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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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- Listen, Dawn, I spend whatever I want on a FA because I think they are going to be Great Players here. - Oh, ok, Jeff.

No experienced gm wanting to take this job is a HUGE issue dolfans. It's like not having an experienced "brain surgeon" and sending in the "practicing intern" to get the job done.

Good luck to the patient, especially if the survival odds were less than 50/50 with a well experienced brain surgeon.

#1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal, read more closely, I said about 1/3 of the teams in the NFL use the system the Fins will run, in addition the teams I mentioned use the system where the HC has final authorty with personnel. That total brings it up to about 1/2 the teams using non-tradition FO structure. Read Omar Kelly, Armondo, and Dave Hyde and maybe you'll get some sort of an idea how non- Canadian League teams are structured.

I find it 100% unbelievable Ross is to blind to see that he's the greatest issue of them all as a toxic detriment to the Miami Dolphins.

If he could only remove himself, then maybe, just maybe, the Miami Dolphins would be on the real road to recovery.

There is talk that the dolphins may sign both Ray Farmer and Brian Xander. Armando and Omar Kelly both like Xander as the next GM. They both have also reported very good things about Ray Farmer. This is from Omar Kelly who is at the senior bowl evaluating talent and talking to scouts and personnel guys:

"There is talk Ray Farmer & Brian Xander will work as a team in Miami. Don't know if that's true. But I'd be intrigued if that was pulled off"

I wonder if egos would get in the way? Can these guys work together as co-GMs?


Not realistic! If this team trades all these draft picks for established players, we're going to pay them how? Your looking at a minimum of 20-30 mil at best. If this poor excuse for a business (NFL franchise) is to get off the snide then someone will have to learn how to draft in a big hurry.

Oh and by the way ....Zack Martin's arms' measured only 32 and 1/4 inches. That figure along will most probably drive him down to the bottom of the first. But he would be available at 19. And he's a 'football player'. Our best scenario is to trade down with SF and pick up a late 2nd. They have 9 picks and they sure as hell don't need that many players. Last year the Cowboys traded down with them. SF has 1 1st, 2 2nds, 2 3rds and a 4th (9 picks in all). They're roster is very deep and if they land 2 or 3 players this year they wouldn't be unhappy.

So the Dolphins extra draft choices are there and they need the extra draft choices. Screw FA, sign what we have and get serious about the draft. The only way the cap space will increase, over time, is to draft well. Draft choices are cheap. FA's not so much! This team is one of the worst in the NFL in developing young talent.

Someone just said that Coyle is still employed. Remarkable!

Sam I Am, it would be wonderful to purchase chewing gum with you in a Southwestern state such as New Mexico or Nevada.

I prefer spearmint. You may choose another flavor if you so desire.

It looks like Brian Xanders is coming to Miami. Reports are that he is not doing player interviews for Detroit. Since there is only one vacant GM spot available, I think there is a good chance that Xanders is on his way to Miami.

Btw, in the Senior Bowl, you don't go with how players play in it but on how they practice for it.


It should speak volumes how many guys who are considered top candidates have told the dolphins they arnt interested in our GM position. Who wants to come to a team where the inmates run the asylum. Dawn joe runs the show here and until that changes and bafoon Ross changes his power structure completely. Everyone from top GM candidates to street vagrants will turn down this supposed attractive job opportunity.

Oh how this once proud franchise has fallen. I feel like we are owned by the bidwells

Oh how this once proud franchise has fallen. I feel like we are owned by the bidwells

Posted by: Dolfan29 | January 21, 2014 at 03:14 PM

Being owned by the Bidwells could arguably we considered an "UPGRADE" right now.



I agree for the most part with you resign our own players and build through the draft. Except that they do have to protect the young QB if they want to see what he has. The way I see it the dolphins need at least 3 new starters on that OL. They cannot find all three in the draft. I like your philosophy of trading down to pick up the extra #2. Sign Brandon Albert at LT and then build the rest of the OL though the draft. You have to secure TH's blind side with a proven player.

