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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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My trade proposal fills 4 holes not 1 (LT,RT,LG,RG)


I like the Canadian Dolphans.They at least like our team, unlike the S.Florida Dolphans who dont even go to the game and complain about an owner who spends lots of money on his team and will buy unsold tickets so his lazy fans can watch on their cheesy butts at home on their broken down goodwill couches!!

Darryl, I agree. I love the Ron Wolf policy in regards to drafts: Get a QB in EVERY draft. Great value. Sooner or later you'll hit a home run...

Sphincters and Dolphins both smell the same, I'm hoping for a acorn in a GM, I hope beyond hope that he outranks Failbin, I know what their saying but will it be true in the WarRoom?

Herald at teh Senior Bowl?

They can't even afford to send Armando to Davie.

He's in his office like we are speculating at who the team should interview.

No source sent him that list above, he just took the player personnel guys form teh final four teams.

Call me crazy or whatever but I would bring back McKinnie...
Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | January 21, 2014 at 12:28 PM

agree, might be slow and heavy but his size, skills, and experience would be an asset for the up and comers.... plus he would be cheaper too!

My proposal fills more.

...Orlando. Armando used to do a bang up job covering the Senior Bowl. Perhaps 4-5 years back when Sparano was one of the HC's it made more sense to send a guy down. Everyday there were player profiles. Great info. I do not remember anything close to this the past 2 years here.

The great debate that year as we had the 12 pick was Earl Thomas, Brandon Graham, and the MLB from Alabama that went to the Raiders(Can't remember his name) That was the Dez Bryant year as well.

My proposal fills 4 holes not 1
Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | January 21, 2014 at 01:29 PM

She has to love that.

MIT @1:32

Mando has an office? Ha ha ha ha

Andrew Abramson ‏@AbramsonPBP 1m

Jason Licht will be Bucs new GM, per @JayGlazer. There goes a viable candidate for the Dolphins


I never said the Dolphins didn't want to interview McCloughan. I said as fans, why would want a guy here who doesn't want to be here?

And we'll disagree on how 'respected this guy is around the league'. Take a look at how his teams performed until he was there in 2010. Far worse than what we've been the last ten years. It wasn't until Trent Baalke took over and Harbaugh started coaching that this team starting winning. To me McCoughlan's just another guy. If hes so good I think he would have ended up as a GM again before now.

My proposal fills 4 holes not 1
Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | January 21, 2014 at 01:29 PM

You 2 get a room haha

the now retired Rolando McClain. man, Alabama has suckered in some teams to spending high picks on crap.

DD, don't forget JPP and Derrick Morgan who has started to do something at Tennessee...

I have to side with Craig here, there have been plenty of guys who came from great organizations and winning teams and in the end were fool's gold. Starting with the Dallas teams of the 1990s (before that I was just a kid watching the sport). Wannstedt, Norv Turner were both very highly thought of and sought after.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 21, 2014 at 01:33 PM

I'll fax this right over to the Dolphins Exec HQ's right now, they are expecting it Mr. Mark inside Tonto

Rdubs, I don't think Licht was ever really considered a front runner for the job...I could be wrong...

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.

Posted by: darryldunphy | January 21, 2014 at 01:17 PM

Actually Darryl, that's (close to) Ron Wolfe's model but you probably know that. And one that I and a few others on this blog believe in.

2 watt,

I know you are a Dolphins fan. I also know you have a strong dislike for Tanny. But aren't you even a little curious to see how he does under a new OC? Sherman pretty much had him his whole career.He has had only one mentor through college and the pro's. Maybe Lazor can bring some of that mojo he put on Foles, down south and correct the problems Tanny is having.
To call Tannehill a bum or a bust after 2 years is misguided. I don't think you actually believe that.

....CJ Spiller was a popular name that year as well. I really thought Earl Thomas was going to be the guy that year...Stupid Parcells Prototypes.

rage yes. I've said he gets
1 more offseason with competition
no gimmies
ask mark.

I'd be thrilled if we go after Bridgewater or Manziel . The new GM has to go in a different direction.

