Dolphins owner Stephen Ross spoke with the media yesterday in Phoenix on a variety of topics having to do with his team. Ross is of course in Phoenix Arizona this week to attend the NFL's annual meetings where they will discuss and vote on, among other things, several possible rule changes.
Ross was asked about the rumored extension for head coach Joe Phibin that came out in January and Stephen confirmed that a one year deal had in fact been signed to carry Philbin through 2016. Ross was also questioned to why he extended his head coach to which he said that he would not get the best out of someone that had the feeling as if "They're operating with a gun to their head". Philbin was set to head in to 2015 on the final year of his initial 4 year deal that he signed back in 2012.
An extension of course does not mean that all the pressure is now off of Phibin in 2015 because Ross also believes that his team is better today than they were at the end of December. Ross expects "improvement" stating that he wants his team in the playoffs. Ross said, "I'm looking to make the playoffs and Joe's looking to make the playoffs so the expectation is that we'll be better.". This is of course an expected response following some high profile moves thus far in the offseason including the handing of a giant contract to Ndamukong Suh.
On the subject of Suh Ross went on to say that "Owners from his division thank me for getting him out of their division" no doubt further instilling that the idea of signing Suh, an idea that was partly Stephens to begin with, was the correct move.
Ross was also questioned about the irony of signing what many believe is the NFL's dirtiest player following the Dolphins bullying scandal of 2013. Ross not only believed that there is zero irony in the signing of Suh but went on to say "He's probably one of the highest character people I've met. I don't believe he's the dirtiest player in the NFL. I'm very proud he's a Miami Dolphin. I totally would disregard that statement, being the dirtiest player. I wish all the players were character that Ndamukong Suh was.". When the incidents of stopping on players was pointed out to Ross he responded with "I haven't heard from him directly that he did, I mean, there were appearances. But I'm not going to make conclusions from that standpoint. I'd be very proud to have him as my son. He is outstanding."
Ross was asked about quarterback Ryan Tannehill's problem hitting the deep ball. Stephen acknowledge that there was still an issue there but pointed out that Ryan had not played a lot of quarterback at the college level and that its a skill that he continues to work on with the Dolphins. Ross also confirmed that the team would be looking to extend Tannehill long term either this spring or this upcoming summer.
Ross stated that his intention was to own the Dolphins for the long term saying "Right now I love owning the Dolphins and I have no intention of doing to the contrary." He went on to say that he will not "relent" until the Miami Dolphins are "first in class".
On the subject of former Dolphins wide-out Mike Wallace Ross said that he had apologized to general manager Dennis Hickey and executive VP Mike Tannenbaum for "what he did" during the 2014 season. Ross went on to say "That says it all right there. But I thought there needed to be a change in the receiver room and certainly you've seen a lot of change and we're not done changing.".