SBD/April 29, 2013/Franchises

Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross Says Former Coach's Grudge Damaged Organization

Ross says he was walking on eggshells during his first year as Dolphins owner
Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross on Friday said that the grudge held by former coach Tony Sparano following the franchise's "surreptitious courting of [49ers coach] Jim Harbaugh in early 2011 'damaged the whole organization,'" according to Jackson & Beasley of the MIAMI HERALD. Ross said on WAXY-AM's Dan Le Batard Show, "He could never put it behind him. I don’t think he was the right head coach for the Miami Dolphins. I didn’t hire him. We’re a much better organization today than then.” Ross added, "This organization is functioning the best since the (Don) Shula days, (because) I picked the head coach with [GM] Jeff Ireland. People see this organization is really on the uptick.” He said of his first year as owner, "Everybody had me walking on eggshells." Meanwhile, he added that his "sales pitch to Peyton Manning during free agency in early 2012 included a role with the Dolphins after he retired." Ross: "I thought we had a shot at him. We went up to Indianapolis. I then flew him from Indianapolis to North Carolina, to Duke, and he and I spent some time together" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/27).

BEACH PARTY: In West Palm Beach, Brian Briggane reported nearly 15,000 Dolphins fans "turned out for Finfest to get a first look at the long, lanky" DE Dion Jordan, the team's first-round pick in last weekend's NFL Draft. The Jordan pick "seemed to temper the longtime criticism of Ireland" (PALM BEACH POST, 4/28). In Miami, Greg Cote wrote it was the Dolphins "dominating local conversation" last week -- the Dolphins, who "once owned the Miami sports market and are acting like they mean to win it back" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/28).
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