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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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This whole thing reeks of the movie major league. Except in this movie we still suck.

Ridiculous. It won't be a surprise if we get much worse from here on out. Ross has allowed himself to be manipulated and shame on Philbin too. I've lost respect for the whole group of them.

Who in their right mind wants to come in here and play puppet GM? Should have just canned the whole bunch of them. Aponte, Ireland, Philbin, Sherman, Coyle....just half measures. History has shown this rarely has ever worked for any NFL team even under the best of conditions.

Dusty Bottoms,

LLS I sure am just saying that still is no reason to reach that high for a player.

There is a reason no one in league circles takes this team seriously. This is painfully evident during the tv shows covering the league. We are only news when there is a scandal going on.

C'mon we all know there is something fundamentally wrong with this organization and sorry folks this starts with Ross himself. If this mess is true it started the day Ross fired Sparano AND kept Ireland instead of cleaning house. Now fast forward to today and he is making the same mistake. I have said this many times now: Ross needs to clean house, everyone must go.

Of course what do we know, right? But the following days will be very telling. If Ross hires a weak, inexperienced GM it will solidify what Mando is stating here. If however; they hire a strong qualified candidate then it will sign the opposite. I really wish is the latter but knowing hiw this team operates I'm afraid this mess will go on.

The Peaple have spoken Mr. Ross you read this now keep going clean house and bring in a beautiful football mind and pay him we'll...

If what Armando writes is true, and I have no reason to doubt him, I believe this is 10X worse then the Martin fiasco. It would make this team just fully dysfunctional on the football side, which is all that matters. They should have just cleaned out everyone instead of another half measure. Obviously if the Fins are interviewing OC's, then it's obvious the new GM will have no say or vastly reduced power. Aponte will be the real power here. Very disturbing article

Mr. Ross should we not worry about hiring a GM before interviewing OC candidates??? And why the heck is Coyle safe?? He had a lot more talent to work with than Sherman. Huh?

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports ex-Texans coach Gary Kubiak is "high on the Dolphins' radar" for their offensive-coordinator vacancy.

Kubiak has worked with John Elway in the past but seems to favor a run-heavy, ball-control offense. He's not the most imaginative playcaller but gets the most out of his players and would be good for Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller, among others in Miami. Kubiak interviewed for the Lions' head-coaching job Tuesday. He figures to find a job somewhere for the 2014 season.

If there is any doubt Ross is at the root of this mess just look at who he appointed as tbe team's CEO: Garfinkel, who has ZERO NFL experience. Folks we are f'd.

And yup Ross is listening, as always, to a bunch of Jets people, because they are such a role model, right? And being division rivals I'm sure they want to wish us the very best. LOL

This is beyond sad now. I simply can not trust an owner whose board of advisors is all NY green, that is an aberration. I will not invest one more penny on this team until I see all the green matter excreted from this organization.

I guarantee u Mangini will be the GM. SMH. Thank G for the Heat!

Alot of speculation here by Mando on were Ross goes from here. I can't for the life of me believe Ross has such complete trust in what he saw this Yr. to simply hand the team over long term to Dawn Joe (as he coined it) I know Ross has earned our distrust but as a business man he knows this decision is one he wants to stick to for a period of time (LOOKING LONG TERM) and given the resent history of the team under a 1st time G.M. I have to believe he hands the ball off ths time to someone with a track record not a career P.R./CAP person with ZERO Exp. herself!

Aponte may have his ear but so do we all over the Sports radio and TV landscape. On local Sports you had Joe Rose (NBC) BLASTING Ireland and finally praising the firing along with Bokamper (CBS) and Jim Berry. On the radio he had very respected local ESPN guy Dan LeBatard with Stu Gatz and Bomani Jones ripping Ireland ect... I could go on but Aponte was just part of a storm that had built over a 3 Yr. span now.

If he makes this move and I did hear Jeff Darlington hint at the possibility on NFL Net. then it's one he has to know will be met with the same disgust locally that the Ireland tenure met on the back end further dwindeling ticket sales, merchandising ect!

