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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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If the Jets sign Adalius Thomas, does Jason Taylor or perhaps Vernon Gholston get cut?

Misi does seem to be the question mark. If he doesn't pan out, I'm getting the feeling Edds will "save" the overall draft class.
This was a double down for the SLB in my opinion. They both can rush the passer, play the run and drop into coverage. Should be an interesting camp this year.


I agree about Edds. The more I learn about the kid the more I like him..

5 int's are more than most CB's got last year..

Do you think if Edds plays ILB??

Also think Dobbins was a good pick up. Know alot of Charger fans, and they are all upset about losing him...

allen , Jason worilds whom you wanted is is 6-1 254 and misi who at 6-3 251 is to small ?? LMAO !! Here's another example of fans being stuck on their favorite player and not giving another player a chance.

Odinseye , except edds will be a ILB. He doesn't have the pass rush skills to be a OLB.

I'm out , it's the same old whining and complaining about players they either wanted or players they never heard of that got drafted by miami.

nj phin fan

Take it down a notch---

Justin worilds isnt wat i thought a tuna protype olb is, but neither is misi---if you are going to go smaller i rather take the beteer physical presence---Worilds is faster is a strong kid reminds me of kindle on tape---
he has longer arms than misi as well.

When i see misi, he just looks really small---and i agree with Mayock i dont think misi is an OLB---i think him and Edds(which i like alot) are both inside guys that can be situational outside guys

Misi hasnt been productive in rushing the passer in a small conference

mayock breaks him down well in the clip


NJ you poor avontos, good night

by the way my favorite player is JPP, and brandon spikes----Justin worilds is just a guy that i said i would of rather had than misi if we wnt small---where does he go pitts steelers---cause they kno how to draft lbs---thaddeus gibson is another guy i liked if we didnt care about the protype---6"3 260 long arms----misi has played at utah at a heavier weight i heard up to 275---but he doesnt have the length---should be interting where they put this kid---

I think crowder, torbor---will have to fight for a roster spot-----caus edds and misi could both be inside guys in my opinion

Allen ,Allen. Misi was a DE in college and was doubled teamed often because utah had no one else. Do you know he played DT for almost a year when Both utah's starter and backup went down for the year, He out on weight to be 275 to play DT. Misi tore up the combine beating kindle in the shuffle and cone drills as well as the broad and vertical jumps . i don't care about youtube highlights. They never tell you the whole story.


Really hope Misi is productive on the outside...

Hope our FO saw something in him that we are missing...

Maybe he will bulk up before the season starts...

We already have enough ILB's with Dansby, Crowder, Torbor, Dobbins, and Edds...

put on ***

position and scheme versatile, another theme in this draft

Am I wrong thinking I saw a note on the creeper during the draft that Thigpen was traded?

Bobbyd12 you've been a pleasure tonight.

Hey NJ, what's up?? U need to hire me as ur agent bro... If I can get people happy to see u back on this blog I'm like a miracle worker!!

for the last time , Misi isn't a ILB . He is and will be a SOLB . The man has good pass rush skill and can set the edge vs the run. he has a motor second to none. He never stops or quits. Ilb takes away from all his skills.


I agree with you on whiner tip.

NOW these guys are saying Reshad Jones gets beat deep a lot.
I've been watching the guy forever. I was harping for us to draft him 5 months ago.
The knock on Reshad Jones, and it wasn't a big knock, was that he didn't wrap up on his tackles.
It wasn't that he missed tackles. It wasn't that he got beat deep all the time.
I asked people here why they thought he dropped so far in the draft. No one seemed to know, so they started a he said she said regurgitation campaign instead of actually doing any research.
Since the draft I found out that it has been blamed on maturity issues. He was being advised to play his Senior season and he instead opted for the draft.

The biggest knock against Reshad is that he knocks people the F u c k out-PERIOD!

LOL @ Bobbyd12, Yeah !!

Why does everyone want to trade Thigpen???

Kid has talent, and will be a great backup to Henne...

I don't get it...

odisneye , right now jones is more athlete than football player, he does go for the knockout because he's still raw and has alot to learn . the FO believes he can be taught, the skills are there,

I want to keep Thiggy. Just want to know if I was misinformed that he was traded.

