“Jeff Ireland Sucks“. That is the common theme these days around the myriad of Miami Dolphins fan message boards. Some fans still hold a little hope that their trust in Ireland is not wrong but even the supporters are looking at the other side of that fence and feeling left out. The fact is this, these same message boards very well may hold the key to Jeff Ireland’s future as the Miami Dolphins GM.
As you peruse the forums and not just the topics calling for his head, you will find more and more fans making the statement, “I am not renewing my season tickets”. The Dolphins apparently made season ticket holders pay for their season passes prior to the start of free agency and to make three payments by the draft. The team will and has in the past gone after holders who have refused to pay. So while this year fans may eat the 500 dollar and up season seats, many will not be in 2013 barring a total team reversal of play on the field.
If fans stop renewing, Ross will have no other decision but to fire his GM.
For Stephen Ross it is becoming more and more clear. He put his trust into Ireland which is something he needed to do but now, as his fans revolt against him, he needs to start thinking about parting ways and finding a GM who will bring integrity back to the job.
On NFL Network players are blasting Jeff Ireland. Joey Porter says you can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth, one of the co-hosts says that the question about Dez Bryant’s mother still resonates around the NFL player landscape. Former Dolphin Channing Crowder absolutely loathes Ireland and some players have gone so far as to “imply” that he is a racist. Early this week Steeler CB Ryan Clark made it clear that NO ONE wants to play in Miami and that he was glad he avoided this mistake.
There is only so much that a team can take before they completely implode. The Dolphins are on the verge of that implosion. Jeff Ireland is not talking to the media and because of that fans are left to believe that what is being said about him is completely true. Ross on the other hand has had his own share of mistakes and his image isn’t exactly pristine in the football world. Ross however isn’t failing in his attempts to land players or coaches. It appears all that is shouldered on Jeff Ireland.
Imagine the difference of perception if Ireland had been fired and Bill Polian was hired. Do you think Peyton Manning would have made Polian fly to Indy for a meet? Not at all. When all this settles, it is a matter of complete perception. We as fans and even the mainstream media have no clue right now what the Dolphins plans are or if they even have one. It’s tight ship down there and the only information we receive is from “leaked sources”.
Obviously, those sources are mostly wrong.
The Dolphins under Jeff Ireland have entered every off-season in need of a new QB and every year they have failed to land one. This year was the best opportunity for them to solidify the position and they still have not done so. The addition of former Jaguar QB David Garrard has been met with total disdain and fans are simply fed up. How difficult would it have been for Ireland to take to a podium and say, “David is going to provide us some solid depth at the QB position and will force a solid competition between all of our QB’s whoever they will be at the start of training camp”.
Those simple words can do a lot to put fans at ease. Ireland apparently could care less.
I have supported Ireland since day one and I know things about his ability that many do not from Cowboys personnel that I know personally who have worked with him. While they can’t tell me what his thinking is now, I can tell you that the image he is creating for this team is getting ugly fast. This is where Stephen Ross needs to step in and protect his interests.
During the lockout I chose to side with the owners. A decision to this day I still believe in. I said it then, the team is above all else and the players come and go. The same can be said about the General Manager. It’s the team I follow and right now, the “team” has a black-eye larger than I have ever seen and it continues to grow. I may support Ireland but I am realizing that he is not good for this teams image regardless of what he does with the players on or off the field. It’s because of that, that I say it’s time for Ross to remove him. Hand over the draft choices to Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman, they can handle it, and then add a new GM.
If Stephen Ross is going to change the perception that fans have about him, he needs to change the perception that everyone has about his GM.