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The three structure possibilities for the Dolphins

When it comes to the Dolphins search to replace Jeff Ireland the "what" is initially more important than the "who."

I don't mean to diminish the identity of the person who will fill the job. The "who" is important. But what job is that person going to be doing? What role will that person have within the Dolphins football structure? Most importantly, what kind of power will that person have?

Once owner Stephen Ross, who plans to speak to the media at some point soon, makes clear what his vision for the job is, then we'll know who is best suited for the job.

Ross and the Dolphins have really only three choices for that open role because they have three directions they can go in establishing their club structure. Those are:

The strong general manager, the weak general manager and the talent evaluator. Allow me to show you what each role entails ...

The strong general manager: This person is hired with the autonomy (power) to make multiple key decisions. He can bring in his own personnel staff, including assistants and scouts. He does not answer to anyone else in the organization other than owner Stephen Ross. And he has the power to fire coach Joe Philbin -- if not immediately, then after one year of evaluation. 

I'm not a big fan of what Ross has done the last two change cycles he's put the Dolphins through. He fired Tony Sparano in 2011 but kept general manager Jeff Ireland. That forced him to miss out on proven coaches, including Jeff Fisher, because they wanted to bring their own GM they were comfortable working with them. This year, he fired Ireland but kept coach Joe Philbin. So, once again, it is possible Ross will miss out on the best or most proven strong GM candidates because they might like the option of hiring their own coach to work with.

Instead of sprinting into organizational changes the Dolphins have had to limp on one leg because Ross handicaps the process by limiting his field of interested candidates. Oh, the list of candidates may not seem limited initially, particularly in the GM search, because no one comes in with demands of full autonomy. But once the Dolphins show interest in a particular outstanding candidate, he might back out if he demands full autonomy and Ross isn't able to grant it.

The weak general manager: This person is titled as the GM but his power is limited. He may have final say over personnel in the draft and free agency but that is probably limited to him needing a consensus with his coaches, particularly Philbin. He has no authority over Philbin or executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte and therefore cannot keep or get rid of either one -- regardless of whether he'd like to do that upon his hiring or after one year. He probably wouldn't answer to either of them but instead answer directly to Ross just like they do.

Under this structure, Ross would have the weak GM running personnel and answering only to him. Philbin runs the coaching staff and answers only to him. And Aponte runs the remaining portion of football administration -- the player budgeting, contract negotiations, league matters, other legal matters like getting Richie Incognito off after he assaults a female golf course volunteer during a team event ... and the always important editing of the winning locker room video with the hopes of hiding the fact Philbin was reading from an index card.

(Not kidding).

I'd say the Dolphins had a weak general manager in Ireland. He didn't have the ability to hire or fire either Philbin or Aponte -- and that was proven when he unsuccessfully tried to have Aponte fired in 2012. But even Ireland had more power than probably an incoming weak GM would have in that he made the final call on not only the draft and free agency, but also the roster. I would not be suprised if Philbin gets final call on the roster going forward.

The talent evaluator: This person may or may not carry the title of general manager but it would be something of a misnomer. He'd be a glorified scout. He'd be only a talent evaluator and that's what I'm calling him going forward. He'd lead the setting up of the draft board. He'd make suggestions of which players to draft and which free agents to sign or discard. But he would have no final say on, well, anything. He wouldn't have the overriding final call on pulling the draft-day trigger. He wouldn't have the ability to hire or fire anyone, least of all DawnJoe. He'd have to get consensus to do practically everything outside of giving his opinion on talent.

In this scenario, the Dolphins might have Aponte as the GM with the ability to hire and fire this talent evaluator. Or they'd possibly have a football czar -- someone like Carl Peterson or Eric Mangini -- over the organization. Philbin, Aponte and the talent evaluator would be under the football czar who would be under Ross. Current assistant GM Brian Gaine has been mentioned as an internal candidate for the open position. He'd be a fit in this talent evaluator job.

By the way, if this is the one that is actually open, the Dolphins will have a difficult time attracting top-flight talent. The best and brightest simply want more power than this neutered version of a sort-of GM.

So which of these jobs is the one that should be open? I have an opinion. But as I've already thrown 935 words at you, I'll leave that for another post. 



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Remember guys, Bellichick was a TOTAL flop in Cleveland. pete Carrol was a flop in New England and the Jets. not everyone gets it right all the time. I believe Scott Pioli would be a very good hire in Miami.
Posted by: Craig M | January 09, 2014 at 01:01 PM


Wouldn't you have to say the same thing could apply to Joe Philbin as well?

I truly don't know that much about Pioli but I would say that the new GM needs to have the ablity to work with Phibin while having the pedigree to guide Philbin in the areas he's deficient.

