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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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If there is any truth that Lazor will not be able to hire his assistants then it is a clear sign things are are being done the same, failed way.

No way, absolutely no way Taylor and Turner should be retained, in fact they should have been fired already. The only reason they stay is if Philbin negotiated it for dumping Sherman. That would be disastrous. Those men are NFL-incompetent and the results spoke volumes.

Don't get me wrong I want this team to succeed and for better or worse Philbin is staying (not a fan of such decision but whatever I guess for now), and the only hope is that he finally grows into the job and makes the right decisions. Retaining those two would set Lazor back.

Mark in Toronto,
I agree that many of these guys, just cause they're on winning teams doesn't translate to success.
Of all these guys I liked Farmer the most. No nonsense guy who's done well in the posts he's held.
Agree also that Jenkins and Jordan need to play. They've shown ability which is more than payroll bandits Wheeler and Ellerbe.

Our world is so small

Ectoplasm coordinayors don't hire assistats, HC's do.

No one with a choice joins the Dullfins.

I love all these experts on "organizational structure"…..saying that the Dolphins is so strange…..really? how do you know that?--and "how" strange is it, compared to other teams……somewhat different/strange?--VERY different/strange?……subtle or big difference?--and wouldnt that matter?--each team probably has a few extra layers, or a few personnel types/execs in various positions…..all contribuing to the effort--is their ONE structure that all/most use--I doubt it….to say Miami's is strange, or so unusual, is sort of humorous…..how do you know?

How come? What does that mean?

uh Ross, Bucs have as good or better a roster as we do…..underperformed this year and need a QB, but they have a good bit of talent….."how low can we go"?--what are you talking about?

I know we need OL badly here but I'm not overly impressed with the top available rookies. Matthews will be certainly gone, so will Lewan, who we should take if he's there at 19. Beyond that Antonio Richardson looks promising but still a project.

The depth however beyond that is rich, and we should draft OL in rounds 2 and beyond.

I know I'm gonna get killed hire but I think we need to draft a TE at 19. There are three TEs ready to contribute in the NFL today, all three good blockers, something we desperately need to help the OLine that is not going to get fixed overnight folks.

Ebron will be gone by 19 but Amaro and especially Seferian-Jenkins should be taken a serious look. The Egnew experiment must be put to an end, we should retain Sims and have Clay and Seferian-Jenkins to start double TE sets. At 6'6" 260+ and a 4.60 he would add much, much needed target size for the inconsistent Tannehill. He had a subpar season b/c Washington's offense went a different way.

Knowing what Ross has done in the real estate world makes it very surprising how totally inept he is in every aspect of a football franchise. He's made the franchise total trash and a laughingstock.

The issue is this team requires and will go through a total over haul, 13 new starters are needed , 10are not upgrades but players who are FA and will be in demand. $30 Million is nothing when you have to replace 4 offensive lineman. They do not have a FB on roster, That's 5 plus they need a true TE and HB. ( 7)

On Defense both tackles will walk, the starting SS and CB can walk . They need to do something at LB and have a more reliable #2 CB since Dimitri played only 6 games.

That's 6 players. So 13 new starters. a few may be on roster at defense, the young CB's maybe and maybe a new scheme makes LB's and Jordan better but same HC, same DC so not sure why we would expect that.

I'd have no problem at all drafting a TE at 19…..that would help our OL too, assuming they could block

uh Ross, Bucs have as good or better a roster as we do…..
Posted by: benz | January 21, 2014 at 04:31 PM

How pathetic is that?

I know OC do not hire assistants but they do must have a saying on it. I'm pretty sure Lazor would not be thrilled with retaining those guys. It goes all back to Ross failing to clean house.

Regardless of Lazor's input, Philbin must be able to see what a complete failure Taylor and Turner have been, again the results are indisputable and he should have fired them already.

RR….they have 30 million now…..but will have more available when factoring in their FAs, if they dont re-sign them

It really is just the same comments from the same people here day after day after day.

Are there more compelling Dolphins blogs out there? It's a serious question.

I'm sure some of you are good dudes but in all honesty this is just Dullsville.

I think we should hired Bill Sizemore for the GM job, because he has a lot of football experience, going back to the late 40's with the skins ( RED ) seems to be out. Old enough to make Ross happy, way old enough to call Joe son, and dawn granddaughter. What more do we need. He is good at knowing what everyone thanks, and at what they should do. He lived in Hialeah for years, then Miami gardens for years, some call it Carol City. He has a son who played for Navy. Grab him before its to late. Bill

I'm sure some of you are good dudes but in all honesty this is just Dullsville.
Posted by: same old, same old | January 21, 2014 at 04:36 PM

Dull Team = Dull Blog

I dont know Ross…..why is that pathetic? Bucs won a SB about 10 or so years ago and have been in the playoffs plenty of times in the past 15 years…..until the last few, they've been one of the more successful teams in the league--how are they pathetic?

Lazor was all but signed and delivered to the Lions before he did a 180 and joined the Dolphins instead.