Reshad Jones weaknesses from NFL.com draft profiles: "Jones can be an inconsistent reactor at times, and get cut off by blockers. He is often caught out of position and takes false steps. Occasionally showed inconsistent effort. Needs to play with a better motor. Does not possess adequate ball skills for an NFL free safety and drops catchable interceptions."

Again, I HOPE he pans out, for our sake, but I would feel more comfortable with a ballhawking safety, like Earl Thomas, after yelling at Gibril Wilson through the TV last season.


NJ phin fan

If you read my comment i already stated that misi had played at 275 at utah he played nose and DE----but all the explosiveness you saw at combine was him at 251--

Im not goin to sit here and say he is going to be bad or good---b/c i havnt seen him live and there are barely any tape on him available to mee---his length is a concern to me

Mayock who has seen misi play more than u and me---think in a bill parcells system---he isnt the prototype OLB---my gut agrees with that notion----

Sayn that i hope he is great at SOLB---but i keep hearn misi was the pick b/c he is versatile can play multiple positions but be crowned the future big time pass rusher a strictly oustide guy---my gut says noooo


I think one of the concerns about Jones is that alot people feel that he seems to be better suited as a SS opposed to a FS...

After the Gibril incident, I think alot of fans don't want a FS that is going to bang, but more of a ballhawk...

I for one, think it was a great pick because if he does pan out as FS, then great. If he doesn't, then I think he will be a great backup to Bell who turned 32 a couple of months ago...


I agree with you 100% on Misi. He looks like a SLB to me. You're right too, he was double teamed all the time at DE.
I have to disagree with you on Edds. I think he'll be a SLB as well. We'll find out soon enough.
I think Dobbins will start inside an easily do better than Chowder.

i think edds could be a start next to Dansby on the inside---love that pick---jones is a steal to replace YB in a year or 2 at SS----

are still concerns i hope we adress wit some FA signings


allen , here's another myth by you with your long arms argument. kindle's arm length measured at the combine was 33 1/4 while misi's measured at 32 1/2. that's less the a freaking inch. i don't know where you get half of this stuff from but you have to stop reading some of these so called draft experts .


Haven't heard anything about it...

Hope it is just a rumor though...

I think the best thing about our draft is that if you were to say right now that this season our biggest impact rookie would be Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, John Jerry, or AJ Edds, I don't think that would be all that surprising. Very few teams can say that about their first 4 picks. Then factor in Nolan Carroll either turning into a great nickel CB, or even one day earning a starting spot, it makes the draft even better. What makes it potentially amazing is the fact that Reshad Jones just needs to put the package together, and he could be the best pick we made out of all of them. A fantastic haul during the draft, and don't forget what Tim Dobbins immediately brings for depth and special team play. Lastly, by trading down, we in essence obtained Brandon Marshall for next year's 2nd round pick. That alone makes the draft awesome.

that inch is huge NJJJ----

Thats liek sayn spikes running a 5.0 isnt a big deal b/c a 4.7 ----is 3 tenths of a second slower-----these measurables are what they are---

Dont decide to pick and choose which ones to take value in---

b/c i know ur a spikes hater and u use his 40 time to validate your reasoning

i don't care what mayock said , everybody i read says misi will be a OLB and that includes jeff ireland himself. misi is NOT a ILB.


Maybe Pittsburg would trade us Rapistberger for Pat White and a 6 pack of Yuengling.

football is a game of seconds and inches---when you step back and think about it i understand where your coming from---but OT Buluga from iowa dropped b/c of his arm length--it was 33 inches---if it was 34 inches if he had more length it would help his play---and gms would of rated him higher

LOL , that less than an inch is HUGE ??? Oh my god LMFAP !! Don't forget kindle measured in at a little less than 6-3 , there your difference. your argument on misi is lame.


The point you and Mike Mayock seem to forget is that we aren't running Bill Parcells 3-4 system, but Mike Nolan's 3-4 system, which has many more hybrid looks and isn't as reliant on the prototype 3-4 OLB. Elvis Dumervil would never have been as successful in the Parcells 3-4 as he was last year in Nolan's. Believe me, many of these guys fit Mike Nolan's mold more than Parcells. That being said, trust me, the Tuna didn't sign off on anyone he didn't like. Take the football knowledge that Nolan, Parcells, and Dan Henning alone have, the number of years of experience of those 3, and it leaves no doubt about putting these players in the best possible position.

by the way , if anybody is picking and choosing is you my friend. comparing 4.7 speed to over 5-0 is a lot bigger that less than an inch on arm length on a guy who is 6-3 and had a 38 inch vertical jump which was tops at his position LOL !!

