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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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Καλημέρα, NJ

Ohio Fanatic:

Your 8:54 post is dead on. I love our DL with Odrick and Merling/Langford at DE and Starks who has shown great ability at penetration up the middle. I think Odrick is going to be a beast and one of the steals of the draft. As the Giants showed a couple of years ago, you can never have enough good DLs. The Pats had more skill players but the Giants beat the Pats on the line of scrimmage.

Mark in Toronto:

You are dead on. The phins are sold on Wake. Everyone is talking about the need to get a pass rushing OLB but he is already on the roster. That is why the pick of Misi makes more sense.


I have to disagree with about the microfracture surgery. It does involve an incision for the scope. Second it is more invasive than arthroscopy. Third, a microfracture is more likely to lead to degenerative problems in the long run. That's the real concern is how much degeneration there will be in 3-4 years down the road. It is clear that alot of teams were concerned about Kindle because if he were healthy he would have been a top 15 pick talent wise.


This isn't a lie on the same level as "I will not be the Alabama coach"...

I remember hearing this the first time and thinking that they were trying to find a way to cut him. They never said that Wilson would be with the Dolphins next year.

My favorite pick of our draft was that safety from GA - Rashad Jones! Have you seen video on this dude? He knocks receiver’s head’s off in the middle and also has consistent good ball skills (5 ints the last two years). He needs to be coached up because he mis judges and over runs plays at times being too aggressive and his tackling is inconsistent but once he fixes that – this dude is good to go!!

I hear we are looking at Sharper! He would be the perfect fit for 2 years until Jones is ready!

They are moving Randy Starks to the NT position so it’s clear what they’re doing now; we’ll be running a Nolan hybrid defense so the NT doesn’t have to be a huge “traditional” NT. Also allowing Wake to play DE in a 4-3 by moving Starks and Odrick/Langford in the middle with Merling on the other side.

LE – Langford, McDaniel
RE – Merling, Odrick*
NT – Starks, Solai, Ferguson

RLB – Anderson, Misi*, Moses, (a Free Agent will be added to this rotation, possibly Adalius Thomas)
MLB – Dansby, Torber (may be cut), Edds*
MLB – Crowder, Dobbins (good back up in SD with avg of 40tckles per year), Spitler*
LLB – WAKE!, Misi

CB – V. Davis
CB – S. Smith
Nickel – W. Allen
Dime – J. Allen
5th CB – Caroll*

SS – Bell, Jones* (great potential!)
FS – (Sharper would be perfect), Tulver, Clemons

LE – WAKE!, Langford
DT – Starks, Langford
DT – Odrick, McDaniel
RE – Merling, Odrick

RLB – Misi
MLB – Crowder, Dansby!
LLB – Dansby!, Crowder (confuse them by moving them around, both Crowder and Dansby started their careers as 4-3 OLBs)

We are still missing two key pieces that we will address through free agency (FS ball hawk and another pass rusher) but we have a lot of flexibility with our defense now to run that hybrid!

Very nice civil discussions this morning on this blog. Maybe it is because the insulters are not around.

I have a good feeling about Sharper! And can't wait to see this Rashad Jones in pre-season; I’m really surprised he was available in the 5th round!

Also that 3rd round pick OG – Jerry, he will most likely start in Smiley’s position, this dude is huge and moves good for a big man – remember Jaime Nails with 2002 Ricky? We will cut Smiley and free up salary space allowing Jerry to battle with Garner and Incognito to battle with Thomas on the right side – our O-line should be even better than last year! Throw in Marshall to the mix and the space he opens up and our offense will be damn fun to watch!! I have no doubt Ronnie will bounce back strong too but Ricky should start off getting more of the carries!


News flash adalius Thomas And John Henderson r both now FA's, starting DT and OLB anyone? Thomas good for this season and Henderson could be good for awhile? No?


Do you know for sure we're looking at Sharper? Thought he was resigning with the Saints?

