Thursday, January 09, 2014

Corporate structures and fan views

I read through Armando's pieces on the Herald Blog.  I read several other people's posts on various media and fan sites.  I chatted with my contact.  And I read lots of fan reactions to the goings on....

And it occurs to me that Steve Ross is not thinking about the Dolphins in the traditional sense.  Gone from this organization are the days where you have a coach who reports to a General Manager, who reports to the owner.  And having a 'football czar' in between GM and owner also would appear to be an antiquated idea.

It would seem that Ross' thinking lies more along corporate lines.  He has a CEO, a President, several VPs at various levels, and a half dozen companies that run "the franchise"...that part is not so uncommon.  But typically, the "football side" is left alone.  It runs under the coach/GM concept.  But reading through the information we have, there are now VPs who are part of the football side.  Aponte is one such example who moved from VP of football operations to executive VP of football operations, which essentially means she took Bill Parcells' old title - but apparently she didn't run the whole show.

So its possible, and I would argue likely, the phins will not hire a traditional GM, and won't run a traditional show.  There'll be corporate titles, fuzzy reporting, some kind of checks and balances, and probably lots of mistrust in the immediate future.

And that brings me around to the fans views: its not football.  Its not about the sport.  Its not about winning.  Its about constructing an organization.  Most fans don't care about the behind-the-scenes politics.  I even read some thoughts that having a woman involved in the manly-man game of football is sacrilege. 

And isn't this the very same issue we heard when the Martin-Incognito thing broke?  We don't care what happens from Monday-Saturday; we just want the team to win on Sunday.  Just tell me about the exciting play that won the game.  The rest doesn't matter.

I think the Dolphins have become a microcosm of what is happening to football.  For once, they're ahead of the curve and leading... in the progressive move to make this a true corporation, rather than a football team.

The rest of the NFL will undoubtedly follow this.  And I still believe that we're about to see some big changes as the league tries to retain its edge. (as I cynically said a while ago, quoting from "Rollerball" -- "Game?!  This was never meant to be a game!")

And as far as Incognito-Martin, now that Ireland is gone, I bet he winds up being targeted as the focal point. Or the scapegoat if you will.
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As I have written earlier Dave, I want the HC to have complete control over his roster and the GM will help him in that endeavor.


And who knows....he might!


Armando is more of drama sports writer. He was all about bully gate to. I assume he watched a lot of soap operas growing up. To me it is already pretty clear the Dolphins are looking for a talent evaluator, not a GM. I personally don't think Ireland was a bad talent evaluator. What Ireland was horrible at was personal skills. He told a fan off, Dez Bryant etc. Parcells did not support Ireland in the end either. I am sure you have all been around someone in the workplace that has "toxic" people skills. Ireland seemed to rub a lot of people the wrong way. I think Bully gate was really the end for the Dolphins having a all powerful GM. Ross is trying to organize a professional organization with values and structure it so everyone has clear accountability. I think Philbin is a very respectable and hard working so he fits in the model well. However, he does need a strong innovative OC as evidence by the end of season collapse. It is very telling they are already interviewing OC's before they are interviewing GM's. Dave's article is very accurate. Ross is running the team with a corporate structure. There is going to be no such thing as a GM. I think they did offer Ireland the job in the new structure as a talent evaluator but he felt he needed total control. So now they are looking for someone in that role. Armando is trying to spin it like this organization is mess and they won't get a good GM. He is right they won't, they are not looking for a GM as evidence they are moving forward getting the OC already. However, it is not because they are a mess, rather they are being formed into a corporate structure of high accountability. Which I think is a good thing. When you hold people accountable you tend to get rid of the pretenders and keep the performers. I am intrigued to see how it works. Don't you find it kind of interesting that many of the names being thrown around as a GM have already failed as a GM someplace. If these people don't want to come to Miami because they would have accountability good we don't need them. Parcells was given wide power and basically just took the money and did very little. Saban was giving wide power and we all know how that ended. I think Ross has seen enough of one man having wide spread power and I can't say I blame him.


I believe that this dinosaur change back system is going to explode into more disfunction through the organization. If the present system is working in all of the other football organizations; then the problem is with the coaching staff in Miami.
What is more; I certainly would not implement this new system with a coach who is not a proven winner and who has shown that he will choose friendship over performance. (Tannehill) Matt Moore and Pat Devlin are better QBs than the starter but ut did not matter with Philbin.


To GoPhins4SB: Dude, that is one of the best written commentaries I've seen. You make a lot of sense. so does Dave.

I'm tired of all the knee jerk reactions of some fans that want to throw the baby out with the bath water. The whole idea of trashing everything and starting over just doesn't make sense to me.

I too liked Philbin in the beginning but now see him as a weak leader with a stubborn streak who can't admit there's a problem. You can't fix the problem if you won't even admit it exists. Therefore, I do question the wisdom of keeping him (and Coyle too) but I also see some value in keeping some continuity. If the right person comes in as OC it could still work. I still think Tannehill has shown enough that he can be the guy at QB. Many talent evaluators seem to think so which just goes to support that opinion. These same fans think our team is undesirable for a GM or OC. I see the total opposite. We already have a good amount of talent. We have a good salary cap situation and many other perks. Ross is a guy who doesn't make quick emotional decisions which is why many of the emotional and often illogical fans hate him so much. Anyone new who comes in and does a good job could remain here even if others get fired. All in all, I think this makes a very attractive opportunity for those about to be hired. The right situation, could lead to big things next year just as the wrong one could be catastrophic. I didn't have a problem with much of Ireland's work even though he could have done better in some areas. But if his people skills really made him a cancer then getting rid of him was the right move. It sounds like he was not a team player which is what I think Ross is looking for in his coaching and office staff. I think Ross is showing a lot of wisdom in how he is handling all this. Let's hope we get the right guys at OC and GM and give them a chance to do something. Btw, the right OC could turn into head coach if Philbin continues to be blind and stubborn. We don't have to like or agree with everything our team does. But let's not be so extreme and emotional in our criticism. It really doesn't help anyone. Let's wait and see and give things a chance.


Philbin, as with any HC who doesn't completely implode, deserves, at the very least, 3 years to produce. Give the HC the power and support system structured to allow him to create his roster. If he fails to get into the playoffs by year 3 then off he goes and bring in a new one. If he gets into playoffs then he gets years 4-5 to get back. If he doesn't then off he goes.


I am very curious about Sherman. I know we will never know. The new structure appears to be.

Control over all coaching hires - Philbin - Reports to Ross

Control over the Check book - Aponte - Reports to Ross

Players - will be managed by committee - Philbin, Apointe and next GM. - Final Say Ross.

If this is indeed the structure I would think Philbin is the one that let Sheman go. I can't think it was Ireland since we was gone like the next day.


Ross made Philbin tell Sherman "You have been a mentor to me and I appreciate all you have done for me. Boy, I hate having to say this but it is time for me to fly on my own. Only you're the one leaving the nest."