It appears that the Miami Dolphins have already selected a replacement for fired general manager Dennis Hickey.
Chris Grier, who has been with the franchise for 15 seasons — the last eight as the team’s director of college scouting — is expected to be named the Fins’ new GM. The Palm Beach Post has been told Grier is expected to be hired, but not until Monday.
WalterFootball.com, a site well-known for NFL Draft profiles and information, calls Grier one of the top talent evaluators in the NFL. Many, including those who write for WalterFootball.com, believe that Grier should’ve been promoted to the general manager position when Jeff Ireland was fired.
Mike Tannenbaum will have a prominent voice in selecting the Dolphins’ new coach and Dan Campbell will be among the candidates in a search that will begin “immediately,” owner Stephen Ross said in a letter to season-ticket holders Friday.
Ross also didn’t sugarcoat this season, labeling it “disappointing” that the Dolphins are 5-10 entering Sunday’s finale against visiting New England.
Prominent on everyone’s mind, however, will be where the Dolphins go from here. Rebuilding will not mean Ross will clean house and part with Tannenbaum, who has spent about a year as the team’s executive vice president of football operations.
“We are going to conduct a thorough process led by Mike Tannenbaum to select our head coach that will not be constrained by convention in our approach,” Ross wrote. “This search will be thorough and we will take it wherever we need to go.”
Campbell took over as interim coach after Joe Philbin was fired amid a 1-3 start.
“I appreciate everything Dan Campbell has done this season and he has earned the opportunity to be considered for head coach,” Ross wrote. “We’ve also identified several promising candidates and will begin work immediately.”
The Dolphins are bound by the Rooney Rule to interview at least one minority candidate.
Ross thought he had assembled the right pieces entering this season, including the signing of free agent Ndamukong Suh to a $114 million contract. Despite the presence of the former All-Pro defensive tackle, Miami’s run defense actually took a step backward this season.
“I had high expectations headed into this year and the on-field results have been disappointing … for you, our staff, our coaches, our players and alumni players and certainly for me,” Ross said.
Ross went on to applaud fans’ “unwavering” support in selling out home games and traveling well.
“I look forward with optimism to more celebrations in the future together,” Ross wrote.
Injury update: The Dolphins listed linebacker Jelani Jenkins (ankle) and center Mike Pouncey (foot/ankle) as doubtful for Sunday. Questionable are guard Jamil Douglas (ankle), tackle Ja’Wuan James (toe), receiver Rishard Matthews (ribs), defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (calf) and receiver Kenny Stills (thigh).
The Dolphins thought they were defusing a touchy situation Wednesday by having Ryan Tannehill and Brent Grimes address controversial comments made by Grimes’ wife about Tannehill.
The team wound up being the butt of jokes on Boston sports-talk radio, which replayed Grimes’ session with the media, during which teammates are heard making light of the situation by hooting and hollering.
One player is heard yelling, “Plead the fifth!” twice. (A portion of the interview, including that remark, can be heard here:
‘It is really a you-know-what show down in Miami and South Florida,” host Mike Petraglia said on Boston’s WEEI. “I really makes you appreciate what you have here, huh?”
The station posted a replay of Petraglia’s show online under the headline, “Dolphin dysfunction reminds New England fans of greatness of Patriot Way.”
As Grimes began to speak, one teammate joked, “I’m here so I won’t get fined,” as if egging on Grimes to resort to a tactic used by media-shy Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks at the Super Bowl. The interview initially was posted on the Dolphins’ site, then taken down.
That wasn’t the extent of the circus atmosphere. During Tannehill’s session with reporters, defensive end Damontre Moore, who like Tannehill attended Texas A&M, took a microphone from Sun-Sentinel reporter Chris Perkins and pretended to be a reporter himself, asking Tannehill if he felt “blessed and fortunate … to have a beautiful specimen like myself as a teammate.”
“No,” Tannehill responded.
One Dolphin fan e-mailed The Post from New England, writing, “Clearly this whole thing is a big joke to not an insignificant portion of players.