I want the GM to be successful in making the team successful by driving the right hires and getting maximum value for the people traded or separated. It is not their obligation to expose every secret, every motive, every plan to the press or anybody else beforehand. As a matter of fact, doing so is completely incompatible with being successful in their job. This is unsurprising. It is the same way in any business. No firm tells their competitors what their plans are, what talent they want to acquire. You are under no obligation to say everything. If people leap to the wrong conclusion that is their problem, not yours.

Oh by the way John Jerry, daddy likes, daddy likes a lot!

i heard the saints drafting patrick robinson in 1st round says malcolm jenkins the 1st rounder from last year will move to FS---and sharper isnt a priority---

I told every1 for months Adalius would get cut from patriots and we would sign him---this is why we didnt pull the trigger on jason taylor---at least i was right about something in the last couple of days---misi, and oderick were a shocker 4 me

My brother keeps complaining that the dolphins didn't have a sexy pick. I think john Jerry and reshad jones were those picks. I would only liked it if Desmond briscoe slipped a few more picks and we could of gotten him in the7th, that could have been a steal.

With the Ravens taking 2 TE in the draft anyone think the Fins might take a look at Todd Heap???

Don't forget about Atogwe at Free Safety.

I think if the Fins can land both of these guys, on the cheap, this would be a very good offseason very good indeed.


Adalius needs to be SIGNED----THEN GET SHARPER and the defense has enuff to goo----henderson is a 4-3 tackle---and he isnt the same anymore---

I like the travis ivey signing and vince oghobase i think both have a very good chance to make roster

This deep draft will lead to alot of releases of teams. Alot of acorns, so of speak.

I'm not for sure about Sharper Mark, just something I heard but he makes perfect sense.

What we need at FS is a ball hawk, who better than Sharper for a good 2 years until Jones develops and gets coached up!

Yeah,i'm all for it Jamillion. The only concern i have at the moment is at FS so getting Sharper would be awesome :)

If not Sharper,Atogwe would do

ArmandoSalguero: "Nothing confirmed but Adalius Thomas doesn't seem to fit #Dolphins. Older (32), a bust in N.E., outspoken. Fins don't love outspoken."
30 minutes ago

Know that JT is gone.. Thomas would bring some veteran leadership to our young guys! I think we should sign him!!


Armando Salguero: More on Adalius Thomas: Mike Nolan tried to sign Thomas with San Francisco in 2007.

Atogwe at FS not Sharper.

Atogwe is young and has much more upside, then you have Jones backing up-being groomed for Bells spot. Bell isn't a spring chicken anymore. I think Jones is more of a SS than FS...

Thanks Cusco. Kevin, I have had microfracture surgery and yes, there are alwasy 2 or 3 little incisions, but it is far less invasive than normal, "open knee" surgery. An arthroscopy is not considered major. That said, you are correct about future degenerative problems. I had MF surgery 3.5 years ago and my knee has never felt better. Not bad considering I had 2 acl and about 6 arthroscopies before that as a result of a college hockey injury. It supposedly fosters cartilidge growth to areas that have had injury and subsequently surgery to remove it. I am no professional athelete and mine couldn't have gone smoother. I also can see why a team would shy away though. To be injured coming out of college doesn't bode well for a pro career. I just wanted to point out that it (MF) is as serious and that Baltimore may have gotten a steal in Kindle.

I meant to say isn't as serious I'm the last sentence.

AK.. I def agree with you... I think jones is built more as a ss.. I think bell is turning 33 this year so this is a nice pick up!

Dear Mr. Salguero

"The guy was cool."

Thats because it was not Jeff Ireland who you were speaking too.
Bill Parcells knows how analy retentive Jeff Ireland is in front of the media.

In a bold and savory move to calm the S. Florida media and its fans Bill Parcells brought in on a one day contract the great actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman to portray Jeff Ireland.

Although his performance was able to fool the media...this role was no where near as powerful as his role as Truman Capote or as CIA operative Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson's War.

