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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?



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ETF @12:19, that is the stupidest plan ever, Considering you can get a LT and G/OG in free agency without using picks at all... just so inefficient.

MIT @ 12:19

20 GM's failed to make the playoffs, 17 of those kept thier jobs.
11 of 12 playoff teams will end with a loss, all of those GM's will keep thier jobs.

The goal of any executive is to stay employed first of all.

Truth, consdering a signing even as huge as Wallace only counted $3M against the cap this year, yeah, $30M is a tonne.

It would be awesome to be able to look forward to the Dolphins draft once again. Enough with the nuggets and acorns in the first 3 rounds

MIT 12:21

I agree there are an abundance of OL available in free agency and we typically get the pick of the litter:
McKinney (we traded a 5th rounder for him I know)

I cant believe any of the fks mentioned in fhe article who are currently employed by the 49rs, seahawks, or other successful franchises are coming to Miami. I cant see an upside given the set up being established. Time will tell.

Also, if anyone thinks Philbin is dumping Coyle, think again. He wont get rid of Zac Taylor. Strange

Man Jairus Byrd would be nice, but signing him + Grimes would cost a lot of $$$$$.


I'm running over to Publix to buy 24 coronas. Maybe if I blow a 3.00 the Dolphins can interview me.

Yeah, ETF @ 12:22, of course but this coach has zero job security. He's on a short leash already - I would not be compromising my future to placate someone who may be out of a job in a year. And if he ignores the draft class this year like he did last year - who does that reflect on the coach or the GM? Considering this would be the 2nd gm, you know it would be the coach who would get a rep for not being able to push draftees through. not like Ireland didn't draft talented guys for these guys to use...

enough already, hire Farmer before he's promoted to GM, then the fins can't touch him.

Call me crazy or whatever but I would bring back McKinnie...

Someone Contact Jonah Hill.

Olshansky plays o line now?

How many of these guys got big contracts? Grove and he was good until his body gave out. We don't need an o lineman for the next five years here - one for the next two or three will be plenty.

I have to agree with FYI. When you average 3.5 pts/game against bad teams in the 2 final games it isnt the defense thats the problem!!

McKinnie is a useful vet o lineman and if you can't get Albert - he quickly climbs the charts. Think I would go Saffold before but I would trust MCkinnie over Oher at LT.

Move Mike Pouncey to guard and draft Travis Swanson...

Maybe Ross went to China to interview Jeff Ireland.

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

Posted by: A Realist | January 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM
it is going 2 b
the ucf qb,no way a new gm is going
2 hitch his reputation on tpukes
train wreck in waiting.he wants his* qb,
also regis isn't hi on tpuke anyways

Hello all. The GM search needs to be done in the next couple of weeks before the combine. I hope the GM has power to make the personnel decisions, but he can work with Philbin and Aponte.

I don't really love that the team kept Philbin, Aponte, and Coyle, but I have to deal with it. I hope they improve.

Even though some good GM candidates have turned the team down there are still some good ones being interviewed. I think it can work out.

I think the team has about 33 million in cap space at this time. It is a good amount and it should be enough to plug some holes. However, I think about 9 or 10 starters from last year are free agents, so that will cost a decent amount of money.

At 19 overall in the draft I would take the best player available. If that is an O-lineman, so be it. It worked out with the Bears and Kyle Long (pro bowl guard) last year. Personally, I have liked Ebron since I first saw him play and continue to like him if he is there or even trading up a couple of slots.

MIT @12:27

Philbin refused to play Ireland's draft picks these past 2 years that has to be the fulcrum upon which Ross had to choose to stick with either Philbin or Ireland.

Since Philbin and Dawn are a team then the only way to flip the script is to have Philbin draw up a wish list of players he wants drafted; if it works or doesn't work I'm golden either way.

I also do not sign any front line FA's because if things go wrong then Dawn-Philbum would have dirt on me.


I was done with this (no defunct) Regime when Parcells took Pat White in the 2nd round. Ireland was just a Parcell's parrot flunky.

There is renewed hope with Ireland trash gone, but keeping Philbin? He picked Sherman, Sherman failed everywhere he went. It is so hard to be hopeful, I've been hopeful since the last half of Marino's career to no avail. It gets old after 20 plus years

I hear that Ryan Tannehill was the pilot on Ross's plane. They were supposed to land in San Francisco but Tannehill over threw the landing and landed in China.


