Dec. 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland (left) is seen talking to former Dolphins head coach Don Shula prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Ireland – An Excellent GM


 

It doesn’t matter how good your groceries are, or what sale price you bought them for.  If no one at home can cook them, they’ll only go to waste.

Jeff Ireland is an unbelieveable general manager.  Ireland doesn’t go with the popular choice, and realizes the thanklessness of his job.  Fair or unfair, the general managers office takes blame for woes of the team.  In the opinion of this writer, most of the unfair criticism appears unwarranted, as the man has brought a lot of high value talent in while working wonders in revamping the cap so we perennially have some of the best cap space in the NFL, and he does that with a strong eye for the “long picture” with undervalued talent in most cases. Love him or hate him, he usally makes the right move given the information at hand.

Our team hasn’t won enough games. This is the barometer for success in the NFL, regardless of talent level.  First we’ll examine why people have an issue with Ireland.  This team hasn’t made it yet. Ireland’s job is to put together a roster that the coaches can execute with from a talent perspective. The coaches job is then to prepare said players and design the schemes and game plans, managing the day-to-day activities of said players. The coaches have failed us in that respect. It’s ridiculous looking at something as simple as the cadences being used: the Go…Go-Go, having a guard letting the center know when to snap the ball, etc. We’ll examine the coaching in a separate article, but there are a number of issues relating to scheme, player preparation, and coaching that are causing Miami to be mired in mediocrity as a 4-5 team.  Fair or unfair, people are placing the blame for this at Ireland’s feet, when it’s simply because his media presence doesn’t present him as a likeable guy.  I’ve met the man briefly, and walked away liking him. 

Dolphins fans at this point in time should be more than aware with the scandal of the past few weeks that the media is going to present an argument, in many cases, from a skewed perspective.  Many in the media are trying to “sell” their stories, and go from speculation, unnamed sources, rumors and shock value to up their readership and/or web hits.  It’s a successful marketing ploy, and one that Ireland has shown he doesn’t really care about.  The media will take items and spin them, and Ireland barely gives the media the time of day – similar to Bill Belicheck in New England.  The media hates when they can’t get a story out of someone, and when they can’t, they’ll create one.  They thrive on chaos as it gains the most views and readership.  Villainizing Ireland makes for a popular story.

Many point to Ireland’s five year track record with the team, but in all fairness he has only truly been the general manager of this team for three seasons.  Prior to that, he was a trusted confidant of Bill Parcells, but it was Parcells calling the shots on personnel decisions.  This left Ireland in charge of, essentially, making recommendations on players with Parcells having the final “ok” on the personnel.  We’ll scrap the first draft as a wash, as he was only brought in that January which doesn’t lead to a full complement of time to prepare for an NFL draft, though the team was able to get a bit of value out of that draft as well.  We’ll examine why Ireland is a good general manager in three sections below. 

Salary Cap:

Due to the upheaval over the past ten or more years, Miami was in a poor position with the cap when Ireland took over.  This severely limits a teams ability to make the necessary moves to put talent on the field.  We’re no longer in salary cap purgatory, as despite several large offseason contracts in free agency, Miami is positioned to carry over approximately nineteen million dollars in cap space in addition to the pre-existing cap room for next season.  Ireland has completely reworked the salary cap so that the team doesn’t have to do any form of a mass purge of talent (such as the Ravens did this past offseason) and is positioned to keep the talent that they have at the right cap number.  He’ll let players walk, popular or unpopular, if they want a higher dollar amount than they are worth (i.e. Reggie Bush and Jake Long).  Ireland put virtually the same offer on the table to Jake Long that St Louis did, and Long elected to go elsewhere.  The man has positioned this team to be able to go after the big name free agents while being able to retain their own talent – at the right price.

