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More history, fallout from Ireland vs. DawnJoe

If you've been following my recounting of the dysfunction within the Dolphins late last season you understand why the relationship between general manager Jeff Ireland and coach Joe Philbin was broken. You understand why this team may struggle to hire the most gifted and serious general manager candidate available.

Now let me give you more history. Let me give you more background on the dysfunction to help you understand its genesis.

I already shared what caused the rift between Ireland and Philbin. I blame both parties for that rift. Grown men, professional men, who have the same goal at heart should be able to sit down and have frank discussions about what troubles them about their relationship. Obviously that's in a perfect world.

The Dolphins facility is far from that world.

And part of the problem points directly to executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte. It seems that when Bill Parcells hired Aponte to be Miami's capologist in Feb. 2010 he brought in a tough and experienced corporate in-fighter. She is clearly adept at forming alliances. And when she sees a threat, she is well capable of attacking it.

Ireland was a threat to her, according to sources who called me this morning.

Ireland was her boss when she joined the team four years ago. But after Parcells left in October 2010, she lost her chief sponsor. And she wasn't comfortable with Ireland as her supervisor. So soon after Joe Philbin was hired, Aponte decided she and the new coach could bond and that alliance could strengthen each person's position within the organization.

Aponte, club sources say, also found ways to ingratiate herself to owner Stephen Ross. Nothing wrong with that. He's the boss. She would often ask to join Ross on his private jet flights back to New York from home games, often citing a need to handle club business at the league office in New York.

Aponte, a former league and New York Jets employee, apparently used the face time with Ross and the help of Jay Cross, a Related Company president and a former New York Jets president, to convince the owner of her value and how she should not be under Ireland's supervision.

Ireland, seeing this, asked Ross to fire Aponte. Ross didn't go for it and, indeed, after mulling the matter, actually promoted Aponte from Senior VP of Football Operations to her current Executive VP role. And in so doing, Ross doubled Aponte's salary. And got her out from under Ireland's umbrella. And Aponte joined parts of the coach search of 2012 that led to Philbin's hiring after Jeff Fisher turned the Dolphins down cold.

Knowing that Ireland had tried to get her fired, Aponte turned her sights on the GM. The relationship between the two, professional and even cordial in public at league meetings and alike, was a struggle for power behind the scenes.

Aponte, strengthened by her alliance with Philbin, had been winning that struggle for quite some time. She made herself very visible, attending practically every practice. She met with Philbin to advise on how to handle the media before every weekday press conference -- that meeting sometimes taking longer than the actual press conference. She attended the coach's show and made sure the questions were positive and gave Philbin an opportunity to shine. She edited the videos the team posted on its website of the Philbin postgame speech to the players.

(Unfortunately for Philbin, she didn't think to cut out the part where coach needed to read off index cards to deliver his address).

The bottom line is now Philbin and Aponte -- fresh off a victory over the last general manager -- want to make sure the next general manager is not truly empowered. The last thing they want is for Ross to hire a guy who will have the power to hire and perhaps fire Philbin and or Aponte.

They want a puppet person that will merely evaluate talent and handle the draft and keep his mouth shut and business to himself.

But as I've shared already the best candidates for a general manager job may not bite because 1. They don't want to get involved in the Dolphins office politics and/or 2. They want to have the power and autonomy to bring their own people and perhaps get rid of the current people if that's what they think is best.

So keep a close eye on what is about to happen next with this hire. If Ross hires a strong GM with authority to hire and fire Philbin and/or Aponte, then the duo has lost favor. But if Ross promotes Aponte to GM or hires someone who is merely a personnel guy but not the general manager in power as well as title then the DawnJoe has won and runs the show.

There is a third option and that's the czar approach the Dolphins have used before, as well, with that person over everyone. But that's for another day.

Stay tuned.




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Don't let the door hit you on the way out, former fan.

Posted by: dolfan29 | January 08, 2014 at 01:02 PM

wrong 29,

Alot of GM will be wanting this job. This team should have / could have won 11 or 12 games. We have a coach, and a good QB and alot of cap space. plus if it doesn't work next year he gets to clean house.

The old logo looked like a children's stuffed toy. Hope I never see it again.

I can imagine that HBO is salivating at getting the Dolphins back on hard knocks next year. I can see the marquee now. "Miami Dolphins 2014" The rise of DAWNJOE

The entire FO has lost favor with me, the consumer.

Posted by: Steve from PA | January 08, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Appears to be another Aponte power to me. Misdirection if you will. The real target seems to be Dolphin G-Manship. The only position that's truly keeps both she and Ireland safe.

