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Ireland's choice: Right thing vs. popular thing

You know the scenario. The Dolphins need to become a more dynamic team. They need big plays on offense. They need possession-changing plays on defense and somebody needs to set an alarm under the special teams and coax a kick return or punt return TD out of them sometime this century.

The Dolphins need to thus draft someone that comes with his own personal Batman show soundtrack: Pow. Bam. Kaboom.

We all know this. The Dolphins have admitted this ...

And then they draft a center?

Or any offensive lineman?

Or a safety?


That is the dilemma Miami general manager Jeff Ireland might (I do stress this is hypothetical) face on draft day in April. We want somebody that will wow us. Owner Stephen Ross wants someone that will bring glitz and glamour and put butts in the seats.

And the best player on the board might be someone that does neither but could still be the best available player on the Miami board. Or the best option in Ireland's opinion. Or Just the right thing to do.

How would Ireland navigate that?

The answer cannot be known until it happens. But be certain it can happen. Simply, there is a possibility the 14 teams picking ahead of the Dolphins pluck the most dynamic offensive players off the board -- guys such as Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert or A.J. Green and Julio Jones or even whatever homerun hitting running back you think is worthy.

And suppose someone such as Florida center Mike Pouncey is the highest rated player on Miami's board at the time. Or maybe OT Nate Solder is Miami's highest rated player left on the board. Or maybe a safety such as Rahim Moore or Roberts Sands is the guy.

Would Ireland have the courage to pick an offensive lineman after the team has spent so many past resources on positions that don't score TDs? Would he be OK with adding to the defense when it's the offense that begs help?

Would he go away from doing the popular thing that will get him applause from folks at the Dolphins draft party at the expense going with the highest-rated guy on his board that perhaps plays a position that excites no one and could get him roasted publicly?

It is a tough call. It is why Ireland makes the proverbial big bucks.

I would tell you the Dolphins had a GM that made that difficult and unpopular call before. Remember in April of 2007, the Dolphins had a good feeling that Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn would be available at No. 9. And the Wednesday before the draft, GM Randy Mueller had dinner with owner Wayne Huizenga and told him he would not be picking Quinn because, well, he didn't think Quinn was that good.

Huizenga didn't necessarily agree but let Mueller make his own bed. Mueller made that bed instead by picking Ted Ginn Jr. No, that choice didn't work although hindsight tells us Mueller made the right call not picking Quinn, either. The point is Mueller did the unpopular thing because everyone (including me) wanted Quinn.

Had Mueller picked a good player instead, he might still be employed. Of course, had Huizenga picked a better head coach than Cam Cameron, Mueller might still be employed. Neither happened. But the point is Mueller took the harder public relations road.

I cannot tell you which way Ireland would go. I haven't asked him about this topic. But my thinking is he might also do the more difficult thing, the more unpopular thing, if he thinks it's the right thing. It would make people upset, for sure. It might even make Ross upset, for sure.

But I get the feeling Jeff Ireland is stubborn enough to stick to his guns and go down blazing if he must.

If the player Ireland picks is the right guy -- and shows it right away -- Ireland can survive the storm of making an unpopular pick. Obviously, you make a less popular selection and compound the problem by choosing a bust, you've doubled your pain and you're out of a job anyway.

But you go with the unpopular pick and it ultimately turns out to be the right selection, your reputation is improved long-term.

So what do you think? Would Ireland let his rep suffer a bit at the hands of fans and second-guessers in the short-term? Or would he bow to the pressure and pluck the next QB or WR or RB on his board to satisfy the masses and his owner?


We might see. 

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I respect your opinion on this stuff too....I just don't agree with it. The reason we're mediocre all the time is not because we play it too safe, it's because we miss so often. Lots of misses over the last 6-7 years, as Armando has documented. The fact we'e missed on Beck, White and most of you would say Henne gives me NO confidence that we will hit on whichever of the QB's is left over. ZERO confidence!! They're incapabable of developing any young QBs.

On top of all that, I don't consider the drafting of a perennial Pro Bowl LT as a wasted pick or playing it safe. LT is one of the most important positions on the team and I can say with complete confidence that if Matt Ryan had come to a 1-15 team like ours he wouldn't have been having the success he's had.

the two best running backs in this year's draft that have not been mentioned, johnny white and shaun draughn of north carolina. check 'em out. one of them could be the next undrafted free agent pickup of this year.

