Jan.1, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland (center) before a game against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland On the Right Track?

I’ll be the first to admit, I was one of those fans yelling “Fireland”.  Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland has made multiple mistakes since taking over in 2008, but after drafting Quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft, does that help calm those fans who were chanting “fireland” down? I’d say he’s on the right track, but has a ways to go.

Since Dan Marino’s retirement in 1999 Miami has had a major problem finding a new franchise Quarterback. And Ryan Tannehill is the first Quarterback the Dolphins have taken in the first round of the NFL draft since Dan Marino. When Ireland took over in 2008, with the help of Bill Parcells, they drafted Quarterback Chad Henne in the 2nd round, then a year later in 2009, they drafted Pat White, another Quarterback taken in the 2nd round. Both became a bust and left the Miami Dolphins in the same position they were in before the Jeff Ireland era, no QB to replace Dan Marino, and no light at the end of the tunnel.

In this year’s draft after Jeff Ireland used the 8th overall pick on the inexperienced Texas A&M Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, I was very skeptical and worried. Growing up in the Midwest and following teams in the Big 12 I watched Ryan Tannehill play and wasn’t impressed.  Even after the speculation started that the Miami Dolphins were going to draft Tannehill, I went back and looked at some of his games and still didn’t see what Ireland saw in him.  I felt that Brandon Weeden, Russell Wilson, and even Kirk Cousins were better options then Tannehill, but Jeff Ireland must have seen something in him that I didn’t.

We all know that Ireland has said and done some things that makes us wonder what he was thinking, like what he said in his interview with, then Oklahoma State University’s Wide Receiver, Dez Bryant in April of 2010, when he asked him if his mother was a prostitute. Or what he did to Head Coach Tony Sparano at the end of the 2010 season, when he flew to meet with then Stanford University Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, on coming to be the Head Coach for the Dolphins. Then owner Stephen Ross and Jeff Ireland had the courage to give coach Sparano a $4.5 million contract extension and told him he was the man for the job, only to fire him after week 14 of the 2011 season.

In addition to all of this he was unable to bring in QB Peyton Manning, or coach Jeff Fisher. And he still hasn’t figured out a solution to our lack of Wide Receivers to go along with Davone Bess and Brian Hartline. But with all of this said, he and Bill Parcells did bring in Chad Pennington his first year as GM, and Pennington was able to bring the Dolphins from a 1-15 season under Cam Cameron, to the playoffs the following season. He also brought in RB Reggie Bush from the New Orleans Saints, who put up career high stats just in his first season with the Dolphins.

So we can’t say that everything that Jeff Ireland has done has hurt the Dolphins. Sure he has done some damage and wasted draft picks and cap space on players, but with trading for Reggie Bush, drafting Ryan Tannehill, and bringing in Coach Joe Philbin (who is looking promising as well), he very well may have finally figured it out.

Only time will tell.

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  • dennis33050

    Couldn’t you find more negatives to try and bolster your anti Ireland sentiments? The guy is human is supposed to miss a few trades. How positive are you that he was at all responsible for Henne and White ?

  • Strange

    It is a hard decision to make. People, even Jeff Ireland, often learn from mistakes and there is no better teacher than experience. The idea that “some people have it and some don’t” is only sometimes true. Plus you have to add in external factors that most of us are not aware of, especially in a mostly closed door job.

    the results have sucked up till this point, so we as fans have that, but does that mean he won’t improve/is in a better situation with better coaches to turn it around? I don’t think any of us can really know that. The question is, how long do you give the guy? I can’t answer that either.

    I will make on comparison from a time long gone: Tom Landry took 6 years to post a winning season as a HC. I assume Cowboys fans are glad they were patient with him.

  • Ranadicus

    So basically this entire article is one of those passive-agressive apologies where you really just insult the other party? Remember, every decision made before Parcells left went through him. We will probably never know what part Ireland had in those drafts and it’s impossible to judge him on them.

  • Fins4ever

    That article was just awful! I try to give Fin writers the benefit of the doubt, but this article really stretches my loyalty.