The firing of Ireland seems to be the last domino falling in her power struggle to victory. She now has Ross in pressing vice. What "real gm" will accept a job that asks him to perform his duties with both hands tied behind his back?

In my opinion, Ross is now limited to 2 choices:

1. Aponte becomes gm and risk further fo instability

2. Fire Aponte, hire a well qualified gm, filtering in stability.

One thing I do see with Aponte though, she is one helluva cold-hearted bitc.... Kind of like it, maybe we're missing a little of that kind of ferocious tenacity in this wussed down organization.

Ross certainly does not seem to have it. Ross needs a "pit-bull" on a leash to do the "dirty-work" he frails himself to do.

HAHAHAHA! Mando, you are so full of shyte! Can't wait to see what you write next. Seriously, I think you would be better off writing for TMZ. I thought Omar was bad.

The new logo is as bland, heartless, shallow and lacking of character as the rest of the franchise.

To all those "true fans" out there. It doesn't matter how much you believe in them or hope for them or cheer for them. The only ones that can fix the Dolphins are the Dolphins.

Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Please give me one reason to believe that this franchise will turn things around based on their track record?

The Dolphins franchise that I once rooted for and believed in are long gone and buried. What's left is a Miami version of the old Bengals or Bucs franchise. Sad but very true.


Great GM's who have earned the right to make decisions such as coaching and staff around them arnt coming to a franchise that has those in place already. A great GM or any GM for that matter wants to put his stamp on things right from the start. A GM doesnt want to be a puppet for a coach and cap specialist. a GM has earned the right to have the power to make certain moves such as finding the right coach to lead his team on sundays.

We went through this with Ireland when he wanted McCoy but Ross overruled him and wanted philbin. Let the GM do his job.

Now i wanted ireland gone but also wanted philbin gone. This half cleaning house doesnt work. Allow the GM you hire to make the changes he sees fit and stick to what you know Ross. Real estate

The new logo is as bland, heartless, shallow and lacking of character as the rest of the franchise.

Posted by: Former life-long Dolphin Fan | January 08, 2014 at 01:14 PM


Aponte seems to be a "REAL LIFE" female "JR EWING". If that's what it took to finally get "little jiffy" packing, I'm loving hell out of her.

Brian Gaine is still assistant gm. If he and Aponte has a good relationship, promote him to gm, and give Aponte "czar" power.

In the end, this maybe all that's left to do.

A second year QB can't put a franchise on his back? Crazy. I swore that was ANdy Luck picking up the fumble and diving into the endzone stretched out to take the lead late in the 4th and win the Colts a Wildcard PLAYOFF game.

Strange indeed MarK

Judging from the whinny losers posting blame on Armando reminds me of the movie A Few Good Men. Well, you can't handle the truth!

As dirty, pathetic, and childlike the facts become, bring'em all to the surface and let the chips fall where they may.

Tom Gamble is going to be hired as the new GM & he will have TOTAL CONTROL of ALL football operations. If Philbin, Aponte, Gaine are retained they will all answer to Gamble & if they don't impress him,they will be gone & it's that simple. Stephen Ross has had enough ! He came into the NFL as a non experienced football owner, but has finally learned that you can't win with multiple people fighting over power. Thankfully he has finally come to the conclusion that he has to hire the 1 big name guy (Tom Gamble) to oversee everything & fix everything from ground up.

The all white Dolphin uniforms are dope. Regardless of what you think about the logo

Has anyone seen Aponte??? Shes kind of a cutie pie, it wouldnt surprise me if she Monica Lewinsking Philbin in his office at all. What about you??

I knew you would all continue to be whiny little pantywaists even after Ireland was canned.

It's all you ever are.

Hey you guys i lived near philly we need get tom gamble for are next GM every eagles fan is scare that he leaving the eagles and take are gm job I think that would be a great hire.

And as you keep writing this crap less people want to come here. Just stop.

JoeRobbiesEyebrow, Just like he was right with the whole Cog's/Martin thing, right?
The dude was WAY off. He just has a bunch of sheep that buy everything he sell's.

Nothing is going to change in 2014 for the Fins. Ross continues to band aid the problem when major surgery is needed.

Jonathan Martin's attorney mom and this Dawn Appointed c*nt are greatly influencing major decisions within the Miami Dolphins organization.

Former Jet executives are calling the shots !!!

