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Jeff Ireland enjoying a new popularity in Miami

Jeff Ireland AP

It was just over a month ago Dolphins general manager got into a verbal altercation with a fan who suggested he fire himself.

Now, opinions on the embattled personnel man are turning, with the team’s results.

The tandem of coach Joe Philbin and quarterback Ryan Tannehill looks like a winner at this point, and the man who put them in place is taking much less static than he used to.

He’s definitely looking a lot smarter,” team radio broadcaster Joe Rose said, via Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. “His talent evaluation is better than any of us thought it was.”

That’s quite a turnaround for Ireland, who moved fans to stage a protest in March when he traded wide receiver Brandon Marshall and failed to sign a quarterback in free agency. His image took another hit when he traded cornerback Vontae Davis for draft picks, a move that many thought was the equivalent of punting before the season started.

But with three wins, Tannehill playing well, and immediate impacts from rookie right tackle Jonathan Martin and defensive end Olivier Vernon, his drafting has at least made people stop talking about Chad Henne and Pat White.

“I never bought into the criticism of Jeff Ireland,” said former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly. “The biggest fundamental difference this year is Tannehill has been a big plus, Reggie Bush has been a big plus and perhaps they have a few less distractions without Marshall and Vontae Davis.”

The Dolphins also have a surplus of salary cap room next year, around $50 million, which they can use to keep their own while supplementing with the extra second- and third-round picks next year.

That’s quieted a lot of the talk in Miami, turning opinion in a hurry.

“The ones that are really down on him aren’t calling,” said Rose, who also hosts a morning sports talk show. “Or, I have a lot more calls like, ‘Hey, I might’ve been wrong about Jeff Ireland.’ ”

He better enjoy it now. Because unless the wins keep coming on a regular basis, the “Fire Jeff Ireland” banners will start flying again.

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25 Responses to “Jeff Ireland enjoying a new popularity in Miami”
  1. mcjon22 says: Oct 20, 2012 11:17 AM

    Ireland should still be fired. He’s mediocre at best. He had ONE good draft class out of 4, gave away a pro bowl receiver for 3rd round choices when he traded two 2nd round choices to get him, and dumped Vontae Davis which is just another draft bust for Ireland. Also, he is TERRIBLE in Free agency. Out of the 14 players he signed in the off-season only TWO are still on the roster. The Dolphins turn around is more to do with a competent coaching staff than anything Ireland has done.

  2. flabberghoster says: Oct 20, 2012 11:19 AM

    “He better enjoy it now. Because unless the wins keep coming on a regular basis, the “Fire Jeff Ireland” banners will start flying again.”

    Yeah, but the point is it looks like they can keep winning. Anyway, that’s true about any GM/Head Coach.

    To mejon20: so who cares if only two FAs are still on the roster or this or that player flopped. The point is the roster he’s built is performing. One way or another he’s put a good team together.

  3. miamininer says: Oct 20, 2012 11:23 AM

    He better enjoy it now. Because unless the wins keep coming on a regular basis, the “Fire Jeff Ireland” banners will start flying again.

    It’s only a matter of time Dolphins haven’t beat anyone impressive yet schedule will get tougher we will see.

  4. gridironking34 says: Oct 20, 2012 11:30 AM

    @miamininer The Bengals are a solid team and the Rams look promising.

    If you compare Ireland’s drafts to others, they really aren’t that bad. People hate on the Marshall and VD trades but at least he got something in return of decent value.

    Not the best GM out there but not nearly as bad as the general public suggests.

  5. FinFan68 says: Oct 20, 2012 11:32 AM

    Some Miami fans are just knee-jerk reactionary complainers but Ireland has done and said things that make it easy to dislike him. We are all frustrated with the losing but Ireland has found some good players. Some players just don’t work out. (Pats have a ton of picks every year but not many wind up making the team) Marshall was a good player but he woefully under performed when it mattered most. Getting rid of him was a good move at this point. It would have been a better move if one of the bigger receivers could fill the void. Hartline and Bess fit this system very well. A play-making big target will make them better. Davis had a special kind of talent but he acts like a child and couldn’t be counted on. Marshall will be a decent replacement IF he loses that me-first whining mentality. It’s not as bad as Davis’ but it is there. The Ireland/Philbin team is starting to work out and should get better. This guy knows how to coach and get the most out of his players and assistant coaches. He may not be a “personality” but he is a good coach who know what it takes to win and holds people accountable. Good things are on the horizon and it looks like the Dolphins have finally turned the corner. Let’s hope it continues.