Soiled :)

Doesn't Atogwe need to sign his tender, and then the Rams agree to compensation (& less than what they demanded during RFA period [which ended 4/15 or so] or forget about it) before he can be acquired?

IOW---Atogwe a better "get," but way more expensive than Sharper would be....but I really feel Sharper is headed back to NOLA.

AND....Thank you Jets for releasing Leon "Fin Killa" Washington....that's one less headache.

It seems like the Jets are making all these great moves but lets look at the reality of it.

On offense, they added LT and Holmes but Holmes is suspended for 4 games on a 1 year contract and they just cut prob. they’re best O-lineman – Faneca and they’re best offensive weapon – Jones. So they didn’t necessarily upgrade they’re offense which wasn’t even a good offense last year and if LT doesn’t come back to form, they down graded from last year.

On defense they added JT and Cromartie but JT now and days at best will give you 8 sacks – they were already getting that production by Bryan Thomas, they add depth but not necessarily upgrade. On the secondary they lost Sheppard and Rhodes (their best safety) they have a huge potential upgrade at corner, specially after the Kyle Wilson pick but they down graded at safety. They’re defense was good last year and they should be just as good but I don’t see them being much better like an early 2000s Raven’s defense.

I think we cleary only got better on offense, getting our RBs healthy, Marshallito and upgrading an already good O-line!

Our defense doesn’t necessarily have the talent we had last year but we have a lot more tools and with Nolan’s addition – our defense can only improve from last year!

The Miami Dolphins could potentially be interested in signing free-agent LB Adalius Thomas (Patriots), reports ESPN's Adam Schefter

The Seer, if Atowgwe doesn't sign a deal with the Rams he becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent on June 1st...no sense in giving Rams anything if all we have to do is 5 weeks

And no one likes to believe me but Sharper's agent did an interview in which he said NO has put an offer on the table and he all but said Sharper is going back to NO

gotcha---did not know that wrinkle to the RFA/UFA thing this year.

The the question becomes: (a) state of his recovery from some injury or surgery I read about & (b) do they feel June 1 or thereafter is "too late" to fit someone into their system.

The fact remains that the attempted signing of Ryan Clarke, & the wooing (however half-hearted) of Rolle shows they would like an established FS IF they can get one for right price & w/ right skillz for them.

and I ALSO believe you re Sharper, as I said above....he's back to NOLA barring some really unexpected twist.....plus Fins don't want "progress stoppers," & Atogwe is young enough & w/ a future & that means he isn't a "prog stopper"

Seems M. Spears may be traded or cut too.

QB JaMarcus Russell has beefed up to 300 pounds this offseason, Well it appears the Raiders have found there LT. LOL

June 1st should not be too late..I belive Mandatory mini-camp starts end of June...as long as he is staying in shape this off season

Had we not traded down we could have gotten any one of the following guys:

Brandon Graham
Earl Thomas
Jason Pierre Paul
Derrick Morgan
Jermaine Gresham

After trading down we could have gotten any pair of the following:

Jerry Hughes
Nate Allen
Rob Gronkowski
Sergio Kindle
Taylor Mays
Jason Worilds
Carlos Dunlap
Terrence Cody
Ed Dickson

For those who say the jury is out. The aforementioned players are the jury, and I for one will be watching their careers very closely.

And Atogwe is Canadian. He will be right at home in those late year cold weather games. Built tough!

You gotta figure Atogwe will stay in shape since this is going to be a big payday for him on June 1. If the Fins were going to give Rolle the kind of money that was apparently offered, I gotta believe they will do the same for Atogwe who is a much better player.

Well it was a long weekend, and now after reading some of these whiney comments it appears it's going to be a long summer. Why not wait to see how the new players perform until we declare them busts? The way I see it the draft went REALLY well for us.

