Posted: 6:00 pm Friday, January 21st, 2011
By Brian Biggane
Brandon Marshall may have had it with Chad Henne, but those at the top of the Dolphin organization haven’t if one listens to the comments of CEO Mike Dee during an interview with Joe Rose on WQAM-560 Thursday.
Rose asked Dee a myriad of questions during the wide-ranging interview, which can be heard in its entirety here. One of them regarded how tough it had to be for owner Stephen Ross, who like Henne is a University of Michigan product, to watch Henne struggle through a disappointing 2010 season.
Dee’s reply: “It’s tough on all of us whenever you see a guy struggle or fight through a season that didn’t meet his expectations, or anybody else’s. But young quarterbacks are what they are, we’ve all seen it over time. Nobody’s given up on Chad. We heard (new offensive coordinator) Brian Daboll talk about that, say we’re going to look at improving every position, quarterback included.
“Chad is a part of this team. We’re not talking about Chad past tense, we’re talking about him in present tense. How do we make him better? How do we bring in pieces to make the offense better?”
Marshall, of course, in comments just before and after the season ended, said he was “not sure” if he and Henne can have success down the road and said he trusts backup Tyler Thigpen more than he does Henne.
Dee said those who view Ross as a disinterested owner should hear from the fans who sit near his suite at Sun Life Stadium during home games.
“They hear some of the frustration he has. One thing a fan should feel good about is they have a big fan as an owner. He rides the emotional roller coaster. For me, having worked for other owners, he’s the most fan-like owner I’ve ever seen. You may not see or hear it, because he’s not a public guy, but when we’re 1-7 at home, the guy screaming at the top of his lungs is in the owners’ suite, not just in Section 122.”
Dee confirmed that, as has been widely speculated, Bill Parcells is totally out the picture and “this is Jeff (Ireland) and Tony (Sparano’s) deal at this point.” He said he could understand how fans could get upset upon learning that Parcells recommended Rex Ryan for the Jets’ coaching job a couple years back, but also realizes Parcells is a guy people call when looking for an opinion on a job candidate.
Dee added that he and Ross had no involvement in the hiring of Daboll, and that anyone who looks closely into Cleveland’s season last year might realize there were reasons Daboll’s offense struggled.
“If you do you saw the development of (quarterback) Colt McCoy in a five- or six-game stretch before he got hurt, that offense was clearly on the rise. He doesn’t get hurt, who knows what happens?”
Finally, Dee said the question he hears most often is in regard to Ross’s letter to season-ticket holders that the offense is going to be much more upbeat and exciting than the past two years, despite the fact Sparano is still the head coach.
“Steve said he wants an exciting brand of football, and exciting and winning sometimes are synonyms. Nobody wants to lose. To have a Dan Marino era, you have to have a Dan Marino. Hopefully Chad becomes that or, as we evaluate the position, we find somebody with the skills to do that.
“We heard from the fans. We saw the same games the fans saw. Fans are going home upset not just because we lost but because the brand of football was not something that made them excited about being there. Everybody in the organization from Steve on down is committed to doing something about that.”
About the Author
Brian Biggane has been a sportswriter for The Palm Beach Post for 31 years. This is his second go-round on the Dolphins beat, having covered Don Shula and Bob Griese for the Sun-Sentinel in the 1970s and, before that, O.J. Simpson and the Buffalo Bills for the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Gazette.