Free Agency:

Again, Ireland has proven here that he has an eye for talented players.  This past offseason, the moves that made waves were the signings of Wallace and Ellerbe who were regarded by most to be the top offensive and defensive free agents in this years class.  Ellerbe was a player that most didn’t even consider to be available as Baltimore was making a strong push to resign the man when Ireland shrewdly swooped in and signed him away.  Love or hate the signing now in hindsight, but most Dolphins fans were excited by the signings.  Both players are ones that have strengths and weaknesses, but Miami isn’t designing the schemes to take advantage of those, and that falls back on the coaching.  While Wallace may not be putting up the numbers anyone expected – including the man himself – without Wallace on the field occupying the other teams number one corner, with safety help over the top on many plays, the other Miami receivers aren’t nearly as effective.  I can’t imagine that Ellerbe and Wallace suddenly forgot how to play football, as a friend so astutely pointed out.  Ireland brought in a stud tight end in Dustin Keller, upgraded over Davone Bess in Daniel Gibson, brought in an offensive lineman in Clabo that should have added some stability to the line and brought in one of the best cornernbacks the team has seen in years in Brent Grimes.  Phillip Wheeler has been a bit of a bust, but after leading Oakland in tackles, he’s also flashed some moments of pure speed that speaks volumes to the coaches not finding ways to maximize the talents that he has.

In the seasons that Ireland has been the general manager, he’s brought in cast-offs that have paid off for this team such as Dmitri Patterson.  He’s retained players like Chris Clemons, Paul Soliai, Brian Hartline, Reshad Jones, Randy Starks.  Jones is an amazing free-lance safety, being used in man-to-man coverage instead.  Clemons is coming into his own.  Starks and Soliai are two-thirds of a strong central nucleus along the D-line.  Hartline is a perenially underrated wideout who is “sneaky good.”  The list goes on of strong players with high talent ceilings that have been brought in and/or retained by a GM who refuses to overpay for players.  He has proven he’ll bring in or release talented players as needed, and to match what the coaches express they want to do with the team. 

The Draft:

Ireland has only fully controlled the draft process for the past three years.  Anything before that during his tenure was controlled by Bill Parcells, albeit with Ireland’s input from a scouting perspective.  Looking at the Dolphins draft history since 2010, Ireland has shown his keenest eye for the “long picture” relating to the talent he’s selected.  Breakout by season can be found below:

  • 2010: Jared Odrick is coming into his own.  Koa Misi finally turned a corner last season as the best linebacker on the team against the run.  John Jerry was found in the third round and while many candidates have tried, no one has been able to unseat him as the starting right guard.  Nolan Carroll, while not a fan favorite, has been a very solid contributor for a fifth round selection.  Reshad Jones was a steal as a fifth round pick due to injury, and sevent rouneder Austin Spitler has been a contributor on special teams when he sees the field.  A.J. Edds and Chris McCoy were the only apparent “whiffs” in this draft, coming in the fourth and seventh rounds.
  • 2011: Mike Pouncey had an immediate impact as a starter on the offensive line, Daniel Thomas (also not a fan favorite) has still contended for time in the Dolphins backfield rotation and shown some promise this season.  Clyde Gates never fully caught on in Miami, but has been a contributor for the rival Jets since his release.  Charles Clay has finally grown into the promise he flashed previously and was a steal in round six.  Jimmy Wilson has progressed nicely this season and was a major steal in the seventh round.  For this draft, sevent rounder Frank Kearse and Clyde Gates were the biggest misses, and Gates was worth a flier based on his speed in round four.
  • 2012: Ryan Tannehill has shown flashes despite still being new to the quarterback position of being the possible long-term answer at quarterback.  Jonathan Martin was showing ability to be serviceable at tackle before the breakdown – which no one could predict and the jury is still out on – with no red flags coming into the league.  Olivier Vernon, while a liability against the run, has shown flashes in pure rush ability.  Michael Egnew was heartbreaking in year one, but has quietly been putting together a solid season in year two.  Lamar Miller has shown some flashes at running back despite Miami showing a lack of commitment to the running game.  Josh Kaddu and Kheeston Randall showed promise in the limited time they had and were worth late round fliers.  Ireland doubled up at wide receiver in rounds six and seven as well, taking BJ Cunningham and Rishard Matthews.  While Cunningham was a whiff, Matthews showed flashes towards the end of his rookie campaign he had his coming out party against the Buccaneers this past week – making him an absolute steal for the seventh round.
  • 2013: The jury is still out on this draft, but early returns have been promising.  Despite the coaching staff’s inability to get playing time for many of the rookies they have shown a great deal of promise in their limited action.  Dion Jordan has barely seen the field (there are plenty of write-ups around this, and I won’t bore you with the same information) but in the time that he has been out there he has shown the ability to get to the passer and disrupt plays, while also showing some ability to cover tight ends downfield.  Will Davis and Jamar Taylor have shown some playmaking and coverage skills when they’ve gotten in.  Dion Sims had the one-handed, game winning catch against Atlanta.  Dallas Thomas was a disappointment in the preseason, but may grow into the position.  Don Jones has been a beast on special teams, despite a boneheaded rookie mistake against the Bills.  Caleb Sturgis went into a slump at the same time the team did, but has come out of it recently and been solid once again.  Jelani Jenkins has pushed for limited snaps at linebacker.  Only Mike Gillislee has mysteriously been unable to get on to the gameday active roster thus far, despite showing a few flashes in the preseason.