Bigger still is the fact that Jason LaCanfora reported on Crowder's 560 AM Show that "IF" Ross indeed put the franchise in Aponte's hands that he would be scoffed at in League circles were the talk among Owners he's talked with is just how disfunctional the Dolphins have been with Ross and how much more of a joke it would become under an Aponte Adm. He said it in those words not me typing what I wanted to hear but what he says he got from other Owners, F.O. people around the League!

Now if LaCanfora an NFL Net. Insider knows that then you have to believe Ross and his people are aware of it to and he goes outside were if the whole thing goes South in 2014 (a very distinct possibility) he can make a clean break from them all or at least that's my hope given I really can't believe Ross would be that unbelievably "STUPID" unless its all on purpose to indeed move the team to L.A.! A possibility I will really begin to believe if he does this just like Saints Owner Benson sighting below average ticket sales (which Ross will certainly have) and losses when he bid for L.A. after Hurricane Katrina!

Just going to repeat my post b/c I think it's important and should be stated again and again until we can return to authentic journalism. I'm not saying that what Armando wrote is fabricated (not at all!). I just want stories like this to have sources that can back it up. This isn't just an issue at the Herald, but internet journalism blogging's ability to bring news without corroborating sources has completely destroyed the authenticity of the industry. It's happening big-time up here in DC with RGIII. You hear all kinds of rumors and innuendo from all sides...nothing is supported, leaving the readers to make opinions of what they choose to believe. Honestly, that sucks. I'm sick of it. I hope some of you will back me on this:

Can you share your accredited sources, Armando? Given all of the misrepresentations over the last few years with our coaching search and Bullygate I find it evidently more important that the media substantiate their claims.

You've now concluded through your opinion piece that the Dolphins organization is no longer a desired place to be. This kind of article fuels dissension, division, and the credibility of the team we love.

That's why it's imperative you corroborate your sources for such a loaded segment. Your job to get the people relevant news supersedes your desire to protect the team- I get that. But please do so in a way that we know that the information you're providing us is accredited.

Think of Tannehill being a petrol pump(gas pump I suppose you Yanks say) and Wallace as a Ferrari 20 feet away from him with a nozzle that only reaches 19 feet eleven inches from the pump....thats how our QB and star WR work together.

Posted by: Krillian | January 08, 2014 at 05:49 PM

These were my thoughts as well! Mando's story will only serve to stir a hornets nest on unsubstantiated claims. If you read my post (A bit long) you'll see a radio report I heard from a League source who claims to have heard his report 1st hand in a League meeting regarding the Dolphins.

If he got that info. you can bet Ross got it in the form of advice not along the lines of gossip regarding his next move. The Owners are a good Ole Boy Network and tend to stick together and interact more than some care to believe. Heck, just look at Div. rivals Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder (something you should be familiar with in the DC area) Widely reported is the time they spend together often being of the same mind on League votes ect...

I just can't believe a member of such a select group is so faaar out of touch as Mando hints here? Unless his motives aren't something understood as of yet!

Agree Bobby, if this is a fairly accurate picture then very disturbing indeed. And Krillian I don't think Mando has a rep of being wildly inaccurate so we will see how things play out... given how little we actually know about Dawn Aponte, he gives specifics here that can be fact checked by some within the org so if things are off base it will come back.


Don't forget we are going dancing tonight. I will pick you up at 7:30.

Perhaps some drinks after that and then....?

Aponte is a dirty who#e who is trying to make her way to the top, but first she must work under the table!

Polecat is the common name for various medium-sized mammals in the Carnivora order and in the subfamily Mustelinae.

who does Ireland pass his dirty diaper too??

geez, is this dirty diaper going to keep circling the Dolphins like a never ending sewer vortex??

what does Mrs. Frances Drake, a thick eel, and Oscar have in common?

Well, Dawn Joe won. I'm pretty sure they will fight the idea of having a Czar of Football operations here, but I think to no avail.

That's why it's imperative you corroborate your sources for such a loaded segment.

Posted by: Krillian | January 08, 2014 at 05:49 PM

Sorry but this is simply a preposterous request. For one, sources in all walks of life from sports to politics to everything else often only speak to journalists on anonymity. The moment you break that trust, you lose your sources! Do you think Jay Glazer and Peter King would have gotten as far as they have by exposing their sources? No way. They'd have less contacts than we do!

