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Jeff Ireland: The interview, the Wilson flap

I got the opportunity to speak with Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland one-on-one Saturday night after his work was mostly done with the draft and the adding of priority free agents.

That conversation gave me a better understanding of exactly how it is the Dolphins attack the draft when Ireland and Bill Parcells are sitting in the war room together. I wrote about that as part of my column that appears in Monday's Miami Herald.

Another part of the column, by the way, tells you how Ireland seemed to be getting more comfortable even as this draft was proceeding. He actually made jokes when he was in front of the media. The guy was cool.

But we're not 100 percent there yet.

This interview gave me the opportunity to ask about a topic that's been bothering me for a while now:

I wanted to know why it was Ireland seemingly misled at the Indianapolis Combine on the subject of Gibril Wilson. As you know, everyone assumed Wilson was a goner after a season in which he played poorly and cost Miami chances to win at least two games -- Indianapolis and New Orleans.

But Ireland went to the Combine and in speaking with the media -- to his credit, against the wishes of Parcells -- defended Wilson so vehemently that it seemed like Wilson was coming back.

"We have our evaluation of Gibril Wilson," Ireland said at the time. "We know what kind of player he's capable of being. I think he's going to be a very good player for the future. He was disappointed in his play last year. He will tell you that. I think he can play better. We'll just have to see. I think he will."

Of course, everyone assumed Ireland meant Wilson would play better for the Dolphins. Bad assumption. The Dolphins cut Wilson when the new league year opened in March.

"I didn't say anything that was wrong," Ireland told me during our interview. "I didn't say anything that was false. If you read the transcript, I said he's going to be a good player in the future. I knew what I was saying. You know, he's a player on my team. And I'm going to defend a player on my team. I'm not going to say anything else bad out there. I do believe he's going to be a good player in the future. I like the kid. It was probably not the right position for him. That's obvious now. But I did believe what I was telling you. I was telling the truth.

"I just wasn't giving you every thought in my head."

Fair enough. It wasn't Ireland's fault that folks like me made an assumption. As Ireland told me in another part of the interview, every draft mistake his makes is a lesson he learns.

Count this a lesson learned for yours truly.

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slippery fella

My guess is that he is feeling more secure in his job and is loosening up a bit. He is pretty tight as a GM. I think he feel the Tuna is happy with him and that he had a very good draft. Good for him. I would have like Morgan B but other than that I am happy with the fins draft.

Parcells instructs his guys to misdirect and mislead as a way to protect the organization. But too much of that takes away from the integrity of the team. The Dolphins should have signed JT this year and I don't care who we picked up this year. If we don't get into the playoffs because he sacks Henne I will be pissed. I hope Nolan explodes onto the scene..we need him to hit the ground running and we need to get ourselves into position to make a decision about R Brown this year. We also need to make sure J Jerry understands complexity in the offense. Really wish we got Morgan B in the draft....we just missed him. I also would have loved to see Jerry Hughes in a fins uniform. We'll see. Go FINS!

Funny to see Ireland all of a sudden warming up and granting you an interview. Someone from the PR department finally got to the Trifecta. They are doing pennance for JT and Zach. A little late in my book but I still love the Fins.

Would love to see Cobbs and Ronnie and Ricky running this year. I hope they stay healthy. My favorite Dolphin remains Camarillo. The guy is class and clutch. As Camarillo goes so do the DOlphins.

Armando, would love for Parcells to grant you an interview. I also appreciate it when you ask the tough questions and not give up. Howard Cossell would say you got guts kid.

Armando thanks for all the posts. If you get a chance, please update this app. It still says 2009 and has old old old stuff on it. Several of the links don't work. Anyway, it is still my most used app. Can't wait to see Miami and Oakland this year in the bay area. Me and my kid are going.

Posting from my computer. This is aquaandorange by the way.

David wrote his own article with his 30 comments.

good stuff armando.....people need to understand that exposing every detail of the inner workings of an organization like an nfl franchise would put the team at a competitive disadvantage. parcells has taught this guy how to handle the media and public statements and im fine that hes not publicly explaining every detail and decision the dolphins make. i wish he and parcells would address the media in detail a few times a year, before the season, after it, before the draft and after it. i think the fans deserve to hear what direction, at a high level, the the team is moving and what to expect going forward.

i think ireland is and will be a top notch GM in the league for a long time. I hope its with the phins even after Parcells leaves. He's a young guy with a keen eye for talent...would love to see chad pennington coach this team a few years down the road as well....

U go David.

