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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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The fact of the matter is it was a question. If I were asked the same question the answer would have been NO. And move on. The only way it could actually hurt his feelings would be if she actually was a prostitute.

One of the guys mentioned that several teams asked Bryant about whether his mother still used drugs. Given her well known history, this is a legit question. But prostitution? Where did that come from? I think Bryant would have been within his right to smack the crap out of Ireland for that one.

And coming off the JT/Zach fiasco, this doesn't bear out Rob Konrad's assertion that Ireland is "a regular guy." He's starting to look more like that neighbor you keep your kids away from.

WOW!! Do I miss Rob Konrad, One hell of a football player!!!! He is right here on almost all levels in my opinion. However I still think Ireland is a clown with this administration, the way the show a lack of respect for former players and older current players. I as a fan spend HUGE $$ on tickets, merchandise and charities that the Dolphins support. In return I would like to see the committed players who bled orange and teal most of their careers get treated with the up most respect. GET ZACH HIS ONE DAY CONTRACT!

This is stupid if it were a white player getting asked this question everyone would not even be talking about this issue. The fact of the matter is whites have enought sense to drop this issue. The issue is blacks have thin skin and need to grow up its the 20th century grow the heck up.

Way to tell it like it is Rob! Glad to see someone out there isn't making a bigger deal out of this than it is.

This guy is setting himself up for disaster...Why would he comment on a question asked by a potential employer? Get ready for Football man cause in the NFL they talk trash... Regardless of the question asked the way he handle the situation shows a lack of maturity. A guy coming of a NCAA suspension for lying should let his football skills speak for him, not his mouth. In his shoes right now I be working on my game, concentrating on being an impact player, worthy of a 10 ten pick in this year’s draft. Motivation, responsibility, and work ethic things I learned in school. A lack thereof was part of the reason he was drafted late first round. Great potential seen in college, hope he matures into a great NFL Player...

I think any idiot who comment on the behalf of Jeff Ireland is a moron. If for any reason you think that was an appropriate question then you have no respect for you mother. Forget, about May 9th(Mother's Day). Rob Konrad, shut your mouth. To compare being asked can a white running back be successful back is a joke. You are a joke. JI needs to be reprimanded. If an athlete had referred to the coach mother as a prostitute, I wonder what would be the penalty. Just because NFL owners give millions to athletics that does not give management the right to subject a man to ridicule. I think to make it right, maybe the NFL should incorporate a phycological test be perform on players. JI should be glad he is still able to smile. Dez you did good. You kept your cool and good luck with you future.

Rawpooh shut up and stop crying. Wow, you sound like a little girl.

Would anyone here like to have their life, and every spoken word scrutinized for "political Incorrectness" or tactless comments made? Bet there would be a few blunders. Since none are in the spotlight like those in this story, well..point made.

Quite frankly, as a huge Dolphin fan I am comforted to know that the organization goes to great detail to insure the best decisions are made concerning the team. In the land of the "offended", it is humorous to know that a question of obvious psychological importance gains so much attention.

@Miami_13 and you sound like a little boy. Go play with yourself

Awwww, did I hurt your feelings?

This is stupid stop it! Put the question in context of the interview. Ireland asked what his father did for a living and he answered "He was a pimp" then he asked what his mother did, she worked for him was the reply. Then Ireland understandably said "Was she a prostitute" and I would have said the same thing. Leave Brittany alone!!!

The question is how would Jeff Island react to the same question from owner Ross or Big Tuna?

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