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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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If Dawn "on your knees" Aponte does anything more than the dishes after supper than this team will continue to lose. Tired of Dramma...fire them all and get someone in that can run the show.

The Dolphins are micromanaged by commie chick with control issues.

Rumor has it in Davie, she's fining players for leaving the toilet seats up.

Feel better now Dolphins fans ?

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.

Out with Lil Jeffy, in with Dawn and her yes man Grandpa Philby.

Next she'll take Philbin's job.

She thinks she's Goldie Hawn.

The biggest problem with the Dolphins is the Dolphins.

Three out of our four Pro-bowlers this year were drafted by Jeff Ireland.

We had talent.


Four years ago we had the Harbaugh disaster followed by the comedy of the "extension" of Tony Sporanos contract.
Three years ago we had the firing of Tony Sporano and the venom that spewed between Sporano and the Dolphins come to the surface.
Two years ago we had another comedy in Payton Manning and Jeff Fisher not giving the Dolphins the time of day.
And now this year we have the Ireland/Aponte/Philbin soap opera. This organization is a mess. It's an embarrassment. It should be a reality show like Honey Boo Boo or Duck Dynasty. Who in their right mind would want to be afiliated with this mess in either a GM capacity or as a free agent player.

Umm, Grimes wasn't drafted by Ireland
Neither was Fields

Remember Parcells famous line "They have a punter"

Again D29, 1998, 2003, long long time ago in the sports world.

Posted by: Dawn Aponte | January 08, 2014 at 02:37 PM

Are you implying that Mando should be your own mouthpiece now, Ms. Aponte???

So, is this the Miami Herald or TMZ? I don't give a crap about any of this nonsense, and I stopped reading after paragraph two.

Could the media show some class, and report on the Dolphin's GM and OC search? You know ...actual football news?

A "premier" candidate isn't coming here period.

A "premier" candidate would want to bring in his own people. Not be told who his head coach is going to be etc...

Ross is screwing this up again.

Enjoy more years of irrelevance.

8-6 will seem like the greatest moment in franchise history to the homer crowd before too long.

The Bills just passed The Dolphins.

Phins dwell in last place next year.

Wait a minute. I thought we all wanted Ireland gone. He ruffled a lot feathers as a GM. Now, he is the victim? From Dez Bryant, to Incognito (Phillin wanted him gone after he assaulted a woman at a golf club), called a fan a "A hole". OH YEA he was a horrible GM!!!!! "Child Please"! lol

Does anyone think Ireland has a snowball's chance in hell of getting hired by another team as GM?


His time as GM was short lived and now it's back to being the ball boy for the Bears.

There was a time when this franchise made news because of their play. Just sayin....

That should be where the current GMs resume started, not when it was the last great thing he did. There are so many bright minds out there that there is no need to wring out a tired all time great to see if there's anything left in there.

Mark in Toronto is also blogging in the nude now!

Who else will join us?

Ireland hide something

Re. Grimes: Yes, he was acquired as a free agent by Jeff Ireland, not drafted.

Three of four pro-bowlers this year were brought to the Miami Dolphins by Jeff Ireland.

Fields was drafted in the 2007 7th round by Cam Cameron.

We had talent- plenty of it. That's the point.

Rock out with your cokk out

Maaaaan, This Aponte lady is akin to the succubus that was gonna marry Chef on South Park!!





Wallace actually had knee problems this year that held him back. Wallace is not going nowhere but for those of you who like to blame wallace for everything that's cool. But you better pray your next GM believes in Tannehill and the he doesn't move Hartline. Cause while people say Hartline is consistent(which i have seen him have bad games just like wallace) is doesn't scary anyone on defense. Tannehill was still 24 of the 32 starting QB and still bad on third down yeah touchdowns to interception went up but their is always a scapegoat for T_hill.

Next in this circus comes the interviews with people who turn The Dolphins down. Some will even turn The Dolphins down for an interview lmao. No one respects The Miami Dolphins anymore.

OC Pete Carmichael
Ryan Clark
Peyton Manning
Jeff Fisher
Jim Harbaugh

Perhaps the lowly Phins could find a GM in the 99 cent bin at Walmart.

Woooooooohooooooo!!!!!!hehehe....YYYYeeeeessss!!!! Finally! Atlaaaasst! Jeffs gone jeffs gone..really if im dreaming please don't wake me yet!!!

Dawn @ 2:37

Mando's source is the Cuban born custodian that cleans the offices at Dolphin HQ.

