« Source: More GM interviews coming, Ross engaged | Main | Dolphins coaches home while rest of AFC East in Mobile »

Talent men on playoff teams might be up next

The news that the Dolphins have more interviews on deck for their general manager vacancy was interesting considering they've already interviewed seven candidates, but it shouldn't surprise people that know owner Stephen Ross.

When the team needed to fill the CEO and President job that Tom Garfinkel eventually landed, the process included interviews for 15 candidates.


Obviously, there are a lot more CEO types in the world than there are NFL personnel men worthy of a general manager job. So if the Dolphins are planning more interviews it stands to reason they need to expand the field from which they harvest candidates.

And although I am only speculating here (at least I tell you when I am) I would think if the Dolphins have more candidates in mind and they are doing this search systematically, then the candidates that are next must come from teams that participated in Championship Weekend,  or the two conference championships.

So we're talking talent men from the Seahawks, 49ers, Patriots and Broncos.

(You as a fan better hope).

If the Dolphins can find worthy GM candidates in Tampa Bay (Dennis Hickey), Cleveland (Ray Farmer) and other struggling teams, surely the teams at the top of the NFL might have someone.

Let me share those names and some background on the men.

Nick Caserio, New England Patriots: What better way to hurt an opponent than to take their people, right? And as neither Tom Brady (QB upgrade) nor Bill Belichick (head coach upgrade) are available to the Dolphins, maybe looking at their top personnel department person is one way to do it. Caserio is only 38 and has a background in both coaching and personnel. He sat under Scott Pioli until the KC Chiefs snatched Pioli. He obviously sits under Belichick, who has final say over the Pats personnel decisions. Maybe he learned something under those guys.

Joel Patten, San Francisco 49ers: He just completed his first season as the director of player personnel. He was formerly the director of college scouting and he played in both the NFL (eight years) and USFL (three years). He sits under GM Trent Balke. The 49ers, as you know, have one of the most talented and complete rosters in the NFL. And while Balke, a Bill Parcells disciple, gets a majority of the credit, perhaps the Dolphins figure Patten is worthy of talking to.

Eric Mangini, San Francisco 49ers: I know, I know, I've floated the name and a source dismissed it. But since this is just speculation, and Ross loves Mangini, and executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte loves Mangini, and the Dolphins cannot be counted on to see that Mangini is not really a GM type but a coach type, then I'm throwing his name in here. I've witnessed too many years of the Dolphins doing Dolphins things to completely dismiss this. (By the way, if you hear the Dolphins are indeed interviewing Mangini, you know the apocalypse has come. The abomination of desolation is here. Don't pack a bag. Run for the hills immediately).  

Scott McCloughan, Seattle: Well, not happening. He should be interviewed because, after all, he was the San Francisco GM before Balke. So he has experience. He already helped build a talented roster. And he's doing the same in Seattle under John Schneider. But McCloughan didn't like the Dolphins set-up so he asked the 'Hawks to decline his interview request. And they did. He is one of at least four candidates that have decided the Dolphins situation is not for them. And that's that, barring a stunning change of mind.

Tom Heckert Jr., Denver Broncos: He cut his teeth in the Dolphins organization under Don Shula and Jimmy Johnson. He was the director of Pro Personnel when he left the franchise in 2000. He went to Philadelphia and helped Andy Reid build a winner there and although he was the GM in title starting in 2006, the final say went to Reid. Heckert left to become the GM in Cleveland and picked some good players such as Joe Haden, Josh Gordon, T.J. Ward and others. But he also had a hand in picking Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson in the first round. Heckert is nonetheless a very good talent man. He did have a DUI arrest in Denver in 2013 for which he served a club suspension.

Matt Russell, Denver Broncos: He's the team's Director of Player Personnel. And while Heckert reportedly blew a .162 on the breathalyzer test, Russell puffed out a .242, or about three times the legal limit when he too was arrested for DUI last year. (Separate instances). Obviously, the Broncos have a good roster and Russell was part of that. Not only has he been the player personnel man since 2012, but was the Director of college scouting for three years prior to that.

All these men have playoff pedigrees this year. All are part of successful teams now.

Why not talk to them?



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dig up Vince Lombardi...............

Amazing how long this is taking...How many guys do you need to interview??? And why is Kevin Coyle still our DC?? Unreal...

Let's party with Elway ... those breathalyzer results indicate good times....