Aloco....just do a little research on it...there is a reason it disappeared from 95% of the restaurants. The Japanese in general have a much more healthy lifestyle. They eat KFC too, this doesn't mean its a good idea.

all henne will be next season is a waterboy!!!




If we were smart TRADE FOR MATT FLYNN . He looked really good this year when he stepped in for ARRON ROGERS this year . I think he would be a steal . Next DRAFT the next two best RUNNING BACKS available . We need explosive impact players that will help this WEAK OFFENSE . After that go after OFFENSIVE LINEMAN . Our DEFENSE will get us by but the KEY TO MIAMI'S SUCCESS WILL BE THE CAPTAIN STEERING THE SHIP . Get MATT FLYNN .

There's a couple guys I think could end up on the Dolphins but I don't know a lot about them, so I'd like to get people's thoughts on them. Leonard Hankerson WR from Miami and Jerrell Jerrigan WR from Troy State. Jerrigan for one could be a nice addition to our return game and our group of receivers. Thoughts?......

Fair enough Aloco...I agree you can get some great seafood up that way. but the best, very best Salmon in the world bar none comes from the Pacific Northwest. Oysters and Mussels too..Penne Cove is just north of Seattle. Pay up for the King Salmon sometime when its in season...ain't nothing better.


No matter what I believe that we need to trade back to pick up a 2nd rd pick. We need to guarrantee ourselves the best chance possible of landing 2 day one starters on offense.

My preference of 1st and 2nd rd day one starters, in no paticular order are:


Right now Brian Hartline, a former 4th rd pick starts at #2 wr. Further evidence most times you only get what you pay for. He's a fine 4th rd wr, but that's about it folks.

Also seeing how Marshall begins his 7th season and a wr begins to really fall off in thier 8-9th season. That's only a couple seasons away and it wouldnt be a bad idea using a 1st-2nd rd pick now in anticipation of that.

One of the things most all of the Dolphin regimes have completely missed the boat on is anticipating ahead. If you have a great starter into his 7th season it's also good to use a 1st-2nd rd pick on his replacement then.

So in 2-3yrs when that starter is tailing off you can plug this guy in without missing a beat then use the former starter as tradebait while there's still enough to get a premium pick left in his tank.

Every Dolphin regime has waited until our guys have nearly absolutely nothing left before looking for a successor. You gotta continuously keep great starters plugged in for longterm success in today's nfl.

I think Ireland is a doofus and until he proves me wrong I think he is over his head in the NFL. I think he imagines himself a good judge of personnel but actually isn't. If we get Sparano involved maybe we have a chance but Ireland seems over confident since he was entrusted by Parcells, who, as we all know, is fading in his interest level.
As far as a pick, it has been well documented that we have not taken real risk on QB in forever...no 1st round picks since Marino!...so let's figure it out and go for it. Force the issue until we get it right!!! As we know everyone performs better with a good QB running the show. Ricky and Ronnie suck with Henne at QB. They were better, everyone was better, with Pennington running the show. A strong QB elevates everyone...look at Brady and Manning and the personnel changes they face and how it always works out. Position players are not dumb...they know when they have a real QB and when they don't and their inspiration hinges on that, like it or not. Forget "best player on the board" for now and take a chance. This goes against Dolphins nature...but so does winning Super Bowls. I say let's take the "best QB still left on the board" and motivate this organization to grow and get with the program of needing a QB to win in this league!

They need a potential franchise QB, and you can't get one with a lower pick. Ireland realizes that this is the year to break with tradition and do everything in his power to get one...either through the draft, by trading up if need be, or by trading picks for a proven FA QB like they did Marshall at the WR position last year. This year he becomes more of a gambler than the same old conservative of years past. If he doesn't, he's done.

It's not crazy to think Henne can turn the corner with the help from Daboll the way Soliai did with Nolan. It took Brees a couple years, too. You know what's more exciting than a WR or kick returner? WINS. Ireland will do what's best for the team to get 10, 11, 12 wins. Just please, Irelabd, stop moving guys away from positions they excel at. That Starks move last year was the worst. For all we know, Soliai is a free safety next year.

Apparently, Bill Parcells is still involved in Dolphin's personnel decisions. I feel more comfortable with him, going into the draft, than with Ireland.

