- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is not big into predictions. But Miami’s big-pocket owner said everything that he’s done this offseason, which includes spending about $200 million in total contracts, was done to build a postseason contender.
“We certainly want to make the playoffs -- that was all done with that in mind,” Ross said. “But I want to see growth in the team and building the foundation for this season and future seasons, as well. I don’t want to be a one-shot wonder.”
Ross gave Miami general manager Jeff Ireland another endorsement. According to Ross, Ireland is doing “a great job” in an effort to end Miami’s five-year playoff drought.
Other big topics at Ross’ news conference included second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill and second-year coach Joe Philbin. Ross spoke very highly of both, especially Tannehill. Ross has been a fan of Tannehill as a person and player from the beginning.
“In pro football, you need to have a good quarterback,” Ross said. “We certainly believe and hope that we selected the [right] quarterback. He understands his position and his role. He’s doing everything he can. I love the guy. He’s the right person.”
Here are some other notes from Ross:
Miami’s owner said he was “very disappointed” that Florida legislature prevented a public vote for stadium upgrades. Ross said he feels the location of Sun Life Stadium is the best place in south Florida, and he’s not going to quit on trying to get upgrades in future seasons.
Ross said he doesn’t endorse Dolphins center Mike Pouncey’s decision to wear a “Free Hernandez” hat earlier this summer. Pouncey is a college teammate of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is being charged for murder. Ross said it’s important for players to represent the Dolphins in the community well, and the situation was handled internally.
Ross applauded the success of the Miami Heat’s back-to-back titles, and thinks there’s enough to have strong support for both pro sports teams. The Heat have dominated the sports market the past few years, while the Dolphins are struggling to fill their stadium. Ross believes success will change that for the Dolphins. “Miami is a town that wants winners,” Ross said. “There’s a lot of other entertainment. ... But if the team is winning, they will support that team. We’ve seen that in the past, and I think that will be in the future.”
Miami is about to hit the practice field in preparation for its second preseason game, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Friday. We will have a post-practice report this afternoon.