« Dolphins fire back on idea of structure problems | Main | Edwin Pope's Super Bowl streak to end »

This Dolphins situation belongs completely to Ross

It's on Stephen Ross. All of it.

He hired this coach. He has hired this general manager. He has hired the Dolphins new President and CEO. All that stuff about inheriting people like Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano is out the window now. For the first time since he's owned the Dolphins, Ross actually owns the team of people that will take the Dolphins to heights or keep them at their current level of mediocrity and NFL irrelevance.

It is all on him.

And Ross is apparently quite comfortable with that because he obviously believes he's got the right people on the job. As I write in my column in The Herald today, Ross had plenty of chances to get rid of Jeff Ireland after 2011 when he jettisoned Sparano.

He didn't.

And at least one candidate for the general manager vacancy asked Ross to remake the team as a condition of being hired over the weekend. And Ross remained oddly loyal to his people, most notably Joe Philbin.

Do I agree with that loyalty?


I think the owner's loyalty must be to the brand and his fans first and foremost and his coach and employees after that. And if someone isn't helping that brand, he or she is hurting that brand. I guess I ascribe to the Genghis Kahn school of NFL ownership.

And having graduated from that school summa cum laude I would now be looking around the room if I were Ross and figuring out who is helping my brand and who is diminishing it. And whoever is diminishing it gets pushed into the shadows.

So let's go through the exercise.

Carl Peterson: He is a longtime Ross advisor and confidant. He led in identifying and pushing of many of these candidates. But I'm looking at him sideways now because while he convinced Ross and others that Ray Farmer and Lake Dawson were quality GM candidates, he didn't seem to have much pull with either man. Farmer, named a finalist, didn't even take a second interview. Dawson, another finalist, took the interview but, as I detail here, didn't take the job. Nice work, Carl! Unless Peterson identified Dennis Hickey and Hickey turns into a stud of a GM, fake owner Salguero isn't feeling all this love for this trusted advisor going forward.

President and CEO Tom Garfinkel: I get the feeling he's going to be wielding a lot more power within the organization going forward, and I'm not thinking it'll be limited to the business side of the organization. Unlike Mike Dee before him who was not included in interviews for coaching candidates and thus couldn't save the process, Garfinkel was intimately involved in the search for the GM. His was apparently a stabilizing voice in the room. Yes, he is a strong Ross advocate. Obviously. But I have a feeling he sees the process was not pristine by any measure. He recognizes need for improvement.

Executive VP of football administration Dawn Aponte: I'm told many of the candidates came into their interviews wary of Aponte. Understandably, I might add. She reportedly had her issues with a GM in Cleveland. She definitely had her issues with GM Jeff Ireland in Miami. But once the candidates got to understanding Aponte's role, she sunk into the background. She was not the reason, at least not the primary reason, either Nick Caserio or Dawson declined the job. Now, fake owner Salguero would not have included her in the interview process at all because, as the Dolphins describe it, she will be answering to the GM on salary cap matters going forward. If that is true, what kind of backward set-up allows a subordinate to interview a potential supervisor? Strange.

Head coach Joe Philbin: He should be feeling pretty good about himself right now. Ross stuck with him. Showed loyalty to him. Is convinced he's the right guy to coach the team. He emerges with the most valuable of endorsements -- one proven by actions. But it should be understood that during interviews when Ross was asked by at least one candidate what he (the candidate) would be able to do after the 2014 season if the Dolphins didn't play well, the answer was not, "Joe Philbin is staying no matter what." The answer was, "We'll handle that situation if and when it arrives." So loyalty from the owner has to continue to be earned.

Assistant GM Brian Gaine: This one has to hurt. Gaine was the only finalist who was not offered the job. I'm told he is considering his options and future, including leaving the organization. Hickey will make a call on trying to keep him or not. Look, would fake owner Salguero have hired Gaine as GM? No. He's been a leader in the personnel regime that was just fired. But does fake owner Salguero try to move heaven and Earth to try to keep Gaine? To make Gaine feel whole? To convince Hickey to keep Gaine? You betcha. Brian Gaine is a quality person. He's a good personnel man. He helps the brand. And that should keep him with the Dolphins if the owner is trying to keep good people.


