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Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross addresses multiple issues

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross addressed the media for 25 minutes today and offered some newsy nuggets about his team.

1. Ross confirmed my report from January that he has in fact given coach Joe Philbin a one-year contract extension. So Philbin is now signed through the end of the 2016 season.


Ross said he doesn't think he gets the best out of someone "when they're operating with a gun to their head." Obviously, Ross didn't want his coach feeling like he must win or be fired.

Of course, that's exactly what it might feel like regardless of a new deal because Ross also said he believes the Dolphins are a better team today than they were when the 2014 season ended and the upgrade is not yet complete.

Ross also said he expects to see "improvement" from the team in 2015. Asked what that means specifically -- whether it means 9-7 is good enough to qualify as improvement -- Ross said he wants the team in the playoffs.

"I'm looking to make the playoffs and Joe's looking to make the playoffs," Ross said, "so the expectation is that we'll be better."

2. Ross remains quite proud of the Ndamukong Suh signing. He had a hand in the signing and even the idea of getting Suh was born to some degree with Ross. So he thinks it is a great idea.

"Owners from his division [NFC North] thank me for getting him out of their division," Ross said of his interaction with other owners here.

The Miami owner said he sees no irony in that the team that in 2013 was troubled by the NFL harassment scandal in 2015 signed the player who has often been referred to as the NFL's dirtiest player.

"He's probably one of the highest character people I've met," Ross said of Suh. "I don't believe he's the dirtiest player in the NFL. I'm very proud he's a Miami Dolphin. I totally would disregard that statement -- being the dirtiest player. I wish all the players were character Ndamukong Suh was."

Suh, you may remember, had multiple incidents in which he kicked a quarterback in the groin, stepped on Aaron Rodgers' leg, and stomped on a Green Bay offensive lineman's ankle while the lineman was on the ground. Suh was fined and even suspended a game for those actions.

"I haven't heard from him directly that he did, I mean, there were appearances," Ross said of those episodes. "But I'm not going to make conclusions from that standpoint."

Ross went further...

"I'd be very proud to have him as my son," Ross said of Suh. "He is outstanding."

3. Ross also thinks very highly of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The owner acknowledged Tannehill has not proven he can connect on the deep passes, but said the quarterback did not play a lot of quarterback in college and continues to work on that with Miami.

For that reason, Ross said he wants to make sure Tannehill remains with the Dolphins and would like to give him a longterm contract extension this spring-summer.

4. Ross said he has no intention to sell the team anytime soon.

"Right now I love owning the Dolphins and I have no intention of doing to the contrary," Ross said.

Ross said he's not going to "relent" until the Dolphins are "first in class."

4. Ross said wide receiver Mike Wallace "apologized" to GM Dennis Hickey and executive vice president for football operations Mike Tannenbaum about "what he did" in the season-finale in 2014.

"That says it all right there," Ross said. "But I thought there needed to be a change in the receiver room. And certainly you've seen a lot of change. And we're not done changing."