  6. miamininer says: Oct 20, 2012 11:34 AM

    @gridironking34 Bengals are inconsistent rams are a little tougher I’d give him credit for tannehill but that was more of Mike Sherman’s influence than anything

  7. beeronthefridge says: Oct 20, 2012 11:35 AM

    It was Parcell, not Ireland, who drafted Chad Henne and Pat White.

    Huzienga hired Parcells to run football operations including the draft.

  8. anrockray says: Oct 20, 2012 11:38 AM

    Ireland’s future will be determined by the success of next year’s draft, with two 2′s and two 3′s. Criticize Ireland if you want, but the team is now well positioned to become a regular playoff contender; Tannehill is promising, their core players are talented, dependable, and exhibit positive leadership, and next year they have cap room and the aforementioned bounty of picks. As a Dolphins fan for 40 years, I’m truly excited for the first time since they went into Jacksonville in the ’99 playoffs and got pummelled.

  9. johnnyquick says: Oct 20, 2012 11:43 AM

    Finding a franchise quarterback in the draft will make any GM a genius.

    If Belicheck had not picked Brady, which he passed on five times in the draft, by now he would have been out of the Patriots.

  10. wallace758 says: Oct 20, 2012 11:45 AM

    @ miamininer… Have you watched one dolphin game this year. Other than pass defense at times. They have been productive versus all teams. We are a great half against houston from possibly being 6 and 0. Your comments should rechecked. Ireland is still not my favorite. But miami’s future looks better now than it did 6 months and kudos to jeff and joe for that. Those draft picks are gonna be very handy next year!

  11. igotgamenj says: Oct 20, 2012 11:58 AM

    Jeff Ireland is a genius.

  12. falcons999 says: Oct 20, 2012 12:41 PM

    Ireland sure gets a lot of blame for Parcell’s decisions. lol

    Still recall Parcell saying that he didn’t want Pat White….but he was in charge with full control. Parcell set this team back huge but he is Teflon.

    As for the FA’s that didn’t make the team, remember that these days there are scrubs and guys looking to get overpaid with little in between. They signed a bunch of scrubs looking for depth. He didn’t overpay anyone like Robinson. Kept Soliai at a very good price and let the Rams overpay Langford.

    As well, the team added late draft and undrafted kids on the OL and DL who look good.

  13. anyonebutbrady says: Oct 20, 2012 1:05 PM

    What is “headlines i didn’t see coming” for $2000…

  14. nflgreedleague says: Oct 20, 2012 1:26 PM

    You won’t hear it on this site but the bottom line is, Ross was right. The problem last year WAS NOT the GM or personel. Philbin & his staff actually teach players. With all new schemes they already have 3 more wins then the Sparano lead Dolphins had last year. WAKE UP HATERS! Enjoy the fact that the future is bright. You don’t get anything for free, so we swapped a couple 2nd round picks for 3rds renting Marshall for 2 years and had a decent CB, Davis, for 3 years for exchange of a late 1st round pick to an early 2nd, big deal.

    You gotta like a guy who can get 2x 3rd rounders for BM(Bowel movement) and a 2nd rounder for VD (venereal disease) and that’s basically what those players are or turned into – bad attitudes that were not tolerated by the now, good leadership in Miami.

  15. promickey says: Oct 20, 2012 2:00 PM

    Jeff has managed the cap so that the Dolphins will have enough money in 2013 to spend for acquiring the much needed skill players; WR, CB Safety and TE. The mistakes made could be the Parcells influence. I believe the Parcells hire has set the Dolphins back and although Parcells was considered and excellent coach. He was a really bad executive releasing highly paid lineman that were part of the past salary cap issues. The Atlanta Falcons attempted to recruit Parcells also. Lucky for them Parcells decided on the Dolphins. Stay retired Bill you never could buy the groceries in the NFL!!!

  16. wannstache says: Oct 20, 2012 2:23 PM

    Three wins, two of which came against rebuilding teams, on a weak schedule is not cause for suddenly thinking this guy knows what he’s doing. It’s most likely an aberration, like his first year in 2008, also against a weak schedule. Tannehill appears to be a good pick, but you can’t judge rookie QBs until NFL coaches get a year of tape on them (See Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Vince Young, etc.). Don’t jump the gun here people. Wait and see.

  17. noahbird says: Oct 20, 2012 6:17 PM

    Most of my fellow Phins fans are a touch bipolar and shallow in terms of their criticism.

  18. tahjay says: Oct 20, 2012 6:21 PM

    Yaaay its only taken him 6 years to build a mediocre football team! The Tannehill pick is cool and all but let’s not forget he’s the guy who also drafted Pat White with his second round pick. Lets not get into the numerous other bad moves he’s made: signing Justin Smiley to an extension, Ernest Wilfork, Daniel Thomas in the second round, trading a problem WR then signing a more problematic, and less productive WR to replace him. But yea, take a douche bag junkie who hosts a radio show on the city’s last place station in Joe Rose’s word for it.