Lmao and some of you are hoping for a Lombardi Trophy presentation at some point in the not too distant future. Dee is gone, Ireland is gone...Philbin, Aponte, Ross and anyone associated with this trio have to go as well before it ever gets any better.

No hot GM prospect or hot head coach prospect will come here. If there's two options (Fisher, Harbaugh) they will go for the one that isn't The Dolphins.

Peyton Manning's people we're surely aware of how dysfunctional The Dolphins are at the management level.

Why is someone on the business executive side of things advising player personnel people anyway. Her job is to count beans, nothing else. She's drunk off of power same as Goodell (and most women). If you thought it couldn't get worse after Jeff Ireland lol.

Next year The Dolphins give up 100 sacks.

I predict an 8-24 record over the next two years.

5-11 in 2014

3-13 in 2015

Ross really likes Aponte's favors.

I think the Dolphins are the only team looking to replace a GM, so that right there is a good thing. Hopefully they hire a capable candidate. Get a good GM and scrap this czar nonesense.

Also please don't hire Pioli, Mangini, or Polian. I even heard someone mention Tannebaum (?). Are you fing kidding me?

Honestly didn't think Ireland did that bad of a job, but that doesn't mean someone can't do better.

Nice fairy tale, Amanda. You hate Joe Philbin and by God you're going to let everyone know whether you have the facts or not.

Nice gossip column.

Next week Amanda will let you know which shoes work best with your pink chiffon scarf!

Stay tuned!

How many 2nd year QB's made the playoffs? 49ers, Seahawks, Colts, Eagles.

Notice there's a team missing there...


I realize this is from a distance....in good ole Altoona, PA...but from what I have seen as a life long Dolfan and technology business owner is this:
1. Tannehill and Wallace will connect in 2014...it takes a year...especially for a young QB to learn his targets and mark these words...next year in the 2nd full year together it will happen. When I saw Tannehill at training camp as a rookie, I told my daughter to get her 17 jersey....because he was going to be around a while. The next week he announced as the starter...any novice could see the difference.

2. Dawn Aponte is the best selection for GM at this point. Do we all remember when this team had cap issues all over the place? What team has had a better cap situation and at least respectable record than the Dolphins. The foundation is now built... Let Philbin and Aponte finish the work. This too took time and we should be seeing the benefits in the years to come. Look at the Steelers...cap issues, age issues...we have a much brighter near future. Ms. Aponte should be up for exec of the year with the work she has done to put us in this position. Steven Ross is a business man...he has to know where this team is now...and who has put them in the position which was 1 or 2 plays from the playoffs...He surrounds himself like good business owners do with people whom he trusts and get results... plainly speaking Ireland had to go.... Should have gone with the Dez Bryant thing...and we would not be in this spot. Philbin is a good coach...maybe not as exciting as some people want, but solid. Lets pull the trigger and make Ms. Aponte the first female NFL GM before someone else takes her away.

3. It is time South Florida embraces this team again. Second to New York, this has to be the toughest sports town both fan base and media. I travel to Miami in August to attend training camp and to at least 1 or 2 games per year. I went to Buffalo this year and Jets game in New York last year...(btw- Talk about great dolfans, the NYC Dolfan group was unbelievable).

So let's all just take a deep breath...let Mr. Ross and his team do their job and get behind our team! See you all in August in Davie and hopefully the schedule maker gives us home games Nov 2 and 9th as I need to be in Miami for a business conference the 3rd - 5th.

GO FINS!!!!!!

Doesn't matter because the schedule for next season looks really tough. So if a new GM has power to fire Philbin & Aponte, they will get fired after the team regresses to 6-10 or 7-9 next year. If GM is just part of a new trifecta, then everybody gets fired after next season, and Ross starts search for a true GM with power over the coaches and whole operation.

Trouble is who trusts Ross to make a good hire, ever?

Matt Moore was an Ireland guy.

No way Aponte keeps him at his salary.

Dawn should be doing the dishes with Dawn.

Look give Ross the benefit. He is a smart business man and let Ireland hang himself. Quit believing everything you hear. Every organization has issues. Let's see what aponte can do it's apparent she is very intelligent. Maybe this is what the NFL needs a woman to take it to the next level. Look at the whole picture, Ross will let Philbin hang himself with a new GM.

And BS too , about no one willing to accept the GM position. It's FLORIDA and everyone wants to be here. Relax Mando with all your nonsense.

All who said Philbin was onboard with things such as the Wallace signing, Jordan trade up, etc... You now have your final answer.