And to Andy DD Wallace was getting limited targets already but let us lose wallace and it will change how ppl play us.

Just one I'd like to walk into an out-of-state sports bar, ask for the Dolphins game, and not feel embarrassed and relegated to the tiny TV in the back corner. Every time I ask, I am asked a question in return- "Why do you care about the Dolphins?!" "Because I'm from Miami and that's my team" I answer, but it's becoming harder and harder to defend this franchise. The constant dysfunction is embarrassing.

hahaha, Wallace getting limited targets. he lead the team with 142, 20 more than he got in his final year in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: Former life-long Dolphin Fan | January 08, 2014 at 02:55 PM

Yeaaaah full of talent.

Except, of course, in the damn OL.

Even after he lost Jake Long to the rams (and we fans began to worry about OL play becoming an anchor for the whole team in 2013), damn Firedland wasn't bright enough to hire a top-tier OT in FA.

Or to trade-up for Luke Joeckel.

Or AT LEAST smart enough to draft Lane Johnson instead of Dion Jordan... etc.

I mean, he would LOSE HIS DAMN JOB rather than reinforcing the Dolphins' OL corps in 2013, gotcha???

I'm going to say (for the record) one more time: I DON'T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH DAWN APONTE!

Who the h*ll is she? What team has she led to the Playoffs? To the SuperBowl? ANYWHERE? She's a lawyer from the league office, a capologist, so, basically, Goodell with high heels. Can anyone tell me what team Roger Goodell made better? Exactly, he's a corporate hack, has no experience bringing talent to a team, managing a team, building a franchise.

So WHY would ANYONE want Dawn Aponte here doing that? Over quality, PROVEN, EXPERIENCED people? If we lose out on a stud like Gamble because he won't take a backseat to these YAHOOS (Aponte/Philbin) who have ZERO accolades in the positions they are currently in then NOTHING will change on the field.

We need a talent evaluator who hits on ELITE players (at least some of the time). We need a guy (or gal) that can manage individuals and get them all on the same page...to win football games. Dawn Aponte would rather worry about PR and numbers, fine. Philbin's too busy protecting his mentor who's pulling his strings, well, those strings just got cut. It's time for Ross to end all this bickering noise, tell those LIGHTWEIGHTS to get back in their bottle, they're not controlling ANYTHING, and let a GROWN-UP come in and do what others couldn't, and that's PRODUCE!

Dawn Aponte needs to be escorted out with Ireland, tell her to take that cushy league office job, stop flirting her way to the top with Ross and Philbin, thanks, but no thanks, we don't need you, and bring in Gamble.

Whew! now that I've got that out of my system. I'm guessing Armando's source could be Jeffy himself. However I'm not crazy about the idea of Dawn Aponte taking over the ship. I hope the Dolphins care more about winning than making history. True talent evaluators is what the Dolphins need. The Organization has to make some money for it's billionare owner in Mr.Ross, but that cannot be the absolute most important thing. Aponte like Ireland may do well handling the salary cap but can she do it while keeping your best players and bringing in the right mix of young talent. I really don't trust anyone on this staff right now to be able to do that. I would love to see a gritty old school GM come in that values and respect football players as the men that they are. Bring back the days when players and coaches wanted to be apart of the Dolphins franchise.

Here we go with the New York Jets stuff again. Do we have anyone in the organization who is not from the S@@T hole of America New York? I thought we got rid of all the Parcells people.

8-6 will seem like the greatest moment in franchise history to the homer crowd before too long.

Posted by: FIRE ROSS | January 08, 2014 at 02:53 PM

lol,he's got u there homers
he's got u there

You would think that Ross would have the good sense to name a football man like Gamble or someone of like credentials as his #1 man and let him take sole control but see how this drama unfolds...


Philbin needs to go and whoever is allied with or protecting philbin has to go.

Nothing in philbin's background qualified him to be a head coach. He labored in inconsequential positions in the backwaters of minor college football for decades before landing minor gigs with green bay. He first became an OC late in life and was basically an administror with little player or play calling responsibility.

Nothing in aponte's background qualifies her to be GM or sit in supervision of a GM. She's a bean counter and corporate suck up of the worst sort. And, if you need more...was in the middle of the dysfunctional browns and jets.

No quality GM will take the job with her in a position to back stab them.

