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Former RB Rob Konrad defends Jeff Ireland

The following is an e-mail former Dolphins running back Rob Konrad sent The Miami Herald and other media outlets concerning Jeff Ireland following the incident in which the general manager admittedly asked Dez Bryant whether his mother is a prostitute and then apologized publicly to Bryant for the question:

"Use any adjective you’d like to describe Jeff Ireland, but those in the media claiming he’s “without class” are simply misinformed. Jeff’s a regular guy, whose attention to detail and no-nonsense approach has defined his success in the industry. More than any member of the Dolphins front office in recent history, Jeff and his family have been regularly engaged with the Miami Dolphins Foundation and community outreach programs.

"Jeff is one of the true good guys in the industry. To see his name being tarnished in the media as the result of (a) single question during a team interview seems to me entirely unjust. It’s important to keep in mind the context of these interviews -- the prospect of guaranteeing a 22-year-old stranger millions of dollars to enter one of the most competitive, intolerant and insensitive professional work environments around.

"I’m not attempting to defend the question asked, but rather the person and the process. Having been through those interviews, in the locker room, and on the field, I can tell you that the work environment in the NFL is unique, one that would be unacceptable in virtually any other industry. The questions asked by teams in pre-draft interviews usually have the dual purpose of getting to know the player and testing their mindset.

"By way of example, one of the common questions asked by teams is as follows: "If you had the choice of being reborn as a cat or a dog, which would you choose and why?" There is no correct answer, there may be preferable responses depending on your position, but the question is meant to generate a response from the player which can be analyzed in any number of ways.

"When I was coming out of Syracuse University, I remember being asked 'if I thought I could succeed as a white running back in the NFL?' and 'why I thought a kid who attended a suburban Massachusetts private high school was tough enough to play in the NFL?'  If one (sic) we’re interviewing a prospective executive for private industry, this line of questioning likely wouldn’t be acceptable.

"The 'all-ball' and 'no-nonsense' approach incorporated by the current regime at the Dolphins has been consistent since they arrived. I believe this philosophy has resonated throughout the organization and is one of the main factors for the team's return to playing winning fundamental football. Jeff may be demanding and thorough, and maybe a question was asked in poor judgment, but he’s one of the good guys in the NFL, he’s been a great asset to the Dolphins and a good friend to South Florida."

--Robert Konrad 



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Glad to see someone tell it like it is. Bryant himself said he was asked numerous questions of this nature by more than one team. It's ludicrous to think it isn't relevant to who he is as a person.

And to anybody asking if I was asked this in an interview, how would I respond; I say if I was going to be given millions of dollars after being hired they could ask me ANYTHING they wanted and I'd except it.

As for the bad pub being given to his mom about his past, if this story didn't get printed by yahoo or whoever the h e l l wanted to make headlines then it wouldn't be in the headlines that his mom was a prostitute and drug runner etc.

I'm tired of hearing Jeff Ireland is "classless" as well. GM's ask a ton of questions. Some pertain to football, some don't. Some are appropriate, some aren't. If a player finds a question innappropriate, he can leave. Period. If there was more news in football, this would be a non-issue.


thank you Mr. Konrad! of course the question isn't the best but that doesn't make Ireland a villain. People always want there to be a bad guy and apparently Ireland is the media's new toy to play with. Honestly even though I wouldn't have asked the question it really seems to me like that was one where they wanted to see how he would react to some adversity. It's just been blown way out of proportion.

Arrogance shines thru Mr Ireland

This should resonate with some of the talking heads out there in the media. Rob Konrad defined what a football player should be in the NFL. He gave everything to the Dolphins and to their fans. He is a stand up member of society and continues to serve the people of South Florida.

Jeff Ireland is getting a raw deal by the media, especialy in Miami because they don't like the way the Dolphins are closed mouth about the team. Also DEzzzzzz, is just playing the race card like they all do. If your such a man Dezzzzzz, why are you acting like a little girl with thin skin. You want the money, then shut your mouth.

Thank you for posting this Armando...

Many teams also asked Dez if his Mom still uses drugs...

I also agree that the media and some simple minded fans are taking this out of hand

Outstanding message.

I still think it's not cool no matter how you slice and dice it. If the Phins thought for one second they were not going to draft Dez, then there was no need to go there.

I can't believe this has gotten this much attention.

Anybody else catch Run Ricky Run last night?

I thought it was great.

Like I said last night. I am sure Dez will has heard similiar from other teams. No harm done. Just something to talk about when we play big D in the SB


B'more media is having a lot of fun with this. They have nothing else to talk about since their Orioles SUCK

the black man is under attack by the white man ,it's unbelivbale .


I am sure he is a great guy, it was a classless question.


he's not a good,a good doesn't ask this kind of question .