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

if i were GM:

The draft should be easy this year anyone could do it:

Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame round 1(to play Guard)
Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA round 2
James Hurst, OT, North Carolina round 3
Best FB, DT or S in round 4
LB, DT or TE in round 5 and 6 and 7

Harder part:

resign Grimes and Solia
sign Byrd from Buffalo....
sign Brandon Albert from KC
sign Ben Tate from Houston

Getter done.......

So...with Sherman gone, who will be calling the offensive plays in 2014?

Philbin has no experience calling plays and while Lazor did wonders last year coaching Nick Foles...he too is green on NFL caliber play calling.

This will be the most interesting story that develops next season.

1. Can Lazor work the same magic with Tannehill as he did with Foles
2. Will Philbin call the plays from the sideline with some input from the booth?

Make or break season for Philbin & Tannehill, both of which are entering year 3 of a 3 year deal.

cocoajoe, Chicago rebuilt an entire crappy line last year. They won't need 4 players, three will suffice. Garner/Brenner/Thomas will be more than adequate to fill the other guard position if you surround them with quality, quality guys.

RB is an easy get.

OLB should be filled in house.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 27, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Hope you're right Mark. But when I think back to the LT (still on-going) situation......

DC, Tannehill himself showed a great improvement from the first half to the 2nd half and to nobody's surprise we took some of our biggest scalps in that stretch.

There's every reason to believe he will be ebtter there especially as you say with teh new OC and his results with Foles.

I think for Tannehill to improve most of his improvement will have to come in this area. Yeah a better deep ball will earn him a few points but limiting turnovers is where most of the improvement stands to be gained. Part through maturity, part through better coaching, part through improved supporting cast.

MassD, Chicago is the blueprint, you don't need to acquire 4 new guys - i mean which lines have 5 great players? hardly ever see it. Chicago got one in free agency, one in teh first,a nd got lucky somewhere down the line in the draft. There is very recent precedent for improvement.

1. Can Lazor work the same magic with Tannehill as he did with Foles
2. Will Philbin call the plays from the sideline with some input from the booth?

Make or break season for Philbin & Tannehill, both of which are entering year 3 of a 3 year deal.

Posted by: NHFINSFAN | January 27, 2014 at 01:52 PM

it was already written Lazor will call the plays.

JT, you're correct. GB can afford to let their new players look and learn while better players play. But for Philbin, a little knowledge has been a dangerous thing.
The reports that not playing rooks as payback....I don't know. Every coach wants to win. Every coach knows he has 3-4 years...less if he bombs. But then we're talking about Philbin and that makes me wonder

cocajoe, Chicago signed jermaine Bushrod to a big free agent deal. Doing likewise to Albert accomplishes the same and is the cornerstone to rebuidlign the line. Rogers Saffold would be a nice fall back here.

Mark, Albert is worth considering.....don't know the money side but he's not going to be cheap. I really don't think McKinnie is even much of a stop gap.

O-line has been bad for years, I hope new GM can fix it.

cocoa, KC is right up against the cap and they don't have any big underperforming tickets they can cut. Jon Asamoah at OG is also a free agent. I doubt they can keep both, probably not even one. I'd offer big money to both if I'm Hickey...

Judging by Long and Bushrod's contract ... looking at about a 4 year $36M deal give or take a couple fo mill. A deal that is escapable after the first two years. it's well within hand given the Dolphins reseources...

Albert's not coming to Miami. Book it Dan-o!

First round pick will be a LT.

