Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says that for the first time since he bought the franchise five years ago, he’s confident that the team is heading in the right direction.
Ross told reporters that first-year coach Joe Philbin and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill showed him enough in their first seasons in Miami that Ross now believes the team can go the rest of the way toward title contention.
“The two biggest ingredients in a winning team are your coach – and I think we have our head coach – and second is a quarterback you can build around,” Ross said. “This is a quarterback-centric league, and you see every great team that is there consistently has a quarterback. I think we have our quarterback. Once you are there, it is a lot easier, I think, to put the building blocks around them.”
Ross said that when he bought the Dolphins, the team was really run first and foremost by Bill Parcells, and Ross was a hands-off owner. Now Parcells is gone and Ross is feeling more confident about taking a hands-on approach.
“This is really the first time I’ve really gotten involved,” Ross said. “I didn’t select the people that were here before. I was handed a situation that, for one, I was kind of pinned to the wall. I have a lot of respect for Bill, but I didn’t put together that organization. I also felt that I should learn a little bit before I started making moves. Making moves for the sake of making moves is sometimes probably the worst move you can make. You want to sit back and really assess the situation, which I was able to do.”
Ross kept General Manager Jeff Ireland as the lone holdover from Parcells’ time with the team, and Ross praised Ireland for the work he has done in the last year. The two most important moves of the last year, hiring Philbin and drafting Tannehill, have been given Ross’s seal of approval.