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Impressions of Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins held their introductory news conference Tuesday evening for general manager Dennis Hickey. Unfortunately for Hickey, Miami owner Stephen Ross and embattled offensive tackle Jonathan Martin stole the show with interesting comments on what's gone wrong with the Dolphins the past few months.

But Hickey also had a lot to say in his first meeting with the media. Here were some takeaways and early impressions:

  • After a highly publicized fallout between coach Joe Philbin and former general manager Jeff Ireland, Ross said it was important to find a GM who can play nice and bring everyone together. "Harmony" was a word Ross used a couple of times. It was easy to see Tuesday that Hickey is a nice guy. He was excited and did not have the domineering personality we've seen from Ireland. If Hickey can handle his scouting role well and stay in his lane, it could be a good match for what Miami currently needs.

  • Speaking of scouting, Hickey was clear that his draft philosophy is always to select the best available player over need. A lot of personnel types like to say that, but not everyone applies it. Hickey says Miami plans to rank its top 500 players and stay true to its board on draft day.

  • Hickey made a quick decision Wednesday to "part ways" with former Dolphins assistant general manager Brian Gaine. Hickey is in charge of the personnel department and it's clear he wants to bring in his own people. There is the natural link that Hickey could be interested in hiring Mark Dominik, his former boss in Tampa Bay.

  • Something under the radar that was interesting was Hickey buys into draft analytics. This is a growing fad in NFL circles where some teams are using computer metrics to help with talent evaluation. Scouts and GMs must still trust their eyes and the game tape. However, it appears Hickey and the Dolphins' front office will tap into computer analytics as a supplemental tool moving forward.

It's time for Hickey to role up his sleeves and get to work. With more than 20 restricted and unrestricted free agents, self-scouting is an immediate task on Hickey's to-do list.