Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Dave's take...

What Steve Ross (or as I have called him in the past "Cap'n Izzy Firepants") did yesterday could be construed as an odd move - or you could look at it as the path of least resistance from his standpoint.

First, consider this: most NFL owners make their money and then choose to run the team they purchase.  They get out of whatever business they were in, and focus on their football team.  I'm sure there are one or two that don't, but I can't think of any.  Their sports franchise becomes their life - they relish it, enjoy it, and spend a lot of time focused on it.

Ross is the exception.  His time is still spent primarily as the CEO of his real estate company, and football is kind of an afterthought.  And how many owners can you think of that live 2,000 miles away from the team they own?  ummm, none.  Because they like being a part of it.

And as the season concluded, I got the sense that he was annoyed that he had to put *any* thought into the team.  He wanted them to make the playoffs at 9-7, and stand pat for next year.  And now he had to spend some time evaluating the team - and a day at the team facility interviewing people to decide what to do next.

I have heard that both GM and coach spent time defending their positions: it was this, it was that, and we're still a good team....and Ross was surprised that they only scored 7 points in the last two games.

Plus there's the Incognito-Martin report.  It won't be out for a bit, and there's a school of thought that maybe he should do nothing now, and simply wait for the report before acting on either guy.

And so the choice from his standpoint is: do I address the team issues, or do I attack the one problem that both of them told me about (and which I can see through a lone TD)?  If I fix the broader team issue, that would mean retaining someone I trust to help me interview - and then taking time to interview folks over the course of the next few weeks - time that could be spent on my main focus (ie, real estate).  And so he took the quick and easy way out.  Coach - you hire the guy you want.  GM, you help him.

And that brings us around to the second point: Ross seems to not care about anything in Miami beyond his football team.  Look, he'll make a profit on the team whether we the fans go to games or not (and certainly people will in any case).  And if the coach and GM manage a few wins, and there's a popular player whose jersey sells well, he turns a decent profit. It doesn't matter that we might not like what he's doing...

And of course, as I've said in the past, I'm turned off by the fact that he has done nothing philanthropic in south Florida.  And then he asks "us" to pay for stadium renovations, and when he doesn't get them he spends big bucks to form a PAC to help remove people from office who spurned him.  Of course that's his right as a billionaire.  But whatever happened to spreading at least some goodwill?

He handles this team the way you might expect an absentee owner to.  And that's really too bad for those of us who live here and support (or perhaps used to support?) this team.

And so back to this decision, to fire the offensive coordinator.  The Robbie family sold this team 20 years ago, and in that time there have been countless OCs brought in, and later discarded.  For long periods, there was a new guy brought in EVERY year.  I think there have been in the neighborhood of 15 OCs in this time - and I have to ask how do you build continuity?

We also hear that Sherman is Philbin's mentor and friend.  Loyalty is a funny thing, and this can't have been easy for anyone involved.  How does this ultimately affect those involved?  And we also hear that Sherman was considered 'the man' - while Philbin was the head coach, Sherman ran the team.  Now Philbin has to go it alone.

And then there are two other things going on here: first is the fact that we hear from "a source" that Philbin and Ireland don't get along that well, and have different opinions about players - and I am told that's why the rookies got so little playing time this year.  You may recall different issues over the years where the relationships between coach and GM went wonky and caused issues....so one has to wonder how this will play out.

Second is the situation that happened just a couple of seasons ago, when Sparano was retained, and his OC (Dan Henne) was hastily replaced with Brian Daboll.  It didn't work out so well, and the offense actually went backward.  Could that happen again?  It certainly could, and it seems more likely than it working out spectacularly well.

So the owner made a choice that suited him and the way he runs the team.  But that can't make fans happy overall - and there are so many questions about what happens next....

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Good point (s). I wish we could vote Ross out, not that I dislike him but he's not a caring, passionate owner. He's a "fair weather" owner and I think Hiuzienga sold him a boatload of crap. I still say Marino and some investors and we have a great owner who understands and knows football and is well respected. Come on Dan! What you waiting for???


About 1.5 Billion!