Armando,

Good piece! At least the man was forthright with you on his thinking. And with future "issues" articles, you can listen and read between the lines.

Good lesson to learn too.

He's a politician, rightly so. Just keep that in mind. He'll let you and all of us wallow in our misconceptions if it suits his and the Fins' purpose. Unlike elected officials and voters, he doesn't ultimately answer to us for his job.

I have my evaluation of you, Armando. I know what type of writer you're capable of being. I do believe you're going to be a very good writer for the future. ;)

LOVED the draft. A nuts and bolts draft with hardly any skill position players. Mostly front-7 players and a guard. Great job by Ireland. Some more brawlers on both sides of the ball for an already nasty group.

Aqua here. Good night

Ultimately we'll only get to see how good this team really is when the games are played, but the difference b/w this roster and the 1-15 expansion roster that the trifecta took over is night and day. What a job by the front office.

We could have had:

1st pick - Hughes LB
2nd pick - Kindle LB (double down)
3rd pick - Mayor Right S
4th pick - Cam Thomas DT
5th pick - A.J Feeds ILB
5th pick - Reshad Jones S (double down)


No need for another DE in Odrick since Starks stays at his natural position and a true NT plays nose.

No need for John Jery with all the OL we already have.

TE, WR, OL in the 6-7th rounds.

THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A MUCH BETTER DRAFT!!!!

Everyone knew Wilson stunk and wasn't coming back. If you believed otherwise, regardless of what Ireland said, that's on you. Come on, Mando, this is the NFL. It's a given that GMs don't tip their hand. It's expected that you're going to get smokescreens.

How much value would Gibril Wilson have if Ireland, "Yeah, the guy sucks donkey balls. We're going to release him if we can't trade him." That's just bad business. GM's have to have a political side.

If Obama came out and said that he was a socialist, had several communist friends, and that he wanted the IRS to force everyone to buy health care he wouldn't have gotten any votes. Smart people knew who Obama was before the election. Everyone else is finding out the hard way. I would have thought you would have been ahead of the curve with Ireland. You're the one that taught me how much the Trifecta spins and how they will never say a bad thing about a player in the media.

Draftgate. The way the Patriots trade picks by 2020 New England could own every pick in the second round. Something fishy is going on.

I don't really know what you wanted him to say to the original question. They guys was still employed. He isn't going to dump on him.

And for you to bring that stuff up like he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar???? Why would you do that? To serve your ego and version of the truth?

the dolphins organization is like the mafia, whach out Mando, you might say the wrong thing to the wrong guy and before you know it there is a hit out on you

The ablity to miss direct everyone, especially the media from your true intentions is very important in todays NFL. You don't need to look no further than our very own AFC East rivals the new england patriots and their head coach bill bellicheat to know that, playboy.

WELL AFTER THIS DRAFT HE SHOULD NEVER MAKE ANOTHER MISTAKE AS LONG AS HE LIVES.

I loved the draft but must say that getting Brandon Marshall in free agency changed everything. Our offense was good enough last year, and this year the defense will be better. We don't need big names on the team, we need big players and the Dolphins drafted them. I cannot wait for the season to start now. We will be better this year. Go Dolphins!

Armando, first of all good work, and you've really stepped up your reporting this season, I see a difference.

As far as Ireland goes, he's full of crap. You can't defend a player that hard and then later say you were considering that he may play for a different team. And Hyde caught him on the Misi quote too.

The FO are poor communicators, not only with the press but with players as well. Whether or not they are poor drafters, we'll see. I see no evidence thus far they have any idea what they're doing in the draft. I see a lot of arrogance and not much of a targeted plan. Their attitude is, it will all work out, if one guy is already picked, then we'll just pick a lower quality player in later rounds (Turner), or slide one of our veterans over in a position we failed to fill (Starks), or tell someone on the roster to "step it up."

If Starks was the clear answer at nose, then he'd have BEEN the nose from day one taking over from Ferguson.

Am I wrong in finding it hard to see the stellar result in this draft?

A. Pass Rushing - JT and Porter gone. Misi is not a replacement for them. He is better at coverage, not pass rushing.
B. DE was fine - Starks and Langford played pretty well. This was the line that Parcells/Ireland designed in year one. Now we're moving your star DE to NT, and replacing the position with a rookie DE fresh out of college? (This is year three!)
C. NT - Starks apparently is our new nose. It's yet to be seen whether that will work or not.
D. Safety - No real upgrade from the draft.