1. The cabinet is now overflowing with LBs. Our most troubling position coming into the draft just got really deep. There will be tons of competition in camp and we will be left with a MUCH improved unit. (+, Tim Dobbins addition, he had better stats than Crowder last season while playing in a back up role and also was a special teams demon).

2. Jared Odrick- best 3-4 DE in the draft was a consensus top 15. (+ 1st round steal that also brought us a 2nd round pick).

3. Starks moving to DT just like Jay Ratliff did in Dallas. That moved turned him into a probowler. Bill and Jeff know their DTs. Ferguson was a 7th round pick.

4.John Jerry- Holy crap this kid is a monster and everyone is going to love him. We now have one of the top 5 O-lines in the league IMO. He also was expected to go in the second round. (+ Best player on the board at the pick, 3rd round steal).

5. Reshad Jones was rated higher than Taylor Mays on a lot of teams boards. Raw but very coachable with tremendous upside. ( ANOTHER steal).

6. Downside to draft = No TE taken. Assesment- Team has 4 TEs on the roster. Fasano had a down year without Martin but Marshalls addition will more than make up for Martin. With the team going to more 3 wr sets and less 2 te sets Fasano will be blocking less and catching more passes. Marshalls prescence will open up the middle of the field more. Hennes offseason working on touch passes will help the QB TE connection tremendously. Sperry Nalbone and Haynos can battle it out for the second TE spot which will be used less. All three have upside and one will up his game. My bet is on Haynos.

So I don't see what the naysayers are crying about. If you want a flashy draft you better become a fan of a different team. Parcells drafts aren't flashy but they produce as eveidenced by Dallas being the deepest team in the league along with the Jets,Patriots and Giants all becoming championship teams under Bill. This is the third year and things are turning around. This year is going to be fun but I'm predicting one hell of a ride in year 4 and 5. Get on the bus and buckle up people.

Jerry, you are correct. My take is that I am more disppointed with who they could have picked and didnt that were available, than who they picked. I think Odrick is a beast but we needed a true NT for the three man front or a pass rusher from the OLB position. The rest of th picks may be good or not, but they will ultimately be judged on their level of performance and the guys that were on the board when they were picked. I like Misi but there were other guys rated higher. Same with Edds, etc. They may all turn out to be players, but the guys that the FO passed on may be better, IMO.

Atogwe stats last 3 years:

games played/tackles/picks/forced fumbles/sacks

2007 16/75/8/0/0
2008 16/85/5/5/0
2009 12/74/2/3/1

Pretty good stats.


I don't know how you do it as a reporter. Clearly, the Fins are one of the most difficult teams to deal with in terms of openness and honesty. Yeah, all teams are tight lipped. But the Fins are not only tight lipped but they're also very manipulative.

It's irritating.

MY Scot couldn't have said it any better. During this draft we filled all but one of our needs (if you consider TE a need). We got 4 sure starters in the first three rounds when you include Marshall. We can say "oh, there were better players on the board" but we do not know that. I'm assuming that 99.9% of the people claiming there were better people in the draft didn't go out and scout players like parcells and his staff did. They watched the players day in and day out and found the best players for this team. So before you say there were better players please keep in mind that parcells is a much better judge of talent than you or me

Also, we do not need a true NT for a 3-4 if we are not playing a true 3-4. We are playing a hybrid 3-4 and we have a hybrid NT

MY Scott, GREAT JOB with ur posts as always..thk u

Also regarding the blog story. These coaches and the GM will always protect their players to the media. That is the one thing that is different about Tony and Jeff compared to Parcells. They stick up for their guys to the media in order to build confidence and team unity where Bill used to poke and prod his guys through the media in an effort to get more out of them, a move that had it's success and failures.


If you think the comments are whiny NOW, you shoulda been here as the draft unfolded Turs-Sat nite.

Panic + Ignorance + Hatred of FO + "I never heard of ..." Crying + Silliness/No Logic.

brutal.....this is almost pleasant after this weekend.