The Offensive Line:

If you take a step back from the situation, and look at the big picture, it begins to become clear what Ireland had planned for the offensive line.  I’m a fan of what he was setting up for here.  Miami has the majority of their skill position players locked up.  They have the contracts for many offensive linemen, outside of their young nucleus, set to expire after the season and have a dearth of cap space available this offseason to reshape the offensive line while retaining those that show promise in the roles.  John Jerry and Richie Incognito were set to expire in the offseason.  Tyson Clabo was brought in on a one year deal to prove himself to still be serviceable as a lineman.  Pouncey and Martin were set to be key contributors in reshaping the line, and McKinnie was brought in when an immediate stop-gap came available on the cheap.  McKinnie has done well since he arrived, while Clabo has had his struggles.  Martin threw a bit of hand grenade in the mix not only by his recent issues, but also by struggling on the field.  Make no mistake, however, Ireland positioned this to make a run at the line on both sides of the ball this offseason.  He gave himself the financial ability to do so and giving the players here the opportunity to prove themselves worthy.  If they couldn’t prove themselves this season, they were set to be gone at little to no cost to the franchise.

The Big Picture:

Looking at the picture as a whole, Ireland has gotten the team out of perennial cap purgatory while putting the coaches in position to succeed if they utilize the talent that he has brought to this team.  Once he has players in the fold, it’s up to the coaches to utilize the players abilities and mask their shortcomings – and THAT is the area that this team has failed.  If Miami does indeed purge the coaching staff, which it is far too early in the season to clamor for, then the very first question in any coaching interview should be “How would you utilize the talent that we have on the roster today.”  The coaching this season has failed this team to this point.  Ridiculous play calling and schemes on offense, a snap count that would be juvenile in pee-wee football, a defensive rotation that keeps the stars off the field while not incorporating rookies in ways that make sense all have contributed. 

Don’t let the media spin your opinion of him, as like him or not he has done a great job in unearthing talent and fixing the cap.  He’s made the shrewd moves despite their popularity at the time.  He’s an easy scapegoat at a rough time, but make no mistake:  If Ireland is allowed to walk, he will be successful elsewhere and fans will lament letting him leave.  If Ireland had listened to the fans, Miami would have Matt Flynn at the helm amongst a slew of other bad moves.  He’s not always making the popular move, and may not come across as a likeable guy in the media, but he’s generally making the smart move more often than not.

Ireland has brought in the groceries that could be used to make a fine meal.  Despite the nice steak in the fridge, this coaching staff keeps giving the fans cheap chicken nuggets and Ramen Noodles… and that is a shame for the fans, but Ireland isn’t the one in the kitchen.

Tags: Jeff Ireland Miami Dolphins

  • Christian Paige

    Paul I agree. Everyone is pissed at Ireland because he was brought in by Big Tuna. He really has do a great job of cap to player ratio. I was really routing for these coaches however after watching them for two years it is obvious they have no idea how to use the insane amount of talent we have. I can barely stomach Sherman’s play calling and Coyle’s demand of over rotating the players. I think Philbin is good however I feel like every press conference before the next game literally sounds the exact same except he switchs the name of the team they are facing. Everything about our coaching staff at this point is absolutely disheartening.

    • Paul L. Picken, Jr

      Thanks Christian. I don’t think our entire staff needs to go, but we’ll see how things play out

  • gofins60

    I wanted Ireland gone when Sparano was fired. However, if I had to choose between keeping Ireland or this coaching staff, then I’d keep Ireland. The team is regressing under this coaching staff when it should be getting better.

