By Abraham Gutierrez
Despite closing out the year on a high note, the Miami Dolphins head into an offseason filled with uncertainty. After coming in as one of the top contenders in the American Football Conference, the Fins finished last in the AFC East with a 6-10 record, prompting immediate changes in the horizon.READ MORE: Situation At Matheson Hammock Park In Miami-Dade Heats Up
Luckily, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is wasting no time, and in fact, is leading the charge in the front office and managerial overhaul. Just moments after Sunday’s win over the New England Patriots, the real estate mogul met with media members in the Dolphins locker room and answered some of the most pressing questions heading into the offseason.
“We’re going to be entering a search now and hopefully we’ll come in with the right team,” Ross said. “You see what they’re capable of, and you can go on today, New England had something to play for and we really dominated this game. That was very encouraging and hopefully it will carry on through the rest of 2016 and beyond.”
The first order of business was replacing former general manager Dennis Hickey, and on Monday, the team announced that Chris Grier would become the new Dolphins GM. Grier, who’s been part of the organization for 15 years, has been the director of college scouting for the past eight years, and thus brings a refreshing perspective to the front office.
“In this league, you can have your philosophy and how you think you should build your team, but at the end of the day, you have to be flexible in your thinking and work with what wins in the league,” he said. “When you’re 6-10, as Bill says, you are what you are. At the end of the day, I think we leave no stone unturned and keep working. Like I said, for me, competition at every spot is key. I think it makes everyone better and it grows them as a player.”
As for the Dolphins new head coach, Ross described to reporters what his ideal candidate would look like. In short, the 75-year-old philanthropist echoed Dan Campbell’s sentiments as he also vows to find someone that will help change the pro football culture in South Florida.READ MORE: FEMA-Funded South Florida Sites To Administer First Doses Of Pfizer Vaccines
“I’m looking for somebody who can really be motivational and inspire the players to play to get the best out of them, is very intelligent and can change the culture here,” he said. “Today is very hard, as you know, to find somebody with a lot of prior NFL head coaching experience. You take some of the great coaches, they had to start somewhere and they’ve done great, so, you can’t say that you have to have NFL experience to be a great head coach.”
Working in conjunction with Ross and Grier in the search for the Fins new head coach will be Miami’s executive vice president of football operations, Mike Tannenbaum. The former Jets GM has vowed to give this team an extreme makeover, and for what it’s worth, has Ross’ blessing going forward.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with Mike, I think he’s very intelligent, he’s had success in the past and I’ve worked with him and I have a good relationship with him,” Ross added. “I think the most important is when you’re now starting off with a new general manager and head coach is a collaboration.
“I think Mike’s ego is such that, once we have a general manager and a head coach, they’ll be able to work together. Mike would do anything it takes to win and is really committed to it and is passionate about it and will put all the hours in that anybody could have. He’s as smart as any football executive that I’ve met.”
As far as the current coaching staff is concerned, Ross has already hinted that Dan Campbell would be the first candidate to interview for the position. Nevertheless, nothing is promised, especially when there are names like Mike Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and even Tom Coughlin available as potential predecessors.
“I love Dan Campbell. I think he’s great,” Ross said. “Well, they know we’re doing a search and when you have a new head coach they pick who their coaches and their assistants are,” Ross said when asked about potential changes to the current coaching staff. “That’s the way it will be, so, it’s not like you need to talk to the coaching staff, I think, they are all aware of what happens when there’s a change in he head coach.”MORE NEWS: CVS, NAACP Team Up To Get COVID Vaccines To People Of Color In South Florida
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.