Good question Montreal, good question. He would've been the first guy I gave the boot. Defense regressed totally and he wasted an entire draft.

At least Sherman did a decent job bringing the QB along...

Armando, yeah it's nice these guys are all from teams still in the playoffs, but that only means so much. Belichick came from the Browns and at the time failed miserably. I'd roll the dice with Farmer and pray he's the next Ozzie Newsome. He seems to be well respected in the NFL and people that know him all seem to have a very good opinion of the guy, so why not...

McLoghlan doesn't like the set up in Miami? he likes the one in Seattle better where the coach has total control better? So the GM reports to the coach instead of having autonomy on the roster? Weird.

What's with this rumor Ross is away on business in China or something??? WTF???

Mark, a lot of good front office people in the league don't like the set up in Miami...It is, as I posted here many times, a bit strange to say the least...

He's not allowed to attend to his other businesses?

Seriously! Coyle is horrible. After this season, Philbin is going to realize you get what you pay for. He needs to bring in an all-encompassing figure, such as a Cowher or Gruden, and allow them to run the show. Only downfall is it will cost a pretty penny. You run a class organization by paying a little more for good people and treating them right. Philbin will be gone after this season. How can we expect Tannehill to be any better next year with a totally new offense to learn? That's why we can't find a GM. They know most likely they will be gone, too.

Well, yeah, he is, but at the same time, we need our new GM to get cracking in regards to evaluating prospects at the Senior Bowl, free agency, the draft, etc etc...Don't you think Mark?

Montreal, I also heard Darlington and others say it's not different than what a lot of teams do. They still got 7 very competent guys to interview. Look at my comment regrading McLoghlan or whatever his name is from Seattle. isn't Miami's structure mnore favourable to a Gm than Seattle's?

These guysa re being a little thick if you ask me. First we know Ross gives people way more rope than others would in order to succeed. 2nd, if you are successful, Ross will worship you and give you whatever the heck you want down the road. You also know if the team stumbles, it's the coach that will be the next to go and you will have a significant hand in naming the successor. I don't see the downside here at all.

Sorry, I meant Ross needs to hire Cowher or Gruden....

Realist, overpaying for "name guys" who don't really have the appetitie for this job is what got us in this mess to begin with. Johnson, Saban, Parcells. Hire the guy who is competent -there is a lot to pick from - who wants this job more than anything . I've had enough of name guys...

A GM knows that most coaches aren't going to just accept them as their GM. Usually it's a tandem deal. Usually. A lot of them probably feel that they are only being hired to fill a role for a season.

You have a point Mark...It's just that to me, our new GM has to get cracking in regards to evaluating players at the Senior Bowl, free agency, combine, draft, etc etc...The sooner the better.

What do you guys think will be our first pick? Tight end, running back, or O-Line?

Amazing, amazing, amazing.....what a joke of an organization.
Can someone call Adult Protective Services and see if they can pick up Ross and take him away. He is endangering up the lives of all the Dolphin fans.
Total dysfunction. If you are going to be interviewing this many people in the first go round......you have to step it up and see them within one week. And then get on with second round of interviews.

Also wish they hire Farmer already. Dolphins will probably hire the guy in charge of catering in lunch for the Patriots or Broncos and thinking they stole their draft guru.

Elway won't be partying much after the SB...The Seahawks are for real. That secondary is one of the best I've seen in a very long time. And Marshawn Lynch is the real deal at RB. Man what a beast. Reminds me of Jerome Bettis in his prime. Such a load to bring down. That's the type of RB Miami needs. Not these tiny, quick guys that never break a friggin tackle. We've had enough of those...

Montreal, there is a lot of work to do, I already wrote here that I'd be willing to do the interim role for a fraction of what he's going to pay these guys, haha.

I mean, even i'm smart enough to knnow that we have to land two vet very good o linemen and a big running in free agency. Also sign Grimes and one of Starks/Soliai - preferably Big Paul.

Montreal, Denver is winning - unless the weather is godawful.

Seattle away form home is not the same and Denver's o and d lines are very, veery good.

If Denver gets a 10 point lead on Seattle - good luck to Wilson catching up.

Manning v Wilson is a huge, huge mismatch.

Realist, what if I say none of the above. I still say the most valuable talent would be a huge target that can work the middle of the field. benjamin, Evans, Ebron type...

Pray for new ownership.

Pray for new ownership.

Posted by: Shula 73 | January 21, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Dig up Joe Robbie..............

