Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross might be the dumbest smart guy in the country - or, at least, in the public eye.
Perhaps "dumb" isn't the right word. Maybe "naive" would better describe Ross. However you want to describe him, though, one thing is clear. He is at the top of the organizational chart for what has become the most incompetent franchise in the National Football League.
You would have thought Ross had learned his lesson last year.
We all remember the debacle that was the botched pursuit of then Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh just ten months ago - a situation that wouldn't have been the black eye that it was to this franchise if the team didn't already have a head coach under contract. That mess resulted in an awkward media gathering that featured not only a denial from Stephen Ross that he had pursued another head coach while the position within the organization was filled, but that also included the announcement of Tony Sparano's contract extension.
Here we are just ten months removed from that display of organizational ineptitude and yet again we're facing a nearly identical situation - and one that could result in far greater consequences than the previous fiasco.
A number of reports have surfaced over the past twenty four hours that claim the Miami Dolphins are contacting Bill Cowher on some level to essentially gauge his interest in the head coaching position of the Dolphins - a position that is currently filled. But I guess that small detail has never stopped Stephen Ross in the past.
Barry Jackson does point out that neither Ross or any actual team officials have contacted any potential head coaches because "Ross is careful about conducting a coaching search the right way after he was criticized in January for meeting with then Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh with Tony Sparano still employed." However, Jackson adds that his source wouldn't be surprised if an associate of Ross "reached out indirectly to Cowher."
Jason Cole, meanwhile, goes one step further by saying that Cowher's CBS analyst partner by the name of Dan Marino has informed Dolphins management that Cowher is geared up for a return to coaching. Cole cites "two sources in and around the team." Mike Freeman uses the term "intermediaries for the Miami Dolphins" in his report regarding the Dolphins and their pursuit of Bill Cowher.
All of these leaks come just a week after reports surfaced that the Dolphins have warned all team employees that their cell phone records could be reviewed by the team for evidence of information leaks to the media. I have since independently confirmed this very piece of information. The Dolphins really did inform team employees that their phone records could be seized by the team if they suspected any team official of providing leaks of any information to the media.
As if we really needed more damning proof of this organization's complete incompetence.
So what's the big deal if the Dolphins really have "unofficially" reached out to Bill Cowher or any other potential head coaching candidates?
Earlier this year, it was reported by league insiders that some of the top head coaching candidates would be closely monitoring potential destinations to see how ownership and management handled their particular situations. The logic behind that was simple - to see the true colors of their potential employers. The concern here is that a mishandled coaching search could result in any potential head coaching candidate simply using the Dolphins for leverage in contract negotiations with other teams while having no real desire to coach in Miami because of the lack of loyalty and integrity within the Dolphins organization.
More importantly, though, could be the potential impact on landing the offseasons top prize - Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Everybody is well aware that the Dolphins are very much in the hunt for the first overall pick. But as we've seen in the past, locking up the top pick doesn't necessarily land you the top player. Just look at the scenarios that played out in the past in regards to John Elway and Eli Manning.
The concern regarding Luck is obvious. What if the kid decides he doesn't want join the circus that is the Miami Dolphins? What if he decides to force his way out of this mess in Miami rather than come here as a savior and try to help clean it up?
You don't think his father and former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck - who is a former teammate of Archie Manning, by the way - might try to whisper in his son's ear to avoid this situation in Miami? Could you really blame Oliver if he did?
There's still a long road ahead, one that will likely be filled with many twists and turns, before we know how all of this will play out. But Dolphins fans cannot sit here right now and be happy with what is going on in Davie.
This is an ugly situation right now - one which has been created and then proliferated by absolute incompetence within the organization from the very top on down to the coaches and players on the field.
The dysfunction is obvious. The tension is palpable.
And it's only October.