    Ireland has his share of hits and misses (as does every GM), but it seems to me that he doesn’t see value in using high draft picks for offensive skill position players. I think that he felt forced into taking Tannehill at #8. (BTW, if I was boss we wouldn’t have Tannehill because I would never have hired Philbin/Sherman.) Ireland sees more value in getting a good WR/TE in the 3rd or 4th round than getting a possibly great player in the 1st or 2nd round. He is stuck in the Parcells mold of drafting defense, RBs, and linemen, while the passing game is an afterthought. In his defense, the job he’s doing is better than the job that the coaches are doing.

  • charlie

    We all have a right to our opinion but your opinion is gonna make our team suck for a while longer if you keep trying to get support for this terrible draft manager. Yes he has done a good job with the salary cap, but he has too because he is incapable drafting studs and has to bring them in from other teams. Do not let this article fool you Dolphins fans. Jeff Ireland is not an excellent GM. Everyone wants to give him a pass for the Parcells years. I personally don’t he had his voice heard on Chad Henne and Pat White, but for the sake of argument lets just grade him on 2011, 2012, and 2013.
    2010 1rst Jared Odrick – good starter. Not a stud but a good starter. Worthy pick. Not a bust
    2nd Koa Misi – Hes not gonna blow you away but he is not a liability. Man can play
    3rd John Jerry – We tried to replace him this year with Lance Louis. A liability on the o-line. Only reason he is starting is because there is no choice
    4th AJ Edds – Done nothing really
    5th Nolan Carroll. ok for a 5th round pick. Not a legitimate starter. He has played a bit better this year but still a liability
    6th Reshad Jones. I call bull on his big contract. Chris Clemons is a really good safety. Reshad Jones is a liability in coverage, not the best run support guy(not bad but). He blew assignments last year and we all wanted to blame Sean Smith for them. Decent 6th round pick but don’t be fooled. He is not a stud
    7th Chris McCoy nothin
    Austin Spitler- depth

    2011 1rst round Mike Pouncey. Any center in the first rounf needs to be a stud. Good starter. Thats it. He aint gone to the pro bowl and aint going this year.
    2nd round Daniel Thomas He traded up for this guy. Now I don’t like to hate on Daniel Thomas as much as the rest of you do but final evaluation especially after this year is a bust 2nd round pick that has not helped win games
    4th round Clyde Gates Hasnt become a big contributor anywhere
    6th round Charles Clay. I think hes awesome as a role player. We still need an alpha tight end(damn shame about Dustin Keller)
    7th round Frank Kearse Need I say more
    7th round Jimmy Wilson Yeah he’s ok Good depth guy.

    2012 1rst Ryan Tannehill. Whether he busts or not is irrelevant. hewas the right pick. No argument
    2nd Jonathan Martin ohh god
    3rd Olivier Vernon. Not a bust but not a stud. He aint scaring nobody as a pass rusher
    3rd Micheal Egnew. Thank the lord he caught a ball this year. Total bust. Watch him play. He doesnt have it
    4th Lamar Miller Sorry Dolphins fans but I’m calling bust on this kid. He makes nothing happen on his own, He never makes something out of nothing. Thats what good runningbacks do. Anyone can be good in space. I like the kid but it is what it is.
    5th Josh Kaddu cut from team
    6th BJ Cunningham cut from team
    7th Kheeston Randall. I wish he wasn’t cut. He played well in his limited snap I thought. And cheap. Good pick.
    7th Rishard Mathews. Looking like a decent pick. Lets see how he does with some attention thrown his way. I like him.

    2013 Hard to judge on this one but giving up a 2nd round pick for a combine specialist is bull. The production was not there in college as an edge rusher for Dion Jordan to be worth a 1rst and 2nd when we just let 2 starters go off the team. I like Dion Jordan and think he could be a great player one day but the needs warrant this pick foolish. Plus Ireland knew we run a 4-3. I hope anyway. And if Tank Carradine becomes a star which I think he will this pick looks even worse.
    2nd and 3rd haven’t shown us anything. Don’t know why we dont at least see Jamar more with Dimitri always hurt. Dallas Thomas you would think would be playing if he was any decent. I know he got ate up in the preseason. I wanna see GILLISLEE play. Why the f not. Aint like anyone is doing anything good unless a paved road is made for them. Put him in.

