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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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ArmandoSalguero "Fox 24 in Arkansas reports fmr. Razorbacks QB Casey Dick will get tryout with #Dolphins during this weekend's rookie minicamp."
about 1 hour ago

ArmandoSalguero More on Casey Dick: "Played for QB coach David Lee at Ark. Makes sense for rookie camp b/c all Miami QBs are vets. Only a tryout, folks."
24 minutes ago

Case in point.
Armando's blogging about the Gerbil and were all debating Jason Allen's skillset vs production, or lack thereof.

I think either Crowder or Torbor have alot to worry about too.

Just what we need a dick for a QB...Yikes.

I just find it a bit ironic ODIN, that when people speak of the FS position, J Allen's name is NEVER mentioned, as if he's been cut already. He may well get cut this year, but, it hasn't happened yet!

Torbor should have been worried LONG ago. He's as good as gone...

As wrong as they were about the pats and ravens wanting Odrick, I hope they are right in grading our draft.

They gave us an A-. Pretty good run down, though it does sound a little rose colored.

The Bleacher Report, Check it out.

I can hear the announcer's say now...Parcells is going to play Dick...LOL

http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/13178/kiper-gives-dolphins-worst-afc-east-grade

Yet Kiper gave it a C-, who cares what the "experts" think?

Now all we need is that TE named Sicko...

I think the most telling things about this years offseason moves point out that the trifecta has alot of confidence in Cameron Wake... apparently they believe he is ready to be the man

I agree Fishy, After having a mediocre year at best he gets on with Porter and dissed the team...He better have the best camp of his career if he wants to play here

Incognito blocks for Dick who throws to Sicko and scores...Marshall slaps Dick on the butt. as he comes off the field.

Great Draft, I applaud Parcells and Ireland for the best Dolphin Draft in years!!! Can't wait for the season now
Posted by: bobbyd12 | April 24, 2010 at 05:51 PM

________

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!!!!

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

Bobbyd12, I'm confused by your posts, which is it? I only ask cause I read your posts and appreciate your commentary as opposed to other posters, but you got me confused.

Great Draft, I applaud Parcells and Ireland for the best Dolphin Draft in years!!! Can't wait for the season now
Posted by: bobbyd12 | April 24, 2010 at 05:51 PM

________

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!!!!

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

Bobbyd12, I'm confused by your posts, which is it? I only ask cause I read your posts and appreciate your commentary as opposed to other posters, but you got me confused.

didn't mean to post that twice, sorry.

Marc,

Both FishyPete and Craig M were right to a certain degree.
Allen has a phenominal skillset. He hasn't been able to convert it too on field production other than ST's.
I think that's the only reason he's been able to hang on this long. I thought he would be gone last year.
He has been somewhat vitimized by having had to play/learn multiple postions under multiple regimes. That doesn't wash with me though, regardless I think he should have been able to show more than he has.

...Marshall slaps Dick on the butt. as he comes off the field.

Posted by: Fishypete | April 26, 2010 at 02:42 PM

Funny you said "comes" off the field. Dont let pricemaster see that.

One thing is for sure...if you don't produce for Parcells and cost money...your gone.

dolfanDF, I didn't post that at 2:50 AM last night...as usual somebody used my name cause they have no life....Record straight: I thought Parcells and Ireland did great this draft....

JHS, it's not that your opinion is wrong and you're are certainly entitled to it, but your post lacks depth. A lot of posters state their opinions and then back them up with facts. You seem to have stated an opinion that is only half based in reality.

From what I read I take it that you're not happy with the team not going after more offensive guys. It also seems like you are saying that the defense took a step forward.

Well the problem with your assesment is that you are missing some of the facts. The Dolphins offense was ranked 17th in the league last year behind a first year starting QB who only took over in the 4th week of the season. We also were missing our most dynamic offensive weapon (Brown) for a chunk of the season. Patrick Cobbs, an outstanding third down back with great hands was lost to injury as well as Smiley and Grove, our #2 and #3 best offensive linemen. Tedd Ginn was horrible as a #1 wr and we also lost David Martin.

Now take all of that into account and realize the offense STILL ranked 17th in the league.

Now fast forward to today and the Dolphins have added one of the top three WRs in the league, alleviating the need to use the 2 TE SET as much. They are getting Cobbs and Brown back. Henne is in his second season as a starter and was able to spend the offseason (still going on by the way) working on his defficiencies. They have also added a beast on the o-line (Jerry) that is very versatile. We added Incognito who is as nasty as they come and solid. We have signed Pennington to help mentor Henne and come in in case of injury. Guys a leader and his teammates listen to him and rally around him. We basically have another coach on the sideline and a lot of people are overlooking how important he is to the team behind the scenes. We have great depth at o-line, QB, RB, and now we have a great WR corp with Bess,Camm,Hartline, and Marshall. Turner should also be much improved. DO NOT down play how important Marshalls prescence is to this offense. You're not going to believe how that's going to open things up for Henne. AND don't forget about Polite (Looooouuuuuuuu!) who is the f***ing man at FB.

