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Personnel men gather at Shrine game and talk Dolphins

Practices for the East-West Shrine game, which will be played Saturday, started on Monday and not surprisingly a lot of the talk among the men of the NFL scouting and personnel community included the Dolphins, their current search for a general manager, and rumors that have been swirling around the team.

Let's address some of those rumors and bring as much clarity as possible based on the latest reporting on the topics:

There have been whispers that San Francisco 49ers offensive consultant Eric Mangini might eventually have a position with the Dolphins -- either in personnel or some other way -- after the 49ers current playoff run is over.

Part of those came from league sources that know Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted to add Mangini to the organization after 2011 and that Executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte formed a bond with Mangini when both were with the Jets. Later, when Mangini went to Cleveland, Aponte joined him there. When he was fired, Aponte was also made aware she was no longer needed.

[Update: The Dolphins called to say Aponte left Cleveland one year before Mangini was fired.]

Well, I'm told by club sources Mangini is not an option "at this time" and his name has "so far" not come up in discussions for any position with the team.

Aponte's name has come up at the Shrine practices because, well, the NFL is a good ol' boys network and she's not part of the network. And there are questions about her role with the Dolphins going forward. The fact she is part of interview process has made some personnel people around the league wonder what role she'll serve in helping the next Miami general manager do his job picking talent.

Let's clear that up now as well: I'm told by multiple Dolphins people Aponte will have no personnel role. The general manager will oversee personnel and report to owner Stephen Ross. Interestingly, however, even as the GM won't answer to either Aponte or head coach Joe Philbin, the plan currently is they will not answer to him, either.

The fact there are rumors about this at the gathering of multiple scouts, general managers and others personnel people should not be ignored. Being on everyone's lips in this setting is not a good thing in this instance. The fact is although former general manager Jeff Ireland was not among the more well liked personnel men in the league, he was, good or bad, part of the so-called club. And the division between the Dolphins personnel department and coach Joe Philbin and Aponte is well known now. 

There's not a whole lot the Dolphins can do about this gossip among league people other than hire a legitimate new general manager, not extend the process too long, not drop the ball by having the top candidates decline the job, and then letting the man filling the vacancy do his work without drama.

(This is in everyone's best interest including Ross, who has had multiple unseemly episodes under his ownership including the soured relationship of Ireland and Tony Sparano and then Ireland and coach Joe Philbin. It's also in the best interest of Philbin and Aponte to make nice with the incoming GM because they failed to get along with the last one, so the next time they have an issue with anyone, it will seem more a reflection on them than the new general manager).

Another topic that has not escaped scrutiny at the Shrine gathering is the fact the Dolphins have completely dismissed experienced general managers in this process. The team has shown no apparent interest in interviewing former New England and Kansas City personnel man Scott Pioli, former San Diego general manager A.J. Smith, or former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo.

The Dolphins clearly have focused in on wanting an "up and comer" or a  "star in the making," according to one team source.


The Dolphins conducted no interviews for either their general manager or offensive coordinator vacancies on Monday.

Finally, it seems personnel people around the league are watching closely to see who the Dolphins hire. The thinking is most young, hungry personnel men who want to be a GM would be eager to take the Miami interview if offered.

It is a commodity in a year only two GM jobs came open. But the issue is not who interviews.

League people are watching to see if the Dolphins can actually close the deal. Can they hire their guy once they identify him in the interviews?

Ross, little known in league circles despite owning the Dolphins since 2009, nonetheless has something of a reputation for not being able to close. That's ironic for a man who made billions in real estate.

Ross couldn't close the deal for Jim Harbaugh when he wanted him in 2011. He couldn't close the deal for Jeff Fisher when he offered him the head coach job in 2012. He could not close with fellow owners in trying to get a Super Bowl to South Florida. And, it turns out, he could barely get in the running for Peyton Manning when that sweepstakes was at its height -- with sources saying recently the Dolphins needed to rely on Dan Marino to ask Manning as a personal favor to take a meeting with the Dolphins.