Non Canadian teams? I wouldn't even know how they're set up, so wtf does that have to do with anything? Read Omar Kelly? LOL!! Yeah, ok dude. Now that's a great reference. I'll say it again clearly so it's easy for you to understand... Philbin shouldn't have ANY power whatsoever aside from coaching. He hasn't proved dik...Why would he get final say on anything??? I'll tell you why. Because our owner is madly in love with him. Just like he was madly in love with our GM. It only took him 5 years to realize he sucked. Maybe it will take him another 5 with our HC. Our owner has no clue when it comes to football...

Sam I am.

Agreed. Hell if a garden slug owned this team if have more faith in the direction of this franchise

Jordan, Taylor etc. Nobody saw the field this year. Were they so bad or were they drafted into the wrong system or did a break down in coaching take place?

We released Carpenter in order to keep a draft choice that saved this team 2 mil +. It can be said that by not having Carpenter this team missed the playoffs! True or not? But we did same 2 mil! And that did this team how much good?

Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | January 21, 2014 at 02:44 PM
That is the truth. I was one of the first if not the first to question Philbin last year. His choices of inexperienced assistants, Sherman's playcalls were the start. But I had hopes much like I did with Sparano. You know, maybe he just needs some on the job training.

But after his 2nd year, it should be plain to everybody by now including Ross, Philbin will NEVER get us anywhere.


The sad thing is that these candidates are hungry guys that should be looking forward to a promotion. The talent level is not that bad here and they have a young QB. Under most circumstances most candidates would want to at least talk to the Dolphins. I think the word is out that Ross does not know what the heck he is doing. People see that 1 GM just quit on him after he heard of the current structure and the type of power Aponte was getting. You don't think that Ireland is friends with these guys? You don't think that Gamble and McCloughan gave Ireland a call and asked why did you quit. Ireland probably said it is a nightmare with that organization, a woman that knows nothing about player evaluation is going to be telling you who to pick and they have a buffoon HC who wants to build a finesse team.


I would say it's more the system than the players. Look at the veterans who are good before they come to Miami and are good after they leave. It's not a coincidence it's happened this much in recent years.

The GM and coaches havnt shared the same ideas or philosophy on how to draft and use the talent provided. When there is no trust in either guy for the other failure is bound to occur.


There are only two players that I deem necessary for this draft.....1) Zack Martin OT,OG (probably a very good fit at RT) and 2) Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State. Martin (with the short arms) will, most likely be available at 19 or maybe even at 30. Jackson won't drop to the 50th pick. So something would have to be done to get him.

Now go out and piss away all the money in the bank on FAs. But not until you get these two.

Only thing that can save us, as I see it, is that Philbin either goes to jail or is suspended over the JMartin affair. Yes.


I agree with you that around league circles, guys are being told to avoid Ross like the plaque.

We as fans are the real victims here as our team will continue to suffer and lose out to a bafoon owner who knows nothing about football making one mistake after another


If the system is so out of wrack, the cause? Maybe coaching? Coyle and/or Philbin? Can't blame anything else on Sherman! Will continue to blame Ireland until either he's out of football or I'm dead! I'm betting that he has the best of it!


I agree that Zach Martin is a perfect fit for what Philbin runs. Now I like Gabe Jackson but I doubt that Philbin does. Jackson is a mauler (335 pounds and nasty). He is a big nasty OG and that does not fit Philbin's style of finesse OL play. Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells would be salivating over Jackson but stubborn Philbin will not be. I can see him taking the OT from NC James Hurst who fits the more intelligent athletic type that Philbin wants (fits the JM mold).

Also, the top FAs will be gone before the draft. However, I agree you cannot build a consistent winner through FA. Sing 1 OL (Brandon Albert) and then draft the other two. Hurst and Martin would do (love Jackson but doubt Philbin does)

#1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal, Oh I guess you missed the other writers I mention, reading isn't your strength is it, I'll go s l o w, Dave Hyde, Armando, Those also spoke about the structure. I structure that has been communicatedis each of the 3 GM, Philbin will be siloed to their job, Philbin will coach the talent selected by the GM. The GM will select talent and will have final say on the rsoter, Aponte will handle contract negotiations, and cap issues. This has been wildly reported, and part of a statement Ross issued last week. UNDERSTAND

I have to say, letting Ireland go was the worst move ever for Ross. Now the peanut gallery that thinks they know something just fire shots at the owner all day even though he's made the two moves people wanted him to do most - get rid of ireland and Sherman...

has ray farmer been hired yet,?

has Kevin Coyle been demoted to a position coach yet?