Armando, thank you for not feigning this mock horror that most media writers currently are doing. Konrad hit the nail on the head. First, Bryant is interviewing for a job which would pay him more money at age 22 than most people make in a lifetime. Second, no slight was made by Ireland... a question was asked in private, no slurs or accusations were made. The question was probably more to get an insight into Bryant's head more than anything else. If Bryant kept his cool as he claims, I venture to say that Ireland would have come away very impressed. Thirdly, I hold a high level security clearance and during the vetting process was asked if I ever had sex with animals. I was astounded by the question, and could have walked away, lost my clearance and job. I submit that Bryant didnt walk away because he wanted a job as a professional football player. Now that he has another job and is running off his mouth... that is my definition of classless, not what Ireland did.

JEFF ireland is classless act .

Jeff Ireland is a racist pig. He should be fired. I have one question for Phin4Life, does your wife give good head?

My message to the all the MEDIA out there including you, Armando Salguero.

STOP accusing mr Jeff Ireland of being a person "without a class" ! ! ! !

Armando, when you had your job interview to work for the Miami-Herald.... Did the Miami-Herald just gave you the job without asking you any kind of questions??? I am sure they ask you a lot of questions which I am SURE you didn't like some of those questions to asked to you. BUT... in order to get your job you had to asnwer all the questions that you were asked in your job interview.

Jeff Ireland is not only an AWESOME Miami-Dolphins GM, but also is a good person.

All the MEDIA, including you Armando, should apologize to Jeff Ireland for not only destroying his image, but also destroying his family honor

his family's honor .............haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, good one .

where's cuban
where's odin

The arrogance of Jeff Ireland is the same type of arrogance exhibited by the NFL. The laws of the land do not seem to apply to a very wealthy league which seems to make its own rules. Konrad was correct that this question would not be correct in any other industry but the reality is that it is not correct in ANY industry including the NFL. Mike Ditka ripped Ireland for his comments and Ross should fine or suspend Ireland for this incident. For all of you who feel that just because you pay someone a lot of money that person should be subjected to these types of questions should take a basic HR course to see what is acceptable in the workplace. And yes morons the NFL is a workplace where rules that apply to each of us still apply there.

Of course Jeff would have been crucified if we find out Bryant turned out to have all the character issues raised about him.

The thing i dont is the man publicly and privately apologized. How many millionaires or elected officials do you know of that apologize for nothing?

Like someone said earlier you can ask me any dumb or rude question you want if im being interviewed to play a sport for a job and get paid $10's of millions of dollars.

Heck trash my family on tv if you want, im sure we will get by with the new contract.

If Bryant was as classy for holding his tongue like many say then why did he tell the reporter what team and person asked him the question?

If you dont want bad questions asked dont get involved with people with questionable behavior.

Of course just because you will be paying them millions doesn't give them the right to trash you but surly you must expect them to be very diligent in finding out if their investment will be safe?

As for longisland, dont you think maybe the league is the way it is because coaches and those that draft players dont ask tough questions and let things slide? Instead of whining come up with a solution. Its football, its not a workplace. If you love football or any sport it doesn't even come close to feeling like a job.

agree with most on this topic...the question should never have become public and now that dez broke the first nfl code this guy is gonna flame out. no matter what a team asks you cannot go rat out to the media that some hard questions were asked. if he was so upset he could have walked out and left it at that. to whisper into some yahoo hacks ear that the dolphins are mean and asked a question that hurthis feelings shows his make up. if his feelings were hurt by this question imagine what is going to be said to him on the field. good luck dez.

also, the local media is so negative about the phins front office its juvenile. im not sure how things were 20 years ago, but this is the first front office i have seen that is building something special on the field...reporters are not employed by the dolphins...if you want to work for the dolphins and have access to the strategic vision of the club, then go apply and good luck. if not, do your job and report on the team...the worst in this group is edgar thomopson. that guy should not be covering the dolphins because he's a little baby that gets upset because he cant gather any information and report anything worth reading...go cover tennis edgar you bitter little baby.


you are a freakin moron, please do not come around on the blog anymore. I am so tired of your BS viewpoint. You wanna blame white people for everything, its a joke and so are you.

Hot Ashley,

Are you from Key West cause i know you are a dude

LI Fin Fan I couldn't agree more. JI should start with a REAL apology. Fired ? A bit harsh, punished without a doubt. I am more worried about JI's background than Dez's. At least Dez has some good sense by keeping his cool.The same can't be said for JI.

Nice to hear Konrad put some persepective on things. He's a hard-working blue collar guy who can shine some light on this nonsense.

Time for this story to go away. It's a sham caused by Bryant and the media, that should never have been a story. Two words for Bryant that will continue to follow him in the NFL....trouble-maker!!

Who cares really, if you can't take words go play with the girls. Nothing wrong with what JI said..were all adults here.