Meaning Philbin may have not been on board with many of these moves. He was only towing the company line in many of these pressers.

2013 offseason, this rift may have reached it's peak. Ireland used one of the 2nd rd picks trading up to a #3 spot taking a player Philbin may not have been entirely on board with, and in the process hangs Philbin out to dry by weakly addressing Philbin's oline.

I can now see this RIFT's fingerprints stained all over this 213 season. And I'm sure, so can all of you.

To the morons that blame Armando for writing about this. Do you not realize that people around the NFL already know all of this and much more about the Dolphins? Do you realize that coaches, scouts, GMs, etc all have relationships and talk to each other constantly? Are you really that simple minded not to understand this?

...and then dawn called jeff a ginger and then jeff spit at her and ran off. later, dawn AND joe ganged up on jeff and gave him an undie grundie until he started crying.

Here's reality fools

Yes, this team could have been 10-6 easily

They could have more easily been 3-13!!!

This team hasn't won a playoff game since the turn of the MILLENIUM!

This from a Philly blog...seems legit:

Paulman reported this earlier this morning ..
Tom Gamble will be the next GM of the Dolphins and will most likely take a couple of Scouts with him and should be a done deal by Friday if not sooner
I stated since Tom Gables arrival to Philly that it would be short-lived and that he would get an opportunity this Of–Season to move on as GM for another Franchise.. .
Log in to Reply
January 8, 2014 - 1:10 pm

My Sources has Director of Scouting Anthony Patch
& Asst Director of Player Personnel Ed Marynowtiz joining Gamble to
South Florida….

We can't fire Ross, but we can hope for him to die tonight.

If true...Tom Gamble has a serious eye for talent. If he can find the next LeSean McCoy or Riley Cooper we are all set.

Last playoff berth 2007
Last playoff win 2000
Last SB 1984
Last SB Win 1973

Dawn should be doing the dishes with Dawn.

Posted by: FIRE ROSS IS LOVING IT | January 08, 2014 at 01:27 Pm
Swing, and a miss.

So Ireland wasn't fired because he couldn't acquire star level NFL talent ?

He was fired because Ross played favorites with two of his other employees.

This is a highly competent man at the helm of your fine Dolphins Organization.

Does the product on the field even make Ross' top five ?

Penguins at the stadium, logo changes and inhouse pettiness are more important than :

2009 7-9
2010 7-9
2011 6-10
2012 7-9
2013 8-8

If this article is correct then Ireland would still have his position if only he were better liked by his co-workers.

I'm impressed by the 84th richest man in the world.

Dawn Aponte is a certified badass. She can't be bargained or reasoned with. She doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear.

It's merely a matter of time before she backstabs and eviscerates Philbin and takes over as Dolphins coach and GM. Only then will she turn her focus to Belichick and Brady. By that time, Rex Ryan would have crapped his pants and quit.

Marc, how often does an Andrew Luck come around? Seriously there was a reason the Colts threw an entire season and all gms were whacking off to film of this guy. He comes once a generation. So we are just supposed to stink every year until we find the next one? But yet, he also almost singlehandedly lost that game too. It was him that put up 500 yards but it was also him that turned the ball over 4 times and got the bounce of a lifetime on a 5th. The Colts and Luck were as much Lucky as they were good in that game.

And yes, that was also our Qb that beat said Luck in their barn this year.

How many 2nd year QB's made the playoffs? 49ers, Seahawks, Colts, Eagles.

Notice there's a team missing there...

Posted by: Marc | January 08, 2014 at 01:27 PM

Redskins? lol

It's interesting that the only person who is reporting GM candidates may not want to come here is Armando. Even other local Dolphins reporters are saying the Dolphins will not have any problem filling the position with a candidate atop their list. A tweet from NFL.COM's Judy Battista states, "Interested to see what happens with Dolphins GM job. Highly coveted in NFL circles. Dawn Aponte, Ross advisor, is good friends with Scott Pioli." So if the Dolphins GM job is highly coveted, why does Mando report they may have problems filling the position?

I think EVERYONE realizes that Jeff Ireland's people skills may have been lacking, just as his drafting skills. Now that he is removed from the organization, maybe, just maybe, there will not be any more of this "in-fighting" between the football operations staff. It only makes sense; remove the problem, which Ireland has a documented history of PR problems, and football operations can work as a team again.

Marc, please, stop posting such stupidities... The 49ers got less productivity from their qb than ours. And he's a third year Qb by the way Einstein.

Third day of nude blogging and loving it!