In all honesty Tannehill will never be average, he isnt going to be good in the future so draft a QB.

#1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal, 1/3 of the teams in the NFL have the fron office set up that the Fins will have. In fact that has been the set up with the Fins the last 2 years. Another few teams Washington, Seattle, KC, NE, and Tampa Bay have the coach with final authority on personnel matters. So about 1/2 the teams in the NFL have a traditional reporting structure that you allude to.

Just get a GM that keeps drafting QB's until he hits on a pro bowl caliber QB. The team is nothing without a top QB. While everyone touts Xanders, the team didn't do much until they got Manning. You can have the most talented receivers and tight ends. If the QB cant pass to them or come up big when its crunch time, then all that drafted talent is wasted and usually performs better when they go to another team with a good QB. Not saying Tannehill is a bust, I am not a fan, but believe he deserves a chance to show if he can make it under a new OC and improved line. There is nothing wrong with having 2 good qb's because one will eventually become trade bait or just move on.

2 watt

I'm with you. If this year Tanny does not significantly improve, I say back to the drawing board. The O line should be much better. Anything would be better then this past season. He would also have more time to get on the same page as his WR's.

Phail Phorward Phast with Philbin!

..Cocoajoe. The reason, or 1 of the reasons I think it would be a good idea to draft a quarterback this year is Tannehills contract. Now, he(Tanny) is going to be the guy here for the next 2 seasons. Barring a huge regression, or a catastrophic injury. The Phins will be settled at QB. So we have 2 years to see if we can develop a guy.

The team is going to have to make a big choice in 2016. Will Tannehill be the type of QB that warrants a huge investment? If I am the team, I would like to develop a guy now just in case. A fallback plan if the Tanny experiment fails. A guy that we could feel comfortable taking the reigns.

Now of course there are no guarantees that whoever we draft(under my plan) will become any good. He may stink. But under the best case scenario. Tannehill puts to bed any question about his ability. And we develop a guy we can use for currency, or piece of mind.

What some novice fans may fail to understand is that Tannehill makes the OL look worse than it actually is with his slow release and indecisiveness.

I agree that drafting a QB after the 3rd round is a good idea (and yes take one every year). I think that Aaron Murray would be a great QB to develop behind Tannehill. The kid is being overlooked but I saw a lot of Georgia games and the he has heart. He is accurate, smart, and just has IT. He is hurt right now which will not allow him to audition well for other teams. I would love to develop him behind Tannehill and Moore. Have him sit and learn for 1 year. He will probably be available in the 4th or 5th round.

You ifiots, PFF has RT rated the 7th best QB in the league. Read Dave Hyde's column. I don't don't think think he's that good, but he did throw for almost 4000 yards, 24 TD's and had a passerrating of over 80. Middle of the road yes, a bust far from it.

Lets just say it better be one of them. The ambiguity around this from the FO is bewildering. If they wait until after the SB and land unproven talent at GM I'm wondering. As a fan I see every other team getting a jump on us leading from the Senior bowl to the draft. Living in NH all I hear from Darth Hoodie is how busy his schedule is this time of year and all the work to do leading to the draft and FA. And what do we get from my beloved Phins - Crickets.

No GM - and supposidly JoDawn and Gaine working in the background to walk in lockstep with with whoever gets the job in 2-4 weeks. Another 2-4 weeks to compare and vet their draft board with the actual GM. Waisted cycles.

Mr. Ross you are judged in comparsion to your successful peers in the NFL... NOT in a Ross Business School case study on how to select a CXO.

BTW on Coyle, the Fin D was the 9th best scoring D in the league. Look it up.

Darryl, I agree. I love the Ron Wolf policy in regards to drafts: Get a QB in EVERY draft. Great value. Sooner or later you'll hit a home run...

Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | January 21, 2014 at 01:31 PM
Exactly but it's more than that. When you find someone that's better than your current QB, you look like a hero and you've made your team better. When you find a good QB but don't fit or isn't good enough to replace your current QB, you trade for pics. It's smart and it's like money in the bank. Think Matt Flynn or Matt Cassel.