So the question that lingers is once the Dolphins pick their top finalist for the general manager job, will they be able to do what is necessary to convince him to take the job? At that point, the power shifts from the interviewers to the finalist. At that point the finalist can begin to make demands and it doesn't necessarily have to do with just money.

Will the Dolphins be able to hire their leading candidate? Or will they have to decide on a second option -- like when they stayed with Sparano in 2011 and hired Philbin in 2012?

Stay tuned.  


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Clown shoes!
Change the logo to Bozo!

This owner is DUMBO the clown, this organization is going on 41 years of ineptitude, this organization Is the butt of all the jokes everywhere nationally !! Their fan base for the most part are sadly delusional thinking their as good as the Pats Broncos Seahawks Niners. Sadly but seriously a lot of these pathetic dolfans do believe that. And now they're about to pick a puppeteer to kiss up to the glorious leadership of Aponte&Philbin you can't do it better than this Ross Man !!

What's funny is mandy either tried to start or ran with all those rumors she apparently just dispelled.

Crack journalism.

Blogging. Message boarding with a platform.

Tell us...was Aponte wearing heels or flats in these interviews. I am DYING to know!

Wow! If any of this true the dysfunctional web has exceeded all fears. While we laugh at these blogs posted by the author as soap opera, National Enquiereresque, it does bear some scrutiney. It is well within reason that any potential GM candidate may view the Aponte/Philbin marriage as a non starter. It begs the question, "Do I really want to become embroiled in this?" Unfortunately Mr. Ross is blinded by what appears to misplaced loyalty at expense of putting together a management team that can lead this team to something other that average. Ms Aponte may well be an outstanding capologist and that should be the alpha and omega of her role in football matters. Any current personnel person who is up and coming will think long and hard about the Fins job and what it really entails. If they are up and coming now they will be up and coming next year as well. They may decide the drama on a Wednesday night is not worth it. I can also understand Mr Ross taking it slow and moving forward with some trepidation given the hires he has been involved in throughout his tenure as the owner. Parcells jumps ship after trying to build a team model in the 1990s mode. He keeps Ireland and Sparano and the team is nationally embrassed, the first time when Ireland asks Dez Bryant if his mother is a ho. Mr Ross then sets a course for a second national embaressment when in the middle of the night under the cover of darkness tries for Jim Harbaugh. Third embaressing moment is he then has to over pay to keep Sparano and Ireland. Then Philbin is hired who in turn hires Sherman who immediately goes into nepotism mode and shanks Philbins west coast offensive philosphy. Philbin does nothing about it and goes along with Sherman in hiring his son in law as a QB coach. Finally there is the Incognito/Martin mess. Now throw in a lack of assertiveness when real leadership is required and any potential GM has to say, "What the hell is going on down in Miami?" Since it appears the new GM cannot fire Philbin and Philbin and Aponte have the owner's ear, could eventually lead to a GM hire who may not be the best available candidate. Mr Ross as the leader of a multi billion dollar empire cannot waddle while other teams move forward. It is time Mr Ross acts like an owner and lays throws down the gauntlet. The Fins business unit in his empire is under performing and is losing money and prestige amongst his peers. It is time for some self awarness. Let the current staff know 2014 is a make or break year for this unit. Give the GM the power to fire everyone and anyone deemed not to be performing up to established standards. Blind loyalty in busness is the worst kind. It shows no mercy and eventually drags all involved down into the abyess.

Again…..the ONLY way out of this mess is for Ross to put the fate of the team in one respected real NFL man and stay out of the football day to day operations.
So be it if Mangini is the choice. Allow Mangini to hire one of these up and coming GM's and the GM, Dawn and Joe all report to Mangini.

Please please please………this is the only answer to once again possibly gain the respect as a solid franchise.
Ross is a clown amongst the NFL people, he is not respected and needs to own the team and stay away.

On a different tack why doesn't Tannehill run more similar to Cam Newton and RG111? I mean the guy was a wide receiver originally!!!

