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 »This Week in History
Miami Dolphins
INSIDE SLANT

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  Former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum will join the Miami Dolphins' front office after serving as a consultant to the team last season.

Tannenbaum was named executive vice president of football operations on Tuesday. He will start his new job on Feb. 1.

The 45-year-old Tannenbaum will oversee football administration and report directly to owner Stephen Ross. Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey will remain in charge of the personnel and scouting departments while serving under Tannenbaum.

"I am excited that Mike Tannenbaum has joined the organization full time," Ross said. "He is an experienced executive and leader that understands all facets of the sports landscape.

"During his time as a consultant this past season, I was able to see his impact firsthand through his commitment and passion for innovation and using every possible avenue to find competitive edges."

Tannenbaum worked for the Jets for 16 years and was their general manager for the final seven.

Since Tannenbaum was dismissed by the Jets in 2012, he has worked as an agent. One of his clients is Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who interviewed recently for several head coaching jobs around the NFL.

Somehow Dolphins coach Joe Philbin saw progress in his team despite its 8-8 record.

"I do think we were better until (Sunday's 37-24 loss to the New York Jets)," Philbin said. "I don't think we had lost to a team with a losing record (this season).

"Obviously that's not the case anymore, but I thought that was a positive thing that things were headed in the right direction. We have to finish the season better."

Clearly, Philbin knows his weakness.

The Dolphins were 2-3 in December this year, and 1-3 in their last four games, a time in which they allowed an average of 35.3 points per game.

December has been a problem for the Dolphins for much of the last six years, which helps explain why they haven't made the playoffs during that span.

In 2009 and 2010, under former coach Tony Sparano, the Dolphins lost their final three games to finish 7-9.

In 2012, Philbin's first season, the Dolphins went 2-3 in December and finished 7-9.

Last year the Dolphins went 3-2 in December, but they lost their last two games and missed the playoffs.

This year's late-season swoon was thorough, and certainly indicates Miami took a step backward.

The offense had a three-game December stretch against the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots in which it scored a total of three touchdowns.

The defense, the unit most responsible for winning games, produced eight sacks and five turnovers in December's five games. The Dolphins were even in takeaway/giveaway in December.

Getting off to a good start is important in the NFL. But finishing strong is even more important, and the failure to win in December told the story of Miami's season for the second consecutive year.


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