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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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kubiak has already been a good ocrd in denver

kubiak has already been a good ocrd in denver

Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 08, 2014 at 07:45 PM

How do you define a good OC? No playoff wins?

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

Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 08, 2014 at 07:40 PM

LOL, Dusty. Only in S. Florida. These guys want to run GMs and coaches out of town quick and then replace them with other team's garbage (like Pioli).

Ireland was way more successful than Pioli and they wanted to crucify him. Can you imagine what these guys would do if a GM came here and went 23-41 and made the bone head move of trading a high pick and paid superstar money for a QB like Matt Cassel.

So far I like the list of candidates for GM and OC. They are talking a good game so far.

Hopefully they won't screw it up.

Hard to believe as it may seem, I think they are in worst shape now than a week ago.

Half measures with an inept coach still in place and a poisonous atmosphere surrounding the frnachise. The fact that we even know this lady's name speaks volumes as to how badly the work place stinks.

Dysfunction begets dysfunction, Ross is keeping that wheel turning unless he totally cleans house or the new GM can do so. I cannot imagine any worthy candidate accepting this putrid mess.

his drafts were disasters also orlando

For all those who are afraid to say the truth....it is this....throughout the course of history, the cunningness and deception of women has been well known. No I am not a sexist. I am a realist.Most women process information in a completely different way from most men. They have different benchmarks ,different motivators, different agendas. They are different mentally AND physically.They have specific traits that are specific to their phsychology. These have been prevalent throughout history. We ignore them at our own peril.
There are a percentage where these traist are NOT prevalent but the majority display the norm. They make decisions with "intuition". They make decisions using emotion and with grudges and jelousies. This is their main parameters although they call this intuition. Very few use straight dispassionate logic.
Since the advent of feminism the world has teetered into a situation where boys are neutered at schools and the feminist line is favored as it is PC. The more you criticize men the better these days. The more you support women the better also.And look at the result.
Women are not empowered. They are passive aggressive. Try and isagree with one these days.Many of the ads on TV show dolt men being rescued by empowered women..
Look at underfathered boys, look at the breakdown of families, look at all the nonsense we are made to swallow about new types of families etc.Its a CON....and a big one...
Dawn Aponte is a scheming and clever woman. She will divide and conquer. We will say look at that empowered intelligent woman.Remember it.Its a CON.
Most woman should NOT be given power. Many men also but MOST women.
It is men who are at fault. We have allowed it stupidly. Wake up.

marc ross from giants on gm list also per twitter

What a mess.

I would not mind Kubiac as OC. Some guys are just not cut out to be HCs but Kubiac is a good OC.

Personally I would prefer Norv Turner. Again not a great HC but a fantastic OC. I used to follow the Cowboys back when Jimmy Johnson was there and Norv walked on water as an OC. I am not sure if he is too old now but if he still up to it he would be a great choice.

C'mon Armando you are turning this blog into TELEMUNDO,MEXICO

Ross is not in control. He is full of czar's and silly comittees and micro-managers.

The problem is at the Top. Plain and simple.

Ross doesn't run the team like a winner, he runs it like a meek boy scout leader who needs confirmation from idiots as to what is the right thing to do.

Yeah, Alfie, the same with faags.


At this point clean house. Hopefully, Aponte climbs her way out of here to the league office. Yes, just clean house and start over.

Philbin is not cut out to be a HC. That debacle against the Jets and Bills with the playoffs on the line proved it.

I guess Women and Faags had to be put to the Work Force.

agree 100 pct on philbin, hes bad. hes def gone after next season


Norv was here and failed. He failed miserably with the Chargers and a franchise QB. Not sure why you think he is so great. That Cowboys team was an All World offense at the key positions. Any one would have had success with them.

true bodine, norv has been awful in san fran and clev as ocord and here also

Many coaches can impress you with their knowledge. Few can actually coach. It is a rare talent.

We are 100 percent on the same page on Philbin but if he stays I hope we are wrong. If he is gone after next year, it would mean that Philbin had a bad year. I do not want to go through another fruitless year.

I like Gamble and the guy that interviewed today Fales sounds like a good candidate too.

twitter saying mcadoo the fav for ocord, blah

So Parcells hires Sporano and Ireland. Sporano the ex oline coach couldn't put together an oline. and Ireland was the waterboy turned GM after Parcells left. Reminds me of JJ leaving everything to Wanstache. Then Parcells hires Aponte.

So Ireland takes over and screws Sporano at the behest of Ross. Ireland survives but two year later gets screwed by Aponte.

