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NFL Owners Meetings Day 2: Ross Likes How The Offseason Has Started

Posted Mar 25, 2014

Dolphins owner gives Hickey and Philbin a vote of confidence.

ORLANDO – Every year when the 32 NFL owners gather for their annual meeting it’s a chance to gauge how each team is being perceived, and for Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross he has been hearing good things.

Armed with a new General Manager in Dennis Hickey and the clear existence of a symbiotic relationship between him and Head Coach Joe Philbin, Ross has seen a solid start to the offseason. The moves that have been made in free agency, namely the signing of Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert and the re-signing of Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, has allowed him to endorse the pair for the job they have done.

“Everybody I’ve spoken to from outside, not fellow owners but the people around you that have been the experts (have noticed),” said Ross, who is in his sixth year as majority owner of the team. “When I spoke with Bill Polian and I said, ‘What is the most important thing I should be looking for in a general manager?’ he said that’s somebody who’s joined at the hip (with the head coach). I can say they’re joined at the hip and they’re working well together and what they’ve done, the people have come up to me that I had spoken to before said, ‘Hey, they’re doing a good job.’ I think you see it and I’m excited.”

Of course until the games actually take place it’s difficult to come to any conclusions on whether or not a free agent signing is fruitful, but so far Ross has faith that the money is being well spent.

“The proof of the pudding is always in the eating,” he said. “You’re hoping. I think they’re making the right moves but you don’t know until you put it out there and we’ll find out. That’s why we’re all excited. We start anew every year and that’s what makes it exciting.”

Ross also is immersed in the dynamics behind his recent proposal to pay for the renovation of Sun Life Stadium with his own money – “it’s a lot of my money,” – while pursuing a public-private partnership with Miami-Dade County. It represents a new commitment on his part to give South Florida the type of venue that can again attract Super Bowls, which is something he also knows the league wants to happen.

“I’m really looking to do something because I want to do something as part of my legacy and my stewardship of the Miami Dolphins,” Ross said. “I think when Joe Robbie built the stadium without any public money, Miami got very lucky from that standpoint. It didn’t happen anywhere else. It was probably the first stadium that was built without any public money.

“But at the same time this is like building a new stadium. In this day and age there aren’t very many of those being built without public money. It was asked once why I bought the Dolphins and it was because I could afford it. Why I am I going to do this? Because I can afford it and I want to do it right. I want to make this team a winning team and I want to make it the best there is both on and off the field.”

So Ross is doing his part off the field with his stadium initiative and other initiatives and Hickey and Philbin are now doing their part on the field by building the roster. Come July when training camp opens and all of the pieces from free agency and the NFL Draft are in place, the excitement will be taken to the next level.
Game Pass: Miami Dolphins