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The words straight from Jeff Ireland's mouth

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland talked to the media today. It's a big deal. He has declined to do so since the April draft.

This is what he said:

(On what went into the decision to add C Andy Alleman, T Nate Garner and WR Brandon London) – “Obviously we felt like we had a need at the position so we went after the players that we did because there is a need there, and we felt like their abilities are what we needed.”

(On the report of signing Ricky Williams to an extension through next year)  – “Yeah, we did.  We extended him for one more year.  We didn’t want him to be a free agent so we did extend him, yes.”

(On what has impressed him about Ricky Williams since the offseason) – “You guys see it out there, we see it out there; he’s done an excellent job in the weight room, in the meeting rooms.  He’s come out there, he’s jumped out at us on tape, he looks good in the preseason.  Everything we’ve seen since we got here - and it was zero-zero when we got here, Tony (Sparano) said that in the first press conference - he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s a player that’s shown he can play; he showed us that he can play so we didn’t want him to make the free agent market.”

(On how long has Ricky Williams’ extension been in the works) – “I don’t know, not very long, a couple days.”

(On if there is a chance that Anthony Armstrong could wind up on the practice squad) – “We’ll have to see, obviously, if he passes through waivers, but yeah, he’s a player we still have an interest in, yes.”

(On what went into the decision to trade Josh McCown and keep John Beck) – “What it came down to is, obviously we didn’t know that (Chad) Pennington was going to be out there.  Things changed pretty quickly when we were able to pick up that thing that fell out of the tree there.  That was obviously a good move for us when we did pick up Chad. Tony (Sparano) was right on when he said we might keep four quarterbacks.  We decided that we weren’t going to keep four, we decided who probably has the best upside? We felt like John (Beck) was still a young player and he’s done a great job here in the last week and a half and felt like that was the player that we felt like he had more upside and more future to him and more developmental possibilities, so John was the guy we went with.”

(On if there was any truth to the rumor of trying to trade John Beck) – “I’m not going to confirm that we tried to trade or anything like that about John Beck.  We traded Josh McCown.”

(On if he is comfortable having a rookie and a second-year quarterback backing up Chad Pennington and if there is a chance they may pick up another veteran quarterback) – “We feel pretty good about it.  We feel pretty good about where Chad Henne and John Beck are.  Chad Henne is a guy that we feel very good about; obviously he’s our number two right now.  I feel pretty good about it as a matter of fact, yes.”

(On if Ricky Williams is more dedicated now than he has been in the past) – “I wasn’t here in the past so I don’t really know how he had a lack of dedication in the past.  I know what I read and what circulates in NFL circles.  When we sat down coming here, we said that we’re going to give this guy every benefit of the doubt and he’s got to show us that he is dedicated. He’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do.  We feel really good about our decision to extend him.”

(On if he envisioned this much change having only one returning starter at the same position on the offensive line from last year with Samson Satele) – “We felt like, obviously when we came here we let go of some guys that were starters at the end of the season.  Yeah, we knew there was going to be a lot of turnover there.  Did I know there was only going to be one left?  Probably not at the time, but we knew that we had some work there; we knew that we needed to get younger.  Now we got some young guys there that we feel like we can grow with and that we can develop and develop them the way we want them to develop them.  We feel pretty good about where the offensive line stands today.”

(On his overall impression of the 53-man roster going into week one) – “I feel pretty good about the 53-man roster.  As a matter of fact I feel very good about the 53.  I think we’ve made some improvements in pretty much every area.  I think we’ve helped the depth of the offensive line tremendously, we helped the defensive line tremendously, the secondary we feel very good about. I think the resurgence of Yeremiah Bell and Renaldo Hill and Jason Allen, just getting him more consistent, has helped the secondary.  I think we’ve helped ourselves with a young placekicker we feel real good about so we have a good young nucleus of players that we feel very good about working with and developing.”

(On if there is a position where he thinks they lack depth and need to shore up)  – “We got to see these guys play a little bit more before we can go into where we have a weakness right now.  We’re not where we want to be, that’s for sure, in a lot of different areas, but to come out and say that this position is weak; I don’t want to get into that.”