I agree with Mark. If he lands the GM he covets. He will give them what they want, hopefully he chooses well

I have it on good authority that Dawn Aponte forced Jeff Ireland to trade away a second round pick to select Dion Jordan with the third pick of the first round. Jeff Ireland did everything he could do to object, including telling her the pick would be a total bust, and that Dion Jordan was injured and his shoulder would never be completely right. Dawn Aponte told Jeff Ireland if he wanted to keep his job, he would "shut up and say yes, ma'am." Dawn Aponte also ordered Jeff Ireland to ignore the offensive line problems, despite his vociferous objections. And when all of the resultant problems hit the Dolphins, guess who got fired? Jeff Ireland, that's who, even though we can all agree that none of this was his fault.

Miami Dolphins, the Hershey squirts of the NFL!


To think that if Tannehill would of connected with Wallace even half the long passes none of this would be happening. In essence the man who fired Ireland and Sherman is the guy Ireland drafted # 1 and Sherman coached for over 5 years. Odd. Also reviewing Stephen Ross history with the Dolphins why would anyone have hope that he gets this right?

It's now obvious that the dysfunction starts at the top with Stephen Ross. His hire,Dawn Aponte, appears to go by the "kill or be killed" mentality when it comes to team management. Why would any potential general manager walk into a situation where he would know from the beginning that Aponte and Philbin have formed an alliance to control and destroy, if necessary, anyone that gets in their way. Sickening.


The more I read about this mess the more I am convinced that Ros needs to fire Philbin and Aponte. If what you wrote is true it's shameful and even worse childish. However I don't think Ross has the smarts of the cojones to clean house.


When you spend $200 million dollars in new contracts the whole delving into hypothetical's goes out the window.

If Marino had a run game and defense he would also own a ring. See what I mean? It's a waste of time to think of what could've been.

Havent read the other posts and the report does sound like North Dallas Forty sequel; however, if any of it is true, then Ross has a bigger problem and bad on him if a successful real estate billionaire tycoon, board room, corporate pro cant see this. I cant imagine a close ally of Ross, in which he has sought advice from in past would not tell his friend, "Steve, this is nuts and no one will want to come work in the mengarie that is rapidly becoming the Dolphins. The only way to fix the problem when there is in fighting and none of the participants are really betterr than the other, is to clear the room, hand out severence checks, and thank them for their services. No doubt that it would be a much prudent course of action to get your key principals (GM and HC), if not one in the same on the same page on the teams philosophy, type of offense and defense you want to execute, evaluate current players on the roster that can get you there, and begin finding the replacements for thise players that no longer fit. Yes, the Fins may need to keep a couple of underachievers for another year or two in hopes a new coaching staff can produce some kind of damage control so the team doesnt have to eat any dead money, but the direction so far outlined in these reports leads to continued failure and yet another pull on the flush all toilet. May as well start now and get the head of the snake built correctly, or it will eventually feed itself.

The close advisor I forgot to mention is Carl Peterson. Sorry bout that

I'm going to twirl my parasol and bat my eyes in the hopes of luring gentlemen callers to my porch.

Why does Ross covet Philbin so much? If Philbin was on the streets would his phone be ringing for other HC opportunities? No. He has no resume. He is just a guy. Hell, his record with the Dolphins is worse than Tony Sporanos after two years and he has a better team than Sporano did back then.


Ever seen the video of the weightlifter who soils himself while lifting weights? It is the perfect metaphor for the Dolphins of Stephen Ross.

finfan 71,

I get it. Its just odd that's all. By the way you can make a case that Ireland did things over the first 5 years that he could of been fired over. Yet he was fired this year. A year that what actually happened lay at the feet of the HC not his. That is also odd. Perhaps its a clear reflection of the total lack of leadership and understanding the comes from ownership. (Ross)

He wouldn't have been fired while Tuna was around. He was Tuna's guy. He's been on borrowed time for the past two years, imo.


The Herald should do a poll this week. Question would be this.

Who is the most incompetent owner of a South Florida Sports Franchise.

Stephen Ross
Jeffrey Luria

It would be close. I cant think of another city that has more clueless ownership of their baseball and football teams than ours.

so bill lazor in for interview for oc job, hmmm


Where did you see this?

Chris Mortansen reports that Kyle Shanahan is a candidate for the OC position here. Yeah, thats about our speed. I guess Kippy Brown was busy coaching Pop Warner.


tom gamble would be a huge get

would love to see kyle shanahan here for an interview

albert, if he had connected on half of the long passes with Wallace, he would be MVP of the NFL... league average overall on long passes is around 30-40%

dusty bottoms,

surely you jest.

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