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Hickey: We Are Excited About The Future

Posted Mar 12, 2014

Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey speaks with the South Florida media to discuss the team's early free agent moves and answers questions about possible moves for the team in the near future.

(On how exciting this time of the year is) – “It’s very exciting. Again, as I talked before, it’s a culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people throughout the whole building. Just the collaboration we’ve had to work together and to get to this point to be able to bring quality players, quality people onto our team. We are very excited, and we are excited about the future. Free agency is still ongoing. I’m about to head up there and keep working on it. Free agency pretty much lasts all throughout the spring. Obviously we’ll get back to a lot of our NFL Draft preparation, but it’s a very exciting time. We’ve added two quality players, and we are still working on more.”

(On how it is to hear Branden Albert and Earl Mitchell say the Dolphins were their first choice despite being targeted by other teams) - “Right, we’ve always felt like we’ve had an attractive destination not only because of the players on our team but a committed owner and in Miami, the community and fan base, we always felt like we were attractive. It’s nice to see that and to it come to fruition with them ending up as a Miami Dolphins.”

(On if he is confident he can get everything he needs via trade, draft and free agency to get to the playoffs) - “We are confident we are going to build and are in the process of building a championship team. We are going to keep adding pieces and keep developing the pieces that are already here. We feel like we have a quality team, and we will keep adding to that again trying to get the best 53-man roster and building it that way.”

(On if he feels this could be a playoff team next year) - “I’m confident in our players. I’m confident in our coaches. And I’m confident in our organization.”

(On how many more offensive linemen the team needs to get in free agency) - “Again, we always look at value. That’s what we’ve done so far, and that’s what we will continue to do. Putting a number on those things, again we are just trying to get the best 53-man roster.”

(On if the team can go into the draft with a hole at a starting position) - “When you say can you, your roster is what it is. It’s an ongoing process throughout the season. Obviously free agency, this is free agency time and you always want to keep adding good players. The draft will be the next process, but again as players get cut, as other moves get made around the league you are always addressing those things all the way through the year.”

(On if he would be interested in Darrelle Revis) - “I’m not going to comment on players on other team’s rosters.”

(On if signing Branden Albert is a step to move forward from what happened last season) - “You know we are obviously excited about Branden. He was a targeted player all the way through. As we went through the process, he was a big part of what I talked about before, the strategic plan and getting a Pro Bowl left tackle at a premier position. That was always part of the plan, and we are just glad that it worked out that way.”

(On how much value he can get from guys who might not be in the top-tier group of free agents) - “I think you can always get value, and that’s always what we are looking for. Again, every day we are trying to get the best 53-man roster. We are always looking at that, and definitely we will keep monitoring and keep in contact. We will do it on a daily basis going forward.”

(On if a deal for Randy Starks will get done today) - “We are optimistic. Randy, we’ve been talking and negotiating with his representation. Dawn Aponte is upstairs working on that. We’re optimistic. We’ll see how that happens, and we’ll let you know.”

(On if there were additional offers for Jonathan Martin other than San Francisco) - “I’m not going to comment on those things. Again, I think it’s in the best interests of all parties involved what happened, and that’s where we are.”

(On what the priority is in free agency now and if he is going to get another starting offensive linemen in free agency) - “Priority is always good players, so we will always judge that accordingly. The players that we bring in and consider will be guys we feel like can help us continue to build to a championship roster.”

(On if there is a priority by position) - “I’m about good players.”

(On the biggest difference in free agency now as general manager compared to his role in Tampa Bay) - “I would just say working with new people and obviously getting to start that process as soon as I was hired. It was although challenging at times with all the variables that go on in free agency, it worked great with the collaboration with Dawn Aponte and Joe Philbin and just again to build that collaboration and getting to know each other, working together and collaborate that way.”

(On how much having players like Ryan Tannehill and Mike Pouncey at dinner with prospective free agents help convince some of the players to sign) - “I think it definitely helps because you get a sense of who we are. Obviously from the general manager to player is different from the relationship from player to player. You start building that relationship now and going forward again to helping us build a winner.”
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