It's a sad thing that the off season moves are the teams highlights. for the past 15 yrs this part of the yr has been my season. By wk 4 u usually know how the team will perform. Playoffs, playoffs?

It's a sad thing that the off season moves are the teams highlights. for the past 15 yrs this part of the yr has been my season. By wk 4 u usually know how the team will perform. Playoffs, playoffs?


It should not be of a surprise that no one really likes Ireland; not the public, NFL personnel people or Philbin/Aponte. I'm not sure where he got his arrogance but I'm glad he is gone. Philbin/Aponte should make nice to the new GM but no one should have expected Ireland to get along with anyone. The good old boys network in the NFL will not change. It does not apply to everyone but let's be honest most guys do not want to answer to a female in the NFL business. The NFL personnel network may even be referring to her as DOMINATRIX DAWN and so it goes.

Will they call me Air Aponte next season with our new and improved flash card offense?

Like I said earlier " Ross is the root of the Dolphins Problems and were not gonna be a Super Bowl contender until Ross sells to a person with Football smarts". Ross, you are throwing good money after bad money, I would expect you to be smarter than that. Just sell the team and move on.... It's not gonna get better in Miami, you will see. A smart owner would hire a GM with no perimeters to build a team as he sees fit. Who with any Moxy would take this job.

Well I hope that get it right this time , I think Ireland had a huge ego like most people in professional sports, this is okay when you can deliver but it was clear he couldn't.

I don't know why it took so long to get rid of him, if Aponte does not know personnel then what do we need her for? The next GM should also handle the salary cap and just because you have money left over doesn't mean you did a good job with the cap, the Dolphins were still out of the playoffs and they overpaid for all their free agents big time, except for maybe Wallace it is not his fault Tannehill couldn't hit him deep all year.

The Dolphins need a complete make over in my view, they have some good pieces to work with, but their offensive philosophy needs to change , it all starts or should start with running the football first and stopping the run, then pass off of that. The teams that can run the football are playing in the championship games this weekend. The Dolphins were soft last year on both sides of the ball and that has not been the case for quite some time .

They should have brought in a new head coach as well but we get Philbin for one more year, there is a chance they can turn it around next year but I will believe t when i see it and even if they start 5-0 next year I am not gonna get too excited till I see them in a playoff game.

Demands? At this point in their careers? Of a young talent evaluator? You have to be kidding.

J T SANDER,your post is spot on and I could not agree with you more. Ross,like Kraft in New England,has to be a figure-head only,and let people of NFL knowledge run the Dolphins. Please stop this soap opera once and for all. We need a strong GM and a strong head coach,of which we have neither.

Posted by: Long Time Fan | January 14, 2014 at 07:36 AM
Long Time Fan,

That is nonsense, Ross is not the problem. Wayne Huizenga was not the problem either as he hired the best people. Nick Saban took the money and ran and so did Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells. Ross wants the best people which is why he got on a plane to recruit the now SF 49's head coach. Ross is going in the right direction looking for an up and coming personnel/talent acquisition person. Someone who has shown ability in that specific area.

