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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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Now...The games are for REAL...

I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I'd like to know how waivers works. I know the teams pick in the same order as the draft, but that does that mean the Fins can get any players they want, then the next team picks, or is it one pick per team and then it starts all over again?

TIA!

LPT: The way waivers works is that when a player with less than four years of experience is waived, teams can put in a claim on him if they are interested. Multiple teams can put in claims, but only the team with the highest pick gets him.

The highest pick now is determined by the same order as what the draft was. In other words, the Dolphins have the first pick as the team that had the No. 1 overall selection.

This is not a season-long advantage. The order will change to the current season's won-loss records, I believe, after four weeks of regular-season play.

By the way, players with over four years of experience are not placed on waivers. Their contracts are terminated and they become free agents that can sign with the team of their choice.

We are going to PUNCH the Jets right in the MOUTH on national TV...Phins 23, Jets 13!

I don't know how it works either, so thanks for asking the question.

"I feel like we did a pretty good job, I feel real good about it".

I feel real good about it too and can't wait to see how these guys perform.

The talking heads on ESPN are asleep on this team, which could very well go 10-6 (no joke). That statement by Ireland is about as good as you are ever going to get from any GM, which is telling. These guys are confident.

From the retooling of the front seven and O Line to Ricky's rebound and Ronnie's rehab, to the final piece, Pennington falling into their laps this team is gonna surprise a lot of people. Call that wishful thinking from a Fin fan but I actually believe it.

And the untold backstory here is that they may have found their franchise QB of the future too.

Thanks, Armando

i like our chances this year. its not like were gonna make the playoffs but im expecting 6 to 8 wins. next year well be stronger than ever thats 4 sure! no doubt!

Common guys, we all want to see the fins winning, and we're on the right track and lot of improvement has been made, but more than 6 wins is unrealistic, a winning record is possible next year, and we'll be competitive by 2010, don't get dissapointed, remember the trifecta is fixing too many years of bad drafting

Seems like the Trifecta had in their minds to keep the best players with less regard to position. Good strategy.
Peele was let go because he was most like Fasano, most versatile. Martin's the receiver, Ryan the blocker. Nice mix.
Doesn't sound like there was ever much intention to trade Beck unless they got an offer that knocked their socks off. Pennington is what they originally wanted McCown to be, only better.

Ireland is hilarious! The guy has absolutely no tact. He just says whatever he's thinking......no wonder Parcells likes him.

(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.” <-- LOL this guy's awesome; in other words .. I'm not gonna tell you sh_t so just shut up already!!! lol

I must confess that the nightmares I was suffering after not drafting Brady Quinn, have disappeared now that the 2 Chads are with Miami. I really wish the Dolphins a healthy seasson. All the best.

I like the fact that everybody is being optimistic including myself, but we can't get too excited about our preseason record, or trades/moves we make, remember that neither parcells or ireland will be on the field and we dont know how our team will react when we lose some games, we just need to wait and see but playoffs??? Im as big dolphin fan as any of you but i dont see that happening, not this year.

Good call dude. They brought in McCown to be Pennington.........and then dumped McCown when they were actually able to get Pennington to be Pennington. Plus, there's stuff that goes on that we'll never be privy to. McCown could not have made a good first impression on his bosses when he got hurt with a chainsaw before training camp. Say what you will, but they must have figured he's a dope from that moment on.

You are very wise Bill Parcells...I like the way you think. It's so easy to get excited based upon the preseason but let's wait and see how the first few games go before we can claim the Fins are back!

Mando, could you please tell the Herald that Dave Barry is a twit? They need to pull him off of the Drudge Report also.

Gee, I didn't think we would be this good this year. Maybe I should have stayed in Miami after all. Wouldn't it suck if the Phins did better than the skins? what an idiot I am.

I am still not sold on Henne as our future. After watching all of the pre-season footage of his play he has one glaring weakness that has got to be fixed. He doesn't look off his receivers. From the time the ball is snapped he locks onto who he is going to throw to and never looks him off. I hope this gets corrected or we are going to be looking for another future franchise qb.

It's true what Ray is saying about Chad Henne, I noticed that weakness last time vs the saints. Now, when everybody say that he's our QB of the future or not, well time will tell, in the meantime he just need keep working on his mechanics and hopefully He'll be the guy we've been expecting since Marino left.

Preseason is over. Now is the time for us to shine. I don't care if we only win 4 games like theexperts say. as long as those are 4 wins against the jet and cheaters.

I think our D will be in the top ten at the end of the season. I think our running game will be in the top 10 as well.

On that note

I don't know what our record will be - but it should be pretty good.

The first game will tell us a lot.

Beat the STINKING jets!

"there are several more waves of player availability"

I invite one of you guys to make a fool of me because I have no idea what these waves are.

Teams continually adjust there rosters as the season goes on and that gets players onto the waiver wire, but not waves of them. Trading deadlines might push a few on, but not too many. What other events flood the wire like the cut deadlines do?

Before this all started we knew that Tuna had to do a brutal thing,He demolished our team bye, bye Zach, Jason,Booker, Lemon and all. Hello new fins go Ricky , I'm still having a hard time about the Jet(Pennington) but nothing like a few wins to get over that, Just win 1 game at a time guys, and we the fans will be for ya! Chad P. will earn his fins when he beats the Jets on 1st game. Good luck guys stay healthy and party in the end zone!!

"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.”

Unbelievable! A reckless and irresponsible statement like this makes us a laughingstock. Ireland is destroying a once-proud franchise before our very eyes. When will Huizenga or Ross step in and stop this madness?!?

Way to go Trifecta. Talk about working magic, we essentially trade McClown for a 7 rounder and get Pennington. Thanks Brett Favre! I hope you continue to be throwing picks like your last pass starting with game one. No wonder you unretired. Sorry to make your comeback miserable in the SoFla sauna at Dolphin Stadium. This victory will be as big as beating the Ravens last year.

Mando,
Why did Ireland say Darilek was let go? Alleman was a DLine guy for 2 years and never has taken a snap as a center at any level in any game.
What gives from Darilek a "lock" ("Sporano loves this guy") to now going with a guy who has never played a down the postion or a snap in any pro league?

NOW we know why Ireland avoids the press.
He's illiterate!
Must a chewed himself free from TUNA's leash.
Three words, dude "NO MORE PRESS!"

Let me guess, your reward for actually telling players they are CUT, is the occasional press appearance?

Show us all some genious and ZIP IT!

People that can't spell genius shouldn't use it.

MJZ,

Although I do not forsee a playoff team THIS SEASON, I am excited about the new regime. I think we FINALLY have knowledgable football people who honestly care about the team and where they want it to be headed. I have a positive outlook. I think they will be much improved this season and I am looking forward to seeing the progress of the new players we have this season. I will miss Zach and Jason, they have had great careers here. I understand the reasons of their departures, as Miami is rebuilding, and they want rings. I wish them the best. : ) I feel good about this season too.

A Dolfan in Cali...

This dolphin draft may go down as the best ever!.
There have been many great calculated moves since
the draft by the Tuna's crew. I realistic believe the dolphins can win 6-8 games this season. Kudos to Tuna Crew.

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