As far as I can see, this is just more rebuilding similar to the first draft, with still more holes left over on D, like safety. This is no playoff run, this is just another year of adding "solid" but not spectacular players to the roster.

Frankly, if the FO didn't panic and cover their poor player aquisition activity the past 3 years by buying Dansby and Marshall, then we'd be in serious trouble. Getting a guy like Incognito? More desperation. You can't claim to want character guys and bring that guy aboard.

This FO is getting the time that no other staff would have the luxury of having.

RICK:

DON't YOU THINK THOSE PLAYERS WITH "BIG NAMES"
HAVE BIG NAMES FOR A REASON.

IF THEY DIDN't MAKE BIG PLAYS THEY WOULDN't HAVE BIG NAMES.

WE COULD OF HAD JERRY HUGHES IN ROUND 1.

COME BACK AND GOT SERGIO KINDLE IN ROUND 2

THESE TWO ARE MUCH BETTER THAN OUR ODRICK AND MISI.

It should be a fun season.The key to our success will be on Henne.I liked what I saw last year,and with Chad P on the sideline giving him advice,I think he's going to prove the doubters wrong.

I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING SAMANTHA SAID.

PREACH ON!!

Want some cheese to go with that whine Justin and Samantha?

Armando, No one cares at this point. No GM tells the truth before the draft. Moreover anyone who observed Wilson's play would assume he would get cut. He was that bad! Gabril Wilson made the homerun ball popular in Dolphin Stadium.

THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A MUCH BETTER DRAFT!!!!

Posted by: bobbyd12 | April 26, 2010 at 02:50 AM

Scalzo give this guy the bigest piece of chess with his whine.

I meant cheese not chess.

How come nobody has addressed the TE position for the last month? Are we happy with butter fingers Fasano and nowere to be found Haynos? Heck, Sperry played better than these two!!! I heard Heap is a FA? Why not get somebody who can stretch the middle? I must be the only one that feels we need a fast TE to stretch the field so that we can take pressure off of Marshall and Hartline. It's good we got Jerry- but more time means the Phins will either go more 3 wide this year or stick to the same old third down with two blocking TEs? We are so predictable on offense. The team just needs to play man, double Marshall and pressure Henne. I don't think Ricky and Ronnie will be able to take all the pressure off on third down when Marshall is doubled and our TEs are nowhere to be found and we don't go four wide. Plus the defense can key on first and second down that we will not pass, and key on Ronnie and Ricky. I hope Henning is ready to go 3 wide on first down this year!

Camarillo is a Cam Cameron Guy. His days are numbered. Especially if the guy rom USC (whats his name.... damn... i hate it when this happens)starts to play well. TURNER!

Certainly everyone is entitled to have an opinion - but NOT everyone is entitled to have his opinion taken seriously. (Kenneth Tynan)

The experienced Parcells, Ireland, Sparano, Nolan, and orher coaches and scouts have collectively looked at every play the draftees have played - and multiple times at that. They formulated a plan and stuck to the plan. The medical staff of the Dolphins added in more information. (What if Kindle's microfracrure is more serious than Joe, Samantha and the other InCredible incredibly enlightened amateur pundits know?) What if Cody stays a fat-ass and wears down during an NFL season? Etc.

A front office can't just make a list of the players it wants and take them home. Other teams want those players as well. So grow up, watch what happens and see how this all shakes out. In addition, the offseason is not over. The holes that exist may still find improved occupants.

Seriously.

I don't give a flip How Jeff worded his statement as long as the outcome was the same....... Wilson gone.

Right on Thomas.

well well thomas I guess in the end we will all SEE

Tell em Thomas nice and rational

Yes yes Thomas now lets bow down to you, the savior Mr. Stearns

Joe, while I understand your frustration, I think Fasano is a good TE that still has some upside. Yes, he had an off year last year but he will be fine. On this team the TE has to be able block well, first and foremost. In my opinion, Fasano is a good pass catching TE and he displayed that in '08. He's not the fasted guy but in this offense the TEs don't run up the seam as much as in other offenses. That may be a product of not being able to, but I think Fasano is a very good player. They do need another TE to do what you said and also for depth because I think Haynos is a backup at best.

I learned something from this draft, teh Dolphins are happy with where they are regarding the wOLB position. I thought they would target someone - Morgan, Hughes, Graham, Kindle, etc but they selected Misi who will most likely play the SOLB since he's a decent pass rusher but a high motor guy with excellent mobility. Looks like the trifecta is sold 100% on Cam Wake.


"As Ireland told me in another part of the interview, every draft mistake his makes is a lesson he learns."

