After meetings and negotiations and much flying on his helicopter, Ross decides he wants to demote general manager Jeff Ireland. Ross had to offer a demotion because he had told Ireland multiple times this season his job was safe -- including only days before proposing the demotion. So Ireland declines this wonderful offer and gets a seven-figure settlement to mutually agree to part ways with the Dolphins.
Then we find out Ireland and coach Joe Philbin and executive VP Dawn Aponte weren't playing nice together much of the season. Oh, Philbin and Aponte were on the same page, but they were squarely aligned against Ireland. Office politics come to life in the NFL.
Then Ross asked Philbin to do what everyone on the planet knew needed done and get rid of offensive coordinator Mike Sherman because the Miami offense was about as effective as a Band-Aid for treating a gunshot wound much of the season and particularly during the playoff push that fizzled. And Philbin resisted! He didn't want to fire his friend Sherman.
Obviously, someone convinced Philbin to pull the trigger or perhaps Sherman volunteered to go -- who knows and who cares. But the fact the head coach didn't see the problem about 5,498,396,992 other people saw speaks volumes.
Following so far? We haven't even gotten to the pratfalls of the current general manager search yet.
The Dolphins decided they're not going to interview the most experienced people. They didn't interview or even show nterest in Scott Pioli primarily because Carl Peterson, who is Ross's GM whisperer, hates Pioli for what the former Kansas City general manager said about Peterson and did in KC after Peterson was fired there years ago.
Peterson did, however, identify several men he was familiar and comfortable with and brought them in for interviews. Peterson brought in Ray Farmer and Lake Dawson and both were tapped as finalists.
But both did not interview because Farmer became the public face of misgivings about the Dolphins so many others around the NFL share privately: Farmer was uncomfortable with the Dolphins structure and some of the people in that structure.
So everyone else apparently sees something strange about having a general manager, head coach and executive VP answering to no one other than an owner who is absentee. Awesome, so the guy who isn't around decides who is right or wrong when things get sideways -- and for the Dolphins they seemingly always get sideways.
Many NFL people also see this job as one where the new GM is already the odd man out because the head coach and executive VP are already aligned and, by the way, that alliance helped usher out the last GM.
What was it Nick Saban would often say? "The best prediictor of future behavior is past behavior."
Ross, of course, probably doesn't recognize he has a problem. He had the problem in Janaury 2012 when he tried to hoist an unproven general manager on a proven coach and was surprised and disappointed when the proven coach -- Jeff Fisher -- didn't go for it. Fisher turned Ross down cold when he was offered the job.
So did Ross learn? Oh, yes he did, but not the way anyone with sense would hope.
Ross obviously understood that attempting to hoist an unproven coach on a proven GM would not fly this time. So rather than solve the problem on the front end by eliminating the unproven coach or offering a proven GM authority over the unproven coach, the owner went for this backended solution:
Let's hire an unproven GM who will accept the unproven coach. After all, it worked when he hired the unproven coach to go with our last unproven GM.
What Ross obviously didn't count on is that his organization now has a reputation league-wide and it is not good, folks.