Wonder if fatas$ Parcells had a hand in Aponte getting revenge for Sporano?

@Orlando Dolphan

You dont seriously expect a 'good' year next year with a new OC, new GM new oline etc. etc. etc.

Thats why this deal of one more year for Philbin is ridiculous. The guy needs now at least 2 years to get a 'good' year. The bets you'll see next year is another 7-9, 8-8 season. Then you say thats not good enough, get riud of him and start over there. Essentially making this season coming up a wasted year.

That's why it is VITAL they do it NOW.

been saying that ed for days, not gonna happen though cause ross became friends with another employee


Norv was only here for one season and lacked talent on that team. Fieldler actually did pretty well under Norv's offense. The best WR on that team Chris Chambers. Yikes! Ricky Williams ran for 1853 yards under Norv. So I think he did the best with what he had. A great RB but absolutely no talent for the passing attack.

True in Dallas he had a great team but he was not the original OC on that team. Jimmy hired him I believe in his 3rd season there. When he arrive in Dallas the offense was dead last. Troy Aikman had a record of 7-18 before Turner and 31-11 with Norv.

I agree he was subpar in San Diego as the HC and I definitely do not want him as a HC. However, he has been a successful coordinator.

See, I told you, Sherman and Ireland have been fired! Nooooo!


Ricky Williams is by far the greatest RB that will never make the HOF. He is easily in the top 5 RB's of ALL TIME. I don't care what anybody says. He was smart and fast and strong as hell and hit like a bulldozer. Extraordinary pass catcher too. The complete back by ALL defintions.

Norv get's no credit for any of that.


It is not unheard of to turn it around in one season. The dolphins were 8-8 and with the best chance to make the playoffs this year at that point. So the talent is not that bad here. They have holes to fill but with the right leadership the team could be a playoff team.

You don't believe me. Ask the Kansas City Chiefs they went from 2-14 to 11-5 and the playoffs. The dolphins went from 1-15 to 11-5 and the playoffs.

It is all about the leadership on the team. That is why this year is crucial. I am afraid that most good GMs are going to want a new HC and will not take the job if Philbin is forced on them.

The dolphin's success will depend largely on the new GM, HC (hopefully), and Ryan Tannehill's progression. I am also afraid that Philbin is going to end up ruining TH.

Norv had Aikem, Irvin and Emmit all at their primes with a great oline. I could have coached that team to success and I know less than nothing.

It really all comes down to talent. Great players make the coaches look good. Rarely is it the other way around.


I am with you on Ricky. I loved that guy. He was awesome. The fins abused that man.

However, I disagree that Norv gets no credit for the running success of that team. With the garbage personnel that he had at WRs, teams could have easily shut down the running game. Norv still stuck to the running game and found creative ways to get the ball in the hands of his only playmaker.

The starting receivers on that team Chris Chambers and Oronde Gadsen. The TE Randy McMichael. His QB Jay Fiedler.

After seeing what Mike Sherman this year completely abandoning the running game, I have to give Norv credit for sticking to the running game. I think that he could do well developing TH. Again, I don't want to bring him in as HC, No way but he is a well respected OC. Does he still have it? I don't know. Is he too old? I don't know.

Craig M @ 1:38-
Wow, you really are a Moron. And an a$shole.

It really all comes down to talent. Great players make the coaches look good. Rarely is it the other way around.

Posted by: Bodine | January 08, 2014 at 08:32 PM

Totally agree with that having a plan and the players to fit that plan is the most important factor in the success of a team.

Scott Pioli - "Yeah, Tannehill's a great quarterback. Reminds me of a young Matt Cassel. As a matter of fact, lets dump Moore as a backup and bring Matt in to give Tanny a few pointers. Who knows? Maybe Matt wins the starting job."

When Armando wants to move he can come up with a good story. Only, he seldom wants to move.

I want Omar Khan for GM, just so I can yell "KhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaN!!!".

I am sure he will screw it up, but seriously he had to Fire Ireland no matter what, and should have got everybody's money.Dolphins most likely step back from 8-8 next year with a new guy coming in, and then it will be another coach. What they should do, since they didn't clean house is just promote the Gaine guy for one year, because if the Dolphins go 6-10 next year Philbin will be gone and really should be gone now, he is not the man for the Job just like Jeff wasn't. YOU NEED A CUE CARD TO TALK TO YOUR TEAM AFTER THE GAME, AND YOU NEED SOMEONE ELSE TO TELL YOU WHAT TO SAY , THATS NOT A LEADER!!!!!!