At face value Ross has shown embarrassingly naivete in his football 'business' machinations. However, he at least in part, had to be following or guided by the counsel of his trusted liaison Jeff Ireland. Ireland was left in his lap by the FatRat FATuna & Ross leaned on his experience. He was paid, not in respectable, forthright diligence, but by deceit & underhanded meanderings. Sporano's 'issues' with Ireland were a result of Ireland leading Ross toward Harbaugh (quite possibly at Ross' request - though that's where Ireland coulda, woulda, shoulda made better recommendations on how that part of the business works) and then spinning it as to not make himself look so bad from Sporano's vantage point. Trust was broken.
The latest round of 'soap opera-tion' within the Davie confines involved none other than Ireland yet again & now Coach & capologist (Philbin/Aponte). And it once again appears as though egg found the face of the Dolphins 'business end' of things. Whatever the REAL story is behind the 'alliance' of Philbin/Aponte, yet again Ireland was at the root of their divergence.
He has now rid the organization of not only the very definition of mediocrity (speaking in playing personnel means) but also of a slimy weasel undermining any & all who are seen as a threat to his place within the hierarchy. He did so with dignity & class by 'allowing' Ireland to leave under the auspice of agreeing to mutually part ways.
He now moves forward with the new GM search. Attempting to be thorough & inclusive of those the new GM will work closest with. However he leaves no illusion as to the 'power structure' by providing each with their respective responsibilities and each reporting directly to himself, rather than the model that has failed most recently. He provides Philbin (also somewhat the neophyte & LEARNING - hopefully) the autonomy to choose his staff. He affords Aponte the monetary autonomy to create the best working model for the organization. And he will allow the new GM full autonomy on personnel coming onto or leaving the team moving forward. It 'should' make things very clear toward the future if & where weakness exists. It will demand cooperation amongst the three to reach the common goal. Now the buck stops at Stephen - UNLESS...& this is a caveat to the entire process, Ross concedes that he has neither the expertise nor the time to devote to actually RUNNING this organization and he deems it necessary to hire a Czar figure. Then that begs the questions - how does he know who to trust in a business he really knows so little about and...

At the beginning, I liked the idea of a Czar of Football operations, but that will be another Person for Ross to worry about. No chance Ross is going to get caught in those situations that happened here last Season again, if he wants to keep his Franchise. So he has become mistrustfull of most Everybody and I don't blame him. Let all those People report directly to him. I'm sure he will have plenty of Football advisors around him.

Sure lets blame Nick Saban and Jimmy Johnson, how about Gary Stevens, Kippy Brown and Chuck Studley?

Oscar Canosa,

Your correct the Czar or guy with all the power just takes the money and runs......Ross must remain hands on with his direct reports; the GM, HC and Capologist..

I wonder if Ross is holding out fro someone in the Denver,San Francisco or Seattle front office. IF nothing comes from that, we have our fallback option in Farmer. Who might be a good pick up

So any Black GM we hire won't be part of the Good Ol' Boys Club either. Right?

Don't worry C.Peterson has a lifetime Membership he is one of its oldest Member.

I also like that Peterson isn't hiring an Old GM. Most of those Old GMs have lost it.

Pioli is the only one that can still spot talent but he can't pick a coach to save his life.

Farmer worked under Pioli so he should know some of his Process.

And as an Ex NFL Player I expect he knows what he wants in a coach and what other players would want from a coach.

Please, no Mangini.

We've suffered enough.

Wow Mangina might be the only guy the dolphin fans will dislike more than Ireland!!

Joe Robbie must be rolling over in his grave just as surely as Don Shula must squirm in his seat as he reads about the politics and intrigue that infests the current Miami Dolphins organization.
Hopefully the Fins will find someone with the skillset and integrity required to get this entire organization working as a team soon.

We need to draft Eric Ebron. Even though we have Clay I still feel like the first round is for play makers.

Also, why would you want to get rid of D.Aponte? She is the Best in the NFL at what she does.

Also, all that Speculating that Aponte has more power than she has.Should be embarising for these journalist in SFLA. Journalist is to good a word for these guys. They are Propaganda Media. Or Media Entertainment.

Making a make believe Soap Opera of a Married woman and the Coach of the Team for their own degenerate minds. Dashi was just waiting for the sex tape to come out.

No apologies or anything. Other journalist have to give public apologies when they are so erroneously wrong. Not the guys down here, their editor gives them free will to write even more ignorant articles with even less facts. Oh and if they can come up with a dumb moniker for one of the Dolphins even better.

Then you wonder why the Fins don't spend on Advertisement on the Herald.

I'm glad the Dolphins didn't hire Fisher - he's just another coach. Harbaugh? That's a different story....

yeah,suffer some more homers

Armando, thanx 4 the update

thanks for the inside info/clarification, mando. I wish the dolphins were as on top of things as you. When's your interview??

Yeah, who would want Jeff Fisher a quality coach with a proven track record when you can have Joe clueless Philbin and watch your franchise become the laughingstock of the NFL.