    How long will it take for people to stop writing about the Dez Bryant thing? Hey, we get it! It has been written 10,000 times. Are we still talking about Chad Henne? REALLY???

    Why are you still writing about Jeff Fisher or Peyton Manning? What is your point? Like I said, one of the worst, if not the worst articles I ever read on this site. All you did was regurgitate stuff that every single member and reader of this site already knew.

  • Fins4ever

    BTW, Ireland was right on the Dez Bryant issue. His mom was a prostitute and if you don’;t think that affects a kids head, think again. Oh, watched Dez the other night, not looking so good.

    Your article starts out thinking that you will end up being a supporter, but never does. It just kind of rehashes history with no real meaning. Actually, I feel dumber after reading it. Chad Pennington? Why not talk about Marino? Oh, you did.

    Seriously Colton, did you find this “”article”” double quotes, when you were cleaning out your bedroom from days gone by or did you just wake up from a coma?

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  • Miami Jules

    I enjoyed reading your article Colton. It invites the reader and fan to reassess previously held views. I believe that reflecting and reevaluating ideas, thoughts, opinions and people, is one of the best ways to evolve.
    I disagree with some of the content, but I still enjoyed the read as I enjoyed your perspective on it. I happen to think that it is Philbin, who has made Ireland look better this year. That is OK too, because if the guy is willing to take a back seat to a real good football mind like Philbin’s appears to be, then that in it of itself makes a possitive statement and the Dolphins, the fans, communitty and ownership, will better for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Gosling/1641583167 Tommy Gosling

    Best GM in the NFL. miami fans need to wake up and stop believing the NY media in miami. any fan that thinks jeff is not a great GM does not know a thing about football.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Gosling/1641583167 Tommy Gosling

      Miami was also never in the market for manning. giving him 20 million would mean the dolphins would have to let 3 or 4 of there top players on this team walk. miami was not going to cut cam wake to bring in manning. the fans where pushing for this and the best GM in the game did not cave in. manning told his boys form Indy that they where going to meet up in miami thinking he was going to have all the say in what was going to happen. manning jumped on the first plane down there just get be told it was not going to happen. as for fisher this was what the fans wanted yet again. a 6 and 10 coach in a weak div. Mr ross almost gave into the fans and fired the best GM. why? because the media in miami is owned by people from NY and as they are jets fans they bash this team 24/7. clueless miami fans followed them and this is the reason why miami has the worst sports fans in the world. Miami fans have had good owners down here. they have an owner that has an open check book and stays out of the football side of things. this makes Ross a top 10 owner. what would the dolphins do if they had an owner like the Chicago bears or cowboys. the miami dolphins play 16 road games each year. it is time for the fans to stfu just watch. give support and not bash this team in ota’s like last year. OTA’s really? then you wonder why the dolphins started out 0 and 7. well brandon marshall was a big reason why the fins started out 0 and 7 with his 13 dropped TD’s. he cost miami 4 wins and yet the dolphins fans still loved him. to funny. he is ranked 79th out of 91 WR’s in pfw. 11 million to a WR that can’t catch and the fans cry when the best GM trades him away. Mr Ross said the fins where about to cut Marshall and this was not BS. the jets play better as a team the last few weeks because the cancers they have are on IR now. marshall is a cancer and he is destroying Chicago now.

      Thanks Jeff Ireland you are the best. keep up the great work.

  • drjeslinares

    Jeff Ireland’s worst decision is the one he didn’t do. He did not bring any wide receivers to help Ryan Tannehill in his rookie year. In the draft, he took WRs only in the later rounds, and they are already out of the team. And he passed on all the good WRs available in free agency (bringing Legedu Nanee and Chad Ochocinco, who are already also out of the team, as sole free agent WRs).
    Ireland is a lucky SOB. Everybody expected Ryan Tanehill to take at least two years to develop as a starting QB. Had he taken that time to develop, the fan base would have forced Ireland out of Miami.