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Source: Hickey 'hit one out of the park'

When one NFL source floated Dennis Hickey's name to me as a Dolphins general manager candidate Thursday, I dismissed it.

Hickey doesn't seem like a hot commodity. He's something of a career Tampa Bay Buccaneers worker drone. And, after all, his own organization that is conducting a general manager search as are the Dolphins have not interviewed their own guy.

Then on Friday Hickey's name came up again and it turns out not only is he a candidate but a very, very serious candidate, another source familiar with the process said Friday.

I'm told the Hickey interview was among the longest the Dolphins have conducted during the search that has already included interviews for seven candidates. Brian Xanders had a two-day, 11-hour interview earlier this week and Hickey was not far behind him. And I'm told Hickey "hit one out of the park," with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

I'm told by league sources that even if Hickey isn't hired in Miami, he is actually so well regarded by the Bucs that he may be asked to remain under the new general manager once that candidate is chosen.

As you know, I've previously reported that Ray Farmer, Lake Dawson and Xanders opened eyes for the Dolphins owner. I would now add Hickey among that company of top tier candidates.

The Dolphins have yet to interview Marc Ross of the Giants or Lionel Vital of the Falcons. But there is now some sentiment among those conducting the Dolphins search that the strength of candidates is already beyond initial expectations. So this search is nearing its end.

The Dolphins will soon whittle the field to perhaps two candidates and then pick their man.

So, yes, the Dolphins are so far very pleased with their search. Yes, they believe they have identified nearly a handful of potential hires.

And, yes, Dennis Hickey is improbably among the top of the group.

Comments

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First...and my conclusion is, Ross: "Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape."

It does my mind good to see that we seem to be getting a buildup of good candidates. Dolphins got fortunate with only 1 other GM firing this year. Multitude of qualified candidates, should be able to pick and choose a QUALITY hire. Just hope we don't lose out on a winner based on not letting him fire the staff.

Coach Philbin gives great foot rubs! And Mr. Ross, or Stevey (like I like to call him) enjoys when I tickle his grundle region with a feather!

I enjoy bathing with headless squirrels.

GM is the most inconsistent position in all of Sports. Joe Thomas was great here and sucked every where else. JJ was great in Dallas and couldn't grab an O player here if his life had depended on it. I guess it's a question of a good match up between the GM and the Organization they are in.

I don't mean to be critical (in any way) regarding the candidates. However, could somebody please tell just what exactly are the expectations of a GM, in THIS particular circumstance? It seems to me as if they're looking to hire a GM Lite.

Is there still talk of a czar? I want to know.

What happened to all the former pros (coaches & players) that were to be a part of an advisory panel? Are there, were there? Not a word.

I think Ross and Peterson both stated that they are looking for a good talent evaluator rather than a Manager for the whole Team. No official talk of a Czar but Peterson(and perhaps others) is there, Joe.

decisions by commitee; just like the jets. it's not a recipe for success in the NFL. ross wants to be woody johnson.

stephen ross is worth over a billion more then jones or kraft we got 36 save 6 mill in cap to start cut patterson 42 mil redo the punter whos do almost 4 mill get him a 4 yr 8 mill save another 2 mill thats 44 redo wallace contract take a big chance give him a 7 year 70 mill 7.5 yr one til new tv deals thats 54 mill promote devlin get rookie he looked terrible anyway and i'd prefer a rookie grooming 3rd string prob tradee d thomas moore and martin for a 3rd or 4th to colts that gets us to to 60 mill w a big risk w a long contract for wallace but its worth ill say why

