The Miami Dolphins made a move today to end their search for a GM. Dennis Hickey is that man. The sound of clapping is likely that old wind up monkey box with the gold tambourines that sits in your closet. One would think that the hiring of a new GM would signify the end of the crazy and bizarre rumors that have floated around since the ending of the season but alas this is the Miami Dolphins and that unfortunately is not the case.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Dennis Hickey was the only one of the candidates who had no problem with not having control over head coach Joe Philbin’s future.
Salguero also outlines that Nick Casario was indeed interested in the job as the GM but he wanted total control and wanted to start over with a completely new coaching staff. In other words, he wanted to fire Joe Philbin now and Stephen Ross would have none of that. Lake Dawson reputedly was willing to give Philbin another year before deciding but again, Ross wants to be the only one to control Philbin’s fate.
That brought Dennis Hickey to the front. Hickey likely new that his time in Tampa was about over and the opportunity to broker a raise and a promotion came only at the price of not having control of the incumbent head coach. The Dolphins apparently made three offers today with two turning them down. Making matters worse is the report now that Philbin will have control over his roster and there is talk that he will also have complete input on the personnel as well.
If that last part turns out to be true than the position that Hickey is now sitting in is only in title.
I wish I could say that the worst is over but looming ahead of the Dolphins is the David Wells investigation that could very well blacken the franchise further. The results of Wells’ investigation has not been made public yet and is not expected until after the Super Bowl. The search for a new GM was hailed by many as a methodical approach to make sure they got the man they wanted but instead Stephen Ross settled on the right man instead of the best one. The right man for the power that he was willing to give.
While it’s likely that Ross will tell the media that this is a “real GM” job the reality is closer to perception and that perception is clearly saying the power belongs to Dawn Aponte and to Joe Philbin. If a new GM has no sway over his head coach then who exactly does? Hickey may publicly report to Ross but report to him about what? Will Hickey or Philbin make the draft picks and free agent signings? Hard to say when Philbin’s future obviously is not dangling from the sword of his GM.
The Dolphins according to Salguero are saying that Hickey will have full control over the roster and personnel moves but that is exactly what we expected to hear. The question of whether that statement is true or not will be known in the halls of Davie where a power play will likely emerge once again. Imagine what will happen if Hickey wants this guy while Philbin want’s that one. Who is going to have more influence over Dawn Aponte? Exactly. It’s very well possible and not inconceivable for Philbin to ask Aponte to stalwart negotiations with Hickey’s choice in favor of his own.
A little out there you might think. After all these are professionals with a common goal of winning and such behavior from a head coach simply couldn’t exist. Yet Jeff Ireland’s attempts to get a new OC and more playing time for the rookies found himself the odd man out when Aponte and Philbin took up sides.
It’s something to think about.
UPDATE: Another report has surfaced refuting the statement by Salguero that Caserio wanted to fire Philbin stating that he actually likes Philbin. The Dolphins told media that Dennis Hickey will have full control over the roster, the draft, and free agency and insist that he will answer to Ross. Ross retains full control over the coaches future. In another report that circulated earlier, the decision by several candidates to decline was the fact that they were under the impression that Philbin would have more say in the roster and the moves in free agency and the draft.