On Saturday night, I got into a heated discussion with @bradshaw1984 about what the heck the Dolphins would do with their GM hire and about this supposed structure being proposed by owner Stephen Ross. Sure enough, I thought why not ask this fan to do an interview and get his thoughts out there more than 140 characters. For this interview, I asked Brad about his views on the Dolphins, the GM search, and to put himself in the shoes of the GM.
As a result, my questions were met with great detail, content, and passion that can be noticed by fans of the Dolphins who follow Brad.
Special thanks to Brad for participating. Please follow @bradshaw1984 and you won't be disappointed about what he says about the Dolphins.
What are your true feelings about the state of the Dolphins?
Perception is reality, and in this case, the perception is of an owner who consistently swings for the fences…and consistently falls short. I’ve tried to remain patient and balanced throughout this whole process while social media exploded with rage and cynicism, but with Caserio now turning down the job, even I am concerned at how badly this GM search is perceived to have been carried out.
I’m not gonna sit here and pin blame on the scapegoat of the week, Dawn Aponte. Neither you, nor I, are in a position to say her place in this is directly responsible for a number of candidates pulling out of contention…but I will say that it appears for whatever reason, the structure of what Stephen Ross is laying on the table for these guys, just isn’t as appealing as he thinks it is.
I’m no big Joe Philbin fan, I was an advocate of moving on and bringing in the traditional, all powerful GM, to oversee the selection of THEIR head coach, but Ross’ infatuation with Joe led to this, a caveat for any incoming GM that this position of autonomous power, is well…anything but.
I was willing to admit that though I would have preferred a different approach, a structure such as this, a committee of power if you will, COULD work…there are a few examples around the league of it doing so, but the perception has killed us when it comes to convincing the most respected of candidates to even contemplate taking the position.
Right now we are left with 3 candidates, none of them are WOW names, but all individually respected in their own right, but they now all face the same problem, the same perception…”winner by default”…rather than replacing Jeff Ireland being the joyous occasion most hoped it would be, it’s become another stick to beat the Dolphins with nationally...the question is, will the winner by default have what it takes to prove people wrong?
What do you feel would be best: best GM right now or best GM?
Well the obvious answer is the Best GM, Period.
I know many like to think Brian Gaine is the easy choice now because you can kick him out the door with Joe Philbin in 2015 after the upcoming season falls apart, but I just don’t think it’s that simple.
At no stage during this search should it have entered Stephen Ross’ mind, “ok, which candidate will be easiest to fire if this all goes down the sewer next season”. Brian Gaine is very respected around the league, and to hand him a 1 year trial for his big shot at being a General Manager is just totally unrealistic. If Gaine gets it, he’s here for the foreseeable, as with any GM…I would even argue that it would be HARDER to remove Philbin with Gaine around as they already have an established relationship one would presume.
As to who the best guy would be of the remaining candidates, my vote would go to Lake Dawson, slightly ahead of Brian Gaine. It’s hard to get a pulse on these guys as fans because the only information we have to go on is a brief resume on Wiki and a few sound bytes from “experts” who are often fed their information from biased sources, but in Dawson we have the feeling of a fresh start that so many of us craved, combined with a respected track record as a scout and exec.
What would be your first order of business as GM of the Dolphins?
Wow, there’s a question…I’ll refrain from the obvious and overused “FIRE EVERYBODY AND START AGAIN!” because that ship has long since passed us by, it is no longer an option.
The on-field areas of need are there for all to see...find a way to re-establish this Defense’s ability to stop the run, stabilise the offensive line, give this team a run game, get the QB to take the next step…That’s a lot to fix in 1 off-season, and put simply, we won’t achieve them all…which is why whoever the new guy is, has to be given time.
The first order of business has to be find a way to fight this perception of a dysfunctional organisation, because we’ve been a punching bag in the NFL for far too long…how do you do that? I have no idea…I was rather hoping that the GM search was going to provide that reassurance…It most certainly has not.
We thank Brad for his participation in this fan interview and look for more fan interviews to come as the offseason continues in Miami.