So I agree with you that it gets a bit chippy with the name calling and is uncalled for a lot of the time. But there are some people who are so aggravating in that they don't ever see the big picture and always see the glass as half empty. And the most annoying thing about that is they declare the glass to be half empty before the liquid is even poured.

So a lot of us do not see your point when you're declaring the draft to be a failure before you even see how the players perform. I'm sorry but that just doesn't make sense any way you look at it. You're complaing about drafting so much defense while in the same breath admitting that we improved a unit that was ranked near last in the league. We've also quietly improved our special teams.

Meaning all three of our units have improved this offseason. Please forgive us if we don't see that as a failure.

DolfanSF not DF sorry

Torbor and J. Allen are on notice - as is Smiley.

I'm disappointed that the Dolphins didn't sign Kelton Tindal WR Newberry...6'2" 195 ran a 4.32 at his pro-day and has run a sub 4.2...this kid could have at least been a great returner...he was signed by the Vikes.
He played at the Texas vs Nation game...had a 65 yd reception...should have been a TD...but he had to wait for the throw.

NY SCOTT THE PROBLEM IS THAT OTHERS DECLARE THE DRAFT A SUCCESS BEFORE WE GET STARTED. THINK ABOUT IT

It's good to see you back NYScott...

Booby will ALWAYS side with'/for Parcells, that's a no-brainer

Fair enough Marc. Just remember that Jason Allen was his pick, his boy, and he admitted so right after the draft. I read a story that there was an internal disagreement about that pick. Crowder, is he really worthy of a starters role or was he just the best we had at the time? Brown was a great pick. Who was the fourth? Man I can't think of him and I know it's staring me in the face.

Smiley is already done, I can't imagine the team bringing him back...the Jets had to cut Franseca because they couldn't trade him, Smiley may end up taking the same path

Every draft by the Dolphins has been called a success since I have been watching them and thats since 1968...nothing is new. Every fan thinks their team did great...won't really find out for three years.

Special teams DID NOT improve however, since we lost a top tier returner, and failed to sign anyone even half as capable...terrible field position here we come...

Anybody here ever check out Tim Dobbins stats?

I don't know that much about him but I have watched some clips and his stats are awesome.

I think he'll beat out Chowder right off the bat.

Ruddy?

Ruddy? Carey...isn't he the player missing?

Well, Matt Roth is starting in Clevland. I think Crowder is a starter in a 4-3 as an OLB

Maybe Smiley gets cut - wouldn't doubt it - but maybe they didn't want him to further hurt himself in the OTAs. I'd like to see him come in and compete with Thomas, Garner, Jerry, and Incognito - competition brings out the best in everyone and Smiley at 28 isn't that old yet. If he gets cut it's because of the money.

Aloco (foley) there is no problem whatsoever. People are entitled to their opinions no matter how ridiculously retarded those opinions may be. :) You're talking about the extremists, the "it was the perfect draft" or "it was a failure", people. There are plenty of people who are of the mindset that they see what the trifecta are trying to accomplish and are waiting for the results.

My post points out the probabilities for growth and future success. Will it happen? We will have to wait and see.

Carey too...Hadnot is starting somewhere as well I think

Marc,

Patrick Cobbs was a much better Kr than Ginn before he got hurt... Ginn really only had that one good game returning kicks... otherwise he was heading straight for the sideline or going into the fetal position 2 yards before contact

Just Because, which wouldn't be a bad thing...if ur gonna cut payroll without taking a future hit now is the time

He still put us in good field position more often than COBBS. Let's be realistic carlito (I know it's tough) He was the best returner we had HANDS DOWN

Marc,

I know the draft is a crap shoot. Still I think the Trifecta has tried to address the loss of Ginn's return skills by drafting Nolan Carroll. He has ran "post-injury" 4.3's.

I'm hoping he makes us forget Teddy Ginn once and for all. COMPLETLY!

But in knowing what the trifecta are trying to do and which types of players they're targeting I believe the draft went very well. If we were Cincinatti (flash) or the Cowboys (thugs) I would say the draft sucked. But I know what types of players these guys look for and they got them. This is all just opinion and everyone has to keep that in mind. None of us are experts and we have to wait to see how it plays out.

I think the people who are upset are the people who thought we were a superbowl team last year and are now losing faith because of the unrealistic expectations they placed on a 1-15 team who went into a complete rebuild.

Carlito, I was at the games and ur 100% correct about Ginn. As soon as he caught the kickoff he picked a point on the sideline and ran right for it...not once in the last half of the season did I see him head for the middle of the field...

Odin, if Nolan was a great returner you'd find some returns on google, I found NOTHING...Just sayin...

Well, Matt Roth is starting in Clevland. I think Crowder is a starter in a 4-3 as an OLB

Posted by: Marc | April 26, 2010 at 03:00 PM


Great. Now if we can find a team with a 4-3 that agrees, maybe we can FINALLY get something out of him.

I believe returns are going to be a major problem unless they find a player that gets cut before the season starts....or perhaps work out a trade.