NJ if that makes u sleep better fine---i respect Mayock over other anaylists b/c he understands that in most 3-4 misi is a lock at OLB---but a tuna 3-4 the olb have to be bigger and longer---

Ireland comment helps your argument--but i dont trust anything that guy says---and i read his statment he lieks misi because he is versitile and can drop in coverage---as well as the toughness and anthleticism---

Misi was picked b/c i think they knew if he doesnt work on the outside we have flexibilty to move him inside with his strength and coverage abilty

Other guys if u miss and they cant play outside LB---then they are a bust b/s they dont all have the ability to play inside

Watched every second of the draft and would feel like we had a great draft if we had Earl Thomas..We are still a couple yrs. away with Jones. Sharper would really be a great guy to have to teach Jones and give us the security back there that we had such a hard time with last year. I hope that happens!

I want to hear all the naysayers, and yes everyone is entitled to their opinion, explain to me how this offseason could have gone much better. We upgraded at defensive coordinator. We added one of the best young WRs in football. We solidified the offensive line. We got rid of old, slow one trick ponies on defense, and replaced them with young, high motor, scheme diverse football players. Yes FS could have been upgraded, yes a TE to stretch the field would have been nice. But how many damn holes can you realistically expect us to fill? Our 2 biggest problems last year, without question, were giving up the explosive play, and having to run perfect, 12-13 play drives on offense. We have really done a good job at eliminating both of those issues altogether. The offseason was a an absolute home run. The team we have right now is light years better than the one we had January 4th.

Tikkanen and Comfortablynumb,

I'm just getting a little irritated with people putting stuff out there that isn't supported by facts.
It's true he was caught out of position and took false steps. That's just a testament to his raw recovery skills. He has been clocked as fast as 4.49.
As far as his ball skills, he was known for keeping his eyes on the QB and led Georgia in INT's.
He was not known for getting beat deep. I'm not saying he's the second coming, but he has amazing skills for a kid entering the draft a year early.
I know you guys weren't the ones saying this but I just wanted to clarify. As far as SS vs FS I really don't care. Whichever works out best for the team. I think Clemons and Jones will be one of the best safty tandems of all time. In the same league as Lester Hayes and Jack Tatum!

So yeah, I'm slamming the kool-aid when it comes to these two guys.

Oh my god !! misi is a freaking OLB !! The man at 6-3 251 pounds with the build to put on more weight ( which he's done already ) is NOT small for the tuna or ireland for the 3-4 olb. they would've NEVER drafted him in the first place. they already have 6 ILB's on the roster . misi will be the starting OLB

brian bulaga 33 1/4 arm length all experts says thats an issue at tackle--

anthony davis arm length 34 inches--all experts feel that is the minimum u cant get away with and dont find it an issue

Less than an inch--is a huge difference when you talk tackles and pass rushers-


he didnt have a choice with dumerville he was on the roster he was there best 4-3 end so he stood him up----

nolan has drafted suggs in baltimore, manny lawson in san fran, Robert ayers in denver---all prototypes----

"that inch is huge NJJJ----"

thats what she said

misi , 6-3 250 with 32 1/2 arm length and a 38 INCH VERTICAL JUMP is the prototype SOLB.

LOL @ carlito . good one .


I didn't say that Nolan drafted Dumervil. But the STYLES of defense and how Nolan and Parcells run it are different in many ways. Nolan's defense is predicated off of personnel packages, wreaking havoc, using players depending on the situation.

What hurt Bulaga maybe even more was he wasn't as athletic as the top guys, is better suited for RT or probably even inside. He struggled at times with consistency and against superior competition. And yes I know he dominated Derrick Morgan, I'm just saying arm length was not the ONLY factor in his not being selected that high.

i hope misi is the answer on the outside but i agree with mayock and he is great at what he does--we all have our own opinions---you want to go nuts over 3 tenths a second for a MLB---who bellicik took wit a 2nd

I think arm length is a priority for OT and pass rushers---and only very few guys can compensate and be great without it---usig thier athleticism and strength


I think the reason I like you is because you look at the big picture.