This is a bright, young coach on the rise who clearly had other options. If he didn't like the situation in Miami he WOULD NOT have signed with them.

Is that really so damn difficult to fathom?

I enjou mister Korean of many MIAMI DOLPHINS contest! of Ringyu prefecture Korea come I someday to view contest of DOLPHINS one shall hope Must of employ Google translation service to speak of these.

benz Moron he was never offerred the job by the Fins.

I heard Ross is interviewing the GM of the Chongqing Dockers who beat the Shanghai Warriors last week in the inaugural AFLC championship game in China (google it). So the fins might get someone with GM experience.

Ectoplasm, so I guess Lazor and Philbin didn't talk huh. Lazor is on his way to Dtown makes a 180, and has no communication with Philbin about the staff.. Sound logical.

benz Moron and wasn't going to be a finalist, if that were the case I'd find another job.

One of the reasons a total reset was needed here is the transitional stage this roster is at right now with so many pending FAs in our roster, and the need for a strong, experienced GM with great scouting capabilities.

The so called Dolphin structure is not so different IMO than other franchises, in fact there are many versions of it around the league, BUT it is undeniable the current one is a failure whether because Ross is not here, or whatever the results are unescapable.

But so what we wish we were Ross but we are not so moving on I wish whoever they pick as the GM aces the draft and urges this uninspiring HC to use the talent drafted last year. Jordan is a big piece to solve this puzzle and everyone but Philbin and Coyle it seems, know he is best suited as a 3-4 OLB. This team is certainly not keeping both Starks and Soliai so why not reverting to a 3-4, especially considering most of the D roster fits that scheme better.

I would pick Seferian-Jenkins at 19 to help Tannehill in the end zone and the OL with a massive/athletic body to block. The receiving corps lacked size and this pick would solve many things. Dump Egnew and retain Sims for depth and have some double set TEs plays with SJ and Clay.

With depth at the OL positions I think we could afford waiting to even round 3 to pick one but I would still go with OL in round two.

One guy I definitely have an eye on is Shayne Skov. If still available late in round 2 I would trade up to get him. Very instinctive and had big games in his college career and a natural leader, and god knows we need help at LB.

Finally we need a RB but there is very nice depth at the position. We need someone that can break tackles, I like Raijun Neal from Tennessee.

LOL, have you been to Detroit? It is a dump. If I was Lazor, I would too have signed here, hello NO state tax. And Caldwell does not inspire more than Philbin to be quite honest.

Lazor is a HC in the making and if he had talked to Ross he could have deducted that while the position is not highly coveted given all the variables that he could easily end up becoming the HC here. Besides failing here would not be seen as a taint in his resume, again looking at all the other dysfunction.

Posted by: same old, same old | January 21, 2014 at 04:36 PM

I come up with a fresh one liner every day I'll have you know.

Ross needs to hand this whole process over to someone who
A.) Is a football person
B.) is in the office to work on this
C.) Is not bumping uglies with the SR VP of the team

At some point this team needs to take off the clown make-up and red floppy shoes.

If Heckert or Russell aren't alcoholics already they will be after a year or two in Miami, should one of them get hired ...

I heard Ross is interviewing the GM of the Chongqing Dockers who beat the Shanghai Warriors last week in the inaugural AFLC championship game in China (google it). So the fins might get someone with GM experience.
Posted by: NO LONGER ireland's acorns | January 21, 2014 at 04:49 PM

Just a garbage franchise. But I'm less negative than I was.... now that Ireland is gone.

jmike, moron…..WHO are you talking about? I never mentioned any name…..

WHO was never offered a job by the Fins?--and when did I say anybody was?--whose the moron?


Bottom line is Ross and the dolphins now have a stigma as one of the worst if not the worst places to work in the league. When candidates are actually turning down interviews that speaks volumes.

The GM may have control over the draft and personnel but he should also have the ability to bring in his own coach. Ross knows nothing about success on and off the field of football. Why should any GM have faith in the coaches Ross puts in place with no say what so ever.

Mando, give us a clue as to who would be interested in
buying the Miami Dolphins. Come on, you know you have heard some rumblings. Lets see it in one of your columns.

Rosso the puckered anus face clown is running this circus. Rosso is in it to make a profit. Not a small profit, but a HUGE profit. That way, Rosso can then donate another $500 million to MIIIIICHIGAN for more tampon dispensers. Sports team owners in it for HUGE profits usually fail. Look at Loria and Samson. How'd that work out? Cue the clown music.....

Ross, save the Dolphins. SELL THE TEAM!!

hire Xander or Farmer….and hope they're good…..thats the best we got.

Wow, so they fired Ireland and who is doing the scouting at the senior bowl Irelands personnel guys. So are these guys going to be trying their best to scout players. They may be lame duck personnel guys. The new guy will bring in a new personnel department.

I wonder how this draft will go with Dawn Aponte as your top scout at the senior bowl?

So.....where is oscar to tell us how points may be a key to the SB game?

