Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hasn’t said anything since his team ended its season by failing to make it to the playoffs yet again. Ross could soon be saying plenty.
According to the Associated Press, Ross will resume discussions Thursday regarding potential changes to his team. Regarded to be in the gravest of danger are offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and G.M. Jeff Ireland.
Coach Joe Philbin likely will be back for a third season, but that’s currently not a certainty, per the report.
The team could have advanced to the playoffs for the first time in five years by beating the Jets on Sunday. But the Dolphins lost at home to end the season, with an outing so ugly that Ross reportedly “became so upset he turned away at one point because he could no longer watch.”
Sherman becomes the obvious fall guy on the coaching staff, given the performance of the offense. But with Philbin earning the job based on his performance as an offensive coordinator, there’s a chance the pink slips will flow one level higher.
As to Ireland, Ross inherited the G.M. when purchasing the team from Wayne Huizenga. While plenty of General Managers get fired after the football season ends, the challenge in replacing them becomes finding someone who is able to hit the ground sprinting, given that important decisions need to be made quickly regarding current players, free agency, and the draft.
Looming over the team’s ongoing ability to win consistently is the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito saga. When Ross addressed the situation during a November press conference, he gushed about Philbin and barely mentioned Ireland’s name. This fueled speculation that Philbin would stay and Ireland would go.
On Thursday, Ross could be saying Ireland’s name more than a few times, for entirely different reasons.