Before I even started grading our draft class, I took a look at almost everyone else's.

I'm not saying we did the best by any means, but believe me ALOT of teams did ALOT worse.

bootang , you're correct , it was baluga's lack of being a good athlete not his arm length, he's a better rt.

Kind of tired about talking about guys not on the roster. The blog makes Ireland look like a saint. He'd better hope and pray that he had a nice draft and offseason. He mucked up the Ryan Clarke interview and almost didn't get Dansby. I am a believer that if sparano and Ireland can't get a playoff birth they might be gone and Nolan will be named coach. I know Bill believes in his people, but I can't see how he wouldn't cut bait in Ireland and sparano. Don't get me wrong, I like the trifecta, but realistically as a fan you realize that there are a ton of components necessary to win and I am not talking 1st round, but the whole thing. You want fans in the seats dolfans? Win a darn championship now!


The big issue with bulaga was experts thought his lack of length really hurt his abilty to match up to elite pass rushers----those 2 postions lenght is crucial---dont believe if you want thats fine--evry1 has there own opinion

ur right about nolan scheme being different---

But im sayn is that nolan drafted guys that fit tuna prototype when he was running the defense in baltimore denver and san fran---

The dumerville exception was situational b/c he was alredy on team when he got there

The trifecta obviously feels that Cameron Wake is the answer as a pass rusher and that he is ready to step up to a full time role... I am excited to see him this year

Wow...we had a great offseaon and aquired some great players. The draft really took care of most of our concerns.. Stay positive my friends!!

LMFAO , there's nothing wrong with misi 's arm length at 32 1/2 . it was just cpmparing it to kindle , the point was they both have long arms. misi had a 38 in vertical which was tops at the position. kindle was 36 1/2. misi was a good 1 1/2 more than kindle . that's more that the difference in arm length. gees !!!

if u arent athletic enuff at Off. tackle you better have the length---he didnt have either---if he had better length with his current game ---theres no way anthony davis goes be4 him----but just my opinion---

sidenote---i hope misi is great and can put on weight and be out OLB---but my gut says he will be moved all around and isnt the STUD outside backer like an anthony spencer

by the way and i'm done with this . Jeff Ireland and The big tuna know a heck of alot more than a nobody like mayock and the drafted misi to be a OLB !!! that's what counts. :)


Thanks, and you are right, many teams picks not only didn't fit their needs, but also didn't fit well together. One of the reasons the Trifecta likes to double down is it invokes competition just between the rookies. You don't think Chris McCoy is going to push Koa Misi and vice versa? Reshad Jones will challenge Chris Clemons. Veterans were put on notice. Our prized FA acquisition, Karlos Dansby saw us draft a guy who is very similar to him, in AJ Edds. It sends the message we expect you to take the leadership role and teach the young kid, and also, you better play to the level of your contract, because we have no problem cutting you if it doesn't work out. Channing Crowder, Donald Thomas, Will Allen, these were guys who have played key roles for us. Well guess what, thanks for what you have done for us, but you better step it up because people want your jobs. We have hungry guys who will do whatever it takes. Even the franchise QB has 3 other guys behind him on the roster, don't think that doesn't motivate Chad Henne, because I sure as heck hope, and know, that it does. This offseason also added a ton of depth, which was a major area of concern last year. That 'right 53' is almost exactly where they want it, and that is when we will be legit Super Bowl contender.

ur comparing arm length to a verticle-------
for a pass rusher
this isnt basketball---

For a guy who is 6"3---32 1/2 isnt long---its average---anything over 33 inches is better than average---34 and bigger is special---

morgan, JPP---top 20 picks---34 1/2 arm length prottypical length----

Graham is the exception but his production was outrageous at michigan so that made up for his physical flaw


I don't disagree with anything you said in your post...

I know Jones is raw, and has great potential.. I was actually disappointed, at the time, when we passed on him in the third because I thought he was going to be gone..

I think it was great pick. I was just trying to voice the fact that I can understand some peoples concerns about the fact that we didn't adress the FS position this year (As Jones, as right now, looks more like a SS)..

Personally, I don't think FS was that big of a concern coming into the draft. Think Clemons and Culver will do fine (Although, I wouldn't mind picking up Atogwe, if he came at the right price)...

yea im out---good draft overall---hope we sign some FAs in next couple of days---

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