Miami Dolphins

January 8, 2014

Miami Dolphins expect to conduct first GM interview Friday

The Dolphins plan to move fast in their search for a GM. Meanwhile, ESPN reported that Eagles assistant Bill Lazor interviewed for Miami’s offensive coordinator position.

The Miami Dolphins will release a list of general manager candidates in the coming days and expect to conduct their first interview Friday, team CEO Tom Garfinkel said Wednesday.

“We’re going to move fast,” said Garfinkel, who was a speaker at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Garfinkel added that it will be a thorough search.

That search apparently will include Marc Ross, who is the New York Giants’ vice president of player evaluation. Newsday reported late Wednesday that the Dolphins have requested permission from the Giants for an interview. Ross’ expertise is collegiate scouting.

Even without a GM in place, the Dolphins have begun the process of filling their offensive coordinator vacancy, interviewing Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor on Wednesday, ESPN first reported.

Lazor helped develop second-year pro Nick Foles into the league’s top-rated quarterback. Foles was taken in the third round of the 2012 draft — 80 picks after Miami’s Ryan Tannehill.

Before joining Philadelphia’s staff in 2013, Lazor was an assistant with the Seahawks, Redskins and Falcons. Lazor also called plays at the University of Virginia for three seasons.

In addition, the Miami Herald reported this week the Dolphins are targeting Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo. Kyle Shanahan, most recently of the Redskins, and former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak also are possibilities.

Mike Sherman, Miami’s previous offensive coordinator, was fired Monday.

Garfinkel’s remarks were the first by a Dolphins executive since the team parted ways with Jeff Ireland on Tuesday.

Candidates for the general manager opening are believed to include former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, Pittsburgh Steelers director of football administration Omar Khan and Eagles and former 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Dolphins had not requested permission to interview Gamble.

Another possibility for the opening is Dolphins assistant general manager Brian Gaine, who has kept his job. Garfinkel would not say whether the team would consider internal candidates.

“In my conversations with [Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, we’re looking for] someone with a proven track record of evaluating talent, a football person,” said Garfinkel, who will have a role in the search. “That’s going to be the first criteria. Someone with a lot of intellect. A collaborative team player. Someone who’s creative and open-minded.”

Garfinkel said candidates without previous GM experience would not necessarily be excluded.

“The first priority is winning football games,” added Garfinkel, who was hired to replace Mike Dee at the beginning of the 2013 season.

Asked if the next GM would have autonomy over football operations or have to answer to someone other than Ross, Garfinkel deferred to the owner. Ross hasn’t spoken with the media since deciding to part ways with Ireland, the team’s GM the past six seasons.

The power pecking order is important because tension between Ireland and coach Joe Philbin and Dawn Aponte, the team’s cap manager, contributed to Ireland’s ouster. Philbin and Aponte won the power struggle.

“I know that Steve has a lot of confidence in Joe,” Garfinkel said. “He’s our head coach. We have a lot of confidence in Joe Philbin.”

Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero contributed to this report.

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