A month ago fans were applauding the epic off-season shown by Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland. A three loss slide has fans singing a different tune. A familiar one at that. “Fireland”. I’m not one of those standing on that wagon and honestly, I won’t be. I like Jeff Ireland and I like what he is trying to do for this team. Could he do better? Of course. He could also be doing a lot worse.
Ireland may be the loneliest man in Miami right now. He has been reportedly chastised behind closed doors by owner Stephen Ross but it should be noted that this is only a guess on the part of a local Miami beat writer who said Ireland and HC Philbin exited an owners only meeting looking disturbed following the debacle against the Bills. Ireland immediately traded for line help although it’s not certain Bryant McKinnie will be much of an upgrade come next Sunday.
What I do know is that Jeff Ireland likes what he sees in running back Daniel Thomas.
Over this past weekend, many of us “web-heads” spoke briefly with Ireland at the teams training facility in Davie. One of our group, a member of the Dolfans NYC club, asked Ireland about Daniel Thomas and why he is still be used so often.
Ireland’s response was simply to the point that Thomas is running harder and working harder and has looked good at times. Ireland drafted the RB a few years ago trading up into round two to get the Kansas product. While Ireland may be on board with his draft pick, fans are not so willing to see the same production.
For starters Daniel Thomas lacks any real breakaway threat and he is abysmal on the outside. While supposedly superior in pass protection to starter Lamar Miller, Thomas has given up his share of sacks and pressures throughout the season. Still, something must be seen by the coaches because Thomas is still the short yardage back and is still not getting the job done.
I don’t expect Jeff Ireland to ever say that he doesn’t like a player and that holds true to Daniel Thomas as well. I’m just not sure what the plan is for this particular player. At some point the Dolphins needs to move on. Perhaps they are hoping to showcase something to another team as the trade deadline approaches.