I'm amazed every time I see the size of those f'ing ears. holy chit.

has Zach Taylor been fired yet?

Fins D was the 9th best scoring D in the league. You don't demote a DC for being 9th in the league in scoring D.


Depending on this years draft and the way the draftees' are used this year, I can say that they will have lost me. It's truly embarrassing being a Dolphin fan!

Some of you may and with good cause say "don't let the door, etc." I'm looking! Even the Raiders seem more appealing! And I've never heard anyone say that before!

do we have a new defensive coordinator yet? how about a new quarterbacks coach?

Is it true that Philbin is not at the Senior Bowl practices. Who the heck is scouting for the fins. If the new GM decides to shake up the front office scouts, etc. then where are these guys going to get their information from? If Gaines is representing the dolphins at the Senior Bowl and he is not hired as the new GM, then he may just take all the intel. with him or provide bad input to sabotage the dolphins. These guys are a bunch of bumbling idiots.

don't start with that peanut gallery crap most of us wanted a good house cleaning and all we got was another half ass job.

If you don't understand my point after reading this, I give up...

Tom Gamble not going to interview with the Dolphins

Four days ago the Dolphins asked and received permission to interview Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble. No interview was set, however.

And no interview is going to happen -- barring a stunning turn of events.

Gamble, considered among the league's best personnel men, has decided he won't interview for the Dolphins job because he is happy in his current role with the Eagles, isn't thrilled about the structure Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has outlined for his football operations, and is confident other opportunities will come along in the future.

Multiple sources familiar with Gamble's thinking say he wants the opportunity to be a general manager but wants the job when he has full power and authority over the roster and has the ability to make a decision over the head coach and other people in the organization.

The Dolphins GM will not have the power to decide the fate of head coach Joe Philbin or others within the organization. The GM, coach and others will report directly to Ross and not each other.

Gamble was apparently puzzled why the Dolphins were already searching for an offensive coordinator with no input from the GM. It should be noted the fallout between former GM Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin had its genesis in Ireland's distaste for offensive coordinator Mike Sherman's work.

The Dolphins today hired Bill Lazor of the Eagles to be the new OC.

That, by the way, is the move that leaves this quickly closing door still slightly ajar. As Gamble knows Lazor, he might be convinced to reconsider the Dolphins if certain interview accommodations are met.

But the Dolphins, I'm told, aren't likely to make such accommodations.

Gamble thus becomes the third GM candidate the Dolphins have contacted that turned down an interview, joining Baltimore's Eric DeCosta and Seattle's Scott McCloughan. The Dolphins request to interview McCloughan was turned down by the Seahawks at his request, according to an NFL source.

The request to interview Gamble will basically just fade into forgotten Dolphins history but it bears mentioning that in failing to even get in front of him, the Dolphins will not be talking to someone highly respected around the league and someone who comes with a very strong recommendation from former Bills, Panthers and Colts general manager Bill Polian.

Gamble will be an NFL GM someday. Just not in Miami.


Jackson is one of only a few that fit the zone blocking scheme. He gets a 1 in run blocking and a 2 in pass protection from Scouts, Inc. I also saw him play in the bowl game and he could get out in front of the runner without much trouble. Can Brenner, Jerry or any other body say this that's currently on the roster? Pouncey is it, both in pulling and in hitting somebody at the 2nd level. Period!

It's an absolute crime what manner of selection was made on this OL.

Ireland has spread the news, stay away from the dolphins. I don't care what anyone says, word is that Ireland was very respected by his peers around the league. The reason Gamble, McCloghan, etc. have said no thanks is the information that they received from Ireland. They saw that he was no fired, he left on his own when he saw the direction of the franchise. My guess is he wanted Aponte and Philbin out and Ross would not budge. Aponte should not be making personnel decisions and it looks like that is what she is angling for. The word gets out and the respected GM candidates are not going to come to this circus. So, they will wait another year for a more stable situation with a better owner.