Beast, you are 100% correct and I didn't say I didn't like the players picked. I liked other guys more. I am sure we all watch tons of college football and I base my opinion on that and the gurus we all listen to. That said, I don't hate the draft but thought they reached a little. Jones and Carroll could be steals. McCoy may also develop. I am not as high on Edds or Misi as everyone else. As a Dolphin fanatic, believe me I will be te first to say I am wrong if they both blow up and become great players. And may I add, I hope it does happen and they do blow up.

"but the guys that the FO passed on may be better, IMO".

That's not your opinion alone, Mel Kiper agrees with you.

I'm going to stay on the trifectas side, Mel Kiper is a boob.

Mel Kiper is the best at identifying talent as it comes out of the draft, and many of fans want his top players to go to their teams (even i do) but I don't think he knows better than the FO which players will mesh with each team.

I've said it before, Fasano will be much better this year, now that the FS has to play back with Marshall who can run and catch actually there. They didn't need a TE, this team is going to do wonderful things this year. They will be better than the criminal JETS.

Thanks guys. Seer I dropped in on Friday and could not believe the negativity so I bailed. I was the one who made the comment about the college fans invading the blog. I'm glad they're gone because they fall in love with "their" player and when the Phins don't pick him they cry while declaring that player the next best thing in football and scream "this will destroy the team for the next ten years"! And then after the draft they dissapear back under their rocks and lick their wounds. So I know what you're talking about and after having the weekend to digest it, I found the whole thing incredibly funny.

Couple of thoughts from the last few days....

Jones in the 5th is more of a SS. I think they will look at him closely for FS but I think he will be hard-pressed to beat out Clemons and Culver. Maybe some special teams and insurance incase Bell goes down. I expect he will be groomed to be Bell's successor in a year or two.

I have trepidations about playing Starks at NT. Time will tell if he's up to the challenge. He doesn't have the ideal frame for a NT (not really heavy enough and built to the ground enough). Like I said, time will tell. My gut feeling is he will struggle and will share time with Solaia until Ferguson comes back and then next year we'll be looking for a new NT.

I don't LOVE some of the picks we made but I obviously don't know as much as Parcells and Company and I'm prepared to trust them on this and let things play out. I have faith that they have made some good moves.

I think the Dolphins should sign Adalius Thomas. I know he struggled in New England for a couple of years but he was hurt, it could have been the system and it might have been the pressure to live up to the contract. He's played for Nolan before, Nolan likes him and knows how to use him and I think he would be great insurance for some of the young guys.

Again, a TE would have been nice, as would a big NT if they plan on using the 3-4, but, most important glaring hole since the release of Ginn...


Beastmode I agree with you 100%. Mel is a boob in my mind because I can't stand looking at that stupid quaff of his. But he does recognize talent. And as you pointed out his drawback is in identifying which players will be able to fit the mold of the teams who are picking them. There is a method to the madness and you can't always pick the best player available. They have to fit into your schemes, leadership requirements, intelligence req., and needs. Mel has no clue what these are from team to team so as his assesments of talent are pretty good, he doesn't ever see the big picture.

Mel Kiper is THE most over-rated personality in sports today!! How does this guy keep his job? If Mel toutes somebody as a great pick or a bad pick, you can think the opposite. And how is he able to charge a premium for his service? Who's paying for this stuff? Mel reminds me of a TV Evangelist.....nothing but hype!!

Mel, good pick of Jimmy Claussen fourth to the Redskins!!....missed it by THAT much!!.....if you or I made predictions like that we would be out of a job. Didn't even bother to look at anything Mel did this year. He had ZERO credibility now!!

Dolphins Fans,

If you have a chance, watch some game clips of A.J. Edds and Reshad Jones... they are both very impressive...

Edds is great in coverage and stout against the run... the guy flies around the field.... some of his int's are very impressive for a LB

Reshad Jones is a BIG hitter... man, this guy flattens people... he is also a bit of a ball hawk (11 ints), which makes me think he could play fs... he has great hands too

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