Marc,

I am being realistic (no cheap shot here)

Cobbs was a much better returner last year... not td's but gave us much better field position...other than Tedd Ginn's 2 td's he was garbage at kr

Odin, if Nolan was a great returner you'd find some returns on google, I found NOTHING...Just sayin...

Posted by: Marc | April 26, 2010 at 03:08 PM

Gooooooooooooogle!

You guys haev memories like a woman. "What have you done for me lately". I remember Ginn consistantly putting us in decent to good position, I don't care whether he was heading for the sidelines or not!

I guess time will tell. Cobbs, like Welker might break one every 7 years...If that

I'm very confident we can find a stinking punt returner that will be more consistent then little man Ginn. I remember one return where he was knocked back on his ass 5 to 7 yards. He was a f***ing embarrassment except for when we played the Jets. Ginn is gone, Ginn is gone, thank God allmighty Teddy Ginn is gone. Please no more sissy boys on this team.

Carlito, I'll tell you what you find me some Cobbs return highlights (I'll wait) then I'll find some Ginn hightlights and we'll see who the better returner is...What a joke

Odin, if Nolan was a great returner you'd find some returns on google, I found NOTHING...Just sayin...

Posted by: Marc | April 26, 2010 at 03:08 PM


I didn't say he was great. But then again you wouldn't have to be great to be better than Ginn.

I said I think they drafted Carroll for his speed and return skills.

You're crying about loosing Ginn? Get real.........

Marc,

If your going to talk about short memories here look no further than yourself... The fact is Cobbs was returning kicks before Ginn last year... Ginn only came in after Cobbs was injured... So maybe it is you that cannot remember that far back... If Ginn is so much better, why was he not the starting Kr from the beginning of the year??? I know the 2 Ginn td's are all you remember, but Cobbs is an explosive kr that was constantly putting the offense around midfield

Am I the only one who thinks we should keep Smiley one more year? 28, high, level of play, all effort guy, etc. Sure he will miss 2 games a year but we now have so much cover there, it's ridiculous.

Smiley
Thomas
Incognito
Jerry
Garner

that's a lot of capable guards.

NyScott, that's one of the problems..."He was the best the Dolphins had last year!!!" whether it be JT or Ginn...Well, the best the Dolphins had were in fact "mediocre" by NFL standards...We haven't enen started camp and people are worried about who's returning...whoever it is, thank God it's not Ted Ginn... Who by the way STIILL has three years left on that horrible contract we gave him..

tim dobbins isnt on the team

bobbyd12, Oh my God thank you! I'm so happy to see that other people realize that. I was just thinking about that while reading over this Ginn argument.

You're right, Ginn was not the starting KR. Was that his fault, or the fault of the guys that make the roster? Was it the first time they didn't start a more capable player?

N. Carrols return history;

2006.... but had five kickoff returns for 60 yards … (vs. WF)

2007...Played in all 13 games as a reserve cornerback and special teams performer … played on coverage teams and also returned kicks … had seven special teams tackles on the season … (vs. OSU, Emerald Bowl) … played but did not record any stats … (vs. NCSU) … made two tackles before leaving the game with a hamstring injury … (vs. FSU) … recorded one tackle as a reserve in the defensive backfield … (vs. BC) … had a career-high four tackles in a reserve role … returned one kick for 15 yards … (vs. UNC) … saw significant action at corner (15 plays in nickel packages) and had three solo tackles … (vs. Clemson) … played but did not record stats … (vs. UVA) … played but did not record any stats … (vs. GT) … recorded two tackles and returned a kick for 11 yards … (vs. Rutgers) … played on special teams and returned one kickoff for 17 yards … (vs. WF) … played and recorded one tackle … (vs. WVU) … returned two kicks for 41 yards, including a career-long 23-yarder … (vs. FIU) … played and assisted on one tackle … (vs. Villanova) … played but did not record any stats … moved from wide receiver to defensive back prior to spring practice.

2008...Played in 10 games, including four starts at CB … posted a career-high 37 tackles on the season … earned Iron Terp status for the first time in his career in spring testing … posted the eighth-highest strength index (tops among DBs) on the team in spring testing … played in the first three games then missed three due to a leg injury before returning to the starting lineup for the game against Wake Forest (10/18) … ranked second on the team with eight PBUs … had five tackles and a career-best two PBUs vs. MTSU (9/6) … equaled that PBU figure and also tallied six tackles vs. Cal (9/13) … missed the Eastern Michigan (9/20), Clemson (9/27) and Virginia (10/4) games with an ankle injury … returned to the lineup and notched two tackles and one PBU vs. Wake Forest (10/18) … earned his first career start vs. NC State (10/25) … contributed a career-best seven tackles, including his first career TFL, at Virginia Tech (11/6) … also had a career-high four solo stops vs. the Hokies … matched career highs in tackles (seven), solo stops (four) and pass breakups (two) vs. Nevada in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl (12/30).

2009...Started in two games before suffering a broken leg … had one PBU and three tackles in the season opener against California (9/5) … recorded a career-high tying seven tackles against James Madison (9/12) before breaking his right tibia … missed the rest of the season … one of four team captains and member of the Terps' leadership council.

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