The reality is, Ross has been a blundering buffoon and is running this team into the ground. So far:
- he shopped for a new head coach before firing his existing head coach
- he involved his GM with this dumb attempt (which means an inherited GM), thereby failing to land the head coach he semi-secretly lusted after
- he then gave an extension to his lame duck coach that he didn't even want
- he turned down proven coaching candidates out of loyalty to his backstabbing, unproven GM
- he allowed a lower-level employee to worm her way between him and his GM, protecting her and moving her out from under him
- he then gave an extension to his undermined, incompetent GM
- he fired his GM with no intention of exposing Philbin to risk
- he dawdled about and let the media drive the narrative on his GM search
- he allowed more desirable GM candidates to walk out of loyalty to his unproven coach
If there's a single phrase that describes Ross, it is [i] being loyal to people who have done nothing to earn it [/i ] (which is ironic, given that his first signature act as an owner was a conspicuous and amateurish backstabbing attempt). He fired Sparano a year too late and he fired Ireland 2-3 years too late.
Not disagreeing with everything, but I wouldn't label Aponte a lower level employee he wormed her way in. From info coming out it sounds like she was good at her job. The problem seems to be that she wanted to climb the ladder, it affected Ireland's abilities, she saw an opportunity to protect herself by allying with Philbin and pulled trigger. I'm guessing that Ireland didn't like that she could disrupt his targets with her contract control. I read he tried to get her fired, and instead he lost power over her this offseason leading to something of a demotion and parting of ways.
Another thing to consider is that he truly believes in Philbin. Why I don't know, but I don't get the impression he's trying to be nice and stay loyal just to do so. He really thinks Philbin is turning this team into a winner.
I hope this doesn't sound like a defense (its something I hadn't considered), but I read an opinion saying that firing Philbin after year 2 and an 8-8 record sends a message to future coaching candidates that isn't necessarily positive. You'd be developing a Cleveland-type reputation. Not sure if I agree or disagree with this, but it is something to consider.
There was a really good chance to bring in a highly coveted GM candidate and hire a new coach this offseason. There is some talent in place - QB, WRs, DL, Secondary - that good minds could develop and make a playoff run with. I really hope that whatever Ross sees in Philbin, plus the addition of Lazor are the necessary ingredients to get this team over the hump. I'm skeptical.