Lets trade our 2011 3rd rd pick, 2012 1st rd pick, and 2012 2nd rd pick to move up and get Cam Newton.

That's pretty much the scenario it will take to get him. Meanwhile I hope none of you b*itch about the next couple 4-12, 3-13 seasons. You've also traded away the picks to put help around him.

You'll get the peanutbutter but didnt have enough leftover for jelly and bread. You dont have enough leftover to buy ingredients for peanutbutter cookie neither. Enjoy your raw peanutbutter eaten freshly lumped on your spoon.

You did remember to purchase a spoon before hand didnt you?

Craig M,

WR Jerrel Jernigan would be a great get. He will be among the fastest players at the combine for starters clocking low 4.3 range. He has the kind of speed and shifty moves that if he gets a window of opportunity he can go. Played 50 games at Troy which is not a football factory but does attest to his toughness for a smaller reciever. Would add a playmaker at KR/PR that we don't have currently. At 5' 9" 190 he is built similar to J.Best or C.J. Spiller but 10 pounds lighter. He has the electric cuts and battles for YAC. A definite weapon in space.

Hankerson is more the tall 6' 3" 204-207lbs smooth, more lanky build up speed. Has decent top end and can go get the ball as evidenced by his 16 yard per catch average. Getting seperation will be harder for Hankerson but he as been gaining steam through his senior campaign. Holds the single season records for TDs, Receptions and yards at da "U". He has a bright future ahead. On a side note he is training with our own Mark Super Duper in an attempt to get better. Kudos to him. A lot of odd hand eye coordination stuff like catching two baseballs thrown at him at once. Laying flat on his back while a person walks around him thowing him the ball. Many will say he is too similar to BM on the team. He and Jernigan are different animals.

Because Hankerson would probably not be a returner for ST that is the #1 reason why he is off my list. That is a HUGE glaring need for Miami. Whether it's Jernigan, Titus Young another WR or RB with that kind of skillset,... we need a WR/RB that pulls double duty on returns.

Our ST is starting in a hole more often than not due to no dynamic player returning the football.

It may not be much to go on Craig, but I hope it helps.


Drew..the only corner Henne will turn is out of the locker room when he chooses the QB competition and we finally release him during or after the 2011 season....

Chooses should be looses

Hankerson is dumb as rocks


After seeing VY is 30-17 as a starter with a 7 Wonderlic score...for a QB... athletes can use other things besides wits and brain power on the field it appears.

VY is not the brightest guy but he is a a super athlete. He still gets my vote to grab as an FA and compete with Henne.

I think it's VY by a long ways.


VY = Culpepper



You will enjoy HOUSE OF CHANG for its Chinese delicacies. You will order the squid.


I'm tired of these so called experts talking about QB's that play in the spread offense in college that they'll have to transition to the NFL style of play(under center). Did anyone see the Pats Or even the GB packers play those teams were always in the shot gun they might've handed the ball of 15 times a game. If the Dolphins think Cam Newton is the man then trade up and get him if they think the guy from Nevada is the man they pick him at 15 or try to trade down and then pick him. It all starts with the QB Henne is not mobile enough he can only make plays with his arm. I rather have a QB that could avoid pressure and scramble for the first down. My vote is for Newton or Pick up V.young. Free agency is where you adress holes on the team and the draft is for developing players and depth on your roster.

What I don't want is for him to pick some jackball just so he can prove he knows more then us.

He passed on Earl Thomas last year to pick who?

Sorry, I know he's probably not the best in the draft, but it suuurrree would be fun to watch Colin Kapernick, it really would be nice to have a quarterback that could get out of his own way, not to mention defenders. I know that we should take the BEST guy on the board, but as a Fin Fan since 1970, I would REALLY like that to be someone under center that could make things interesting again. Think about it guys, Marino, (yes I KNOW he is a MILLION times better than Kapernick), but Marino could get it done WITHOUT a good running game, Green Bay just did it, the Pat's do it to us EVERY damn year, so I'm thinking, if the D's not in that bad of shape, why not take a chance on the Offensive side of the ball, we really can't do any worse than we have lately, well, we could, but it's all a crap shoot anyway...(let the beating begin..:)

The popular thing and the right thing are one in the same. Quite simply go after a QB. I'd even go as far as sacrificing our 3rd round pick to trade up in the draft if there is a QB they feel is worth it. There is no substitute for a quality QB. The best O-Line, the best receivers, or a great defense are all worthless without a talented competent QB. It's the most important position on the field and it's time the Dolphins start respecting that fact.