This shouldn't be confused with drafting 1st or even 2nd round unless you are desperate. Works better if you have a pretty good QB. Think Ryan Mallet.

Posted by: jmike | January 21, 2014 at 02:08 PM

right on, maybe Shermans offense was hurting Tannehill. I think it hurt everyone. I think this year Lazor's offense will be more dynamic and use the personnel better.

I was a big Derrick Morgan fan coming out but I also liked Rolando McClain too. Rob in the OC and i went back and forth quite a bit on that one. I know he was all in on Brandon Graham.

To my earlier point on McCloughan, if we're going to judge a GM on a team's won/loss record (which I don't entirely agree with), then adding McCloughan would actually be a downgrade from Ireland.

OK Craig. I don't claim to be an expert on any of these guys for the GM spot including McCloughan. It is interesting to me though that a guy with an opportunity to get a promotion turns it down. The Dolphins have a talented young QB with a lot of upside, they would have made the playoffs if not for the Philbin 2 game collapse, and nice weather for the family. So why have 4 guys said no thanks to the opportunity for a promotion. One thing is to have Bill Polian or Scott Pioli turn you down but guys like McCloughan that are currently working in the shadows of a GM. I just don't get it.

From everything I've read, heard, and seen, the new OC is not very high on Tanny.

To my earlier point on McCloughan, if we're going to judge a GM on a team's won/loss record (which I don't entirely agree with), then adding McCloughan would actually be a downgrade from Ireland.

Posted by: Craig M | January 21, 2014 at 02:14 PM

So would Scott Pioli. His win/loss record in KC was atrocious.


I don't think ANY of us are experts on who the GM should be, including Armando. What do we know about putting teams together? Its all just opinion at the end of the day. I'm pretty confident that most of us would even struggle to match the record of Matt Millen and his teams with the Lions. We THINK we have it all figured out but its pretty complicated stuff. Its why one guy looks like a genius someplace but an idiot someplace else. Tough stuff....

Granit State FinFanyou do realize that every candidate that the Fins interviewed are at the Sr Bowl for the team that they work for. So as far as scouting the Sr Bowl they're all doing it. So the only downside is the the Philbin and the new GM aren't team building. BTW Gaine is there are well along with the whole scouting staff.

It's high time you Ross haterz admit what you know in your heart-of-hearts to be true. Simply put, Ross has revolutionized how FOs will be organized, & how FO candidates will be identified and hired, now & forever more.
Football will never be the same, and we fans will forever be the beneficiaries of the "Ross approach"


There you go....exactly! Take a look at some of Polian's last few drafts....AWFUL! Bobby Beathard AFTER his time in Washington. Holmgren in Seattle. They all got really dumb, really quickly.

To my earlier point on McCloughan, if we're going to judge a GM on a team's won/loss record (which I don't entirely agree with), then adding McCloughan would actually be a downgrade from Ireland.

Posted by: Craig M | January 21, 2014 at 02:14 PM

So would Scott Pioli. His win/loss record in KC was atrocious.

Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | January 21, 2014 at 02:18 PM

Everyone of these candidates would be a downgrade to Ireland if you are going to look at it that way. There are no sure candidates right now because all these guys come with a mix bag. Ireland was never fired from here either, like McCloughan he did not like the current structure that Ross is building here. Again not surprised that 4 candidates have refused interviews for promotions and that their GM walked away.

..Craig M..Rob in Oc loved him some Brandon Graham. Those were sweet debates.

Mando, remember, three "high powered" GM candidates have already refused to be interviewed for this silly parade of candidates. I can't imagine any worth while candidate from a playoff team would even consider working for Ross and surly not being the "yes" man that Ross seeks. Ross has to answer to Dawnhojoe. Ross has been nothing but a laughing stock of the NFL since his arrival. The Dolphins only have a small contingency at the Senior Bowl, and Philbin, thats head coach Philbin is just "gone" ? Guess, Ill become a Pats fan. The Pats could have beaten the Broncos if not for that failed two point try. Go Pats,,,,next yr.

