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Maybe Dolphins learning to manage expectations

One of the talking points the Dolphins had in their notes today was about transparency. The club wants to be more transparent. Owner Stephen Ross said it. General Manager Jeff Ireland said it.

I'll write more about it in my column in Tuesday's Miami Herald because transparency by an NFL team must be managed. The NFL is no place to pull back all the curtains and reveal all your secrets and intentions. That's for suckers.

I pray the Dolphins know this. But transparency is good when it's used to manage expectations. And the Dolphins have done a terrible job of doing that in recent years.

Because of some of the more vague things the Dolphins have said -- such as Ross saying he wants to hire a young Don Shula -- the public has taken the statements and built expectations around them. And, of course, when the club does not actually hire a 33-year-old budding superstar coach with a jutting jaw and a planned three-practice-per-day approach, fans are understandably disappointed.

And it is not long before disappointment leads to plain old fashioned anger.

Same can be said with Miami's approach to free agency. When the club made it clear they thought themselves a couple of pieces away from playoff-caliber and a franchise quarterback from Super Bowl contention, many kind of assumed this offseason was going to be one enormous free agency shopping spree.

Even three weeks ago when I shared with you about the meeting Joe Philbin had with alumni in which he cautioned against free agency and stressed the draft, the Dolphins didn't do anything to make that public. I had to work for it. And not every single Dolphins fan reads this blog every single day -- beats me why, but that's another matter.

So some non-Mando readers were shocked when Miami didn't blow up the free agency pool.

"We haven't gone out and gotten major free agents like people thought we would have, but we look at it as if we're in the process," Ross said today, trying to manage expectations going forward. "Free agency has a period to run. There aren't a lot of major names out there but there's the draft and a
whole plan that we have set forth. Some things go well, and some things don't go as you would have liked. You know who I'm referring to from that standpoint -- Peyton Manning. We're looking to take this football team to a different level."

Um, better. Not promising the moon. Setting the record straight. Communicating.

Better than having everyone guess.