One of the most accompished journalists of the last 50 years, Bob Woodward, most famous for breaking the Watergate scandal, the biggest political story of a decade, did not reveal his sources until decades later after some had died!

There is an unwritten law between journalists and their sources no different that between doctors and their patients. It couldn't work any other way.

Secondly. this kind of story is rather common politics you see in every company big and small. This is how people are. I see no reason why one would expect it doesn't occur in sports organizations. I found the story interesting, to learn where the dynamics were, but didn't find the story remotely suprising or shocking.


TheEYE is all knowing bwaahaahaha

Is it Ross or Philbin that's laying wood to Aponte?? Find out Mando, that would be NEWS!!

Pioli makes a lot of sense for the GM job. He is on record that he thinks very highly of Philbin and is high on Tannehill. This dispels Mando's theory that a GM can't come in without his own guy as head coach. He isn't afraid of working in a structure becauce he did that very successfully in New England.

Aponte came from the Jets organization. Maybe she is a life long Jets fan and that's her goal is to tear this organization down from the inside. Wow, that sounds like something a woman would do.

Something happened between Phibin and Armando between last year and this year. Armando seems hell bent on getting Philbin out of here. There is something going on we don't know about.

Brickhouse I said it yesterday, Pioli stacked KC with talent but he fell short on his coaching choices. I would love for him to come to the phins. That dude can find talent.

It's abundantly evident that many of you so-called "men" actually hate and fear women who are smarter, more influential and more accomplished and powerful than you are (or ever will be).

What frightened little losers you are! No wonder you spend endless hours on a football blog with other emotionally stunted immature weirdos.

Birds of a feather...

Who cares if they are jus focusing on an elite evaluator ( so they say). If the evaluator can find allstars and we maximize their strengths on the field who cares if we don't have a mentor of a GM. As long as the evaluator, philbin, and OC are on the same page and properly uses the roster then GM is not relevant. A GM has too many responsibilities aside from evaluating players shud only focus on numbers etc....... Let the Evaluator take care of evaluating players ( hence the word) and have him work with HC and OC to properly install a game plan that can maximize their talents!!!!!!! Sheesh.....

An example of an elite evaluator??!?!? Umm, mayock comes to mind..........

Dawn Aponte for Czar!

...Bodine..Great Post.. It is asinine that people are asking Armando to reveal his sources. If he fails to do so then it is "hack" journalism, or some sort of agenda Armando has against the team.

I don't know why anyone here would want a guy that writes puff pieces about this franchise. The more critical Armando or the other local journers(not a word just made it up) are. The better. This franchise is a mess. It is a joke. From the owner to the head coach. Somebody needs to be the bad guy. And you want Armando write what? We were close these guys are great? All is well in Dolphinland?

Keep hammering these guys(gals) Armando. Keep hammering away until they prove they have a competent bone in their football skulls.

Once again I have to commend Armando Salguero for this courageous article. He put his reputation on the line by going after Aponte and the Dolphins brass. You have stones my man and I have new found respect for you.

Why would Armando tarnish himself by making this kind of story up? He must have a very good source to go with this.

Aponte is nothing but a venomous back stabbing snake. I hate those type of people in the work place and have dealt with them in the past. She got in good with the boss by kissing his butt and then formed an alliance with Philbin to put Ireland out of a job. That is really conniving. She is clearly angling for more power at Ireland's expense.

The sad thing is that the fan base will now have to endure another year with Philbin. Philbin is the reason we did not make the playoffs this year. The team plays 8-6 ball and then he cannot prepare or motivate his team to beat two garbage teams like the Jets and Bills. This team had the talent to be in the playoffs and underperformed. It is sad that Ross does not see what Aponte is trying to do.

Pioli didn't do JACK in KC!