“Just absurd. Grossly unprofessional, childish, and I can’t put exactly into words what it sounded like other than a giant clown show full of players that don’t care about winning or hold themselves to a high standard.”
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Wednesday that cornerback Brent Grimes apologized for comments his wife, Miko, made on Twitter as the Dolphins tried to diffuse a potentially divisive situation in the locker room.
“He came up to me and apologized for the whole incident,” Tannehill said.
Tannehill said it’s “business as usual” between himself and Grimes moving forward.
Although Grimes delivered the apology, he told reporters he was unaware of specifics of what his wife had tweeted. Nonetheless, he tried to distance himself from those remarks.
“I’ve said this plenty of times: My wife is my wife,” Grimes said. “She talks, that’s what she says. We don’t speak the same thing. That’s her opinion.”
Grimes revealed that this week wasn’t the first time he extended an olive branch toward his quarterback.
“I told him this before,” Grimes said. “We had lunch early in the season. Somebody asked me this question and my wife’s opinions are her opinions. It’s not my opinions. I really don’t understand it — don’t understand why you ask me about my wife’s opinions. It’s not mine.”
Miko had tweeted that the locker room “hates” Tannehill and sharply criticized his ability.
“I feel I have support,” Tannehill said. “I know you can ask around and gather your own opinion but I feel confident about the support I have and the guys are behind me.”
Although the tweets raise questions of whether Brent shares Miko’s opinions, Brent said that’s not the case.
“He’s our quarterback,” Grimes siad. “He does what he has to do, and that’s the guy we go out with every Sunday. And that’s my guy. That’s my teammate.”
The situation created a circus atmosphere in the locker room. As Tannehill spoke to reporters, defensive end Damontre Moore, who also attended Texas A&M, attempted to make light of the situation by taking a reporter’s microphone and asking the quarterback if he felt “blessed and fortunate … to have a beautiful specimen like myself as a teammate?”
“No,” Tannehill said.
The Dolphins posted the video of Grimes’ interview session almost immediately, then took it off their site. As Grimes spoke, players near his locker loudly hooted and hollered, with one telling him he should plead the fifth.
Speaking of noise, Tannehill took issue with a question that this time, the “noise” wasn’t coming from outside the locker room, but inside, since it was from a teammate’s wife.
“It’s as outside as outside can get,” he said.
Grimes denied the incident has caused a distraction in the locker room.
“It creates a distraction to you guys,” Grimes told reporters. “You could see, I don’t have a problem in the locker room, so if it’s a distraction to you guys, if that’s your perception, that doesn’t mean your perception is the reality.”
But it is a distraction in the locker room, Tannehill said.
“Honestly, at this point, you know, I’ve heard what she said and I don’t really want to give it the time of day,” Tannehill said. “It doesn’t affect what I think about myself, the way I go about my business and prepare to win games.
“So the saddest part about the whole thing is we have to answer questions about it and it’s becoming a distraction to myself and this organization, this team.”
There’s a misconception (well, a partial misconception) among both fans and foes of the Miami Dolphins — particularly their unbeaten 1972 team — that the old-time players and coaches root each year against current-day NFL teams equaling (or, God forbid, bettering) their 17-0 record.
“Go ask the Patriots how difficult it is to do it and how they feel about some little kid in Guatemala wearing those perfect 19-0 Super Bowl tees.”
In that same interview, when asked what would happen if Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers were able to best the mark of the ’72 Fins this season, Morris responded by asking, “Do you know the second biggest canyon in the U.S.? No, because everyone only knows about the Grand Canyon. No one cares about the second to do anything.”
But perhaps the Dolphins legends are starting to mellow as time goes on.
The official Twitter account of legendary Dolphins coach Don Shula sent out this tweet during the Panthers game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell says there’s no spat between cornerback Brent Grimes and quarterback Ryan Tannehill after Grimes’ wife, Miko, bashed Tannehill on social media.
But Campbell made one thing clear: He’s a Magic Johnson fan.
