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Ireland on Pat White, Henne-Marshall relationship

Dolphins related tweets and blogs lately have been discussing what really happened in the Pat White situation in the spring of 2009, with the suggestion that all the blame fell on one party or another party for making what is a lingering and painful miss for the Dolphins on the player personnel side.

Some folks are blaming Bill Parcells exclusively. Some people blame general manager Jeff Ireland. Some people absolve both men and blame ... someone else.

In light of the recent rumors and tweets, I asked Ireland during his appearance on the Armando and the Amigo show Friday, what exactly happened with Pat White.

"There's a lot of things that go into why a player that you drafted doesn't work," Ireland said. "Some of those things you can talk about, some of those things you can't talk about. But when we drafted Pat White, like I said in my press conference, Pat White had a unique set of skills. And we wanted to utilize those skills to the best of our ability to help our football team. That did not work out.

"And so we got to move on. We can't come in the office every single day and look at something that's not going to work out. We probably could have kept him and tried to keep working on it but at the time we felt like we had to move on. There's a lot of things you can blame. If you want to blame someone, blame me. I'll take the heat on that.

"But we're moving on and we're going to move on with the players we have on our football team and try to get better in the future."

I know fans want to know exactly whom to blame or credit on certain personnel moves. It is fair because it's about accountability. But I'm getting the feeling Ireland is accepting the blame because he was the one being interviewed.

Yes, he had a major role in taking Pat White. But so did Bill Parcells, who obviously signed off on the selection. So did then quarterback coach David Lee, who pitched White as a player who would bring a new set of skills to the Wildcat package and its evolution into a spread attack similar to the one run by many colleges. Coach Tony Sparano also liked White's promise.

The truth is watching White work his magic for West Virginia got Dolphins folks aflutter. A feverish optimism that it would translate in the pros took hold at the team's training facility.

I have been told it was indeed an organizational decision. Obviously Ireland is taking, as he says, the heat. But it goes further than that.

Why is the White issue even important a full two years after he was drafted?

Well, the Dolphins this offseason find themselves in a position of needing to add a quarterback so they can have insurance for the uncertain abilities and future of Chad Henne.

And so they have to cover old ground because they addressed that insurance need, they thought, by picking White in the second round of the 2009 draft. But White was the most un-Dolphins-like pick in the Parcells-Ireland-Sparano era. He was smallish. He was not exceptionally strong. He was overmatched physically on the field.

Now Miami must use another draft pick to address that need.

In the 640-Sports interview, which you can listen to in its entirety if you click here and go to the Armando and the Amigo podcast, Ireland was also asked about Henne and his relationship with Brandon Marshall.

You remember the two men had uncomfortable exchanges in several games, particularly late in the season. You'll remember toward the end of the season, Marshall made the point that Tyler Thigpen "gets it," about getting him the football while suggesting Henne didn't.

Ireland was asked if a sitdown with Henne and Marshall is in order so they can hash things out, making it possible for them to continue working together.

"Well, I think our coaching staff can help that process move forward in the right direction," Ireland said. "I think those guys, here again, you get emotional and things don't go well and things happen on the football field that can always be mended by production on the football field.

"Those two guys are very important to our offensive production moving forward. And they're going to get on the same page. They're young together. They're growing together and this whole football team needs to mature. That's not just Chad and Brandon. That's our defense, that's our special teams unit, that's our offensive unit, coaching staff, the general manager.

"We all need to mature in this whole thing. So they're just a small piece of that and they'll certainly grow together and provide some production. There's no doubt about that in my mind."

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