On the surface it appears Pioli certainly qualifies in the pedigree area but the other may be suspect.

Ireland has had hits and misses in the draft. Hartline, Pouncey, Odrick, Clay, Tanne, and Vernon are hits. Perhaps Jordon will be too once he sees the field.

I've seen worse GMs around here before Jeffery got here- remember Rick Spielman?

With all the drama surrounding this team, are we going to attract someone better? Dawn could be our next GM with the help of a talent evaluator. That doesn't make me feel any better about the future of this franchise.

Anyone brought in will be required to work with DawnJoe. That doesn't fill me with optimism.


I'll bet wuss Ross gave Ireland one helluva severance package. Ross loves giving away his conscience money because he doesn't have the balls to fire.


If the Education is so world class in Cuba why did you have to go to DR to study?

Stop spitting up.

And we know Running water is Scarce in Cuba. Who are you fooling.

What the heck makes Miami an ideal location for a GM? Review the Dolphins history of blunder going back, oh, ten years.

Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | January 09, 2014 at 12:21 PM

wasn't Pioli GM for the Pats?

Posted by: AtlFin | January 09, 2014 at 01:02 PM


I would think that 56 sacks could have somewhat of an effect on ypa.

Whomever comes in as GM needs two years to fill the holes that have been left behind by Ireland. With good coaching we can still be a playoff possibility next year and the year after. But with these glaring holes filled this team could be a 'contender'. Can't do anything but hope that the new GM can get the job done. That also goes for the coaching staff.

It'll be interesting to see if this organization continues as a 'soap opera' or begins to show signs of a successful NFL franchise. If it continues as a 'soap opera' then I hope they televise it in the afternoons!


i think the Ross from the Giants is black

Posted by: AtlFin | January 09, 2014 at 01:02 PM

this will be the determening year, this is year 3 of a rebuild, this is where you see if the rebuild has worked.

Oscar...my last stay in the keys, the condo we rented had a bidet in the master suite...

....one of the kids wandered in there and pulled on the handle ..SURPRISE !!!!

"Wow", he exclaimed.."What's this thing ?"

"Not for you"....

If we really needed to clean house after only two seasons into the new plan, then we should have cleaned house. These half-measures and partial solutions will never work.

This is the surest way maintain the culture of meritocracy that has haunted this franchise.

@ AtlFin : Who cares how much he averaged per attempt ? According to Pro Football Focus Tannehill was the 7th best QB in the NFL last year & even ranked 1 spot over Tom Brady. As far as him disappearing in 4th quarters, you are completely wrong. Did he have some bad 4th quarters yes, but he had just as many good 4th quarters as bad ones. Also his yards passing, completion percentage & QB rating all improved from last year. That IS NOT regression, that is progress. Is it as good as it could of been ? no, but IMO he will continue improving this year.

If you hire Pioli you can't have him hire the Coach. Period!!

Pioli fits the GM that needs a strong coach so he can assist the coach. Not the other way around.

Pioli has shown to be inept at having all the responsibilities. He works better as part of a team instead of the leader.


What Oscar is failing to say is that until the White man came to Cuba they thought Bidets were water fountains.

Where is this good coaching going to come from?

And this is not year three of a rebuild. We're going from year two of a rebuild back to year one.

We're never going to get anywhere like this.

I don't know who the Auburn OC is, but that was one helluva innovative way he's come with to run the football.

I'm not yet 100% sure, but at present I do not see this franchise winning a heck of a lot of games with Tannehill purely passing the football. I'm now believing this team and Tannehill's success will greatly hinge on how well we can run, not pass, the football.

That's what I was thinking in watching the run design of Auburn's OC in that National Championship game. He even scorched Bama's vaunted run defense for over 200yds rushing.

And we know Running water is Scarce in Cuba. Who are you fooling.

Posted by: Dashi | January 09, 2014 at 01:11 PM

Females that are not ho's are scarce in DR. You know it and I know it.

It really doesn't matter,Sammy Davis Jr. was Jewish.

I don't really have a problem with the coach having the final say on who is on his roster, if he is going to be tasked to put together a winning team then he should be able to pick the players to run his scheme, the GM should have his gang of scouts and evaluators out looking for those players and the coach gets the ones he wants, if he fails then the GM fires him. That seems to be a pretty good way of doing things in my opinion.

Tom Gamble is without a doubt the best possible GM candidate around ( But only if you give him full control of ALL football operations). Now Pioli, Licht & a few other are also good talent evaluaters, but they are all a distant second in pedigree. On the other hand, some of these other candidates are also good & may work out just fine with Joe Philbin here. So it will all depend on who gets the job. IMO ONLY Tom Gamble is worthy of total control of the team.

Until we have stable leadership and a settled front office, it doesn't really matter who our players are.

