Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross on Fan Unrest, the QB Competition, Battling to Stay Relevant and His Celebrity Part OwnersMay 23, 2012 – 7:00 am by Brad Gagnon
With other local teams stealing headlines and the team swinging and missing in free agency, the Miami Dolphins have taken quite some heat (no pun intended) in recent years. A lot of the blame for Miami’s struggles has fallen on general manager Jeff Ireland, but owner Stephen Ross hasn’t escaped heavy criticism either.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross joined Steak Shapiro, Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini on 790 The Zone in Atlanta to talk about displeased Dolphins fans, the team’s quarterback situation and the PR battle to stay relevant in South Florida.
On the notion that Miami fans are frustrated with the team:
“Well I think there’s been a shift. There was certainly a lot of unrest the fans thought we should have signed, to start with, Jeff Fisher to coach, and we didn’t sign (Matt) Flynn, and we didn’t sign Peyton Manning. So at that point they thought we probably couldn’t do very much, but I think once we told them we had a plan and we knew where we were going and then we executed on that plan, I think things have changed an awful lot.”
On the Dolphins’ quarterback situation:
“Well there’s gonna be a competition. I think we’re prepared to be patient and we’ll see how it progresses, but there’ll be some competition at the quarterback position with Matt Moore and David Garrard as well as (Ryan) Tannehill.”
On the battle to stay relevant day in and day out in the Miami sports scene:
“There’s a lot of obstacles. It’s a little different than other parts of the country. Whereas in the fall people have nothing else to do but go to football games up north, it’s beautiful weather down here and in Miami as well. So it’s a little different. So you’re really battling the other sports as well as the good weather.”
On his efforts to bring celebrities on board as minority owners:
“Owning a football team is about winning games, there’s no question about it. … I bought the team and I wanted to really appeal to every segment of the market and have some minority stars brought in as partners in the team. And I think it had some impact. I think a lot of the writers who are used to the X and Os kinda confused the fact they thought that’s the direction we’re going. It was never the direction we’re going, but I think it’s also important that we kind of enhance the fan experience and try and make it more of a family affair. South Florida is known for celebrities and people love seeing them, and having them part of the team I thought would really induce families to bring their children to the games. And I think that had some impact, but it certainly didn’t have it with the football writers.”