Ebron is a tight end, but I totally agree, although I know they won't have the guts to draft a receiver that high. I'm a Florida State fan and I can't tell you what a gift he was to Winston this season. I'm sad to see him go, but I'd do the same thing. You're right though, Mark. All of our recievers are little guys. Even our tight end is below average height for his position. We need that target to help Tannehill out a little. I would be so happy if we pulled the trigger on that type of player.

I hear you Mark. Grimes will be expensive. I would also prefer big Paul but if we're going to stick with Coyle (unfortunately) and his 4-3, I prefer Starks. But in a 3-4, give me Big Paul anytime. We'll see what happens. I like the fact that Starks bring a bit of pressure from the middle, but I don't see him coming back to Miami after everything that's happened. (Franchise player, finger incident, etc etc...)But you never know I guess.

I was referring to Benjamin, Mark...

Mark, don't bet on Denver...LOL!!!

Amazing how long this is taking...How many guys do you need to interview??? And why is Kevin Coyle still our DC?? Unreal...
Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | January 21, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Coyle is the best coach we have.

FYI, sorry man, but Coyle defenses' have regressed three consecutive years. Also, players that were here in his system have excelled in other systems since leaving, such as Dansby and Burnett.

Agree with the Canadians on Coyle. Should have been the first to go. Huge regression on defense.

I would also take a risk option on Dimitri Patterson. He was fantastic last year when healthy. I think he is worth the gamble. Worked with Grimes.

FYI, yeah, I guess that's why we sucked against the run and couldn't get a single sack in the 2 most important games of the year. And how about the way he used Dion Jordan? Yeah, what a genius.

Realist, I know Ebron is a tight end - but he's all receiver in his skill set. You aren't drafting him for his blocking - although it may be good - I have no idea.

The first time i saw benjamin play this year - against Clemson i think - I fell for that skill set - guy is a monster.

You aren't going to get an A or B level immediate left tackle at 19 anyway - at best you are getting a guard or immediate right tackle. So why draft o line when you can get a guard or Rt in round 2 or in free agency?

How often do you get Benjamin, Evans, Ebron types in free agency, hardly ever. You hardly even find them later in the draft. It's a rare commodity.

If Belichick would of drafted Jordan, he would of been defensive rookie of the year...

The D was playoff good this year. Its the offense that didnt hold up.

Montreal, I don't bet period so no worries there. As far as Starks v Soliai - i take Soliai every day of the week. We have push in the middle from Odrick and we may get some from Francis - he showed potential last year. Soliai is our run defense and with him playing injured this year - it suffered. Starks despite what PFF says - is not that great against the run. Starks is a good player - but in my opinion, we would be paying for something we already have.

If we can't get Soliai back, I would be interested in brining back Tony McDaniel. He was a hoss against the run while here.

FYI, we'll see what happens. If our "D" doesn't improve from last year, Coyle will be history. And his boss as well.

21st overall defense was playoff good? How many teams make the playoffs in your estimation? 22?


That's terrifying

The nice thing is that we have a lot of money to work with next season. They better not keep Nolan Carroll, Chris Clemons, or Koa Misi. Those three are useless. I never did understand those draft picks. And Ireland gave Misi an extension......Reshad Jones is also horrible in the scheme we are using him. Good thing we gave him 30 million.

Clee, I woudl also rather bring back Patterson than sign Carroll - youa re going to ahve to bring back one or the other. Carroll will cost you about $3M a year I imagine and Patterson is only about a million more - without the long term committment.

And if Patterson can't play, Taylor should be caught up enough by next year to bea significant contributor to this defense. He is definitely talented enough - he just needs more snaps in camp and an NFL offseason.

Let's see what we got here.
A clueless owner
A "Cornbeef" Head coach.(Sorry Aloco)
A horrid O-Line
an Aging fan Base.(Sorry Odin)
An aging stadium
The Pats in the same Division.
Did I miss anything????

FYI, our defense was horrendous. What were you watching? Even Wake had a down year.

Montreal, I agree with you on Belicheck. Jamie Collins is pretty much a Dion jordan clone and look at how good he looked down teh stretch and in the playoffs. Also keep in mind this was his first year as a LB - he was an undersized DE at So Miss last year. An undersized DE that had excellent coverage and pass rush skills ... hmm, sound like anyone?


Then the OL and playcalling will magically fix themselves.

