Saturday, January 11, 2014

Four interview for Dolphins GM vacancy

As promised, the Miami Dolphins announced the initial group of candidates that interviewed for the team's general manager position vacated by Jeff Ireland.

Brian Gaine has served as the Dolphins' assistant general manager
for the past two seasons and initially joined the organization in 2008.
Current Dolphins assistant GM Brian Gaine, Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations Omar Khan and Arizona Cardinals VP of player personnel Jason Licht all met with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross on Friday, while Browns assistant GM Ray Farmer interviewed on Saturday.

Other potential candidates being discussed include Lake Dawson (Titans), Tom Gamble (Eagles) and Marc Ross (Giants). Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta was of interest to the Dolphins but declined to interview, as he is widely regarded as the heir to Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore.

Former Kansas City Chiefs president Carl Peterson—a known Ross adviser—is spearheading the GM search, according to the Miami Herald. The same article also suggests that Dolphins executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte could be losing power in the process after having a significant hand in the hiring of head coach Joe Philbin in 2012.

Peterson's involvement has led many to believe that Farmer is the favorite for the job, as the 39-year-old was the Chiefs' director of pro personnel during the final three seasons of Peterson's tenure in Kansas City from 2006-08.

One thing all the candidates have in common thus far is a lack of prior GM experience, which could be intentional or unintentional on Miami's part. The Dolphins came out and said the next GM would have power over the 53-man roster, but it appears that he/she will not have the power to fire the next coach. That potentially eliminates more experienced candidates that would stipulate the ability to bring in their own head coach.

That being said, it's also possible the Dolphins are simply looking for a younger, fresher face to lead the franchise in the years to come. Not one of the four candidates that has interviewed thus far is older than 42 (Licht), with Khan the youngest at just 36. There are certainly positives to bringing in GM with a newer outlook on the game and every great GM had to get their start somewhere.

Overall, I'm pleased with the group of candidates that have been interviewed and I'd be happy with practically any of them getting the job. I'm still concerned that Philbin is being forced on the new GM (especially since I'd prefer him to be gone already), but I think it's very likely Philbin will be out after 2014 barring a very hugely successful season and perhaps then the new GM can really begin to make the franchise his own.