And dude, one more thing...What's this infatuation with Coyle? We couldn't stop the run all year long, we lost to Thad Lewis twice (!), Geno Smith...We have a prefect OLB in Dion Jordan but Coyle apparently prefers this stiff Wheeler...Finally started to bench him in week 13 (!) (Took him that long to realize he sucks? Really?)...I mean...Hello???


Letting go Ireland and Sherman were the two best moves thus far this offseason, but a total house cleaning should have been done.

For this not happening is why I'm critical of Ross. He did this before where he fired the coach but not the GM. This time he does the opposite.

Did he not learn his lesson that doing something half as$ed is not the correct approach.

He's to stubborn to realize philbin was a poor hire and move on

Orlando these guys don't just write down notes anymore. They use technology to share their player data on the fly. Gains won't be leaving with his notes in some fly by night thing, not happening.

I'm not in love with the Mangenious BUT he is probably the best fit right now given his relationship with both Ross and Aponte. For better or worse we need these people to work together, and if it does blow up in their faces then Ross would have no alternative than to really clean house and start over.


I hear that the head groundskeeper for the dolphins is at the senior bowl restores ring the fins. Philbin was quoted as saying that his type of player can't be found at such a venue and joe was last seen at the local cemetery scouting zombies

Oops. Should read. Representing the dolphins.

Have a good one folks. I'm out!

#1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal, First let's talk about Gamble, First and foremost his father, who lives in Phillie has cancer, Gamble want to stay close by and take care of him. That is why he moved back to Phillie last year. He's only been that a year and the only reason why he moved was to be with his dad. Secondly he also refused to interview for the Tampa Bay job which was just filled. Philbin has the contractual right to hire his staff, like most NFL coaches and he did. He has the right to hire his OC. DaCosta is rumored to be in line for the GM position in Baltimore when Ozzie retires. If I had that opportunity I wouldn't god rither. He also did not interview for Tampa Bay. People don't interview for their own reasons, the Fins have 7 people who thought it was a good job. UNDERSTAND

D29, it's wrong, says who?

Fact is 8 teams or so have the same exact hierarchy in place as will the Dolphins.

the GM will not be working for the coaches or Aponte. He has total autonomy over the roster and draft.

If GMs don't want to come here, it's ebcause they think they can score a gig with total autonomy i.e. DeCosta, Gamble.

Don't know McC's reasons are but it shouldn't be the hierarchy. he would be more empowered here than he would be if he took over in Seattle where he would have to answer to Carroll who has final say on everything.

Maybe he doesn't want to work for Ross - but that is a different bag than the actual hierarchy....

reports are that Ross in indecisive and is unwilling to go into detail during interviews who is in charge. Ross is trying to pull a bait and switch on potential GMs so when they come here they realize they will always answer to Aponte. THIS OWNER AND THIS TEAM IS A JOKE!

Mark it's actuall about a third of the teams and quarter have the coaches make the final decision on roster and draft.

Well there, it's even more than 8...

@ 4:06 said nobody...



I know that a lot of the work is done through technology but if that is the case why are the personnel guys for all the teams there including farmer and others. The Pats have several guys there. There is nothing like actually seeing it first hand, especially when you are looking at line play. You have to be able to witness attitudes, instincts, leadership; a computer is not going to give you that. Part of the process is getting to know some of the players. Philbin not attending and not having a front office in place to attend the practices tells you why this team is dysfunctional.

Orlando Dolphan Gaine is there along with the scouting staff. Gaine is contractually obligated to the Fins through the draft so I wouldn't worry. And he's considered a good talent evaluator.

Jason Licht chose the Bucs over the Fins. How low can we go?

We got a blizzard going on today how cool 8 inches already 5 degrees how do you think Peyton will like these conditions hmmmmmm

How come philbin and his staff are not at the senior bowl

Ross Blowz no he didn't, he was never offerred the Fins job, and wasn't goingto be a finalist. After all is said Farmer will be the GM.

do we have a new QB yet? RB? GM?

We are screwed we have no direction

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