  19. tannethrill says: Oct 20, 2012 7:55 PM

    He’s not going anywhere now that he’s found a QB to develop and an offensive minded coach.

    Another thing he doesn’t get credit for is heading in a different direction from what Parcells believes. From QB pedigree to the 4-3 to a West Coast offense it’s been quite the opposite from what Tuna builds. I’d like to think the players left from the Sparano run are at least tough minded individuals and the ones left are able to transition to these changes.

    I’ve really liked Ireland’s style since the beginning and what I love is his personal history with the game. I think he gets it and that meant building this team at his own pace absent from fan approval or disapproval.

    A young GM or even an old one deserves 5 years to put their plan in place. Everything that happens in between needs to be taken with a grain of salt and hopefully in the end that person’s vision has taken life.

    Slowly I’m understanding patience is the true key to success in this league

  20. tannethrill says: Oct 20, 2012 8:10 PM

    tahjay…

    Basically everything you complained about was a Tuna move.

    Everyone does understand that up until the last year Tuna was with Miami he was making the calls. Even that last year he was there he had a strong influence. Even once Tuna left there was a coach here influencing Ireland based on what he knew to look for from Tuna.

    Best I can say is imagine that this is Ireland’s first year on the job and that his and Philbin’s fate are intertwined. Don’t judge him positively or negatively on what went on previous to this past off season.

  21. nflgreedleague says: Oct 20, 2012 9:08 PM

    Hey tahjay
    Can you point out this magical GM who doesn’t make mistakes? Quite frankly you’re the one that comes off as a douche bag.

  22. brandon780 says: Oct 20, 2012 10:19 PM

    I agree that things are looking like they are working out right now in Miami. i think this will ultimatly be a .500 season and we will be on our way. soemtimes you just need to learn to win. As far as Ireland goes this 2012 draft is what I would consider “his” second darft and after some mistakes made in the 2011 draft he is learning well. Parcells brought him over with him and everybody knows all the drafts prior to the tuna jumping ship with his millions were all tuna. I think we all take a deep breath and let ireland do his thing for the 2013 offseason and see what he can bring the phins via free agency and who they draft. I look for good things.

  23. purplepeter says: Oct 21, 2012 1:16 AM

    Hate to play the what if game.
    But if the Browns would of picked Tanny instead or Weeden Fins would be so screwed right now. Good GM I hear- I say he got lucky as hell. Just enough to save his job and ruin next years draft.

  24. pantsfreezone says: Oct 21, 2012 12:16 PM

    Traded a 6th rounder and Jonathan Amaya (who came back) for Reggie Bush who has had career numbers since.

    Signed NT Paul Soliai to a 2 year hometown discount contract.

    Drafted Tannehill, Martin, Vernon, Miller, Jimmy Wilson, Reshad Jones and Clemons.

    Got rid of Brandon “Butterfingaz” Marshall, Vontae “Grandma” Davis, all of the horrible Cowboy pickups Sporano wanted and got great value in return for them.

    Did not overpay Matt Flynn, Peyton Manning, Kyle Orton or keep Chad Henne.

    Ireland is a better drafter than Belichik, a better GM than 26 out of 32 GMs and criticized for things that he had no control over while Parcells was here. He’s not Randy Mueller people. Give the guy some props.

  25. mptapp says: Oct 22, 2012 3:07 PM

    My opinion has not changed. He has added some good players, but so has almost every other GM. It’s their job to!

    I’m REALLY glad he didn’t sign Peyton Manning…no matter how good he is for two years (or not – see Culpepper as exhibit A), we would be even in worse shape when he retires. Flynn would have made sense if you believed in him, but it’s probably better to wait for the real deal.

    I don’t think all the decisions of recent years should be pinned on him, but there has been a string of mediocre years that he has not turned around. Wannstedt did us more damage than anyone, trying to save his own job by trading 2nd round choices for Lamar Gordon (brilliant!) and others. Ted Ginn (Thanks Cam!) and Jason Allen (the only 1st round choice not starting for his team two years later) really set us back. Ginn set us back twice – once when we wasted the 9th overall pick on him, then we traded him for a 5th round choice, only to find we no longer had a decent kick returner!

    If we have a chance to move up to add real talent in the first round, we should do it! If not, we need to stockpile future draft choices (like mentioned last week via drafting developmental QBs like Green Bay) so we can move up when the opportunity presents itself.

    More credit should likely be paid to Philbin for our 3-3 (hardly made the playoffs yet) start. I think his approach is spot on.

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