"his makes"? At least someone is learning from his mistakes.

I've given up the funny paper and come here for comic relief. You are good for one or two
WTF sentences almost every blog entry.

As far as the seam stretching TE everyone is crying for, it's obvious the team thinks he's already on the roster too. Maybe John Nalbone. YOu may laugh but the guy has excellent speed (4.5) and size. He may come on in year 2.

Unbelievable.
1) Kindle was rumored to have needed microfracture surgery, which might impair him the remainder of his career
2) Starks did play significant time at NT last season, so the FO does know what they are doing
3) Odrick is a friggin beast and with the realignment of our defense under Nolan, no one is going to miss Porter, the worst OLB in AFC or Jason Taylor and his primadonna, overrated, aged ass.
4) our 2 starting guards last year were scrubs because Thomas and Smiley can't stay healthy. you want to make a playoff push? then grab the 2nd best rated guard (projected) in the draft and beef up our offensive line.

The only thing I can agree on is that Hughes would have been nice and it would have been nice to grab a quality TE to help our Henne.

Samantha, although it is not in vogue to disagree about the picks the FO made in this draft here, I must say that you are spot on. I like Odrick alot, but they needed a pass rusher or a NT not a DE. A very good pass rusher was available when they picked. Most of their other picks were marginal at best, but we won't know until September what it grades out at. I was disappointed more with the players left on the board when the Dolphins picked than the actual players that Parcells picked. We don't know how they will perform,
but I do think the FO could have had a better draft. We'll see.

Oh no please Samantha do not voice your disagreement with the draft to some on here. Jrljr2 can attest to that

John Henderson is reportedly on the market as an UFA. Don't think he's a great fit with this group because of his age but he's been a dominant performer in his career.

You got that right.

Don't drink the Parcells kool-aid and stop criticizing people who might have a different a opinion than you. I amazed when someone comes online and criticizes the trifecta and immediately some die-hard blowhard immediately brands them an idiot. Intolerance is the first sign of stupidity. There are many of us that have lost faith in the trifecta and especially in the direction the team is heading. That does not mean that we don't love the Dolphins.It just means we have a different opinion.

That being said - I think we had a fairly good draft but "good" doesn't get it. The league is full of good teams and "good" doesn't get you to the Super Bowl. If you have to continuously draft the same positions over and over for three years, then you doing something wrong. Parcells and company compromised from the top of the draft to the bottom.

Regardless of how good your defense is, the better teams are going to rip you a new ass. The Minnesota Viking are a perfect example. Could be the best defense in the NFL and in the end they couldn't outscore the Saints. The owners have staked the deck intentionally in favor of the offenses to increase scoring. Just like the NBA and MLB. You can't win in the NFL anymore if you don't have a high powered offense and a shi*load of skilled players. Which we don't have and will probably never have under Parcells.

John Henderson just got released by the Jaguars. Please tell me the Fins are making a play for him. He wouldn't have to leave the state and he is a great backup plan at NT for us!!!

I'm becoming more and more comfortable with our first pick. The reason is: I'm not sure we needed to spend a pick on a permanent solution to nose tackle. Ferguson will be back. And when he does come back, he'll have Odrick and Starks on his flanks. Good situation.

JHS, bravo and courage to speak out. I do disagree with you though. But it is ok, we are both fans here. You will get slammed for this blasphemy from you know them very well. I see what you mean that some had lost faith in the team. Just like in politics I guess. Some of these payasos on here will cut you down for not thinking like them. They may even call you a Jets fan. Just like politics.

Microfravture surgery isn't as major as it sounds. It is a little bit more involved than an arthroscopy. It is done with a scope and doesn't require an incision. The procedure just involve the drilling little holes I'm the bone to foster cartilidge growth in the knee. If kindle had it done now, he would be ready for training camp. The recovery tim is twice that of a regular scope procedure. So 6-8 weeks would be max.

jrljr2 good post. You sound like an informed poster. Dont know why those imbeciles cut down on you yesterday. Well, I guess I do know. Shameful insnt it.

Jacksonville's Henderson will be released. Big DT. Would be a nice signing despite above average depth

Microfracture surgery recovery times have become shorter and shorter as they get better at doing it and knowing the best way to rehab from it. Still its a surgery...always preferable for a player to not undergo one.

Henderson's not really an upgrade at this point. He's not what he used to be.

Don't have anything to base that on but I'll take your word for it. Always thought he was more athletic than Ferg, especially during the first 8 weeks

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