It's cool that I can sit here writing about the Dolphins corporate structure or their OL needs and look down and see my junk in plain sight. Feels great!

Go Dolphins!

Tom Gamble/San Francisco 49ers/Director of Player Personnel: In my 14 years of covering the NFL, I don’t recall getting as many strong comments about a potential GM candidate from high-ranking personnel executives and NFL player agents as I’ve received about Gamble in doing research for this piece. In fact, one NFL GM said my list should start with Gamble for the very fact that he’s about as well-rounded of a candidate as you’ll find.

And when you examine Gamble’s background, you can understand why.

He got started in the NFL at a very young age -- literally right out of college -- with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1988. His father, Harry, was the president of the team at that time. And the younger Gamble was around football growing up. His father was a long-time coach (pro and college) and then moved on to become an NFL executive late in his career.

Like his father, Tom Gamble is a rarity in NFL scouting departments these days: He not only has extensive pro and college scouting experience, he has experience with contract negations and the salary cap, and even has coaching experience (defensive assistant/quality control coach with the New York Jets for two seasons: 1995-1996) on the NFL side. While Gamble was promoted to his current role nearly two years ago, other teams have also been interested in him in recent years (St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders on more than one occasion).

Now in his 25th NFL season, Gamble has worked for five teams over that time period and has touched just about every possible aspect on the personnel side. He has helped build 10 playoff teams (four with the Eagles, five with the Indianapolis Colts, and one with the 49ers—and very likely another one this season).

Before taking a job with the 49ers back in 2005, Gamble worked for seven seasons as a college scout under former Colts GM Bill Polian, who is widely recognized as one of the best personnel evaluators in NFL history.

“He’s got a complete grounding in the game. He grew up in the game,” Polian explained to me recently about Gamble. “This is exceedingly important when you consider there are a lot of issues that you have to deal with when becoming a general manager that will come up with a team. You’re at a big disadvantage if you don’t have this experience in dealing with everything. That’s why non-football people have a harder time succeeding. Because Tom has so much experience and grew up around the game with his dad, he’s going to be more prepared than most. That’s a huge advantage.”

And it’s that extensive experience which should help Gamble land a GM job for next season.

UPDATED 12/21: Two personnel sources said that Gamble should receive attention from at least three teams for expected GM openings next month.

I'm pretty sure the Dolphins don't use Allstate, cause they're not in good hands.

This behavior is typical of corporate America today. I can't believe that any fan cares about what happens behind the scenes as long as the team wins. If the team wants to hire just a personnel guy/girl then I would be happy if they would just make Philbin the GM answering to Aponte. This way, if the team continues to lose games, they both get canned for failure and Ross looks like an idiot from the fans perspective.

HAHA...Yes, common sense, Washington and...


gotta to love that Luck comment. Come on, his RB fumbled and bounced off his linemans body and miraculously landed in his hands. Of course that makes Tannehill suck LOL

How is that Philbin who is 52 looks older than a 62 year Saban? GET THiS CRyPT KEEPER outta here!!!

Please tell me Aponte will be fired. Last thing we need is a woman creating politics within a football organization. WTH is the deal with Philbin? He cannot even do a post game speech without cards from her?

Seriously though- what is there left to root for? No winning, and constant drama and turnover. What is there to be happy about? The firing of Jeff Ireland? Now we're going to finally start winning. I don't but it.

We missed the playoffs and fell flat on our faces because of coaching. Joe Philbin failed to motivate the team and get them ready to play. That wasn't Jeff Irelands fault. Under Jeff Ireland we got younger, faster, and more talented. But where's the leadership? Where's the coaching?

I just googled a picture of Dawn Aponte, whoever said she's cute must not be from Miami...she's got a face like a shih tzu...c'mon man.

Holy crap, Philbin is only 52 LMAO

He reminds me of the creepy neighbor Tom on the show Cougar Town

Here, here dbmfins. Aponte deserves a lot of credits for positioning this team with that huge salary space last year and for helping get rid of Ireland. None of us screaming fans were able to do that. I'd be forever grateful if she could now bag Gamble or Pioli.

Mark in Toronto,

Please join me in nude blogging. All you have to do is take off your clothes and start writing. It's so cool!!

By less production you mean less yards and TD's?

What about QBR? Oh, that's right. That always blows up your theories MarK

What about rushing Yards and TD's? Those don't count?

What about PLAYOFF wins?

How many do the Dolphins have?

I blame Philbin looking so old is because he has 5 boys. We all know children suck out our souls, when we are sleeping.

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