Stephen Ross has seen his Miami Dolphins more times this week on ESPN than throughout the entire regular season. If your team is not in the playoffs, then this usually is bad news as it is means people are losing their jobs.
The Dolphins fired offensive coordinator Mike Sherman on Monday after his offense put in an extremely poor performance, especially in the last two games of the season when they mustered only seven points against division rivals with the playoffs on the line. Miami’s offense ranked 27th in the league in total offense behind a shaky offensive line that was stripped of two starters due to the infamous “bullying” scandal. The new GM will have his hands full rebuilding the line, but the offensive talent already in place would excite any candidate.
Miami then mutually parted ways with much scrutinized general manager Jeff Ireland on Tuesday after six seasons with the team. Ireland-built teams have failed to produce a winning record in the last five seasons. Ireland failed to provide the Dolphins with a stable offensive line and made several questionable roster moves, such as the linebacker swap of the 2013 offseason.
While Joe Philbin may have requested for these moves to be done to strip the team of any voices that would speak out against him, Ireland brought in the replacement players, and these players were more of a problem than a solution.
The Dolphins are now searching for a new GM and OC, and if you believe recent media reports, then it will be tough for them to fill these positions. According to these reports, GM candidates will see Miami’s opening as unattractive because they will not have full control of the team. These reports claim Dawn Aponte holds most of the power in Ross’ circle. Some reports even say Aponte will become the next GM.
In reality, Aponte is merely Ross’ best employee, being one of the only employees who excelled at their job, thus gaining his trust. Aponte, the capologist for the Dolphins, is the reason the Dolphins had so much money to spend last offseason and is the reason that, even after last year’s shopping spree, the Dolphins will have money to blow this offseason.
Aponte does not know personnel nor could she make personnel decisions. The new GM, whether a proven guy like Bill Polian or an up-and-comer like the Green Bay Packers‘ Alonzo Highsmith,will have final say on personnel decisions. That is, unless the Dolphins hire a VP of Player Personnel, the “Czar” route as it’s often referred too, which I could only see happening if Aponte was, in fact, named GM.
Miami is one of only two teams with an opening at GM based on the fact that Ross kept Ireland until 2013, after consistent mediocre seasons. The new GM should feel comfortable on the amount of patience Ross will have with him. He will likely have control of personnel decisions, and will be living in 75 degree weather while the rest of the country is frozen. Remind me again, how unattractive is this job?