Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dolphins owner: 'I have a lot to think about'


The Miami Dolphins had a straight path to the postseason. All they needed to do was beat the New York Jets.

With that and validation of a frivolous offseason on the line, the Dolphins turned in a lifeless effort and suffered a franchise-shaking 20-7 loss.

In what amounted to de facto playoff games in the season's final two weeks, Miami had two of its worst performances of the year. Naturally, the late-season collapse turns the spotlight directly onto a front office and coaching staff that failed to field a prepared team.

And also on an owner that will need to decide how and if he'll hold those in charge accountable.

"I'm disappointed," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told the Miami Herald after the game. "What else can I tell you? I have a lot to think about."

When directly asked about the fates of general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin, he said "we're going to look at everything."

This season, Miami alternated between looking like a contender and an AFC East doormat. A 3-0 start to the year that renewed optimism in South Florida was immediately followed by a four game slide, all before the team appeared to solidify in the wake of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin locker room scandal to reach an 8-6 record.

Then, with a control of their own fate and two sub-.500 division opponents in front of it, the team wilted, getting out-scored by a combined 39-7 margin to squander it's chance at a postseason berth.

The Dolphins finish their fifth-straight season without a winning record, the longest such streak in franchise history. Ross will take some time to decide how he'll handle that fact.

"To have something like this -- to lose the last two games -- I'm disappointed for everyone," Ross said. "I'm going to look at everything. When you're disappointed you don't make decisions based on the fly. You have to give it a lot of thought and go look at everything."

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