I know you WANT to solve a lot of our problems with FA. I've seen you mention Tate and Albert and maybe there have been others. I don't believe thats the way to go. I don't believe you sign a guy like Albert to a $8-10 mil a year contract when you can pick a guy in the draft and pay him $2-3 mil. Is he as good as Albert? Don't know. But he has less mileage on him and he'll be considerably cheaper. Remember we don't need an all- Pro, we just need someone better than last year. Same with Tate. I don't see the point of paying a guy $4-5 million a year when he can never stay healthy and you can get someone cheaper and younger in the draft.

I know you're going to tell me we have $35 million in cap space but that will go quickly with the resigning of Grimes and a Starks/Soliai. Someone mentioned Byrd. Thats a guy I'd like to see us spend our money on. I'd also be inclined to spend money on a veteran guard, if we draft a rookie tackle. Not a fan of Big money for Albert (when his best days are probably behind him) or Tate (who's never actually done it).

Just my opinion....

Philbin is going to draft all tackles&guards in this draft that's why that puppet whoever he is will follow his marching orders from Aponte&Philbin !!

I disagree with the idea that T-Hill will have to learn a whole new offense.I think the offense will be very similar just that Sherman didnt run most of the plays in what is considered a West Coast offense.As far as the defense they had injuries on the line and I would guess the new GM upgrades the LB core also an offense that is consistent and dosent go three and out much helps the defense by letting them rest.I think as a team a defense wears down a lot faster than an offense if it has to remain on the field for extended time.

Early in the season I didn't like Coyle at all, the defence was very very timid, but while the season goes, the defence became more agresive, Ellerbe began to make plays and goes to bad to average to more or less good. In the last two games, with all the 3 and out for the offense, is very hard to evaluate the defence.
In my opinion Dansby actually slow down his level because of the money he earn, so his underperform was in part on the coaches, in part on himself.
I feel Philbin's philosophy on some defensives rookies is not to expose them in theirs first year, and that works good on Oliver Vernon and Derrick Shelby and I hope is the case with Dion Jordan.

what's that?
a fg and a half of an extra kix
in 2 games

My top 3 left tackle free agents are Albert, Eugene Monroe, and Jared Veldheer. Veldheer played in Oakland and had an injury, but he is very good.

I would not sign a free agent RB. Too expensive and too much tread on the tires. There will be good RBs available in rounds 2-4.

We need to stop the run and we need more productivity from our linebackers. Step 1 is called Dion Jordan. Step 2 is called get rid of that stiff Wheeler. Step 3 is called give Ellerbe another chance but bring in some serious competition. Let the best guy start. We also need game changing plays from our safeties, signing a guy like Byrd would be huge but very expensive. May be worth it though...

Andrew Abramson ‏@AbramsonPBP 14m

Also hearing that Stephen Ross is not just looking for the best candidate for Dolphins GM but that he is extremely indecisive.

You have to think that the reason that GM candidates are turning the dolphins down is Joe Philbin and his philosophy. Look at what McCloughan has helped build in Seattle. A physical hard hitting team. On offense with a power running game with Lynch. You have to think that he would like to bring that formula where ever he goes. Based on what I have seen from Philbin, that is not his style. Philbin does not want a fullback, he craves the zone blocking finesse scheme, and wants to pass the ball on every down. I am not surprised McCloughan turned down the dolphins.

We have spent a lot of time trying to find blame. Is it Philbin, Sherman, or Ireland? I would say that it is Ross. Ireland lobbied for McCoy as the HC and Ross meddled in and over ruled him for Philbin. Ross is very stubborn and refuses to recognize that he is the problem (reminds me of Snyder and Jerry Jones). He should have cleaned house and found himself a GM that comes in with a vision or blue print to build a winner. Instead he is trying to find a GM to accommodate Philbin and his finesse style. No alpha GM with a plan is going to have this crap shoved down his throat.

