The Miami Dolphins held a press conference today to announce the hiring of GM Dennis Hickey. The official announcement serves notice to fans that like it or not, it’s time to get behind the team and support him until he gives a reason not to.
Stephen Ross re-iterated today that Hickey will have control over the 53 man roster and that Dawn Aponte will answer to Hickey. Whether that answer comes in the form of final say or mutual agreement one thing stands to be a certain, Hickey, Aponte, and Joe Philbin are now bound together for the next two seasons.
While Ross clearly laid out the structure of who will answer to whom, questions still linger over the supposed executive structure as several candidates turned down the job over that very issue. What changed is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it just came down to familiarity. Dennis Hickey and Joe Philbin have a history together. Albeit a small one. Two years ago Hickey was part of the interviewers who hosted Joe Philbin for the Tampa Bay HC job.
Moving forward Hickey will need to act with both patience and speed as he has several starting members of his team facing free agency including Pro-Bowl CB Brent Grimes who has become a huge fan favorite in Miami. In addition the days and weeks ahead will likely not give Hickey any peaceful nights of sleep. Free agency and the draft are only the two items on the calendar he can now control. Hickey also faces an investigation into the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito case.
Of course Hickey has nothing to worry about in regards to what comes out of that investigation, he will still likely need to do some potential damage control that could sweep through the coaching ranks if not his own players locker room. Or both.
Today’s announcement should give fans the finality to a long process that brought more bad attention to a team that has seen nothing but in over five seasons. Hopefully, Miami fans can now put away their swords and give Hickey the support he will need to turn around the franchise and get ahead of that 8-8 season finish. Time to support the team again despite what we may otherwise think.