What a MESS! How about this tagline? Like an underthrown Tannyhill deep pass so are the days of Dolphin lives. It all starts at the top - the owner's weakness and lack of football knowledge has greatly harmed this franchise. A strong hand running the show wouldn't allow this foolishness to continue. That's why I don't believe they will ever get it together as long as the current owner is in place. I remember back in the Don Shula days feeling sorry for teams that had owners like Bill Bidwell & Robert Irsay - they always lost. I used to wonder how the other half lived. For the last decade plus the Dolphins have been that other half. I maintain it is the most clueless franchise in sports. Pitiful - just pitiful. Jeff Ireland & Mike Sherman might be the lucky ones.....

I don't hate strong, smart women.

I hate ALL women

Only good for holes

Oscar Canosa:

Are you shiny?

Last playoff win

Pioli pointed out that when you have a first time head coach it takes time to find their feet. Look at Belicheat in Cleveland. Look at Parcells almost getting canned with the G-Men. He was stunned when Chud got canned so quickly in Cleveland. He is high on Philbin.

Total hack journalism, what a disgrace of a beat writer, is Armando sleeping with Ireland? This is exactly why journalism is the crap that it is today. when he starred peddling this crap on twitter he was immediately called out for it by everyone including his colleagues. THE MIAMI HERALD HAS BECOME COMPLETE GARBAGE.

Truth hurts why would they wait to hire a GM before the OC is hired?

The coach, Joe Philbin, is the one in charge of hiring his own assistants. The GM would have nothing to do with the interview process.

Brian, I here you loud and clear. You should of heard him on NFL radio today. He is trashing the Dolphins.

hear you


Good follow up. People don't realize that these sources would risk losing their jobs if they were exposed. It's a two way street. Sources speak in anonymity to protect themselves, and journalists give them the opportunity to be heard.

Of course at times, sources have their own agenda, but when multiple sources confirm the same thing, then you have a story. Most journalists of integrity (meaning not Omar) try to get at least one more source to corroborate a story before printing it.


Pioli did JACK in KC!

AllwhiteMiami when pretending to be someone from across the pond you should fully commit. You got the Petrol thing right then started talking about measurements in feet. Fail.

liking the list of ocords. please get gamble for gm

agree marc, living in kc i can tell u pioli was a joke. hes horrible


Now if you did the same analysis on all 32 GM's in the NFL, you woud hate about 27 of them. That is how hard it is to draft well.

Someone posted earlier we are looking at Kubiak as our OC. That would be a perfect fit!

He has a nice run game and his zone blocking scheme is nasty!
If he got so many solid years out of Schaub and his limited arm, Tannehill could develop into a special player pretty easily.

Some of you guys are amazing. You guys really prefer that loser Pioli over Ireland? Really? Lets analyze:

Pioli's regular season record with the Chiefs: 23-41 and 0 playoff appearances.

Ireland's regular season with the dolphins- 46-50 and 1 playoff a season.

Pioli made one of the dumbest moves in NFL history. He gave up the 34th overall pick for Matt Cassel and signed him to a 6 year 62.7 million dollar contract. Pioli finally got canned after going 2-14 his final season with the Chiefs.

Hands down Ireland has been a more successful GM than Pioli. The record speaks for itself. You guys really want that loser Pioli?

My Knob has always shined at the proper moment.

Why don't you just shut up already?


I think Kubiak is too conservative for today's NFL. He isn't going to innovate or suprise anybody. He didn't with the Texans so it's not likely he is going to suddenly change somewhere else. He is what he is.

This team has been a boring offensive dud since Shula laft. I want a Rex Ryan type but on the offensive side. Someone wild and bold. Philbin appears to be neither, so we need that somewhere.

agree marc, living in kc i can tell u pioli was a joke. hes horrible

Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 08, 2014 at 07:25 PM

Totally agree dusty. You would know best living there. I bet the KC fans could not wait till the chiefs fired him. I cannot imagine the sports blogs about the pitiful job Pioli did in KC.

orlando dont worry i dont think it will be pioli. lets hope its gamble

orlando kc fans hated him. he had every coach on lock down. couldnt talk ever to emdia. story where he layed a gum wrapper in the stairs and watched on camera to see who would pick it up. dude is crazy and dumb as they come. arrogant garbage

Uyally HCs that fail are usually stinky Coordinators also. CC anyone?

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