60 mill 1st 2 moves albert5 yr 40 mill w incetives so cap hits only 5 20 gur leaves 55 mill then mack 6 42 mill 5 or 6 1st year 50 mill move pouncey to LG thats 3 str8 pro bowlerson left then sign valdeer w a injury clause 4 - 32 mill alot of incentives 40 mill mill brennan rookie from utah looked strong playing w those 4 look even better sign grimes 3 yr 18 9 10 guranteed 10 earned 5 first uear w incentives sign solai too and starks down to around 26 mil then trade starks and his 7 mill with this year and nexts 2nd for revis hes humbler 5-50 mill 25 guranteed let it be cheap until tv contracts leaves 24 mill about 8 for rookies 16 mill then ross put his money where his mouth is and give graham 10 yr 100 mill 50 guranteed w incentives hes just turning 26 we will get 6-8 elite years then a few ok maybe eat one year sounds fantasy but ther right cap revis wants out lovie loves active DT plus 2 2nds and a 4th him grimes jones clemons and caroll plus rookies from last year would rival seattle mjd would sign a real friendly deal to play on that team him gillise and miller behind that line and wallace and graham will face 5-6 man boxes give keller 1 yr vet to prove himself w clay too that would be gronk and hernandez 3.0 w hartline playing welker but they iddnt have no wallace gibson or mathews or that line or that elite defense we competed w all good teams give me a fixed line revis and graham and mjd and i like us for super bowl

better yet use the 1st on clyde from ohio state with that line run for atleast 1300 control clock w nasty play action and a rested talented defense regardless tannehill ready i think this cordinator could get that out of foles tannehill skill set is much higher fix his line get him ben tate and that TE out of UNC w keller nad gibson back too 12-4 30 tds 4500 yards passing

Fa's to sign, orakpo, Byrd, Albert.

Just pick a puppeteer already and move on, we know who wears the pants in the Miami Dolphins Organization (Ms.Dawn Aponte) !!

Xanders, Dawson, Farmer, Hickey...I'm too disenfranchised for it to really matter all that much.

mark-
you should learn how to form sentences use punctuation proper grammar then maybe people wouldnt mind reading your long winded meandering analysis of the team and it's players nobody can figure out what you are saying when you don't use any pumctuation

Just like the people who comment on this board, Scott.

The thing that drives me nuts,is Ross' love of Joe Philbin! WTF! It certainly can't be his good looks. It certainly can't be the great coaching job he has done the past two years. I can not beleive that Ross did not fire Philbin and his entire staff the day after the Jets loss. The Bills loss was bad enough,but to lose to the sorry Jets at home and get knocked out of the playoffs!! And he still has a job? They are interviewing potential GM's and have to tell them that they have to keep Philbin and his sorry assistants. Why would anyone take the job under those circumstances?

Why all the negativity about Miami's search for a GM?

There is no set job description for the position of GM across the NFL. Each team has its own ideas relative to the responsibilities it would like its GM to have. For most teams, the #1 criteria for a GM will be the individual's ability to evaluate player talent at the collegiate and professional level. Hiring and firing of coaches and dealing with financial matters are of lesser importance.

Consider that many GMs employed currently are former players, scouts or career personnel evaluators- without financial backgrounds or an ability to effectively deal with the NFL Salary Cap. It then should surprise no one that the Dolphins have decided to place primary focus on a talent evaluator in their search for a GM and allow the cap duties to rest in the capable hands of Dawn Aponte.

Ultimately the hiring and firing of HCs is a critical matter in which many owners want a voice- often the biggest. Dolphins owner Steve Ross has opted to exercise his authority on the matter of HCs; and the HCs ability to hire and fire his own staff.

So it becomes imperative that the new Miami GM should be an excellent talent evaluator above all else but possess equal abilities to cooperate, compromise and persuade. The right person should have few problems integrating and delivering on his promises.

Another exercise in futility for this once premier organization now reduced to near irrelevance.

Who are these guys?

ahhhhhhh……Scared me when was written that Ross has only the memory of the last guy he meets. Another exercise in futility. Ross is the leading clown of the NFL.

Lets hope he doesn't run into Sparano anytime soon, or he will be interviewed.

Armondo, you're going to have to update the pics of these potential GM's as it gets to the second and third and fourth round of interviews. Sometime after the start of the season he will hire a GM.

Who gives a rats a.. who they hire as GM,lets get on to the draft home gamers.Dont forget to buy my draft guide.Some of you buy more than one.I think the Harold only buys Cote and Saguero one yearly.

All that I am getting from these updates is that everyone seems to be impressing the pants off Stephen Ross. YET further proof of the pure buffoonery of Jeff Ireland (as if anyone needed more). I thank God everyday we are free of his ilk.

18 years with Tampa, and his draft and free agent signing the last couple of years have been dead on. That is what the Phins need-A talent expert. Sign Hickey now. Let Dawn manage the cap, and Philbin coach.

