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Tom Garfinkel was introduced Monday morning as the new President and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and, if first impressions mean anything, owner Stephen Ross has made an excellent choice.
There was so much to be impressed about with the former CEO of the San Diego Padres. He is extremely intelligent, very contemporary and highly innovative. He listens intently to fans, shares similar visions with Ross and wants to sit back and evaluate everything before forming any conclusions.
Good stuff. Smart stuff. The right stuff.
But what perhaps impressed me most in my initial meeting with Garfinkel was one thing he said: “It takes one organization moving together, not two separate organizations.”
As he said this, Coach Joe Philbin and General Manager Jeff Ireland stood nearby, a clear indication of their support. The marriage of the business side and football side in the NFL is a difficult, often imposing proposition. Objectives, at times, can clearly differ. One side wants to sell tickets and sponsorships; the other wants to win games. The most successful organizations are the ones who can combine the two and work hand-in-hand for the betterment of the overall product.
Tom Garfinkel, who will run the business side, clearly gets this. He has already met with both Philbin and Ireland to offer any assistance he can provide. He talks about being judged “not only by what we accomplish, but how we accomplish it.” He mentions the importance of “all of us working together.”
He is quick to point out that winning will always be the bottom line and providing all the resources to achieve that will never be an issue. That’s what any Dol-Fan wants to hear. That’s what Ireland and Philbin wanted to hear as well.
And then he said something that someone in his position doesn’t often say: “I’m big on not thinking I know everything and learning.”
Clearly, the Dolphins are a better organization today with an innovative thinker like Garfinkel – and he tweets too – in such an important position.
Now back to football. There’s so much still racing through my mind about Sunday’s season-opening victory at Cleveland.
• Three thoughts on Mike Wallace catching only one pass for 15 yards. First, it is good news that this passing game can prosper despite meager production from its star receiver. Second, I wouldn’t be overly concerned. The Dolphins know and understand Wallace’s value. They will continue to devise ways of getting him the ball. A quick out? A reverse? It’ll happen and it will happen often. Third, as for Wallace being upset after the game, this is just a player who cares deeply and he let his emotions show. I wouldn’t make any more of it than that.
• Were the problems in the running game more a result of the offensive line or the running backs? I’m inclined to suggest that it was a combination of both but weighted more on the offensive line. As I watched replays of this game, I just didn’t see the holes. There were times when Lamar Miller or Daniel Thomas were smothered as soon as they got the ball. The coaches will make their only evaluations, but it is clear that a one-dimensional offense can’t win consistently in this league. I’m anxious to see what happens against Indy.
• Caleb Sturgis: Has anybody bothered to tell you that you’re a rookie placekicker in the high-pressure world of the NFL? You are making it look way too easy.
• A couple of individual performances that perhaps didn’t get as much attention as it should have: Brian Hartline goes home to Ohio and catches nine passes, one for a 34-yard touchdown. It is clear that Hartline will benefit greatly from the presence of Wallace and Brandon Gibson. Then there’s cornerback Dimitri Patterson intercepting two passes in the first half. Now we’re beginning to see why the Dolphins released veteran cornerback Richard Marshall in the preseason.
• I still have concerns about productivity at the tight end position, but it was comforting to see Charles Clay catch those five passes and look pretty smooth in the process. Clay has become a very important piece of this puzzle.
One thing is clear: The Dolphins need to play a whole lot better to win this Sunday in Indianapolis.
On Wednesday, AC in the AM tackles fans questions.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.