Hmmm, might work. That is if Ms Aponte approves....LOL


It all falls on ireland. He could not supply Philbin or Sparano with a decent O-Line. You can not win in this league without a good O-Line period.Look at the best teams the Dolphins have had over the years. Think Webb, Stevenson , Koch, Little, Langer.

If manning was here and we had AP in the backfield. we still would not be a legit contender. It all starts up front.

Why would any fa want to come here in 2014?

With all of the ensuing dysfunction abound no one can say with certainty this won't be a 2-14 no matter who signs. No one wants to come here unless we greatly outbid for their services and the come as part of their great retirement plan.

I believe the greatest key to how top fa's will view us resides in what happens with Grimes. Because I believe no way Grimes resigns with us unless forced to by the franchise tag.

The Tannehill is a franchise QB/Tannehil is NOT a franchise QB debate is hotly contested on this blog.
But one thing if for sure, whether Thill is the future or not, no matter who the QB will be after next season, a vastly improved OL and running game must be in place or no QB will succeed in that situation. That is the top priority for this team, or should be.

Re: state of the Dolphins:
Pro-Sherman gone and Lazor here.
Pro- Edwards gone and Duffner here
Slight Pro- Ireland gone and Hickey here
Slight Pro- Coyle still here but hopefully improves with better linebacking.
Con- Philbin still here. Just do not let him talk or be seen and this could turn to Pro.
Con- Zac Taylor still here
Not sure- Jim Turner still here.

Miami Dolphins 12-4 AFC East Champions.

Miami Dolphins Super Bowl Champions 2014.

Lamar Miller MVP.

Joe Philbin coach of the year.

Anyone believe this nonsense ?


Posted by: wallyfin | January 27, 2014 at 02:20 PM

Coming and actually playing hard are 2 far different beasts.

Yeah, but if they do, they'll pull a Albert Haynesworth because besides the money they do not want to really be here.

This franchise needs first to rebuild some "nfl cred" before going out and spending absorbent amounts on fa's. Then those fa's may actually really want TO PLAY for this shyster outfit.

Sam, to quote Game of Thrones, "you know nothing"

7-9, 8-8, now all of a sudden we will be 2-14. Why? Half the team going to get shot on their way to the stadium?

Think positive Dolphin brothers and sisters, many good things have happened although it did not go as well as we would have liked.

Please look at my previous pros and cons and add your thoughts and comments.

After this last Ross fiasco, the players here do no really want to be here. Yet many here talking free agency.



I know we disagree on a lot of things. But when you start talking out of your butt, it is hard to take you seriously. Which players said they didnt want to be here? I am waiting

Sam, you do know NFL contracts are not guaranteed, right? So if a guy somes here and quits, he gets cut. Sure we still suffer the cap hit but he doesn't get paid.

Take the Mike Wallace contract as further leverage to this. He had $17M reasons to play hard last year and that was to get what he gets paid this year.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 27, 2014 at 02:31 PM

Wow, your head is so buried in the sand. Must have been one helluvah day your last visit to the beach?

Being a realist is a choice, therefore I chose it.

Daytona, "you know nothing"

How about this! Ross can be loyal to all the damn empty seats next season because he truly has no loyalty to the fans that buy the tickets. To the players that want to jump ship, go ahead who would blame you. You are obviously smarter than the average fan because they keep supporting this mess. Phiblin, we knew you were a piece of crap when it was reported that you had to read from a piece of paper a victory speech in the locker room. To all the fans, how long will you tolerate this? Why do you keep making suggestions on this blog- nobody in that damn stadium cares. Oh yeah, Tannehill couldn't make a pimple on Henne's rearend. Ross why don't you call the former owner and get him to haul away the whole pile of trash away, I hear he may have connections in the garbage biz.

I hope you guys get last laugh on all of this. However, "I greatly fear", it will be me.

But, I will not be laughing, I'll be nodding my head in great anguish. Trying to somehow digest, how far a once great franchise has fallen.

C'mon Phins, "But I'm trying Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the good shepherd".

