Dolphins owner talks about bullying report

Team owner Stephen Ross speaks about the hiring of new Head Coach Joe Philbin of the NFL's Miami...

Team owner Stephen Ross speaks about the hiring of new Head Coach Joe Philbin of the NFL's Miami Dolphins at a news conference in Davie, Florida January 21, 2012. (REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 1:10 PM ET

The Dolphins introduced new general manager Dennis Hickey on Tuesday and owner Stephen Ross confirmed the NFL report on the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin workplace harassment scandal will come out after the Super Bowl.

Ross said the team has a good idea about what the report will say and that they have a good idea about what they'll do after the report is released.

"I have an idea what will be in it. I've been in communication with the NFL. I've spoken with Ted Wells who is handling the investigation," Ross said.

"I haven't seen the report. I don't know exactly its conclusions. I believe based on my conversations that ... well, let's put it this way, I don't want to really speculate. When it comes out, we'll do what has to be done but we've already ... in my mind I know what direction we're going. Stay tuned."

Ross answered "I don't believe so" to a question about either player returning to the Dolphins.

Ross quickly retracted the statement, noting that Incognito is a free agent and that Martin remains under contract in Miami.

Martin gave an interview on Tuesday with NBC's Tony Dungy and said he felt "trapped" after alleged repeated bullying by Incognito. Both players are offensive linemen.

"I'm a grown man. I've been in locker rooms," Martin told Dungy. "One incident doesn't bother me. It was the persistence. I felt trapped, like I didn't have a way to make it right. I thought it was best to remove myself from the situation."

In the meantime, Hickey was formally introduced after being hired on Sunday.

"This is as competitive an environment as there is in the world, and I'm just excited to be part of it," Hickey said. "This organization has a very proud past. To join in that organization and embrace the great names, knowing the rich tradition that has come before, that was a huge part of the draw."

Hickey will oversee all aspects of football operations, reporting directly to Ross, and head coach Joe Philbin will continue to oversee his coaching staff and report directly to Ross as well.

"When I asked Steve Ross why he won't give up control of hiring/firing the head coach, his response was, 'I own the team,'" Hickey said.

--The Dolphins hired Tampa Bay Buccaneers director of player personnel Dennis Hickey as their new general manager, the team announced Sunday.

Stephen Ross, the Dolphins' chairman of the board and managing general partner, announced the hiring.

Hickey will oversee all aspects of football operations, reporting directly to Ross, and head coach Joe Philbin will continue to oversee his coaching staff and report directly to Ross as well, the Dolphins said in a statement.

"I am excited that Dennis Hickey is our new general manager," Ross said. "When we started the search, I outlined qualities that I was looking for in this position. These included a collaborative team-first person who can work with Joe, demonstrated player evaluation expertise, and someone who is open-minded and creative. Dennis fit all of these criteria and I'm looking forward to having him get started."

Hickey, an 18-year employee of the Buccaneers, became the director of player personnel under general manager Mark Dominik in 2011. Hickey reportedly wasn't considered for the team's recently filled general manager job that went to Jason Licht.

Hickey, 43, was in that position for the past three years with Tampa Bay. He spent six years as director of college scouting prior to that.

"Miami is a great franchise with a historic tradition and passionate fans," Hickey said in a statement. "The opportunity to work with Stephen Ross, Joe Philbin and the entire Dolphins organization to build a team that wins on a consistent basis is exciting.

"The Dolphins certainly have talented players and I am eager to hit the ground running with our personnel and coaching staffs. We will all work together to construct a team that will make our organization and fans proud.

"I would like want to thank the Buccaneers organization and Glazer family for the past 18 years. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from a number of quality coaches, personnel staffs and general managers during my time in Tampa Bay and I am thankful for the opportunities and experiences that they provided for me and my family."

Ross interviewed four finalists in the past two days. According to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, offers were made to New England Patriots executive Nick Caserio and Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson, but both individuals reportedly turned down the position. Another finalist, Cleveland assistant general manager Ray Farmer, denied a second interview, opting to stay with the Browns.

Miami missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year in 2013, losing its last two games en route to an 8-8 finish under second-year coach Philbin.

The Dolphins' season also was mired by the bullying scandal involving offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.

Dawson said in a statement in The Tennessean why he turned down the Dolphins' job.

"Stephen (Ross) is a great owner, passionate and wants to win, but the details of the offer didn't align with my vision," he said. "I turned it down because it wasn't an ideal fit for my family and me."

--It was a disappointing season for the Miami Dolphins, who missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season and two key people paid for it with their jobs -- general manager Jeff Ireland and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.

Miami lived up to most pre-season expectations with its 8-8 record, but losing to Buffalo and the New York Jets in the final two games when a victory in either would have earned a playoff berth hurt badly. Scoring just seven points in those final two games added an extra layer of stink on the season.

Miami had many high points. It did well to overcome a possible crippling distraction in the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito scandal. And it had two three-game winning streaks, one to start the season and one at the start of December. The December winning streak included dramatic victories at Pittsburgh and against New England. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (23 touchdowns, 14 interceptions) also showed overall improvement, most notably in running hurryup/two-minute offense. Four players -- defensive end Cam Wake, punter Brandon Fields, center Mike Pouncey and cornerback Brent Grimes -- were named to the Pro Bowl. Wide receiver Brian Hartline had another 1,000-yard receiving season and defensive end Olivier Vernon had 11.5 sacks.

But the Dolphins had too many low points. The season-opening three-game winning streak was followed by a four-game losing streak. The December three-game winning streak was followed by those back-to-back, season-ending losses to Buffalo and the Jets. The Dolphins also lost to the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they lost twice to Buffalo under the guidance of quarterback Thad Lewis.

Such instability was the only constant to Miami's season. The Dolphins beat quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), Matt Ryan (Atlanta), Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh), Philip Rivers (San Diego) and Tom Brady (New England). But among the Dolphins' eight losses two were against Lewis, one was against Tampa Bay's Mike Glennon and another was against the Jets' Geno Smith, hardly a Who's Who of NFL quarterbacks.

The offensive line was at the root of the offensive problems, allowing a franchise-record and NFL-worst 58 sacks. The running game wasn't much better, churning out just 90 yards a game, which was 26th in the NFL. Both need to improve next season. The offense finished 27th, which led to Sherman being fired.

The defense was bad on the ground (24th at 124.9 yards per game) and good in the air (16th against the pass). Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle isn't in any danger of losing his job.

Ireland, who compiled a 46-50 record in six years at the helm, was largely blamed for providing inferior talent through the draft, free agency and trade. Ireland and owner Steve Ross "mutually agreed to part ways" on Tuesday evening.

Head coach Joe Philbin did a good job, but nothing special. And that pretty much sums up the Dolphins' season.

"We're an 8-8 football team," Philbin said. "That's an average record."


Videos

Photos