The Pigskin Prophet, you'd better read my post, 50% of NFL teams use the FO sysytem will have in place. Please get your facts straight/

Posted by: darryldunphy | January 21, 2014 at 02:02 PM

I would agree Tannehill's the starter for 2014. But beyond that? I don't know. He had a chance to put an exclamation mark on his 2nd year....a season that he clearly improved until the last 2 games. Yeah, the rest of team looked bad too but he caved along with everybody else. He can and should improve but there's no guarntees.

I hope the new OC who's supposed to be good with QBs can help

Good points. My basic point is transitions take time and the scouting team and current FO people will have to spend time getting on the same page w/ a GM. Yes they are all Personel people and have prior knowledge of the draft class, FA etc. But orginizational transtion takes time, and the clocks is a tickin. Just call me nervous about the whole situation.........

they should hire Ray Farmer for GM

Hire Farmer or Xander's and move on. It doesn't seem like any better candidates are coming available. You need a guy who is respected, smart and hungry for success. Farmer seems to have that. So long as he's not an egomaniac control freak. Just had one of those. Pioli is cut from that mold as we'll. why is Philbin not at the senior bowl. I know he won't have final say over the draft but I would assume he would want to have strong input. Trying to support this guy but he seemed to be pouting from being forced to fire Sherman and seems unwilling to fire Coyles and Turner. Better see improvement this year or he's done and won't get another HC job. I don't understand these guys who willing to sacrifice their own careers because they are loyal to certain players or coaches. How about some loyalty to the fans and the players who are busting their ass and playing well. This team almost made the playoffs thanks to some cone from behind victories but statistically they have declined on both sides of the ball. Philbin better wake up.

From everything I've read, heard, and seen, the new OC is not very high on Tanny.

Posted by: Mike | January 21, 2014 at 02:16 PM

Where, can i read it too?

Mike, that's NOT true, in fact he's said the oposite. Where do you get this stuff.

Posted by: DragonFly34 | January 21, 2014 at 02:23 PM

Bye DF34 i'll hold the door for you.

jmike, NE, everybody knows BB is in charge...So please...TB, that just started because it was Lovie Smith's condition...Pete Carroll, Andy Reid, same bloody thing...Washington with Shanahan, that didn't turn out too great did it? And what exactly has Philbin done to get all that power he has? He's not even in the same league as those guys...So don't tell me 1/2 the teams in the NFL have the same set up in place, that's not true. The ones that do have it are the ones who have proven themselves and have been winning on a consistent basis OR the owners were willing to give all the power to the coach they really wanted...But MOST of these coaches are proven winners...Philbin hasn't proved anything yet despite what you think...

Just got back from work. Easy day, I only saw 21 patients, 5 new ones among them. Fascinating. I wish I could talk about them with you People here. But most important, you are never going to get a premier LT if you draft him less than 1st and at most very , very early in the 2nd Rd. Perhaps, you can get away with a good RT in the 3rd.

"Talent men on playoff teams might be up next?"


1. Both were mere wildcard level playoff teams before the Broncos landed Manning and Seahawks landing Wilson.

2. Not only these two SB opponents, there was not one playoff team experience the total top to bottom "DYSFUNCTION? that we represent as the Miami Dolphins.

I believe we may only be a fix of the oline away to becoming a wildcard playoff team as far as "roster talent" is involved. Even this is a stretch because pass protection from the rb position is barely NFL quality at best, and it's mandatory Ryan Tannhill takes his game to higher levels than in 2013.

We have a seeming clueless owner, ex gm that allowed the talent at oline and rb to hugely slip, and now current players complain the 2013 coaching at various position was very "SUBPAR".

We're in a much tougher battle than replacing a gm alone. This mess resembles the rescue mission after the sinking of the Titantic. It will be a Titantic mission trying to restore these Miami Dolphins back to the glory days.

haha, yeah, he hates the Qb so he took the OC job... cue the carnival music...

Great read...


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