Reporting Tim Kephart
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PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland met a skeptical press corps at the annual NFL Owners meetings in Palm Beach.
Ross kicked off the press conference with a line that might rile up some Miami Dolphins fans.
“I think we have probably the best organization we’ve had in a long time,” Ross said, according to NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington. “We’re excited about that.”
Fans have questioned Ross’ decision-making and that of Ireland. A growing list of veterans have said they, and other players like them, don’t want to play for Ireland. The list includes several high-profile players who have recently turned the Dolphins down including: Peyton Manning, Ryan Clark, and others.
Part of the problem the Fins have faced is of their own making. The Fins have long sought to keep fans and the media in the dark about decisions and football moves until after the fact, if then. Ross acknowledged the lack of working with the media and fans.
“There probably hasn’t been enough communication” with fans, Ross said during his press conference Monday. He also said the fans’ passion is both good news and bad news for the organization.
But Ross isn’t ready to fold-up his tent and not push through the current mess that has erupted after the Dolphins’ high-profile misses. In fact, Ross said the fans should be pumped up for the coming season with Matt Moore as the possible starting quarterback.
“I’m very excited about Matt Moore,” Ross said, according to Darlington. “As he got more experience, he got better.”
Whether the Dolphins are rebuilding or not, is open to interpretation, but the team said it doesn’t feel like it is.
“We think we have a fine nucleus,” Ross said. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
When it comes to the seemingly permanently in-flux quarterback competition, Ireland said the only quarterback they viewed as being able to carry the franchise was Peyton Manning, and not Matt Flynn.
“We feel good where we are at the quarterback position at this time,” Ireland said, according to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero
But, Ireland said they definitely needed better play from the quarterback position and that it may addressed again in the future.
Ireland said the offensive line, which has collapsed repeatedly in recent years, remains a focus of the team. That could signal the Fins are looking to the offensive line in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft.
Ross said the Dolphins never seriously considered Tebow because the former Florida Gator and Denver Bronco didn’t fit with the offensive system new head coach Joe Philbin is going to use. Philbin plans to use a West Coast offense that relies on quick and accurate passing, which Tebow is not able to do now.
Ross also said that money would never be an issue when it came to winning in the NFL for the Dolphins and took time to get a quick shot in at Tony Sparano saying Philbin will be a better developer of talent than previous coaches.
Ireland and Ross talked a big game at the meetings, now they have to put together a big game or the fans could be considering taking their money elsewhere when they are considering whether to buy a ticket to a Fins game.