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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.


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Frank...I remember Eddie Jones well. Yes, he was President and did not make any personnel decisions. You are correct in that JJ, Wanny, and Spielman direct player acquistions. Eddie Jones was primarily involved in the Dolphins business operations side of the house vice player decisions. Before the title of president he was titled as general manager. The title is not important as it is used interchangeably by teams.

Regarding Ms Aponte, I have not taken the position that she was the sole reason for the GM hiring process fiasco. Where I do stand my ground is that between her and Philbin, that union, resulted in the GM getting fired. Whether it is true or false is not the issue. The issue is what did other potential GMs think?

Zilo, Phins78, yes it is human nature to form alligences. Not all are good. The GM hiring process show everyone just witnessed is proof of that. Perhaps Ireland had the right idea in trying to fire her. Think about an employee over whom you supervise and directly works for you going behind or back, or worse right under your nose go to your boss, have direct access to your boss without your knowledge. Then form an alligence with another employee and again go behind your back. Maybe, just maybe you would wonder what the true intentions are.

Now tie that into the interview process. I never said she conducted interviews, but that she was part of the interviews. So, you are a candidate, you walk into a room for an interview and the person is sitting there. I believe most candidates had their suspicions before the end of the howdy do's.

Bottom line...doesnt matter that she is a woman. It is the whole mess of a front iffice which she is part of. As a capologist and bean counter I would hire her in a New York minute. That said, thats what she would be the teams capologist and bean counter. I would not have her out there handing the HC index cards with pre-written answers during a presser. I would not need her to sit in on GM candidate interviews.


JT Sanders , she knew Ireland was an idiot what else was she to do , he got rid of Reggie Bush, paid more for Wheeler, and that other idiot and our run defense fell apart, he gave up 3 2nd round picks to get a player that was injured and would of been there when our pick came up , then sat the guy almost all season , not to mention all he needed to do was get a few good corner backs and leave rest of defense alone and work on offensive line, I`d of gone behind , under , over around where ever I had to go to talk some sense into Ross

When this "NEW" diseased Administration fails it will all be on Failbin and the big eared squished face raisin.

Phins78 is a straight up know-it-all a hole.

Ross has to sell the Dolphins and soon,if he doesn't he is going to lose a ton of money.Free agents are going to be running for the exits the first chance they get and the dolphins will be starting all over again in the draft which will result in another losing season.It's time to pick a new team and realize your loyalty is misplaced with Ross.Stop giving this fool another year,don't go to the games,boycott Ross into selling.First year Raven fan.

@ Sqiggles....There`s a lot of them on here , just like Dion Sanders and Jerry Rice ruined the pro bowl, they think cause they play fantasy football they can run an organization, bunch of blowhards talking a lot and saying nothing worth listening to

What? He can't be serious! Ross is an owner without a clue.

Boy trying to find a GM was tough, i hadn't been turned down that much since trying to get a date to the high school prom!

Dolfunk...true enough regarding some of Ireland's picks. That said, I agree as a capologist she may be one of the best and if I were an owner I would certainly hire her. Yes, if a GM is looking to sign a player I would fully expected the conversation to be had on cap hits, bonus outlay, and how that contract or contracts if there are multiple players involved affect the team. Large contracts like the ones tendered to Wallace, Wheeler, Ellerbee more than likely have to fir within the cap vis a vie other contracts and more than likely have to receive the owners blessing. So, as far as a capolgist's role goes, that is about it. Do we have the money, yes or no? Thank you cap person.

The fact that Mr Ross has elevated the position to that of having perhaps an equal say, not with regard to player selection, but in so far as direct access to the boss is not what GMs want or go for. This has been and remains a sticking point. Many have mention the CEO and board room dynamics. Any CEO worth a dime will have his accountant sitting one side of him or her and the lawyer sitting on the other side. Then the company president. Next seats, CFO and CIO. Then the rest of the management team. The account provides audit numbers, the lawyer keeps it all legal, the CFO provides current year and out year financial plans with profit or loss calculations. The president if not the CEO then makes the decisions to move the organization forward. Outside those meetings, everyone answers to the president and not directly to the CEO.

Now if Ross want to manage outside the box that is fine. Like I said his team, his rules. Until that set up begins to impact qualified applicants, better than what is in staff now, it will not change. So I will give you Phins78, Frank from PA, and Zilo props for making your arguements. It is all good discourse on management and organization theory.