All Ross wants is a 'yes' man for GM The Dolpohins are just a cheap toy plaything to him.I'm amazed he managed to 'earn' his billions with an apparent intellect he shows towards the NFL.

Man you people are damn horrible human beings you wanted Sherman and Ireland fired ok you got it now shut up I believe y'all are the buffoons and idiots

Like it or not Ross is the owner

Armando….

Time for you to see if you can have a meeting with Ross. Sounds as if he would hire you!

Dave- I'm not sure if you are joking or not but Tampa is a solid QB away from doing some damage. They did sign a lot of big name free agents te last few years.

To me, it doesn't matter who the team hires at this point as long they do their job well- find 1. FA talent 2. Draft BPA regardless of position who can make a difference year one. That's it! In a way, the job is simplified by not thing coaches and managing the cap! It's a great job to have and I don't understand why so many of you on this blog don't think the gm job for the dolphins is coveted.

I live in PA and let me tell, I'm smack dab in the middle of steelers nation up here. The team that has won the most Super Bowls has basically the same organizational structure (HC, GM, Cap specialist) that the dolphins are trying to emulate. I think it has worked out quite well for the steelers.

To further elobaorate on my last post concerning the steelers- Kevin Colbert is the gm who has final say over personnel. Mike Tomlin coaches the talent. Omar Kahn is one of their cap specialists. The Rooneys make all decisions on whos hired and fired.

My point in mentioning this is- that organization is considered one of the best run clubs in the league by a landslide. One other thing- I will bet my last dollar that when bill belicheck retires, bob Kraft will hire separate GM (to find talent) and HC (coach talent) as belicheck is an anomaly more than the norm.

HIRE ANOTHER GM LIKE THE GM(GARAGE MANAGER)THEY HAD THIS TIME HIRE A REAL GM (GENERAL MECHANIC)

Frank….

Perhaps the dolphins will have the same structure as you say, the Steelers, but hope you realize when comparing…..the Steelers are led by the Rooneys, one of the most respected football families in the history of the NFL. The Dolphins are led by Ross, a buffoon, clueless, real estate billionaire with very limited football knowledge or smarts of how to operate a team. That is why, he needs to hire the football czar and stay away from the day to day football decisions. If Mangini becomes this man, then so be it, its a step in the right direction.

It is insulting to compare this organization today to that of the Steelers

Frank from PA,Although I must agree that the Steelers havs been a top tier NFL orginization for many years,but I feel that their cap problems the past couple of years is a huge chink in their armor. The talent level since Cowher left is not as elite and their win/loss record is now suffering. Just sayin

Until Belicheck got to Pats his teams were below .500
Bledsoe and Brady changed that...

Dolphin Linebackers & Offensive line are the worst in the league..

why? the dolphins don't hang on to talent.. History speaks for itself...We are the Farm Club of the NFL

$Pay 14 million for a receiver that catch a slant pass...

Bill Cale and Frank from PA, Great points! This structure can work and does for many teams.

I am hoping that Dennis Hickey gets the GM job. He has a lot of experience drafting top notch players & picking the right type of free agents + he seems like the perfect fit with our coaching staff & front office. Usually 2 dominant head strong people create differences in one room & I don't think there are a lot of GM's that will work well with Joe Philbin in the building. Philbin even though very mild mannered, is very head strong & I think Dennis Hickey is the opposite which is a good thing. Unlike the Ireland - Philbin combination, the Hickey - Philbin combination should be much much better.

The Dolphins search for a GM is handicapped by Joe Philbin. Philbin just cost one GM his job. No serious GM candidates are going to want to come to this organization if they have no say over the coaching staff. I am sure that is the reason a talented talent evaluator like Gamble said no thanks!

I think you saw the kind of coach Philbin is at the end of the season. They were in perfect position to make the playoffs. They had the talent to get a wild card birth. What does Philbin do needing one win against the Jets at home to make the playoffs? Philbin gets blown out by Geno Smith and the putrid Jets at home with the playoffs on the line. That should have cost him his job. He could not motivate or prepare his players for a game against a bad team like that with so much on the line? That is the reason one of our top candidates is a guy that his own team has never even considered for the GM position (Hickey).