Philbin does seem like an empty suit. The cue card thing is bad.

Good point by Omar Kelly:

"It should be pointed out what Ireland built pretty decently - the D, D-line, O-line (to a point) - crumbled under philbin"

Sorry Armando for quoting the other paper. As I mentioned, to me you are the man now with this article. I like a writer with guts to write a story that may not set in well with top brass. I just thought that was good point by Omar.

Kudos to coach Philbin, kudos to Aponte. Now the "fire Ireland" crowd should be very happy.
The Dolphins can build a Championship team through the draft, exactly like Philbin and Aponte envisioned last season, before Ireland blew away all that cap space, Aponte freed up.

You people are the stupidest idiots I have ever seen

Let the powers that be conduct their interviews and start getting this franchise back in good hands until then shut the hell up

Look at dirty Jersey with the voice of true reason.
Peace to the die-hard Phin fans up north...

I was really excited to hear the news of Ross finally parting ways with Ireland.

Now I'm not so excited. Who in the world will come in to the GM position that has to deal with this crap? Ross is still letting someone else run the show.

Good story Mando. A realy eye opener.

Gamble GM
Kubiak OC

[We need a top notch GM & we don't need you to keep throwing the dysfunctional franchise stories out there every day. Anybody with any brains understands that if a solid GM from outside(Like Tom Gamble)is hired he will likely hold total control (meaning he can fire Aponte or Philbin at anytime). SO PLEASE STOP SALGUERO !!!!]

Posted by: Rick | January 08, 2014 at 01:04 PM

Sorry to disagree with you Rick...

But you should commend Armando because he sincerely cares about the direction of this team. That is why he is airing this dirty laundry. He knows, as I do, how this movie ends. Its a tear jerker.
So this may help Mr. Ross to realize that he will continue to fail if he continues down this path of denial and destruction. He needs to realize (or remember) the actual goal of great football franchises. It is not about politics, revenue or wink, wink, nod, nod.

It is, above all, about winning for the FANS!! Its about giving loyal fans a proud, winning franchise to cheer for in sports. Fans who passionately support the team. Many of us for years now and many young ones just starting. Its fans like Armando and ourselves who genuinely care about winning for pride and glory!!

Dear Mr. Ross: "FOR THE LOVE OF PETE."

Ross needs to grow a set. Make it clear that your new GM candidate can have total control and do what they want.

End the charades! What a terrible owner!

Posted by: Marc from nj | January 08, 2014 at 09:13 PM

don't take it out on these nice people. I felt fat last night that's why I wouldn't let you touch me there. It always looks small when I feel fat

Ross must be bending over Aponte and giving it to her on a frequent basis. Thats all!
As for Philbin, maybe Aponte is bending him over and giving it to him with a strap-on. I don't know. But anyway, what is a freaking woman doing in a football organization. Did she ever play football? I hope Ross hires a bad ass that will come and cleans this mess and hire whomever the hell he wants to. Both Aponte and Philbin are disposable nothing gained, no big loss!

Lot's of poosy bloggers here intimidated by women. That is because they are tweedleDick wimps.

Posted by: tiredfinfan | January 08, 2014 at 09:46 PM

LOL, I was thinking the same thing about Ross and Aponte. How can she manipulate him this way?

I Googled Aponte.

I think she's smokin hot... I love red heads...

On top of that... she's can't be worse than the dolts doing the picking through the years for the fins...

Smokin hot? She's got toothpicks for legs and a hairstyle out of the 1980s. But then look at Ross. No doubt she's a hottie to him.

She looks like the type of climber that would stoop to any level to move ahead.

As for Ross, boys will be boys.

She looks like the type of climber that would stoop to any level to move ahead.

Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | January 08, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Why such hostility and rudeness? You don't even know her. Are you threatened or just jealous she has a job and a salary 10 times better than you?

Dawn Aponte is more successful than all of you silly weasel wart excuses for men.


All power to Ross. I don't care. If he is getting some from the help, that is his business.

It is amazing what a piece of tail can do to a man. He is willing to screw up the whole organization for his personal satisfaction. LOL, the soap opera of the Miami Dolphins continues.

None of your wives are even 1/10 the woman Dawn Aponte is. She is a highly successful executive in the NFL and blows your frivolous wenches out the window! LOL

Orlando, you must be less than 15 and raised in the ghetto if you think women can't achieve without bending over. You are childish. No way is she bending over for Ross you fool. Grow up.

Ireland is a SCUM BAG

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