This is the biggest bunch of nothing I've read in a long time. Who cares!!! Poor Dez got asked some tough questions about his drug addicted mom? How's he going to feel when he gets blown up going across the middle. I thought guys talked about each others mommas all the time in football. This society has become so hopelessly politically correct. This Bryant kid is a knuclehead which means he's a great fit for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys.

Was the question ever answered? Is his mom a prostitute? Its a noble profession...world needs hookers too!

All the odd questions Rob points to deal with himself personally, where were the questions about Rob's parents?

This is a non story. He apologized. It is over.

Rob's right. Jeff's just doing his job.

I always wanted to know what (sic) meant. I see it everywhere, but I never learned it in school.

thank you for calling out this mostly asinine thread of commentary defending jeff ireland. hey, i understand a "buddy" stepping up to defend another "buddy", as konrad attempts here -- and to be fair, some relatively decent people do very bad things sometimes....but, frankly, ireland is getting what he deserves here -- and yes morons (to quote a previous post) the NFL front office is a place where "employers" still need to respect a standard of behavior towards employees/candidates. these defenses of ireland because they "may" spend a lot of money on a football player are laughably obtuse...and, as usual when it comes to trhe relationship between "management" and "labor" in the NFL, ignorant of the facts....the players association and the Dolphins will be well within their rights to sanction ireland for this...ireland is going to pay a price for this.....and he should. you idiots sound like those who defend the sexual predator, ben roethlisberger, because he wasnt charged with a crime...more lucid heads reviewed what happended, assessed the situation with a sense of responsibility and human decency and took SOME action to hold him accountable. ireland needs to be next.

It might have been a horrible question, but I think Ireland was trying to illicit a response from Bryant. Someone most analysts and teams said was immature. It was a way to see if he would answer with rage or take it and respond rationally.

Either way, Ireland is not the villain here.

With all due respect to Rob..And the respect I have for Syracuse. I used to live in Westchester County NY...And my best friends wife is a graduate. But I'm sure if that question had been asked of him? And he did'nt either get up and walk out? Or "CLOCKED" the guy? I'd have even "LESS" respect for him than I do now...For trying to justify Irlead!! Rob PLEASE!! Are you serious??? You compare...Hey! Think a white guy can run in the nfl? To...Hey? Is your momma a $%&$**?? Rob you need to call home, and appologize to your mom for not standing up for mom's the world over....SHAME ON YOU!!!

I couldn't agree more with DaveInJax. You are 100% correct.

Dez has opened his own can of worms with this whole thing. By bringing this to the media's attention that he was offended by Ireland's question, that's all he's gonna hear from opposing cornerbacks. All game long! Every game! Every play! They're going to raz on him hard about his Mama. He has handed it to them on a platter.

i cant believe the team dat i luv,hasnt fired this guy yet,cant wait to see both bill parcells n jeff ireland hit the road

all u people defending jeff ireland need to wake up,if u were asked the same question u would be offended,but if u werent thats sad .dont talk about moms

I look forward to the NFLPA coming forward with the many examples of insensitivity by all the teams and league office in the NFL.
This is a league problem not a Jeff Ireland personality defect. Not to mention the media that should be filtering what insensitive information should not be published.


Thanks for comming to this mans defense Rob. This story is gaining legs that need to be cut off. everyone he was drafted in the late 1st round because of off the field issues. he was suspended for his senior year and did not play. is there really any questions that should not be asked? this is being made into a race issue. what a shame. just shows how weak minded our society is. the media controlls all....

By the way it was a question not an acusation. listen first before you start barking.....

Rob Conrad quote:

"To see his name being tarnished in the media as the result of (a) single question during a team interview seems to me entirely unjust."

Based on this type of answer Conrad is either "biasedly" defending Ireland or is insensitive himself or he's just out of touch and clueless.

Bottom line is their was absolutely no need to ask that question and that the question was disgracefully insulting. ..."No excuses!" The best Ireland could do was apolgize then await and accept any potential ramifications for this huge gaffe.

I agree with Rob Konrad-maybe the question did ruffle some feathers, but everyone needs to remember they're not exactly in the "feelings" business. They're investing in a certain type of product AND that product needs to be poked & prodded not unlike a securities firm researching a new investment. If a player can't respond to that question in a controlled environment then how do you think they would respond to it in the chaos of a game - coming from the opposition?


The answer to the question probably didnt matter. He just asked it to see the reaction and wether dez could keep his cool and how he would react under pressure.

Did anyone ever think that maybe if there is some truth to this that the Dolphins want to see how this guy reacts to things. If it is true, this guy is going to hear about it from opponents a lot and the team needs to find out if he's going to be able to focus at key times in the game or lose his cool or just crumble.

There's nothing wrong with the Dolphins doing their due dilliegence. It's what we want them doing and what they are paid to do. Bryant's an idiot for even airing this story. This will haunt him more than Ireland.

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