    Bottom line is 4 years of drafting and no studs. only 3 above average starters with how many picks. Good Gms find gems in the later rounds and don’t always waste their 2nd round pick and usually find studs in the 1rst, especially if they get a lot of early 1rst round picks. C’mon man. I dont hate Jeff Ireland but I think his draft formula sucks and yeah the writer wants to blame the coaches. Who picked them. Ireland. He has been good with the salary cap but I see future problems with high dollar aquisitions from this year. Mike Wallace was a terrible signing. Pittsburgh knew it. Not to sound like a dick but I knew it too. If you can get him for 8 mil a year sure but 60 mil for 4 years c’mon man. That is alpha receiver money. Mike Wallace is not an alpha receiver. Letting Kevin Burnett walk was a mistake. I’m glad Dansby is gone but Burnett would give us a better receiving linebacker and veteran leadership and he was just the friggin man.

    Sorry to make such a long comment but I highly disagree with this article and Jeff Ireland has got to go. I wish Ross would sell the dolphins to someone who cares enough about the team and the city to spend their own money on improvements to their business(talking about the stadium) than asking the tax payers to do it but I don’t see that happening. At the very least. Get rid of Jeff Ireland. Their are other guys out there that can do better

    • Paul L. Picken, Jr

      Hi Charlie, sorry for the delayed response. I respect that you put your opinions out here even if you and I differ on a few of them.

  • tpl

    Regardless, it will be interesting in the offeseason to see what Ross does. I think he’s going to get rid of Ireland. Philbin will probably remain, though I am hoping Sherman is fired, but that may not happen. Sherman needs to go.

    • Paul L. Picken, Jr

      I’m not sure he does get rid of Ireland at this point, there is a lot of season left. The only way that happens right now is if he makes Ireland a scapegoat

  • Gary Lowman

    He is right…These coaches couldn’t coach a team of all-pro’s…

  • Mark H

    I left in ’11 after 40 years of living & dying with the Fins. Best decision ever – It CAN be done, I am proof! Save yourselves! This is a loser organization right down to these putrid new USFL uniforms and logo.

    • Eric Post

      Why are you hanging around here if you “left”. Are you trying to fool us or yourself.

  • J holobinko

    This team plain out sucks and it starts with Ireland! Always trying to out wit the other gms by finding a hid gem! He is incapable of finding any talent! The fins must release all their players, fire their whole coaching staff, get rid of douchebag Ireland and Ross must sell this team! And then, and only maybe then, will this team be relevant again!

    • Paul L. Picken, Jr

      So… Ross should fire everyone and cut the entire roster, salary cap be damned, and then sell this team – turning it into an expansion franchise without the benefits afforded to expansion teams (I.e. Extra cap benefits, expansion draft, etc)? Interesting approach. It might even make the Jags the second worst franchise in the NFL to do so.

  • John

    Awful article. What has been promising about this year’s draft class? Jordan barely plays, Thomas can’t even get on the active roster along with Gillislee, and Jenkins has been brutal. And Davis and Taylor have not played, let alone made some good plays, so that was just a blatantly false statement you made there.

    • Paul L. Picken, Jr

      They’ve both (Taylor and Davis) seen the field in limited action. Taylor had great coverage and position on Jimmy Graham on Graham’s TD catch, Graham just made a ridiculously athletic play. Taylor showed some good coverage skills in that game. Davis had his most opportunity in the preseason, and showed some good ball skills there. I can’t tell you why the coaches haven’t given the draft class more reps when they’ve flashed talent, but if there’s a false statement in here, I’d urge you to provide facts to rebuke it – I’m more than willing to listen.

  • Aldo Gonzalez

    What a great GM you say? 7-9, 6-10, 7-9 & 5-5 (so far this season) mediocre. His drafting has been nothing more than mediocre, no game changers your article proves my point. Every year we hear something else coming out of his office that embarrass the team (Dez Bryant, Cursing out fans, Bullying …etc). If this is a so called “GREAT GM” maybe I’m rooting for the wrong team

    • Paul L. Picken, Jr

      The Dez Bryant thing is old news, and he snapped back at some fans harassing him. The bullying thing isn’t really on him.

