Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is not happy about his team's 2015 season. (We got a hint of that when he fired head coach Joe Philbin and coordinators Kevin Coyle and Bill Lazor eventually followed as well).
But today Ross pulled back the curtain on how he feels in a letter sent to season-ticket members. In that letter Ross expresses his dissatisfaction and promises the important coach search, which he confirms will be lead by executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum, has already identified some "promising" candidates.
"I had high expectations headed into this year and the on-field results have been disappointing... for you, our staff, our coaches, our players and alumni players, and certainly for me," Ross writes. "Through it all, your support has been unwavering. We had capacity crowds at every home game and thousands of you joined us on the road. Everyone at the Dolphins appreciates your consistent loyalty and support.
"There are no shortcuts or magic formulas to winning. I know it will take hard work for us to get where we want to go and I can assure you that everyone at the Dolphins is working hard to honor the proud winning tradition of our great franchise.
"We are going to conduct a thorough process led by Mike Tannenbaum to select our head coach that will not be constrained by convention in our approach. This search will be thorough and we will take it wherever we need to go. I appreciate everything Dan Campbell has done this season and he has earned the opportunity to be considered for head coach. We’ve also identified several promising candidates and will begin work immediately."
So interim head coach Dan Campbell will get his interview. But the Dolphins, which have known this time is coming when they fired Philbin in October, have already done early work on others. By beginning the search "immediately," I believe Ross means his team hits the ground running on Monday, the day after the 2015-16 regular season is over.
This is a good first step for Ross to take as the team transitions from the disappointment of a season to the new hope of the offseason. Reaching out to his best customers is not only right, it is smart. They have questions. They have, in some significant instances, doubts about this team. And Ross is trying to address all those.
The letter doesn't actually fix any problems. But it is a sure sign Ross and his team are about to embark on major work.