Will Manso: Through dysfunction Dolphins finally have one voice


DAVIE, Fla. – The Dolphins' dysfunction has led us to this. In a season that saw Miami fire its head coach, defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator at separate times, the Dolphins have now fired general manager Dennis Hickey.

Can you say sinking ship?

Yet, in the most indirect of ways, captain, err, owner Stephen Ross has finally done what fans, media and pretty much anyone with a set of eyes and a basic knowledge of football has begged for: one leader in charge.

That leader appears to be Mike Tannenbaum.

When Ross hired Tannenbaum as the executive vice president of football operations early last year, AKA the football Czar, it added yet another voice to a crowded room of decision-makers for the team.

Hickey had barely had his job for one season and he was already being undermined by the move. Joe Philbin, Dawn Aponte and what seemed like a cast of dozens were all in the ear of Ross. Everyone but Ross seemed to see it. The team had too many voices trying to make decisions.

Whether in sports, business or life, too many opinions can be a bad thing. While building a football team takes a number of people analyzing and dissecting, more often than not it comes down to the decision of one person.

Agree with it or not, that person is going to be Tannenbaum.

Sure the Dolphins still have to find a head coach and will need to replace Hickey at GM, but make no mistake about it, Tannenbaum is in charge now.

I feel like Tannenbaum is the last man standing from some crazy "Survivor" episode that Ross created.

We should have seen the writing on the wall when Tannenbaum was hired, which makes it all the more frustrating that Ross decided on this mess a season ago.

Actually, he created this mess many seasons ago. Whether keeping Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano together or not replacing Philbin when firing Ireland or hiring Tannenbaum just one year after giving power to Hickey, Ross has fumbled his way through what should be a pretty straightforward front-office structure.

Has it finally figured it out? Is he finally listening to the masses? It would appear so.

That's not to say this whole cleaning house process still hasn't given us more dysfunction to digest.

Numerous reports, including one by the NFL's Jeff Darlington I would implore you to read, have highlighted how the Dolphins' front office has broken off into factions. It's still far from perfect.

Hickey was dumped 24 hours before the season even ended; we still don't know what the future holds for Aponte, and Miami has a pretty huge decision ahead in finding the new head coach. And don't let Ross fool you with his comments about Dan Campbell. It won't be Campbell.

And it shouldn't be. Campbell proved to be a solid motivator and relentless worker who I think has a future as a head coach, but not now and not with this team.

The Dolphins need experience. They need one man to pick one coach. They need that coach to build a staff he's comfortable with, and for once during the Ross era, they need to stick with a plan and not mix and match every offseason.

The Dolphins need something they haven't had in a very long time --consistency and continuity. They need a singular plan and voice.

As convoluted as the process was to get here, I think the Dolphins are finally figuring out what we've been saying all along.

Whether Tannenbaum is the right man for the job will be debated and discussed for a long time to come, but the fact that someone at least has THE JOB is good enough for now.

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