Yeah, not too keen on all the drama and purported in-fighting. I'm sure this occurs in a lot of organizations in the NFL, the difference is that the fins have a high-ranking female and that allows some knuckle draggers to point a finger at that. If this were a trio of men (Ireland, Philbin, and DON Aponte) almost all would conclude that Ireland must be a major A-hole and we'd move on without all the BS.

People closer to the situation may know the truth, I know I never will.

Sounds like a lot of bloggers on this story fancy themselves as experts with long drawn out analysis that actually says nothing. Either Ross stops the old adage of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result or he actually does something new and walks away from getting involved and hands the power to the GM or HQ...stop the madness as the team continues to flounder and fan base continues to fade away...

Posted by: DolphinsFansAreTheDumbest | January 14, 2014 at 07:58 AM

Your right and your the leading example of being dumb

Why are people saying Ross is too involved?
There is no proof that Ross has done a Jerry Jones, now he is doing the right thing.

The stupidity about the symbolic owners, the logo, unis, etc.... ok, but to say he has fumbled things in the field or personnel is wrong.
This will be his 5th season and with a decent coach in place which we have, and a new GM we are on the right path.
People here act like they were used to winning before Ross or something.

The only thing Jeff Fisher has proven is that he can consistently go 8-8.

Tired of hearing the Ross crapola. No one is accusing the guy of being a football genius. His main fault is that he's a loyal guy and newsflash, that's not much of a fault. What he understands better than some on this blog is that you can't keep blowing out your staff every two/three years and hope to build a consistent winner.

Mando really trying to stir the pot on this one. Lol

First of all, this good old boy club and aponte. The nfl wants diversity. Women having positions in the league is good for the league. That good old boy circle you are talking about is dying off. That's why the nfl is being neutered rule wise the way it is as it resembles more two hand touch than tackle football. Along with a "safer" game comes more African Americans, Hispanics, and women as the sport "diversifies." Everything in the press is about being PC. The nfl realizes this. And for the last time- aponte is a cap specialist, not a personnel decision maker. Can we put that rumor to rest? Even mando on at least tree of these blogs confirms that she will have nothing to do with personnel decisions.

Next- Steve Ross not being able to close a deal? Lol. Who gives a shite! He's a billionaire so it really doesn't matter what we or mando think but there's some facts about him that can't be denied:. He throws money around to bring in free agents. He shows loyalty to his employees- I don't consider that a fault. Who in their right mind wouldn't want that out of an owner? im sure one of the reasons chip kelly chose philly is bc jeffrie lurie just kept a coach for 14 years before parting ways- thats an owner with patience and a very attractive quality if youre a coach looking for a job. He is not meddling owner like a Jerry jones or Dan Snyder. I also give him credit for not using retreads at HC and GM. Screw retreads. Retreads failed somewhere else. Give some new guys a chance.

Enough about harbaugh and fisher already! Harbaugh is west coast based. Fisher went to a team with multiple first round picks in multiple years and had a supposed franchise qb(lol- yea if take Tannehill ANY DAY over Bradford). Now fisher is in the toughest conference in football with no QB. LOL

You guys need a new owner with a vision for the future, not a 74 y/o teenager who wants to hang out with the Estefan's and Fergie.
Good luck, you'll need it.

I like the idea of an up and comer. The NFL uses up and spits out coaches and Gms almost as much as it spits out players.

NOt many have the stomach or drive for more than one great run anyway.


More like a hall of fame coach and quarterback. Congrats on your years of dominance but they are fast approaching an end.

I usually like your stuff but this article was a waste of a click.

By the way this morning I found out that Orlando Franklin the lt for teh Broncos after Clady's injury is a Toronto product and actually was a student of my wife's. I know this happens more often in south Florida but not as often in Southern Ontario. Funny thing is I've known her for ten years and she makes mention of this for the first time this morning ... wierd.

P4L, what we need is to have the NFL officiating in our back pocket like you guys up there have had for years. That wins as many games as your Qb and coach...

we need to get rid of aponte, she is just creating conflict to fit her own agenda.

if a GM can do the numbers then that is not a GM, is just a scout. GM build teams and manage everything.