It's not even a question regarding Carroll or Patterson. Patterson everyday all day. Carroll is one of the worst corners I've seen. As soon as he came in against the Patriots up in New England when Patterson got hurt, Tom Brady threw at him and he gave up a touchdown. The very next play. That guy is a liability. I'd rather them have played Mike Thomas those last two games rather than Carroll. I don't care what PFF says about him. If you watch games he is always making mistakes and giving up chunk yardage.

If these guys are all good personnel men then they are evaluating talent right now for their current team. I know the different philosophy thing and all, but really we need someone who picks future probowlers at all positions. Seeing through the haze and fixing things is what we need. And that person all ready has the ability you just have to be smart enough to give him the job and opportunity.

Xander sounds like the man we need to me. Maybe we need somone from the college ranks who is a good recruiter of talent.?? I do not know but the same old same old does not work.

Lets start thinking out side the box.

Realist @ 11:58

After the swindling of the team by Wallace, Ellerbee & Wheeler do you really think the team will spend big in FA?

Realist, strong points but I disagree about Misi. He's the only physical LB we have. He's getting better and better... Wheeler and Ellerbe suck, but not Misi...

Lets start thinking out side the box.

Posted by: shula71 | January 21, 2014 at 12:03 PM

I think Ross cant draw a box.

I have the smartest trolls. They can't even get Toronto right...


1. I announce that the way to succeed in the NFL is to build through the draft.

2. I compile a list of players that PHILBIN likes and I draft those players. Why? Because then Philbin has no choice but to play them. If they succeed then I look good for working with Philbin, he gets an extension, and that will buy me at least 4 years of GM salary. If they fail then Philbin takes the fall, I blow the whole thing up and get at least 4 years of GM salary to rebuild it.


The only guy worthy of the job from that list is Scott McCloughan and he has already turned down the interview.

Montreal, I like Misi too. he's the only one that even plays the run well at all. Ellerbe looks like he has the shortest arms ever and can never get them around an opponent. Wheeler just sucks at everything. Jenkins is very solid all around as is Jordan but they hardly play.

The fact that Ross insisted Sherman be fired & not Coyle or Turner, shows how dumb & trendy he really is.

Offense is all the rage yet, he fails to grasp how much the D underperformed. Coyle may be a good DB coach but, he absolutely sucks as DC. Arguably, his unit underperformed MORE than the offense.

Sherman needed to go so Ross gets props for forcing that on Joe but, you know what, so does Turner! How does a OL coach keep his job after that performance? Ross, is a gloss over type owner.

SO now, according to multiple articles here & elsewhere, Miami is viewed as a joke in their GM search. Just another punch line to the running joke.

We need an owner dedicated to the team & knows SOMETHING about football & it'll be an amazing transformation.

This team is going nowhere next year either. Yea we have cap space but, we have so many holes to fill. 4 starting OL, Grimes or a CB, safety, RB, TE, DT.

Does anyone really think 29-30 mil in cap space is enough to sign even 1/4 of all these needs? In a weak FA class? HA! Welcome to perpetual 7-9, 8-8.

Wasn't Xanders the GM in Denver the past 4 seasons?

Wasn't he above 2 of the candidates that are going to the Superbowl?

Xanders was actually a GM!! All the other candidates have never been a GM before.

shula1 @ 12:03

How's this for thinking outside the box:

Trade our 1st pick for a LT
Trade our 2nd pick for a RT
Trade our 3rd pick for a LG
Trade our 4-5-6 picks for a RG

I know this would not produce the abundance of pro bowl
players that we as fans are used to drafting every year for the past 6 years but at least we would have a complete, NFL quality, starting OL.

So now Joel Patten is getting the credit for the Niners success? Just a week or two guys were writing on here it was all about Tom Gamble? Which is it?

What don't we all agree that NONE of us, including Armando, know who'd be the best person for the job. Farmer sounds good but did any of us even know who this guy was before he started interviewing with the team? Do any of us even know what it takes to be a successful GM in this league? Doubtful.

Happy when this is all over and we have our guy in place.

ETF, I adisagree with everything you said at 12:16. If the Gm is there to placate Philbin, then we are sunk for good. The Gm will get the gig because he has better player evaluation skills then the coach - or we would jsut give that job to him.

And if you are $30M under the cap and are not using free agency - then that is a colossal fail as well. You are in the talent acquisition business and you must use all available avenues. Free agency, draft, trades, CFL, supplemental draft, whatever... use it all.

1 2 3 4 5 6 »

The comments to this entry are closed.