June 11, 2012

Don't count your Chads yet; Ross to chat with season ticket holders

David Neal standing in for Armando Salguero, who will return from vacation, I promise.

As the rumors fly about that Liberty City native Chad Ochocinco will sign with the Dolphins -- helped by a pseudo-Adam Schefter Twitter account tweeting that and Ochocinco's fiancee allegedly on TV saying he'll sign here -- an assessment from an NFL scout questions whether he'll be signing with anybody.

The scout said Ochocinco seems to have lost his explosiveness and, without that, doesn't bring enough to the table to justify the veteran minimum he'll make.

Obviously, that assessment gets changed if there's something seriously wrong with wide receiver Brian Hartline, who isn't at today's OTA, and Ochocinco shows decently at his workout for the Dolphins. But I'm hearing Hartline has just a minor injury.

Second round draft pick Jonathan Martin is at his first OTA today.


Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will have a conference call with season ticket holders tonight at 7 p.m. And that's all I'm going to say about that for now.


October 17, 2011

The plan if the Dolphins don't recover

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will be at tonight's game between the Dolphins and Jets. He will attend with hopes his team can win its first game of the season.

But if the Dolphins don't win and continue to struggle though the season, sources are telling me Ross has a plan for his team that will take effect as early as January. The plan includes a new coach, a new quarterback and probably a new general manager, accofrding to a source familiar with Ross's thinking.

So if you want to know what the plan is for the quarterback spot click here.

If you want to know what the plan is for the coach, click here.

If you want to know if general manager's status with the team is secure or not, click here.

And come back later today and tonight for the live blog of the Dolphins at Jets game.

December 12, 2010

We get evaluated, Dolphins should be evaluated top to bottom

All of us that have jobs are evaluated at least once a year to mark the progress or regression we've made on the job. Am I right?

So an evaluation isn't an insult.

So, as I write in my Sunday column, the Dolphins need to perform a comprehensive top to bottom evaluation of the entire football side of the franchise.

In other words, coach Tony Sparano needs to be evaluated.

General manager Jeff Ireland needs to be evaluated.

All the players need to be evaluated.

All the assistants need to be evaluated.

I tell you in the column what result the evaluation of Sparano and Ireland should be, barring a final month collapse by the Dolphins.

I also tell you why the Dolphins need to encourage a couple of other high-ranking assistants to find something else to do next season because their work in 2010 won't stand up very well to an honest evaluation, regardless of what happens in the final four weeks of the season.

Those final four weeks begin today, by the way, with the Dolphins facing the New York Jets. We will have a live blog around 4 p.m. I will update the blog and and get us set up for the live blog, with pregame news, well before then.

So come back. 

December 06, 2010

Ross skips out on postgame locker room -- again

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano or general manager Jeff Ireland or both have a problem -- and it has nothing to do with what you think.

It doesn't have to do with the fact quarterback Chad Henne is inconsistent and both are tied to Henne as the franchise QB. It has nothing to do with the fact no one in Miami's defensive backfield can be trusted to catch a potential interception delivered directly to the hands. It also has nothing to do with the fact the running game, around which the offense is supposed to be built, has been absent the entire season.

Those problem pale for Miami's top football men compared to this: Owner Stephen Ross is clearly not happy.

And Ross makes the final call on both Sparano's and Ireland's job status.

Ross was at Sunday's 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns at Sun Life Stadium. But when the Dolphins lost, he made himself scarce. Unlike other games in which Ross goes from his suite to the team's locker room, Ross skipped the trip on Sunday.

And it was at least the second home loss after which Ross skipped joining his team in the locker room after the game. He wasn't there after the shutout loss to Chicago Nov. 18. So that's two consecutive games after which Ross does not go see his team.

This, by the way, may not seem significant to you. But how the owner's feels about his team is something the football people must be keenly monitoring if they want to enjoy some sort of job security. And it is clear those absences are a sign of disapproval.

It doesn't end there.

Ross is clearly not happy with Miami's 1-5 home record. That record is terrible for any team, but particularly frustrating for a team that has managed a 5-1 record on the road. Clearly, if a team can win on the road, it should be able to manage some wins at home as well. If that isn't happening, it suggest they are under-achieving at home. Certainly, Sunday's loss to the previously 4-7 Cleveland Browns suggests that.

And that is bad because Ross wants his home games to be fun and entertaining and an event. He has spent many resources -- celebrities, concerts, noise, etc ... -- on making home games a bigtime experience.

The problem is all the appetizer and side dish stuff loses its meaning when the main course, the actual football team, is not palatable on its home turf. What's more, the Dolphins are not only seldom successful at home this year, they are boring in the process.

The Dolphins are averaging 16.3 points per game at home this year. They are averaging 19.5 points on the road.

That is not good. And it is especially not good when the owner is so keen on entertainment and showtime and offering people a compelling reason to attend games.

That leads me to the next issue: The Dolphins have two more home games at Sun Life Stadium this season. Never mind whether they win or lose those games against Buffalo (Dec. 19) and Detroit (Dec. 26).

The fact is neither one of those games is sold out at this time. The fact is, barring some unexpected series of events, neither of those games is likely to sell out in time to avert the local television blackout.

That sets a bad tone, folks. Home games that are not sold out make the owner (more) unhappy.

And that is increasingly an issue for folks like Sparano and Ireland.

[I'll be discussing this very topic on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, today from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. I'm sure the other local morning hosts that read this blog for material will pick up on this, but I would encourage you to listen to me directly so I can share other tidbits on this topic with you. Armando and the Amigo is on 640 Sports in South Florida.]

October 23, 2010

Ross tells Ireland Peterson won't be hired

Ever since we learned Bill Parcells was out of sight of the Dolphins -- living up the coast in Jupiter but no longer coming to work in Davie nor keeping an office there -- fans and team personnel alike have been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The name of the other shoe is Carl Peterson.

But as I write in my column for Sunday's print edition of the Miami Herald, the Peterson shoe isn't a fit. At least that is what Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has told General Manager Jeff Ireland. My source(s) tell me the Dolphins owner has given Ireland assurances Peterson will not be hired to replace Parcells.

The column has other interesting nuggets regarding Parcells, the trade deadline and the Davone Bess contract negotiation so please check it out when it goes online or lands on your porch.

But, really, the Peterson information is the most noteworthy to folks worried the man who never brought a title to Kansas City might be hired by Ross to bring a title to Miami.

In my legwork for the column, I also confirmed my earlier report that Ireland had amended his contract with the Dolphins so that he is answering directly to Ross and no one else. I was told that happened "a while back." The amendment would make the hiring of Peterson moot from a power standpoint, anyway, because Ireland would not report to him. But the amendment would not necessarily prevent Ross from making the move if he wanted to do it.

Now, however, we know the owner is not inclined to go in that direction. At least that is what he has told various people, including Ireland himself.