I am afraid this scout experiment is going to be another failure.

we need a top dog GM and give him all power, he should make every football decission, from coach to players...a la Pat riley...that is what we need a Pat Riley GM.

No one has called to interview Sherman or Ireland. I bet no one would have called Philbin either had him been fired (mayb for assistant HC, but not hc)
When no one picks up what you dropped, that is the best sign to tell you that hat you had was garbage.
and Ross was ready to stay with Ireland, that shows how much he really knows

buckle up phis fans, this bad ride still gonna go on for a while

Aponte has bigger marbles than Philbin and is one of those feminist(lesbos)like the ones that started the movement in the US.They seem to think that they are smarter than the rest.Whoever they hire needs to put her in her place shuffling papers in the office.Women become leaders because they are great communicators, but their logistic and planning brain hasent developed as males have since battles and fights for survival were rampant in the days of the dinosaur.

I want Mangini, him and Aponte have won every where they've been, Jets, cleveland,they are winners

I'm with you Justin, first round is for playmakers - super athletic tighte end or huge athletic WR has been my want for this year's draft...

Weren't we told Tony Dungy and Carl Petersen are advising Ross? So some of this story makes no sense. These NFL people know there are two well respected NFL minds advising Ross yet they're sitting around like teenage school girls gossiping about Dawn Apontes roll? What a bunch of crap this story is. Gossip and speculation at it's best. It would have been a better idea to wait and see what happens before writing this.

Mangini will fit right in with Miami, they both have the same course history for the last 20 plus years

I learned my final lesson about Armando during the bully BS. I dont put any stock to anything this man puts down in pen. He is historically bad and inaccurate. But you dikkheads just eat it up with a spoon. Wise up dumbchyts.

Because the notion that an up and comer would turn down his first shot to be a GM in the NFL is beyond ridiculous. Can they land him? Lol no, they're right, I'm sure the guys taking the interviews will turn this chance to be a GM down so they can get jobs as assistants somewhere else. Smh

Shut it patriots fan. I will be laughing when your beloved tom Brady retires and you guys will be the mediocre ones in the AFC.

Spot on Frank from PA! Your one of the few bloggers who brings some good knowledge and facts to back his ideas up! I don't know much about fisher. But i do know the dolphins were closer to the playoffs than the rams!

If i could take anything from this dolphins season is that we have the pieces to become a real good football team! Thill continued to develop behind the worst offensive line in football.

deity is so smart (like Mangini) he comes here to read his Idol Armando, waiting with bated breath to incest each Armando syllable then looks down on everyone with his superior intellect because he is the smart one, chuckle,chuckle.


Exactly! The hardest part of these interviews will be the eventual salary negotiation.

That post was a follow up to my first post which did not appear. I'm not writing it again and if it doesn't appear soon I'm not contributing. Sick of posts disappearing in this blog. No I didn't swear and yes I pressed post.

Smart, hardworking, up and comer. That is what we need.

Rehash same old same old boys club. Not.

Go Dolphins!! Real change is what is needed. New opinion.

The OC position is the big fill.

Yep, it's gone, my third post is gone too, I'm out, not contributing to a blog that loses my posts.


If the Dolphins hire an outsider as GM will the scouting department personnel remain or will the new GM bring his own people? Will Gaines remain? I ask this because of the close upcoming dates such as Combine etc that are important for the draft. Thanks!

While i respect you guys who want to consider a WR or TE in the first round, i will not agree. The dolphins need o-line men for now and the future. Thill needs a stable pocket so he can throw to Wallace hartline gibson matthews clay and keller(hopefully). Our rbs also need spaces to run. Whose to say a olinemen does not make plays?

If, and this is a big if zach martin, Robinson, cam Erving, cyrus koadgnio are all taken before we pick. That is the only way i would think another position( even then i would consider CJ mosley for LB help)

If this happens i would look at ebron or evans. Even though they both have them going in the top 15.

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