DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins formally introduced the team’s new general manager Dennis Hickey to the media Tuesday and owner Stephen Ross made it clear multiple times that Hickey was chosen in large part due to his ability to work with the current staff.
“We needed to have harmony in the organization where everyone had respect for each other and the same mindset at all times,” Ross said. “His (Hickey’s) knowledge and dedication and willingness to spend the time is a perfect fit for the organization.”
Ross also discussed what Hickey’s role with the team will be, specifically the structure of the organization. The structure and who reports to who was reportedly one of the issues multiple candidates had with the team and kept them away from the job.
“Dennis Hickey is the GM and he is responsible for the 53 man roster,” Ross said. “Dawn Aponte will report to him, working with Coach Philbin to bring the Dolphins back to prominence.”
Ross later said, “The general manager reports to me, the coach reports to me, everyone knows their responsibility. I thought it was pretty clear (the structure). I really look forward to where that is going to take us.”
Hickey said that one of the things that drew him to the Dolphins organization was the structure set up by Mr. Ross.
“I see an organization that has the foundation, that has the people, that has the vision, to be a championship organization,” Hickey said. “The structure was completely clear, laid out, that was a draw for me.”
Hickey said he feels like Ross is committed to doing whatever it takes and “committing whatever resources are needed to bring a championship back to Miami.”
“My personal commitment is to continue to build a team that our passionate fan base can be proud of and that our community can be proud of off the field,” Hickey said. “My competitive nature, I’m about winning.”
“We want to build a winner and do it together, collectively,” Hickey said. “There’s no magic pill to building a team. It’s built one decision at a time and that’s the way it will be here.
Ross did confirm that he told candidates that he would retain control over head coach, Joe Philbin and that the new general manager had to work with him. “We’re not playing fantasy football,” Ross said.
The Dolphins drew a lot of criticism from around the NFL for the process of finding a general manager. As many as eight candidates reportedly turned the Dolphins down for the position, but Ross said he doesn’t think the Dolphins’ reputation has been damaged around the league.
“Organizations are perceived by their win/loss record,” Hickey said. “You are what your record says you are.”
As for the future of the team, Hickey said that he has a plan in place to build a “tough, smart, physical football team,” that will make fans proud of the players on the field and also of their contributions to the community.
Ross also gave a bit of levity to the press conference when he told the media, “I’ve told Dennis if I tell you to draft a player or call a play or play a player, you don’t have to listen.”
As for some of the hurdles ahead for the team, the Ted Wells report on the alleged bullying on the roster is scheduled to be released after the Super Bowl to avoid distracting attention away from the game.
Ross said he has seen the report and that, “When it comes out, we’ll do what will have to be done.” Ross was asked if Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin would be back with the team next year, Ross said, “I don’t believe so.”
The owner then quickly said, “I better not say that, I retract that and never said it,” which was met with laughter from the gathered media which told the owner it had already been tweeted. Ross said that Incognito is a free agent and Martin is still on the roster and would leave it at that for now.