Females that are not ho's are scarce in DR. You know it and I know it.

Posted by: Caribe Travelor | January 09, 2014 at 01:23 PM

This same theory can be applied right here in America. You know it and we know it.

Give me the Clemson coach or Urban Myers if we are going the college route. Neither will come in as OC but both know the modern day football offense better than anybody.

Urban Myers made Tim Tebow into the Greatest College QB ever. Enough said.

And we know Running water is Scarce in Cuba. Who are you fooling.

Posted by: Dashi | January 09, 2014 at 01:11 PM

Most of the w-hores working the islands are from DR. It's a fact.

As a matter of fact, I never even saw many times toilets, in RD.

Dashi you are right that Spioli is better fit as a team player & not running the show. He is also a good talent evaluator that may work out real well with Joe Philbin, BUT NOT AS A MAIN GUY !

Anyone that says Tannehill regressed last year is either trying to create some controversy here or just doesn't want the QB hunt to go away. Put him into the Seattle mix where R. Wilson looks great and you have someone that performs equally as well as Wilson. Wilson has a big time running game that he can call on and a defense that keeps all games close or out of reach. When you let Wilson out of the pocket is when he becomes that 'it' type QB. Keep him in, like St. Louis did and he looks mediocre. Also he had fewer pass attempts per game then any other starting QB in the league.

Well, it's all speculation, who is hired a GM. But maybe Ross DOES get it right this time..Let's hope.

What is your problem with women you sadistic Flamer. Always it comes down to you insulting and denigrating women.

We all know the main reason you hate Dashi is because my name has She in it. You have said so yourself you Geriatric Degenerate.

Give it a break.

We all know you have been turned down by Dominican women before just by your attitude towards them. Don't be mad that they rather go out with a Haitian before they go out with your ugly ass.

- Everybody in Dominican Republic are either ho's or baseball players. - What about my mother, Oscar! - Oh!, sorry, Dashi, what position did you say she plays?

Buster we better hope Ross gets it right or we won't get better. We can just as easily go from a average team to a stinky team as we can go from a average team to a great team. If everything is done right with leadership, we become a instant contender & if we don't we flounder. IT'S THAT SIMPLE !!!!!

LMAO that's a good one Dashi

AtlFin, you need to give the whole story on RT. He was 9th in yards passed, 12th in TD's, tied with Luck on yard/att, and ahead of Luck with a 60.4%. Give the whole story there bussy, I can pick a stat and make anyone look bad.

the strong general manager i say hire gamble then go get harbaugh who's contract is up after the niners season money talks and we all know ross has plenty of it

AtlFin, btw there buddy RT had 5 4th Q comebacks to Luck's 4. Should the Colts get rid of Luck. Please.

Sources tell FOX Sports that the Dolphins want to meet with Kyle Shanahan regarding their vacant offensive coordinator position.
Mike Shanahan's final days with the Redskins became a laughable farce, but that shouldn't take away from the fact that this family knows how to coach offense. Kyle was the Texans' offensive coordinator from 2008-09, helping build what would become one of the league's most dominant rushing attacks. And in the same position with the Redskins from 2010-13, he continued to make fantasy stars of running backs like Alfred Morris and X receivers like Pierre Garcon. Gary Kubiak is also reportedly a candidate to fill the shoes vacated by Mike Sherman in Miami.

No doubt many Dominican women prefer Haitians. Of course, that's where the majority of them came from.

yes let's hope he hires the right guy. He did not hire Ireland but keep him around.

4 years building for Sporano and 2 years building for Philbin. One more year to see what this team is becomming then let the new GM burn it down and rebuild it if it fails.

Let's hope Tannehill is smarter than a box of rocks and can mastwer the new OC system.

it should be light years ahead of Shermans.

I would stay away from the strong GM.
I think Aponte does an excellent job at structuring contracts to allow us to to have cap room to make improvements every year.

Promoting Brian Gaine might be a good option. Just because he worked under Ireland doesn't mean he was responsible for bad picks. Doesn't mean he wasn't either. We don't have that information but I'm sure the Dolphins do.

Honestly, I wouldn't be opposed to Mike Sherman being a "talent evaluator" type GM for us. The talent he assembled at Texas A&M has been very strong, he just didn't do so well in maximizing it while he was there.

Dolfan Rick,

Good point earlier on Philbin. I would say the jury is still out on this guy.

I think its hilarious though all the guys on here calling for Gamble. I'd bet my last dollar that most had never even heard of this guy a week ago. Not he's the be all answer to all that ails the Dolphins.

Ross is smitten by his new female companion, I swear P**** will be the end of mankind. Since no other name besides Gamble have been mentioned by Ross or other Dolphin insiders, I guess Aponte will be the new GM and will appear on every TV show on the cable. Ross will be heralded as the new age thinker, and the Dolphin football team will go 2-12 over the next 5 yrs.