Agree great post Billcale and Frank. Also the Bucs for example have to find a GM who can manage the cap as well, Dominik did that for them.

We just need need a talent evaluator. Aponte does a great job with the cap as billcale stated.

Markb and harleyray,

Some Steeler fans up this way often complain about the rooneys being cheap and not hanging onto talent. What is a fact is that the rooneys have always stck to their guns and don't tend to over pay veterans. What they have also had since the days of bill cowher(cowher never picked his players btw he only coached them) was excellent personnel (GM) people. They always seem to find talent draft wise. When they need free agents, they spend frugally but always seem to find what they need. So basically what I'm saying is, te steelers were strong for so many years bc they have excellent personnel people to find te talent. The dolphins do not. Currently the one thing they need more than anything else is an excellent talent evaluator (GM).

The Rooneys have been in place for years. Steve Ross is a neophyte. He is trying to find his way to correct organizational structuring. Steve Ross just authorized over $100 mill in contracts las year for FA. He doesn't meddle with the team like Jerry jones or Dan Snyder. He is loyal to his employees. I like Ross. He's trying. He's got guys like Carl Peterson and tony dungy advising him in certain situations. And while comparing the dolphins to the steelers on the whole seems silly, I was merely pointing out that the dolphins new structure mimics how the steelers organization runs the team.

@ Larz : The reason that Hickey wasn't interviewed to be the new GM is because they already hired Lovie Smith as their head coach & they want him to recommend his own GM that he will work well together with. So in short,Lovie Smith has never worked with Dennis Hickey & that's why Hickey isn't getting a shot in Tampa.

Armando is reporting that the favorites are Xanders, Farmer, Dawson, and Hickey. At this point I am just hoping for Xanders. Detroit has a ton of talent on that team and has not been able to win big so far because of the idiot coach they had.

After Philbin gets fired, the new GM will assist Ross in hiring the new coaching staff. This up coming year will be a miserable one. It may even turn into Jamies Winston if I goes bad enough. Philbin lost this team at the end of last year as evidenced by his two losses at the end of the year to garbage teams. So, Bring Xanders and we can start fresh in 2015 with a new coaching staff. Looking forward to 2015!

Harleyray,

I also want to point out that by week 17 the steelers were healthier than they had been all year an if KC didn't miss that kick, the steelers would have went to Cincy and beat them as they were finally playing good football and were the healthiest they been all year . I also want to point out that the QB was unhappy with the OC play calling (sound familiar?) but that all magically got better when they got healthy and started winning games. I also want to point out that when you have a franchise QB, your salary cap gets screwed when they get their big payday- for examples of this, I give you Pitt and Balt. I also want to point out that the Steelers weakness the last few years has been the OL (sound familiar?) but in their case, their players can't all stay healthy on the OL at the the same time which is practically te same thing is not having enough talent on the OL- what's the difference?

Hollywood-Rick,

Hickey has been with that organization for 18 years, there is a reason he has become old and never considered. Also, I have not seen any other organizations knocking down his door to interview. The Dolphins are the only ones truly interested in this guy.

WOW Get ready for my Sunday article,that is for the last actual subscribers to the paper edition of the paper.After I down a bundle of pints at my favorite watering hole I will become inspired to wax poetically on my Dolphins.There all the members of my overpopulated pueblecito rednecks lovingly refer to as Miamma will be able to see what came out of my intoxicated brain after copious amounts of alcohol.

Orlando,

Xanders isn't responsible for most of that talent in Detroit. I believe hes only been there a year. In fact when you check around most scouts and people don't think much of him. I'm undecided who would be best.

@ Orlando Dolphan : Joe Philbin wasn't the reason for loosing those last 2 games THE PLAYERS WERE ! Oh & bye the way, why do people keep talking about Miami blowing the last 2 games ? I KNEW Miami was going to get their butts handed to them in Buffalo. After 2 gut wrenching close wins back to back & having to go into Buffalo under those conditions, gave us absolutely ZERO % chance of winning that game. The Jets game on the other hand was just a (ill timed)lousy played game against a team playing like it was their super bowl trying to save Rex Ryans job. So take it easy, Joe Philbin is not the problem !

