Big decisions ahead for Stephen Ross, Dolphins
By Miami Jules (@Miami_Jules on Twitter)
Jeff Ireland is gone, so is offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and ahead, bright blue skies and ticket sales. OK, maybe higher ticket sales but there’s a lot of uncertainty going around, at least in the world of arm chair analysts on the Internet, but sports media reporters and insiders don’t seem to know any better either. Rumors and tweets from media insiders with reliable sources claiming Jeff Ireland was safe, were being spread around like the Swine Flu right up to the moment in which the Jeff Ireland news broke bringing into question the accuracy of any and all reports and rumors.
We now have the last remaining pockets of resistance from Jeff Ireland loyalists, who are emphatically claiming the Ireland departure was in part or mostly due to a Machiavellian plan concocted by VP of Football Administration Dawn Aponte, in order to oust the often embattled and misunderstood Ireland. There are also rumors, perhaps even unconfirmed reports about Joe Philbin who has long been on Stephen Ross’ good side, enjoying a huge amount of authority and vetoing power within the Dolphins organization. Here’s the thing, whether these rumors or reports are true or not, if the perception exists around the league that Joe Philbin’s power is such, the search for a new GM will probably yield less than desired results.
There are other areas of concern remaining, and among them, the failure of what used to be a fairly good defense, to live up to past performance. This has been widely discussed by many analysts and remains to be addressed by the team. Is Kevin Coyle the right man for the defensive coordinator job? Can Coyle adjust his defense to the players he actually has on the roster? The quarterback and offensive line coaches have also been under scrutiny because of their experience and because of how they got their jobs. Just when we thought our problems were over with Ireland’s departure, more of the dysfunction left behind after years of mismanagement, surface and makes us worry about our favorite team.
It may be one of Stephen Ross’ virtues, to surround himself with good, knowledgeable people in whom he can trust, but getting “married” to a person who may end up having to eventually be replaced in order to remain competitive, may not necessarily be a good thing in the world of professional football. This is especially true when the “marriage” is to a head coach. Ross should follow the hierarchy that’s already in place in the National Football League and not stipulate or feel that anyone member of the coaching staff is safe or above results and achievements, if he is to find a good and credible general manager.
The new general manager should have a vision but not one which would include a predetermined preference for any particular offensive or defensive scheme. The new GM would need to be a great evaluator of not just talent, but also of player fit and should be someone with a proven organizational track record. The most important crossroad the new GM will have to navigate through will be the direction this team takes and whether or not the existing coaching staff, including the head coach, are fitting pieces in the organization’s new direction. It should be then and only then, that the remaining questions about Coyle, Turner and Taylor will be answered.