I like DawnHoe & Joe.

Tannehill needs/deserves more time IMO, but I've seen enough after 2 years to definitely want to draft another QB in the middle rounds--a legit prospect--they need to do that.

No doubt many Dominican women prefer Haitians. Of course, that's where the majority of them came from.

Posted by: oscar canosa | January 09, 2014 at 01:42 PM

What could be more logical? They share the same island. Dashi evades logic and favors his little boy hype.

And also say I've heard all this stuff before on here. Cam Cameron was the offensive mastermind that was going to make all the difference in Miami. People hated him here at the end.

Jeff Ireland was this bright, up and coming executive who was going to make all the difference. Again HATED at the end.

Those brainwashed by feminism go here:


Join the battle.

actually, we hated Cameron way before "the end"....hated him right after he drafted Ginn, passing on Willis and Revis, and others--yeah, in the same sentence....Ginn, Willis, Revis


My point is he was this 'offensive genius' before we hired him. He was going to make all the difference in the world.

NONE of us have a clue with Gamble. Sounds go but who knows?

@ wallyfin....don't think Tanny's smarts ever came under scrutiny..

...it's his accuracy that needs to be improved..

....a good QB coach should help with that..

..I'm not an expert, never coached QB's...coached pitchers...

...but it's basically a universal, that if a "thrower' puts his heel down first, instead of his the front of his foot (some say toes, some say flat of the foot), then the front shoulder is "up", and the release point is "high"..resulting in the throw being high....

I have tried to watch Tanny's throws, and he appears at times to land on his heel first...

...but I am not up close enough to really tell, and can't talk to him to find out what he feels hitting the ground first...but his QB coach can, provided he understands the mechanics involved...

..considering that the QB coach was selected more upon nepotism than qualifications, it's very possible this throwing principal was never addressed..

..but , again, I can't know, can only speculate.


Do me a favor. You say you work at the VA. Step outside and run your mouth like that to the first Dominican you see. Don't even go up the street to 20th or 36th. Just walk outside and talk out your mouth in front of them. You are big and bad and most Dominicans are punks right.

And to the clown talking about logic. STFU!! If you don't know anything about the situation. In DR it is still considered Taboo for the Two to mate. Its like in Cuba a white person going out with a real Black person. Or in the real South(Alabama, Mississippi, and other red neck states).

With that said that was a good joke Oscar about baseball. New Joke!! Bravo! Bravo!

Nobody really knows what will happen here until next Season. Hope they don't fu-k it up again. We'll see, saiod a blid man and never saw.

The one thing Dolphins need more than a GM or a new head coach is a top down and bottom up review of its management structure and compare it to the evil empire, aka, the New England Patriots. Whether we like it or not the Patriots have had a 13 year run in the playoffs with 2 different starting quarterbacks, a slew of players including cast-offs from other teams(sound familiar - see 1972 Dolphins), and the ability to adjust as the coaching staff and players move on to other challenges. This does not happen by accident. It involves managing the process, winning in the present, and planning for when to replace players as they age. The Dolphins owners need to study that organization ( get some MBA types from the UofM Business School) and mirror it here. Those people who can't adjust can be shown the door. Those who want to be part of the solution can stay, although it may not be in their current role. Does it involve swallowing egos - yes! But you only add value to an organization with consistent performance (see Don Shula - 5 years of 80,000 seat sell outs at the Orange Bowl when South Florida's population was only half of what it is today).

Join our Dolphins Message Board that enable you to reply to each other in real time.


Agreed. Setting your feet is important in anything you throw.

More important than Heel or Toe is just your balance. If you have your feet set and your balance under you, you can throw with Power and Accuracy. Having good balance allows you to keep your shoulders level. Which you know also affect the trajectory of the ball.

T-Hill can throw on the run about as good as anybody. Why? Because he keep his balance. In the pocket I tend to agree. Maybe it is the Pressure or the Coach never pointed it out. But T-Hill doesn't plant his lead leg before he throws sometimes in the Pocket.

What's this war between Cuba and the DR. As a CDN who's been to both plenty of times ... the women from both countries were very warm and friendly with me ... God bless em both!

Hire a strong GM, hope he knows what he's doing.....and if he does, it all flows fine from there--Philbin/Aponte will be non-issues, in time--if we find the right GM, everything else takes care of itself....obviously "if" being the key word.

Sam, American girls have also been very friendly with me... ur right there! USA!!!

I don't think a strong, proven GM walks into this mess.

So we take a chance on an inexperienced talent evaluator and wait 2-5 years before deciding it's not working, then fire everyone in the hopes that next time will be the right solution.

Keep repeating that process until you end up, well, where we are right now.

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