Use to care. First of all it's used to care you chimp. Secondly Sherman had 5 consecutive winning seasons and the second highest winning percentage in Packers history running the west coast offense. You don't know much about football so go away.

it will b mangini" jaxaxx ross c's the m and the g in his name for gm"
and u homers will still
not run for the hills
and will have front row seats
for the collapse the next 3 seasons
starting with 6-10
then 3-13
to finally 0-16

I only saw THill run into opposing Defensive lineman on 47 occasions. He has grown leaps and bounds from last year, if you watched his last two games against past Superbowl teams you would see and admire his reMARKable abilities

Tell you what, I'm in awe of this franchise hero named Thill

MIT @ 12:29

If you'd accept NFL QUALITY STARTING OL on team for 2-3 years then look again at my trade proposal, it would bring in 4 STARTING OL in the 26 -28 years old age range.

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.

Posted by: A Realist | January 21, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Wrong the Gm will be Ross hire he will be here after Philbin.

Sherman is a joke just like Failbin, thank you

Posted by: educate yourself | January 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Used??? like in: a used condom, and I'm uneducated, wow

Orlando, let's not get carried away with McCoy shall we? If Miami wouldn't of lost those last 2 games, McCoy wouldn't of been in the playoffs. Miami defeated the Chargers when they played in Miami. They both had similar years and the Chargers got in because nobody else could win (including themselves). Saying we should of got McCoy instead of Philbin is a bit far fetched as far as I'm concerned...

Craig, if there's a left tackle as good as Albert at #19, you won the power ball. I can't think of any OT drafted that late that were as good as Albert to start their careers at left tackle - maybe right, not left.

NeMo, Ben tate is 25. That's why I would grab him.

It doesnt matter what GM we get. Philbin and Ross are running the show.

We need playmakers, plain and simple. This team lacks talent.

We need to also sign the biggest FA RT this offseason.

Saints GM has already told the media they'll franchise Graham if they have to...

Well if they ever hire a GM I guess we will start to get an idea of their plan to fix this thing.

The fact is Philbin is the HC and it appears Coyle will remain the the DC.

I guess they have left the door open a smidge on the offensive assistants.

All we can do at this point is hope they formulate a decent plant to fix the o-line and shore up the D against the run.

If they can do that coupled with some creative play caliing by the new OC, there is at least a reasonable chance we could win more games than this year.

If not then I would think we would for sure be in the market for a new head coach.

I'm not sure we shouldn't have let Philbin go this year but we didn't and it is what it is.

I'm also not sure who that total control GM is, or head coach that just screams he would be the one is, that everybody seems to want.

MCCloughlan was in SF for a number of years. It isn't accurate to think he built the Seahawks. Thats all John Schneider. Hes done a great job there and is one of, if not the best GMs in the game, Forget McCloughlan. He doesn't want to be here....we don't want him.

ETF, your plan is beyond wasteful - on one hand you say it is the gms job ot stay employed, then on the next you recommend trading away the entire draft to plug one hole a la Ditka...

" A root cause is an initiating cause of a causal chain which leads to an outcome or effect of interest."

Root cause is Joe Philbin

I think it is premature to know what the dolphins are going to be picking with their first pick. First we have to wait for FA to see what the remaining needs are going into the draft. The one thing we know Philbin likes are finesse players, quick (not big WRs), 4-3 DT, 4-3 LBs, etc. So far based on what I saw in college and the reports I am seeing from the senior bowl Chris Borland LB from Wisconsin is looking real good, very instinctive and hard to block and perfect for a 4-3 scheme. If this Zach Thomas clone is available in the 3rd round take him. OL like Hurst and Zach Martin fit Philbin's finesse blocking scheme.

I don't know what OL would rate up to 19th to fit Philbin's scheme. Do they reach for an OL in the firs round or do they just take best player available? I like Eric Ebron if they go in that direction (if available).

Here is what worries me, as the days go buy these 7 candidates are still working for other teams and helping the other teams right now. At some point they won't be able to leave or want to.


I believe Ryan Clady was the 12th overall pick, the year big Jake was drafted. Think Albert went 15th that year. Thats close enough to 19 for me. I'd take a younger cheaper version of either one of those two guys at 19 this year.

As well, I think the Colts LT went in the 20's and Soldier I believe is now playing LT for the Pats and is playing well. Everything I've read suggests there are some good tackles in this draft. Thats the way I'd go.