-Jules (PULP Fiction)

Mando, who cares who Ross hired? Since the day he took over the franchise he is responsible. You sound like Obama blaming Bush for six years.

Really Mando, We get a idiot from Tampa Bay and were supposed to give him a chance. Don't you think the bigger story would have been on this guy's inadequacies. Mabye Ross can hire a brain surgeon so he can get a lobotomy.

The dolphins must and i mean must find a real QB, TurnoverHill is always an accident waiting to happen.

Posted by: Sam I Am | January 27, 2014 at 02:31 PM

still like my plan..

if i were GM:

The draft should be easy this year anyone could do it:

Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame round 1(to play Guard)
Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA round 2
James Hurst, OT, North Carolina round 3
Best FB, DT or S in round 4
LB, DT or TE in round 5 and 6 and 7

Harder part:

resign Grimes and Solia
sign Byrd from Buffalo....
sign Brandon Albert from KC
sign Ben Tate from Houston

We get upgrades at key spots in free agency and get rid of most of our own free agents. I like addressing the o-line in the draft that would make 4 of the 5 player Fins draft picks.

Posted by: wallyfin | January 27, 2014 at 02:50 PM

Wally, like you, I feel the "draft portion" of your plan maybe the more solid route to go. I do not trust free agency right now and signing guys that may pull a "Albert Haynesworth" because money is THE ONLY reason they came here.

I like the idea of a LT 1s rd and OG 2nd rd.


why would you address the o-line. Who do they have to protect. It's like getting the national guard to protect a dung farm.

Dolphins get a Hickey! Lol

Philbin when my boy Ross gives you a direct order to sack Sherman My ni..a yous best do it or we will come to your crib and bit.. slap you.
You and Aponte been pus.. footin around to get rid of Ireland now You betta treat HICKey a lot betta or else.

Looking back. I can better understand T-Hill's performance against the Jets at the end of the year. Before the Bills game he was on fire. Playing at a high level dispite being sacked so many times throughout the season.

I really beleive the tipping point finally came in Buffalo. The beating he took up their by that D-Line on a cold wet day. He was hammered all day then left the game hurt. A lot of people seemed suprised that he was still in one piece and not gun shy up to that point.

You know he didn't sleep well the week before the Jets game and Sexy Rexy knew that too. I really think that game in Buffalo took it's toll on him. He dissected the Jets weeks earlier and looked comfortable. He looked tenative that last game....CAN YOU BLAME HIM ?



Tanny haters dont want to admit. Tannehill was still banged up from the Buffalo game, hence he didnt step into his throws leading to alot of inaccuracies and losing Hartline didnt help one bit!

BRICKHOUSE, I have to think your (January 27, 2014 at 03:20 PM) comment seems reasonable.

Rdubs, Thats right. Also everybody knew the kid was really raw coming out of college and needed time to develope. It's hard to develope laying on yor back. I thik it may be a blessing in disgise last year. He learned how to play under pressure. I think with a good O-Line he will rip it up next year.

There is no way Philbin would have been comfortable with Kubiak as OC. Not a problem with Harbaugh having a another 2 years on his contract.
As shame, as Kubiak would be THE guy for the Fins for SO many reasons.

A running game will help too !

This reminds me of my college days, when you KNEW which kids would pledge the "top" fraternaties/sororities. Miami considers its elif NOT a topflight club, so they settle for "what's left."

Lower case brickhouse. I feel like im talking to myself.

People are crapping on Hickey, but in all actuality he was the most experienced of any of the GM candidates. Dont know if that means anything to anyone

God bless him him for every time he got hit and got up.

