Yesterday the Miami Dolphins were without an offensive coordinator. Last night they were without a general manager as well. Today, hell seems to have taken a grip on the Miami Dolphins. Fans are united and clapping their hands still as the hours pass from Jeff Ireland’s firing but the rosy idea of big change is bringing with it questions that could derail Stephen Ross’ good intentions.
Ross couldn’t enter the 2014 season with Jeff Ireland still in place unless he gave both GM and coach a playoff ultimatum for 2014. Ross simply couldn’t sell tickets with the same ole’ same sitting in the offices. Whether you supported or hated Jeff Ireland we all knew that change had to be made in some form. The smart change would have been to fire both GM and coach and move on starting fresh. That wasn’t going to happen. Joe Philbin is Stephen Ross’ pick. He is “his guy”. Just like Mike Sherman was to Philbin.
What’s left a day after the removal of the chickens head? Chaos.
If you believe the reports from Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, for once I actually do, the Dolphins are being led down a very dark road that could have huge negative effects on this team. How worse could it be you might ask but the Dolphins were within one game of the playoffs. If what transpires in Miami over the next few weeks as being talked about, the Dolphins may not sniff another run for the playoffs for a long time. In fact, I wouldn’t be the least be surprised if the moves here in the near future don’t drive Ross to sell the team within five years.
Yes, it potentially could get that ugly.
Yesterday I wrote that the Dolphins will likely turn to Dawn Aponte to assume more responsibility. Today, she is the one in charge. Aponte is a hard swinging up and coming executive that has experience with the Browns and the NFL. There is talk she could be headed back to the NFL at some point with a lot of power. For now, she has a lot of power in Miami. Aponte was not a fan of Jeff Ireland’s and she is supposedly the one who went to Joe Philbin to inform of Irelands displeasure with the teams performance and lack of in-game adjustments. Joe Philbin took offense and the swing of imbalance began and rift began to form.
With Ireland gone, Aponte holds several influential keys. Stephen Ross and Joe Philbin. There is talk that she could become the GM or retain a high power presence within the organization serving under a “Czar” type official similar to that of Bill Parcells’ tenure with Miami. Remember it was that similar structure that greeted Ross on his purchase of the team. The issue however is not the hierarchy of coach to GM, GM to Aponte, Aponte to Czar, Czar to Ross, the problem is finding the guy who will accept the GM position under that kind of scrutiny. To start your career off no less.
The Dolphins are supposedly looking for a GM who will have some power but not complete power over the team and possibly not all power over personnel. That won’t fly when you start talking about names like Pittsburgh’s Omar Khan, Elliot Wolf of Green Bay, or Tom Gamble from Philadelphia. They may be Ross’ top choices but none of those three are going to leave winning organizations for this mess in Miami.
Ross needs to take a step back and follow the makeup of other NFL teams. Hire a GM, let him make the decision on the head coach and final say on personnel. He reports to Ross and no one else. Period. Let it ride out and see what happens. What’s happening now isn’t likely to work.
I could be wrong. Perhaps Ross has enough money to toss around to make everyone forget they don’t actually have any say in anything. Maybe Ross’ plan for a four step chain of command will work and a not so top of line GM candidate can come and do what is being asked without having a lot of responsibility. Ross seems to be the only owner that can throw his GM on the sword to appease the fan base and media and still get kicked around for the rumors of what he might do instead of what he should do.
Hopefully, for the Miami Dolphins and their fans, he shakes off this notion of a management council and just hires a GM.