Canadiens trying to talk football?? Miami football?? THATS HILARIOUS!

....I know this sounds backwards. But since none of have a clue who any of these candidates are. Or how they will perform. IMO who we hire is arbitrary now. Sure down the road we can look back and review. But to say GM guy X will be a better GM then GM guy z...Nobody knows this.

So this brings me to my point...Armando. Why are you ignoring the Senior Bowl? It is college football evaluation time! Time for us to play role of fantasy GM. Pretend we know much about guys that may be future Dolphins. Give our wish list of players that we hope will positively impact our squad. In many ways this is the best time of year if you are a fan of a poor team..

I watch tons Of FCS ball. More then the big boys. A ton of good players from FCS will hear their names called this year. Perhaps more then any 1 year.

IMO the Phins have to draft a quarterback. I would have had this opinion if Tannehill was an MVP candidate. It makes it a much easier decision knowing Tannehill improved, hopefully not as much as the tea had envisioned. Take the model good teams use. Draft a guy and see if he develops under your starter. See if he develops enough that you trust him to be the backup. A guy that can come in a win a game or 2. A guy that becomes a commodity to other Qb starved teams.

This guy is Jimmy Garapolo. Watch him this weekend at the Senior Bowl. Watch him throw it and see who he reminds you of with his quick release, and laser sharp accuracy. I would say this guy will probably gain some street cred after this weeks practice(the game is really not as impotant in the evaluation process)It may be a spot where he is to high to spend a pick on. But if he is a 4-5 round guy. I would love to see the Phins pull the trigger.

12 and 15th is not 19th.

Colts LT? Ugo?

Costanzo and Solder neither were starting Lts day one.

Solder I believe wasn't a full time starter period.

Last year you could've had the #1 pick and it wouldn't have solved your left tackle issue to start the year.

If you think we are going to solve all the teams' issues on the o line with just the draft, you're dreaming.

We have a whack of cap space and we dam well better use it on some front line expensive free agents.

LT or not...

The Dolphoons will start next season with very little or no NFL experience at the most key positions in their organization The new GM will probably be a first-timer cutting his teeth with the stank hapless fish Philbin (two years failed NFL experience in his current role, still has never called a single NFL play) Lazor (rookie, no experience calling plays) Coyle (two years failed experience) Tannehill (two years failed experience) Five of the six general manager candidates the Dolphins have interviewed would be first-timers in that role as seasoned veterans are certainly not interested being handcuffed to losers or having some owner’s vaginal brown nosed too big for her britches snitch in a pants suit essentially working against them This is a Fish Dip recipe for disaster all the way around the table Time to throw the napkin in the plate, certainly this recipe is another stank fish foul recipe failure have a HAARPy day ! -

Hey Bacon, Toronto Native Orlando Franklin says "hello" from the super bowl.

Posted by: Craig M | January 21, 2014 at 01:09 PM

Ross did want to interview him. So you saying we don't want him here is not accurate. McCloughan is well respected and one of the top talents out there. He has played a part in building the two most talented rosters in the NFL right now (Niners and Hawks), IMO. That is why this guy has the luxury of waiting for the right situation. That is the reason he instructed the Seahawks to tell the Dolphins to stop bugging him about an interview.

The Dolphins' franchise is in deep trouble. Ambitious and talented GM candidates are saying no thanks to the Dolphins. Unfortunately, that is not a good sign. This used to be a franchise that attracted top talent and Ross has ruined that. You do not see names like Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells, and Nick Saban lining up for the Dolphins jobs anymore. Even Fisher turned the Dolphins down two years ago. I have come to the conclusion that the problem with the Dolphins is Stephen Ross.

Cant the canadiens find a canadien blog?

No Parcells, Saban or Jimmy johnson? Thank god...

it is every bodies fault but Thill's. That's so obvious.


I agree. It is time for a blog that discusses the Senior bowl, players, etc. Unfortunately, I am not sure that the Miami Herald has sent anyone out there and is actually looking at players, watching practices, and talking to GMs.

The only dolphins insider in S. Florida reporting on the Senior Bowl right now that I have seen is Omar Kelly. The Miami Herald should have been covering the Senior Bowl practices and game. I know many of us are interested.

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