Despite what many believe, I have a feeling that this is going to turn out to be a great hire. Jeff Ireland was about to get fired long before this rift started up with Joe & Dawn against Ireland. I feel almost certain that Jeff Ireland pushed Ochocinco on Philbin, made Philbin retain Incognito after he molested that woman at the golf benefit & refused trading for Brandon Albert because he didn’t want to admit that Jonathan Martin was another bust he drafted. Rumors have already come out that Jeff Ireland completely overruled Joe Philbin with many player personnel & I sincerely believe that it’s what caused the friction & why Miami had to fire him. I don’t believe that anybody has to worry about that with Dennis Hickey as the GM for 2 reasons. 1) Multiple sources have already come out & said that Hickey is the ultimate team player. 2) Joe Philbin clearly has Stephen Ross’s ear & Philbin conducted his own interview with each GM candidate after their initial interviews. Right after Dennis Hickey interviewed the first time, the Miami Herald reported that Hickey hit it out of the park in his interview in front of Stephen Ross & that was the same thing that was said after he hired Joe Philbin before the 2012 season. If you put 2 & 2 together that tells me that Dennis Hickey hit it off big with Joe Philbin AS WELL as Stephen Ross. I doubt very seriously that Stephen Ross would have hired Hickey if Joe Philbin wasn’t completely comfortable with him as the new GM. These reason along with Hickey’s expertise in evaluating talent is what leads me to believe that this will be a excellent hire, Now I may be wrong & I’m well aware that there is always a 50 / 50 chance that any big organizational move can backfire, but this is my feeling nothing more.

Rdubs, i live in New England nobody up here gives caserio much credit. Dawson and Farmer don't have a great treck record behind them either. If Hickey can find O-Line men. Which he seems to have in the past.He's my guy !!


Remember when it was reported Philbin wanted Vontae Leach. I wonder if this is another examplE OF pHILBIN NOT GETTING A PLAYER HE WANTED

Umm. How is 2-14 a stretch? Didn't this team go 1-15 one year and 6-10 the year prior. The players weren't shot on the way to the stadium. If I recall Chambers, McMichael, and Welker were all traded in the offseason. And Brown was injured and Ricky was suspended and then lasted 3 snaps.

Ross should have formed a search committee for an entirely new organizational structure after the whole bullying incident exploded on the public scene. Everyone knew Ireland should have been fired two years ago. Philban showed his inability to control his locker room, and has displayed his coaching ineptitude for the past two years. Then Philban throws Sherman under the bus, as if anyone believes Sherman called all the plays without head coach input. Philban was a former offensive coordinator. You're telling me he could not see the game plans were a joke.

Now, we're taking a GM that was to be relieved of duty from Tampa Bay anyway. Of course he took the promotion. He was about yo be fired. I hope he turns the ship around, but with Philban holding the real say over personnel, I believe this GM has bee set up to fail.

Ross is obviously a great businessman. But he knows nothing about football operations and should gave hired a real football czar to take control of the ship. At this point he should have just made Philban GM/head coach. Then he could have been fired in two years and we could see another Dolphins organization restart.

What a mess

A couple fo guys that may follow their way to Miami through Dennis Hickey liasons ... Lagarette Blount and Donald Penn

I know Rdubs. Jeff Ireland is a smug idiot that was too full of himself & didn't work as a team with Joe Philbin to get him the type of players he needed.

Marc, mayeb Cleo Lemon will find his way to Miami and help you get to 2-14. Otherwise, it's not happening...

In his six years...The only two above average O-Line men Ireland drafted was Long and Pouncy. They were no brainers as they were both the highest rated guy's at their respective positions. His FA's sucked too!

@ Bri1314 : You are delusional ! Mike Sherman did control the entire offense & Joe Philbin didn't throw him under the bus. Mike Sherman asked Philbin to fire him so it would spare the other coaches. The coaches wasn't the problem anyway. It was the schemes & the lack of talent that caused us to blow it in the end.

Other than a few late round Gems, Jeff Ireland's drafting & free agency moves were completely atrocious.

Hopefully Hickey won't trade TWO 2nd rd picks for a STUD WR and then trade him away for TWO 3rd rd picks after 2 very good years!

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The comments to this entry are closed.