(On eight of nine draft picks making the final roster and Lex Hilliard ending up on the practice squad) – “We had some holes to fill, and we feel very good about the nine draft choices that we drafted, we feel very good about those guys. It’s nothing to say that Lex didn’t do anything to earn a job, because I think that he did. He earned a practice squad spot right now, and we have to see how that position turns out. Jalen’s got to come out and play and he has to perform, but the other guys we feel real good about, Jake (Long) and Kendall (Langford) and Phillip (Merling) and the rest of the guys we feel real good about them.”

(On if there was as much talent on the waiver wire as he would have hoped for) – “It’s never as good as you want it to be, it’s never as good as you want it to be. Teams are smart, they are not just going to let go because they have a certain number of receivers. If that is a strength of their team they are going to hold on to the strength of their team, and as much as you project and try to analyze, the ones that you want to come free never come free. I feel very good about the three players that we were able to get. They fit a need and we all feel very good about where they can go on this team.”

(On if the team will continue to be active in adjusting the roster) – “We have been here for six or seven months now and it’s never stopped, so I don’t think that it’s going to stop now. That is the one thing that has been constant is change around here. Yes, I can see ourselves being active, there are several more waves of player availability, and so I would say that we’d be active in just about all of them if the player and the need fit.”

(On if anyone exceeded his expectations during training camp) – “I think pretty much everybody was about what we thought they would be. I’ll give kudos to Donald Thomas, he came in and really played well. All the rookies exceeded a little bit of my expectations, but I will say that Donald Thomas did a nice job. For the most part they kind of were what they were; I mean they are what they are.”

(On the release of Keith Davis) – “Well like coach said and like I said a while ago, we did not know much about Yeremiah Bell when we first got here. We knew he was coming off an Achilles injury, and coming off three seasons where he hadn’t finished the season on the active roster. We knew Renaldo (Hill) was coming off a knee injury and we didn’t have (Chris) Crocker at the time and we knew a little about Jason (Allen) but it hadn’t all been positive at the time when we found out. The more we learned about all three of them, we learned that those are four players that we felt pretty strongly about as we are going through this process. So Keith really just didn’t fit in the long term plans as some of these other guys did.”

(On how it affects the special teams units) – “Keith is obviously a very good special teams player and so is Ed (Miles), and obviously those are difficult decisions to make. As you look at it we felt that we had some guys on the roster that can fill those shoes and that’s going to be something that we continually monitor, the special teams and the number of plays these guys can play and the flexibility that some positions have and some positions don’t have. Again, that comes back to player availability. Special Teams is something that we stress a lot around here, so you can see us probably making some moves in that regard in the future.”

(On the makeup of the tight end position on the roster) – “Well it didn’t come down to money to be honest with you; it came down to having something a little bit different. You have (Anthony) Fasano, you have (David) Martin and then you have (Sean) Ryan, and Ryan was really third piece that was a little bit different than what we had. So when you are putting a team together you don’t need the same pieces everywhere. You need to have a little bit different, so you can run different things when you are in certain packages. Ryan gave us something a little bit different, a big tough guy. So we are glad to have him. We felt we got the right player.”

(On the difference of his role this year as to years past) – “The process for me is really the same; I am just probably a more integral part of the decision making than I was in Dallas. The process of you get in the room, you grind tape, you talk to your scouts, you talk to Bill (Parcells), you talk to Tony (Sparano). So it really the same process for me in this particular period in time.”

(On the new additions and where they fit in)

“I think (Andy) Alleman is going to be a center and (Nate) Garner is going to be a tackle.”

(On the urgency to shore up the linebacker position) – “The outside linebacker position is pretty much set for me. I mean Joey’s (Porter) healthy or will be healthy, hopefully this week. We feel pretty good about the outside linebacker position.”

(On looking back on whether the Free Agent class was successful) – “I would say, when you make as many moves as we did, Bill (Parcells) has always told me, ‘Hey this business is a 50-50 proposition’. So I think that we did better than 50-50. Certain things, you can’t predict what is going to happen. I felt like we did a pretty good job, based on what came available, what’s out there and how some of the players that were here developed. I felt like we did a pretty good job, I feel real good about it.”

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