Once again...cheers.

Posted by: J T SANDER | January 28, 2014 at 06:10 AM

Ross is not going to make the same mistake over and over again;that's insanity. Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban, Bill Parcells, Ireland. What do you not understand. That management; GM with total control does not work. Sometimes there is a strong coach like Belichick who has total say but he wins. Ross spent 1.1 billion dollars for the Miami Franchise. He is naive to protocol but not dumb. He is making the right calls now.

Kraft does see Ross as a threat. Casereo is not to be believed. It would suit Kraft to have the Dolphins looked at as a bad franchise to play, coach or help to manage. They play the Dolphins twice every season. Wake up J T SANDER.......

If Ross really wanted to give Philbin another year before making a decision on whether to keep him or upgrading, he could have name Gaine as interim GM. Obviously there was a major conflict between Ireland and Philbin that made for an unworkable relationship. Aponte sided with Philbin and Ross put more faith in Philbin so clearly, Ireland had to go. But if there was a question about Philbins ability as HC such that Ross was giving him another season, then Ross didn't have to, and shouldn't have hired a permanent GM at this point. Give Gaine the job and let it play out. If, after next season it is decided that Philbin isn't cutting it, then deal with that and the GM position at the same time. At that point Ross and Miami would have been in a better position to lure higher quality candidates as they would be empowered with making a decision on the next head coach.

My point is this ... It was reported initially that Ross stated he had full faith in Philbin for the long term. If that were not the case, Ross could have simply gone the route of appointing Gaine on the interim basis I mentioned. No, I believe that Ross has anchored himself to Philbin beyond next season. He may be forced to change his mind and if so, the Dolphins reputation takes yet another hit next year as they will then go through another head coach circus with the most highly regarded candidates very likely balking at not having control or having Hickey with final say on players. There is also the Aponte issue which will come up all over again.

The logical and smart thing to do (IF Ross was truly open to evaluating Philbin after next season) would clearly have been to give Gaine the job on an interim basis and see what happens after next season. It would have avoided the circus, or at least the potential for bringing the circus to Miami for two consecutive years. Instead, Ross doesn't have access to the brightest GM candidates because of his absolute loyalty to Philbin. Although I don't like Mr. Salguero's agenda based and wishy washy writing, he is right on Ross being loyal to a fault.

Sorry Micheal...we will just have to agree to disagree. Ross doesnt want to give a full control to a GM. Why, because he had a bad experience with Ireland? Ok. I get it, I just dont agree with it. The way it is set up puts Ross in charge to which he has delegated equal authority within the reporting chain. So, when 2 of the 3 disagree, it will be Ross who ultimately will need to make the decision. That is the dark side of consenus management. The boss is always keeping his or her fingers crossed hoping there is consensus so he can blame the bad decisions on the group and deflect fault from him or herself. Or, take credit if it should work. Dont get me wrong, I am with you in wanting the Fins to succeed and to do so immensly. How it gets done matters very little other than to provide us fans a forum to discuss and have fun.

Got to say this to my fellow phins fans an im sorry ! But 95 percent of you guys and girls would not be happy or have anything good to say about any hire that the phins make there is a lot of armchair gm coaches an now owners wait an see what happens! An stop being no it alls most of you pepole never have anything good to say I've loved my dolphins for 25 years i feel the pain too but realy a lot of you guys are jus so so so negative when it comes to coaches gms owners cap pepole who ever !

Posted by: promichael | January 28, 2014 at 07:07 AM

good points....

and i really do feel the leauge should look into the Caserio thing..

why did Bellecheat send him here? He knows we are not firing Philbin. they should loose draft picks at least for this prank.

Fellow fans... Read where the Fins hired a new assistant o line coach. He is coming over from the. Houston Texans staff. The whole staff was pretty much let go after the season. The new guy's name id benton or beason...something like that. Heard it from a friend in passing. Any truth?

The fact it took 5 years for Ross to take charge of his franchise tells how weak and inept he is.Ross should have fired all of Parcells goons after 2010.The Philbin-Hickey team is a improvement form the Ireland-Sparano disaster but just modestly.Look for a lot of 7-9 and 8-8 seasons under Ross's new hires.

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