      • Aldo Gonzalez

        Old news or not it happen and it happen during his watch, if that was the only thing fine but there’s always something negative EVERY year. He can’t draft, again your article proves my point, his free agent signings are more miss than hits. For peats sake our best draft pick this year is a 5th round kicker when we had the number 3 pick over all. This team is filled with holes in just about every position. Sorry but he can’t put together nothing more than a mediocre team at best on the field we have no impact players no game changers just look at the probowl and see how many Dolphin players we have in the last five years.

        • Paul L. Picken, Jr

          Can you clarify the negatives a bit? They are blown out of proportion. A draft pick’s value isn’t determined in 10 games, especially when the coaches aren’t utilizing them yet. What positions are filled with holes, precisely? We can use the popularity contest of a pro bowl to determine that?

          When the draft picks from this year have seen the field, they’ve made some positive plays. Don Jones game changing play against Atlanta. The 2-3 interceptions caused by pressure provided by Dion Jordan in limited action. There are others as well.

          • Aldo Gonzalez

            You are correct that a pro bowl is a popularity contest but honestly do you think we have any pro bowlers by definition (best at there position). Fine 10 games aren’t enough, lets take 2010 and 2011 draft choices, maybe four worthy starters in 2 drafts (2010 Odrick & Jones/2011 Pouncey & Clay) not good especially when you see all the all the other choices we should have made. As for position holes well lets see O-Line (is one big gaping hole), Tight-end (clay has emerged but he isn’t a true tight end & how many draft choices are we going to spend on it), Running Back (Miller dances too much & Thomas is a walking injury), Line Backer (MAJOR down grade from last season), Safeties (Jones is decent but no one else can cover)

          • Paul L. Picken, Jr

            Potential pro bowlers (for this season) – Starks, Soliai, Grimes, Fields, Wake… If Patterson stayed healthy, possibly would be in the discussion as well.

            For true tight end, that’s what Keller was shaping up as in the preseason before injury.

            Thomas isn’t a walking injury… He had concussion issues early on, but they refitted him helmet-wise and hasn’t happened since. Miller has less than a season of playing time under his belt. You have to give young players time to develop. Case in point are guys like Soliai who many wanted to give up on early but has become dominant.

          • charlie

            See man, none of the potential probowlers were drafted by ireland except odrick who is really killing it this year. But to be a great team, you just have to do a better job in the draft. Signing free agents has to be done but great teams get these probowlers on rookie contracts for 4 yrs. Brent Grimes was an excellent signing. But if you look at his history in the nfl everyone shoulda known he was and i do believe if keller was healthy we would be a lot better off. Jeff Ireland has done some good things and personally dont care about dez bryant or shitty fans and especially jonathan martin but his drafting is just not up to par with the better gms in the league. There are worse gms but we can definitely draft better and we need to in order to be a boss in our division.

  • Eric Post

    Thanks for the great write up Paul. I’ve been arguing with other fans/friends about the very issues you have pointed out. Ireland is under rated and is not “the” problem in Miami.

    • Paul L. Picken, Jr

      Thanks Eric, it may not be the “popular” opinion here, but it seems to have gotten more support than I expected – which is a good thing.

  • Rubén

    We should thank Jeff Ireland for this week 11 win (vs San Diego), bringing players that made key plays Grimes, D Thomas, O Vernon, Sturgis… and we should thank Mike Sherman for not losing it with his bad calling and his stubbornness to pass (19 runs/39 passes just 33% of plays, considering a 5.47 yards average during game and 4.0 yards average during season)…
    For me that has been the history this year… Ireland doing everything he can to win and coaching staff (Sherman) doing everything to lose, the result 5 wins 5 loses.

    • Paul L. Picken, Jr

      Thanks Ruben, I agree. Path of least resistance here would be Sherman growing and learning and fixing his shortcomings.

      • Paul L. Picken, Jr

        And I will say it isn’t JUST Sherman, Coyle needs to find a better way to keep his best players fresh without sacrificing entire defensive series.

  • Kenny Lopez

    So explain this to me. New England is about to win their 5th straight division title, has two trips to the AFC Title Game, a trip to the Super Bowl, and the Jets went to back to back AFC Title Games, won 4 road playoff games, and played in a combined 11 playoff games, not counting the game they played against each other in 2011. Combined, there’s one .500 season and one losing season, both by the Jets. The Dolphins made the playoffs once under Fireland and lost. Only one wining season. That sounds like a failure to me.