Bucs are expected to make the playoffs per sports radio in Tampa with the new GM etc.

They blame Schiano and staff for 2013.

They recommend going for Manziel.

They don't blame GM Dominik who was fired who was Hickey's boss.

WHY NOT INTERVIEW DOMINIK?

@ Orlando Dolphan :The reason that Hickey wasn't interviewed to be the new GM is because they already hired Lovie Smith as their head coach & they want him to recommend his own GM that he will work well together with. So in short,Lovie Smith has never worked with Dennis Hickey & that's why Hickey isn't getting a shot in Tampa.

That's right Craig M. Xanders was only in Detroit for 1 here & had nothing to do with building Detroit.

Good point Craig about Xanders' tenure in Detroit, thanks. However, Xanders did come from the Broncos who have also built a pretty good roster in Denver, of course the roster looks much better with Peyton Manning.

You are right though who knows? None of these candidates get me excited. Ross has done an awful job in finding the people to run this franchise. Deep inside I think he wants to let Aponte run the franchise. I think part of him wishes that he could make Aponte the GM. In fact, I think that is the fear of most candidates. The new GM is going to be getting Aponte's coffee and answering to her (no matter what Ross says). You think Gamble is going to come here for that?

The big picture is this- even teams with stud QBs will often go through ups and downs periods of time due to the salary cap. The only key to staying on top year after year is finding talent through the draft to replace your FAs who you couldn't afford to keep any more once they became stars. The steelers have been so good for so long bc their young players all seem to step in for the departed veterans and not miss a beat. THe reason- GREAT TALENT EVALUATION! The dolphins have not historically drafted well since the 70s. Its sad but true. SERIOUSLY. Shula forgets about running game and defense when he drafts Marino in 1983. JJ finds defense but can't find one damn offensive player. The entire 2000 decade of dolphins drafts- need I say more? Coaches are important, don't get me wrong, but you need great talent evaluators to stay on top in the modern nfl. This is why our beloved dolphins have been stuck in neutral for so long. It's sad to think we had one of the greatest QBs of all time in Marino and he never had a complete team around him. Think about it guys- since the 70s our team has not drafted well!!!!!

Step right up and you too can be the next Miami Dolphins Puppet, ahhhhhhh i mean GM and sit in a room with the brain trust of Aponte, Philbin and other NFL wannabes and as a bonus get to work for the most clueless owner in all professional sports.
Watching the Dolphins tumble and stumble for over a decade now has been a dream come true. Hang in their guys "your close!"
ROFLMAO

This year is setting up great for us to land Jameis Winston in the 2015 draft. After losing to the pathetic Jets to end last year, I cannot see the dolphins winning more than 3 games next year with this coaching staff. Philbin could not come up with a game plan to stop the worst QB statically in football, Geno Smith (he was awful last year). That was a pathetic performance by the Dolphins in such a meaningful game, that is on Philbin!

Dawn Aponte is in need a a pedicure and massage tomorrow at noon. Which GM is up for that? You got the job!

@ Orlando Dolphan : You can blame Joe Philbin all you want, but he still wasn't the reason for us loosing our last 2 games !

tvegas, lol!

Reportedly Walmart has reached out to Jeffrey Ireland to see if he wants to be a Walmart greeter.

Orlando dolphan- please read my post @1018. Quit concentrating on philbin. I agree the dolphins were shite those last two games of 2013 when they had to be brilliant. But the fact is the team improved from year one to year 2 (wins are all that mattered) and weathered a shite storm with bully gate, which could have wrecked the season but didnt. What worries me is the last draft class and talent evaluation under Jeff Ireland. He did put a playoff caliber team together but are these young guys (minus sturgis) going to be able to step in capably?

This is why the new GM needs to be an amazing talent evaluator. Cream will rise my friend. Once the right talent comes in bc they dolphins for the first time in 30+ years will hopefully be able to find talent , the team can achieve greatness.

Philbin cant make chicken salad out of chicken shyt.

I think Orlando @10:01 has a valid point. Why in 18 years wasn't Hickey considered for a GM position not just for the Bucs but other teams? Yeah, we know about about Lovie and the regime change but what about the 17 previous years? Was he ever considered by any other teams? Inquiring minds want to know.

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