Posted by: Dolfan29 | January 21, 2014 at 05:37 PM

What alarms me most is bringing in a "neutered gm" to work underneath an equally neutered "power structure" directed by an equally "mentally neutered" ownership.

Not to now mention, players very displeased with the coaching talent around them. In the end, it seems coaches, players, and management personnel will be abandoning this sinking ship faster than the Titanic.

All of the growing disarray and we haven't come close to hitting bottom yet. I'm not dissing my team, just preparing myself for the caos that looms.

Shouldn't the OC at least be encouraged to tell the coach his opinion about the QB coach? It's fair to say that our's didn't do much to improve T+Hill.

I never thought that I would say this but I miss Wayne Hyzinga. Wayne stayed out of the way and let the pros to the work. He realized that football was not his area of expertise.

Wayne always looked for that top name to run his organization. First he had Shula, then brought in Jimmy, then he brought in Saban (top College coach), and then the Parcells regime. Wayne recognized the importance of bringing in a successful football person with a vision.

Ross is trying to be Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder. It is all down hill from here.


I'm sure aponte will draft a few Victoria secret models and ballet dancers for philbin

Ross seems to not even care his processes since becoming owner of the Dolphins, far differ from any other in this league. He' completely oblivious to the past consequences of his actions(mediocrity). Yet continues on the same abulatory track.

Speak of what you wish, management, coaches, fa, draft, coaches, or players. It does not change where we're broken mot. It's at the very top, my fellow dolfans.

It's great to be sitting here stark naked and blogging in the nude with you guys!

As I type this not wearing a stitch of clothing, I think that while fixing the OL is obviously the primary goal this offseason we must also upgrade at least one linebacker spot.

MIT (from around 11:00 AM):,

I can only hope we get Kelvin Benjamin in the draft. He's a big target, long arms and good hands. Fast also. Keep Hartline and Rishard Matthews (these 2 also have GOOD HANDS, which is sorely needed on this roster) give Wallace one more year while we work Benjamin into the mix. I think a 1 yr. deal with Keller, him and Clay making a good pair of seam threats. Maybe Lazor could get ghem on the field in a 2 tight-end set, opposing LB'ers could pick their poison. This is all assuming we can get a voupke O-Line vets like you mentioned, a big, fast RB, preferably in the 3rd, or 4th rd. On the GM search, not worried yet, as Ross has 29 more interviews scheduled.

Cue Ball Failbin will be making Dawn Aponte's coffee.

WR in Rd 1 would be a luxury, to say the least…..OL, DL or TE

what do horse crabs look like??

What is Ross doing for the GM search? Is he really expecting someone to blossom out of these interviews into a star GM? I cannot speak for a football interview but in the real world when you are interviewing for a position (specially a higher level position), you do your homework. You talk to prior employers and people that have worked with the candidate, and you review past experience to see how that matches up to what you are looking from the employee. You narrow the big list into a smaller list of interview candidates.

You don't just want to hire someone based on the interview. You want to put everything together to get the best candidate. You may get someone that has a great interview that is not the best fit for the job (he could be a good BS artist).

At this point it looks like Ross is just taking shots in the dark. He is just looking for anyone that could be a potential candidate but has no vision of the type of GM he wants. The search just seems to be all over the place and Ross just cannot seem to make a decision.

My attention has turned to less, who we will be drafting, and more, "what type of culture will these players be walking into"?

Especially with current players now down on the "quality of coaching" they perceive they are receiving. Will the rookies really want to be a Miami Dolphin, or with all of the looming controversies, suffice at just having an NFL level paycheck?

These are very important questions moving forward.

sam I am why do you speak to oggo when all he does is be argue with you?? I make you just as bad as him!!

The search just seems to be all over the place and Ross just cannot seem to make a decision.
Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | January 21, 2014 at 06:12 PM

Pray for new ownership.

To take a WR in the first round would not be smart. Enough with WRs. We saw what happens when you neglect the OL. The OL must be addressed. The Dolphins need at least 3 starting OL. You can make an argument that if the dolphins would have had 3 more top level starting OL this year, they would have easily the playoffs. Heck they were a game away from making it with a line that opened up no holes for the RBs and allowed 58 sacks.

Resign most of your FAs (except for the OL) and get 3 top level OL and a #1 RB. That should be the mission this year. They have good receivers in Wallace, Hartline, Gibson, Clay, Mathews, and Binns.

sam I am why do you speak to oggo when all he does is be argue with you?? I make you just as bad as him!!

Posted by: Hector Santiago | January 21, 2014 at 06:16 PM

Whom here have you ever invited over for dinner? Enough said.

I do no invite for dinner nobody here! what are you talk about??

No real standouts on RBs either. This seems to be a poor draft overall.

Orlando we are not privy to the process so we can't really say what the hiring criteria is at all. Part of interviewing all these people I getting an understanding of what the rest of the NFL is doing personel wise. I mean up until now all Ross has had to go on was Ireland's opinion.

go get ben tate to start

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