Miko Grimes went after Tannehill on a Twitter tirade Sunday night and then said she wanted three local reporters — including myself — to be raped by Johnson, an NBA Hall of Famer who was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1991.
“I think Magic Johnson is a hell of a player,” Campbell said Monday, trying to add some humor to an awkward situation.
Miko Grimes was criticizing reporters — which also included the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley and Armando Salguero — for being critical of her husband, but supporting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
All three reporters have written both positive and negative comments about Tannehill and Grimes this season, based on their performances.
None of the comments on my end have been personal in any way, or overly critical.
Campbell said he doesn’t believe you can discipline a player for his wife’s action.
He also confirmed that the team has had discussions about Miko Grimes’ repeated negative public comments about the team, but that it occurred before he was interim coach.
On Sunday night, Miko Grimes bashed Tannehill, who she’s been railing against all season.
Campbell said he would keep any discussion he had with Brent Grimes in-house, but that he doesn’t worry about anything that’s said by outsiders.
“I’m not concerned with those things,” Campbell said. “I’m concerned about the way our guys in our locker room just handle their own business with each other. I’m not worried about outside noise.
“This is not the first time to be honest with you as a player or coach that these things have happened. I know it’s quite a story but to me it’s about how our guys feel in the locker room. You can’t listen to all that stuff out there anyway. If you do, it’ll just bog you down.”
Campbell said he doesn’t believe there’s any issue between Grimes and Tannehill even though Miko criticized Tannehill’s practice performance — information she likely would have gotten from her husband.
“I’ve never sensed there’s been animosity or any type of disconnect between those two guys,” Campbell said. “That’s never been an issue. I still don’t believe it’s an issue.”
Campbell said players and wives don’t always agree with each other.
“Anybody is entitled to their own opinion,” Campbell said. “Sometimes my wife thinks different than I do. And she has that right.”
Grimes’ base salary is more than $8 million next year, but his contract is non-guaranteed.
He has had an up-and-down season. He has four interceptions but has also struggled against some top-tier receivers.
It’s unclear whether this could effect a potential 2016 return. The Dolphins may bring him back or decide to go in a different direction based on performance and cost alone.
Grimes will be 32 next season.
Miko Grimes was arrested while tailgating at a Dolphins game in September and charged with assaulting an officer. The chargers were later dropped.
Players, fans and experts alike couldn’t say enough about the sweet throwback uniforms the Miami Dolphins wore on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants. Many even said the Fins should wear them as their regular unis.
That got me thinking: Does the Dolphins logo need a refresher as well?
Offense QB: Chad Pennington, Team MVP on playoff team in ’08 RB: Ricky Williams, 1,853 yards in 2002 RB: Ronnie Brown, Three times 900-plus yards WR: Chris Chambers, Four times over 800 yards WR: Marty Booker, Weak field; his 747 yards in ’06 makes cut TE: Randy McMichael, Four straight years with 500-plus yards OT: Vernon Carey, No. 1 draft pick from UM in ’04 OT: Jake Long, First overall selection in ’08 C: Tim Ruddy, Still a stallwart on OL G: Jamie Nails, Starter in ’02-03 at position of upheaval G: Mark Dixon, Solid, dependable blocker
Defense DE: Jason Taylor, 2006 NFL defensive player of year DE: Trace Armstrong, Designated sack specialist off bench DT: Tim Bowens, Occupied linemen to clear way for Zach DT: Randy Starks, If he and Bowens had overlapped … LB: Zach Thomas, Buoniconti to Offerdahl to Thomas. Not bad. LB: Channing Crowder, Active, disruptive force at LB LB: Derrick Rodgers, Consistent performer after Air Force stint CB: Sam Madison, Finally, Dolphins land a Pro Bowl CB CB: Patrick Surtain, He, Madison team’s best-ever CB tandem S: Brock Marion, Consistently came up with the big play S: Yeremiah Bell, Big hitter in the secondary
Specialists K: Dan Carpenter, Dolfans wish he were still around P: Brandon Fields, Dolfans wish he were still around, too