NBC 6 South Florida
"This is as competitive an environment as there is in the world, and I'm just excited to be part of it," Dennis Hickey said Tuesday as he was formally introduced as the Miami Dolphins' new general manager.
Hickey, a longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers executive, was hired Sunday to end an arduous search that lasted nearly three weeks. The hiring came after the Dolphins were rejected by several candidates.
"This is as competitive an environment as there is in the world, and I'm just excited to be part of it," Hickey said Tuesday at a news conference where he was formally introduced.
"This organization has a very proud past," Hickey said. "To join in that organization and embrace the great names, knowing the rich tradition that has come before, that was a huge part of the draw."
He replaces Jeff Ireland, whose six-year stint as general manager ended Jan. 7 when he and owner Stephen Ross agreed to part ways.
Ross said his top priority was finding someone willing to work closely with coach Joe Philbin.
"You have to find somebody who can be joined at the hip with your head coach and totally compatible," Ross said.
The change came after the Dolphins collapsed late in the season to blow a playoff berth and finish 8-8. The tumultuous season included a locker room bullying scandal that drew national scrutiny, and a report on the NFL investigation into the case will be released after the Super Bowl.
Hickey has been with the Buccaneers for 18 seasons, including the past three as director of player personnel. He'll have final say over a draft for the first time.
The Bucs won four division titles and one Super Bowl championship during his time with them, but went 28-52 over the past five years. Tampa Bay had a mixed record in the draft in recent years, including three players who made the all-rookie team in 2012, and also several glaring misses in the second round.
Before Miami turned to Hickey, New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson turned down offers. Cleveland Browns assistant general manager Ray Farmer withdrew from consideration last week.