think Ross should just dump a guy after two years and then all these marvelous coaching prospects will just be beating the door down for the opportunity to coach in such an unstable atmosphere. I mean, why even LISTEN to those other teams when Steven Ross will give you TWO WHOLE YEARS to fix everything!

But, no...keep pretending that stuff doesn't matter. Christ.

Don't go overboard with them not wanting Philbin. Not very surprising any new GM candidate would want his own coach. Same as a new coach would want his QB.

Pleas sell this franchise Mr. Ross.

So if Philbin is now running the draft does that mean he'll refuse to play the rookies he selected himself?



Posted by: odinseye | January 26, 2014 at 08:44 PM

Hey Idiot,

Ross hires a quality GM and gives the GM the power to fire Failbin, that's how easy it is MORON, and you have the balls to call other people names, wow your priceless PUTZ

So the solution is to hire a GM from the team with one of the WORST records in the past five years?

Posted by: Sigh | January 26, 2014 at 09:01 PM

You missed the point. It was you who assumed that hiring one of those other GM's would have brought us the right changes. History suggests that is not a safe assumption.

Ross should have cleaned house when he fired Sparano. He should have cleaned house a week after the past season ended. He is the first problem to resolve. He is indecisive like an old lady and then always makes the wrong decision in the end.

But, no...keep pretending that stuff doesn't matter. Christ.

Posted by: Try to THINK Sometime | January 26, 2014 at 09:22 PM

What's Christ have to do with it when you have a Devil of an owner?

Plus, it's now down to no one anymore wants to work for Ross period. Doesn't take an Einstein to figure as long as Ross owns the Dolphins it will always be a sinking ship.

There is not leadership in this "organization". It seems that the new GM will be a puppet of Ross and Philbin.
By now, almost none of Dolphins fans has any hope under Ross ownership. A boycott is in order if the team doesn't improve early next season.

Try to THINK Sometime,

Ross was loyal to Philbin as he was loyal to Ireland.

His loyalty to Ireland DID NOT result in a quality GM candidate being hired. The Dolphins got to worst prospect they tried to interview.

Also, consider the following:

Let's say Philbin finishes 4-12 in 2014 and is fired. Ross LOVES Hickey and states that any head coach must work with Hickey. Then NO head coach with talent or ambition will take the job. Only someone wanting a last paycheck or an unknown with no other options (or much talent) will take the job.

First, I'm happy Ireland is gone. Who we hired may no difference to me as long as it wasn't Gaines. Hiring in house would've felt like a complete failure. Firing the coach every 2 or 3 years is also not the way to go. I like retaining the same guy for a period of time. Maybe hell figure it out. What is Apontes job title again? And can anyone name 1, 2, or 3 of thosepeople with that title on another team? Point is, who gives a rats ass about her. She's basically irrelevant. She is the product of too much media and too much info able to reach fans. I almost feel like that about the GM. Now Philbin really just needs to coach. The scarfiest thing this past season was not Ireland or Aponte, but Philbin wanting to retain Sherman. I worry about that thought process. Also, the retaining of OL coach Turner. Wtf? He'd be the first guy gone with Sherman right behind him. I dunno, well see.

Hickey had nothing to lose. He was going to be fired before the 2014 season began anyway. He's the only candidate who did not have the "luxury" to withdraw his candidacy.

Why would a guy knowing he would soon be UNEMPLOYED turn down a job? You see, it doesn't take a rocket science to figure this stuff out.


I think I understand what you are saying.

And I agree that Ross is the problem.

I was saying that IF Ross had given a talented prospect the chance to remake the team, then that would have been better than what has transpired.

But you are right that just replacing the GM would not have worked. I guess that's why almost no one wanted the job.

I would have taken it. ;)


Sorry I missed your point. :) I get it now.

You can have the car.. But I say, who drives it...

How is this possible?!! Even now when the right thing was to hire Gaine they somehow managed to bring a guy who was a dead man walking in Tampa!
And that was after they got snubbed again?!!! Can not make this stuff up. We are the laughing stock of the league everywhere today.
I have tried to remain positive but when reality sets in you KNOW this season will be an utter mess. As dysfunctional as this organization is, player's agents are licking their chops as I type this. I find it hard to believe good players are eager to come here unless for it is for a ransom. Money alone is NOT the best motivator, you'll see we will get players that only want a paycheck and no motivation for greatness. Then again did I just type greatness and the Dolphins in the same sentence? LOL.

The Dolphins have drafted so poorly for years that they have to sign expensive free agents to try to fill the gaps in the roster. This will prevent the few talented draftees from being resigned later and will result in a cap problem at some point.

Miami has drafted horribly for a long time. So has Tampa Bay.

Hickey has a lot experience in college talent evaluation and scouting. But what has been the results - a team that has had 4-12 or worse records three times in the past five years?

Posted by: Try to THINK Sometime | January 26, 2014 at 09:22 PM

You hire the GM and let him either keep or fire Failbin, it's really that simple, remember, Keep It Simple Stupid

As a frustrated fan of watching this team get worse and worse every year for two decades, I'm very disappointed that Ross has messed up so much in six years.

Maybe Tannehill becomes the next Brady (or, at least, Russell Wilson).

Maybe Philbin will become the next Shula.

Maybe Hickey becomes the next Ozzie Osborne.

Maybe. But I doubt it based on the performance of these individuals the past few years.

It is now too late for Ross to change his mind and clean house. He has already scared off every potential hire. I would have just promoted Gaine. This would have made it far easier for him to clean house after our next disappointing season. Now if he fires Hickey after a year, it will be another scar on working for him.

And you have to know after a dismal 2014 season Ross may have to -mercifully- fire Philbin and will keep the GM and even Aponte.

There is no hope with Ross as owner. It is so bad I rather see them move elsewhere but with a different owner. This is is hobby, his bucket list checked item.

I am Odin, I am immature for my age, plus my fanny doesn't make any noise when I fart, just a swoooosh sound. You guys thought I was a grown man huh?? hahaha
la la la, tweedle dee, Yippee do da mama.


OK Ma I'm coming, I'll be right up.

Yes I turned off the washing machine, I couldn't concentrate on my typing.

Yes mom!!
I do have my underwear on, I washed the skidgy marks off your computer chair ma.

Posted by: SphinctersEYE, (Odin's Conscience) | January 26, 2014 at 08:05 PM

Man this chit killed me, I can't even breathe

Dashi, shut up.
You're always wrong and you're dumb.

Lamar Miller = starting RB.

No one in the world thinks that except you and Lamar Miller.
Not even your unemployed butt buddy Jeff Ireland.
Also you make it sound easy to just go out and get quality offensive lineman.
They also have to play together in order to have any cohesion and consistency.
Did you just start following football in 2013 ?

Dolphins and playoffs won't be in the same sentence together until 2019.

When they'll also go 8-8 and miss the playoffs again lol.

Garbage team with moronic delusional hopey changey homer fans.

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