Armchair GMing the GM: Jeff Ireland and the Miami Dolphins
After a promising 3-0 start the Dolphins season has taken a tailspin and they’re currently in the middle of a three game losing skid and the possibilities of righting the ship don’t get any easier since the Miami Dolphins have to go to Foxboro and play an angry Tom Brady this coming up Sunday. Obviously this is leading up to people to press the doom bottom and give up on the season, and of course the angry anti Jeff Ireland crowd are back and loud. I’ll say this Ireland should be safe for this season and next.
Jeff Ireland worked hard for 3 years to rid the Dolphins of the Tuna smell. This offseason he finally got money and re-signed his potential franchise quarterback’s most reliable weapon (Hartline) and got him three new ones (Wallace, Gibson, Keller) Keller obviously got hurt and won’t be a factor this year but Charles Clay has stepped up to fill in that role (a guy Ireland found in the fifth round). The biggest knock of the offseason was not getting Ryan Tannehill any protection. They let Jake Long walk and how Ireland addressed this was by throwing Jonathan Martin into the fire at LT, drafting a project G/T in the second round, and signing a veteran who’s seen better days (Tyson Clabo). After giving up two crucial sacks in the fourth quarter to Mario Williams it looks like the Dolphins are ready to put Clabo to pasture because they traded for veteran party animal Bryant McKinnie who has well documented conditioning issues. The plan is to move McKinnie to the left side and Martin to the right.
While Ireland has looked ill prepare because of this the reason I think is best to keep him around is because this is the window he created for himself. Obviously this past offseason he splurged and free agency and this next offseason he could spend again. The key free agents this coming offseason will be Richie Incognito, Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, and Brent Grimes. I personally believe that the Dolphins sign two of the four. Also the team is starting to show that they’re holding people accountable with the McKinnie trade. The next person who should be on the chopping block is Mike Sherman with his predictable and uncreative play calling and his lack of situational football. If Tannehill doesn’t show any progression I’m open with the team drafting a quarterback in the 2nd or 3rd round to put Tannehill on notice (still too early to name potential prospects).
To conclude, I believe that it is still too early in the process to fire Ireland. This team has talent look at all the previous regimes the Dolphins have had the last 10 years and how many times the new coach or GM has shipped a talented guy simply because he wasn’t his guy (Cameron with Welker, Parcells with Taylor, Ireland/Philbin with Marshall, etc.) this is why this team is in such constant mediocre mode. A game Dolphins fans love to play is this imagining “oh man we could’ve had Brees throwing Welker!” well let me do this if it wasn’t for that GM carousel the Dolphins could’ve had Wes Welker and Brandon Marshall as his target as a rookie but no because of the talent that is lost during that GM chair revolving door. If by Week 8 in 2014 it looks like this team is heading nowhere fast than yes I agree fire everybody and hope that the Fins are in the Jameis Winston sweepstakes.
Bio: MIANoleInSWFL is a Navy veteran and current student at Florida Gulf Coast University who was born in Miami, FL and raised in Naples, FL. He’s been a lifelong Dolphins fan who’s always open to have a sports discussion.