Dolphins’ Ross Walks Dark Future Path


Dec 15, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross looks on from the sideline before kickoff against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 15, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross looks on from the sideline before kickoff against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Tags: Dawn Aponte Jeff Ireland Joe Philbin Miami Dolphins Stephen Ross

  • DragonFly34

    Ms Aponte is a conniving cooperate person. She will run and tell Ross everything thats not right with her world. Aponte is the worm in this apple and Ross better wake up and smell the coffee or he will wake up in football hell, with no fannys in the seats. Philbin/Aponte alliance is a very bad combo. And what experience does Ms Aponte bring to the GM table? Does she know football talent,,,don’t think so. This is going to be fun to watch. Dolphins might be the first NFL team to sport a female Center?

    • tpl

      If Aponte is made GM, my guess is someone with the ability to judge talent will be brought in. Alonzo Highsmith is a possibility. He worked with Philbin at Green Bay, and isn’t a high powered GM. Plus he might take it as its a jump up the ladder.

  • txmedic5

    Dawn Aponte is jockeying for a high level NFL corporate position and is using Ross to get her there.

  • CdnFinFan

    So Jeff ireland rambles on that he doesn’t agree with how Philbin is orchestrating the game plans.
    Dawn Aponte (like a little weasel) runs to tell Philbin what Ireland said about him.
    Joe Philbin gets his back up and along with Aponte, basically forces Ross to fire Ireland.

    One question to Mr Philbin, Mrs Aponte and Mr Ross… How well did your team actually do this season?

    One question to the fans… Haven’t we all been making the same complaints that Ireland was making? Maybe Mrs Aponte will complain to Mr Ross about us and we will no longer be allowed to watch this team play anymore. AWWWWWWW!

    I’m really confused as to what good football really looks like if our head coach thinks his OC was actually doing a good job?

  • tpl

    Yeah, I cannot see any good coming out of this if Aponte is left on the team.

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    There are a lot of claims from so called insiders and from people who claim to be reading in between the lines. There were many suggestions up until yesterday that Ireland was safe, and as if the rest of the world suffered from amnesia the same insiders seem to know who said what to who and why, just like they knew who was safe until they weren’t. All I know is that the status quo is no longer and that changes were made. I am ready to move on.
    It would appear as though Philbin has got a lot of power now, if I’m going to be guilty of a bit of what I criticized above… but just a bit, and this isn’t good either, unless Ross wants to make him into a virtual GM and hire just a token GM. Should Philbin run the show. I would rather see a strong GM come in and bring his own people and swim or sink by his decision. We, the same ones who are ready to call what we see just like we did with Ireland, will end up either praising Philbin or a strong GM who brings in his own people, for his accomplishments or asking for his head if they fail. The buck has to stop somewhere and it should be one person under whose reign success or failure will have to be achieved… it is, in my opinion, that simple. Go Dolphins!!!

    • txmedic5

      I dont’ have a problem with Philbin staying in Miami but I don’t think he should have any say over personnel. He hasn’t earned that right yet.

      • Miami Jules (Julian)

        We may not have agreed on Ireland BUT I do emphatically agree with you on this. Philbin has not shown anything yet… whether or not he’ll turn out to be a good or even great coach, remains to be seen nut again, enjoying that supremacy should only be reserved for people like Shula and Belachick and others. I am concerned about Philbin’s ability as a head coach and while he may be an ethical and stand up person which are all great qualities to have as a head coach. Philbin’s ability when it comes to motivation, game management and even talent evaluation remain questions yet to be answered.

  • gofins60

    Philbin was picked by Ross. But, Ross doesn’t want to admit that he made a mistake, so he’s keeping Philbin, This will not turn out well.