"VY = Culpepper"

Beerphin = Bigot

If you want to win big, you have to wager big. you aren't going to place a $5.00 bet and win $250,000.00 with any kind of regularity and that is what a lot of you are suggesting. Lets get a QB on the cheap, who knows, he may work out, instead saying we need get pick from better stock. Dalton, Satnzi, Kaepernick and Ponder are 2nd tier QBs for a reason, but so manyof you are willing to simply settle for the second tier, and then you wonder why you keep having the same damned results.

Ireland is a goose amongst this gaggle and will be fired because of it. Stop trying to find acorns and find PLAYMAKERS instead.

The offensive line is fine, if you have a QB that does not allow the opposing DC to stack the line of scrimmage because they have no respect for him. 5 Olinemen trying to block 7 or 8 rushers will make the oline look bad and will close the gaps for the RBs to run especially when the QB can't make quick reads and adjustments and is a slow moving statue and when he doesn't know how to audible out of a play and into another.

Ireland will make another dumb decision and ignore the boss and it will caost him and Sparano their jobs.

Nobody knows nuttin (period).

Chad Henne and any FA QB or drafted QB willall be on the same page at the beginning of the season. Henne will not have an advantage at all and will probably be behind the curve.

There is a New OC, New Scheme, New QB coach, New Verbige , New Playbook. All of you who thinks Henne will benefit from this, I ask you how? He is going to be starting all over again and going against possibly younger, definitely more moble guys.

Because of the CBA, no one has access to Daboll or his schemes or the new playbook just yet. After the draft the drafted players will come in and they might be given some time with the coaches, which would put the Rookies ahead of the Vets and make Henne even less likely to get better or stick around.

Dark Matter Bomb....

I don't know when you showed up on the scene...but between you...and Bigafly.....its like I don't even have to post anymore....

Especially since Bigafly has stolen my writing style (that i stole from my wife).....

In any case your post are in-line with my thoughts....I honestly believe that the QB way is the Only way to GO....

But it has to be a QB that they want....not some scraps left behind.....

my new motto

Ted Ginn was a terrible WR, but we really miss his kick returning. Call me crazy, but I'd love to draft somebody with speed that can also kick return. We've got a great punter, a solid defense and if only we get better kick returns, we'd have a much better field position game. It's the little things that improve a team so much. That formula helped improve the Bears greatly this year.

Dark Matter Bomb.....

in response to your post @ 10:35...the answer is simple....because of all those things you stated (new OC/QB coach/verbage) ect.....

Those are al built in excuses for those that love medicority....and want to make excuse for our poor play at QB and offence in general....

Mark my words because you will see them over and over again....

It's Henne's first year in THIS system

No QB flourishes with a new system

Next year will be year 2 in Daboll's offence....he will be better

We don't know what Henne can do because he is still learning the system....

All built in ready made excuses for failure....

Forgot my new motto...


I really don't see what the big deal is with a lot of fans"We caanot waste a first round pick on a QB" "We goota trade down and get our second rounder back then take Pounchy and get qb Mallot in round two" "We cant go qb in first round we have no second rounder"

All of us fans HAVE NO SAY ON DRAFT DAY ZERO! Ireland does not HAVE TO DO ANYTHING you fans say. Problem is,Ireland has screwed up the last three drafts so badly ie Pat White,Pat Turner,TE (I forget his name Nohor or something), J.D. Fulston, and all of those dand LB's last year, I don't have any faith he can draft 3 or 4 starters. You build your team through the draft. Look at The patriots,Steelers,Ravens etc; They are always in the playoffs because of thier front office. It isn't luck people. Look at our drafts over the past 10 years! How many players even made the team? How many pro bowlers? Jake Long are there any others that were draft picks? Starks and Wake were FA's. I was ok with keeping Sparano, Ireland and his scouts are who needed to go! Marshall is O.K., but not much diffrent between himand Boldin and Boldin wouldnt have cost any draft picks. Jets got Holmes for a fifh rounder. We need a comtetent GM and scouting department. Until we get that, we are third at best in the division!

Trade down, get an OG/C with first pick then some speed at WR. History has shown that rb's in later rounds are very successful. Seems to me Ireland is the type of guy who would point the finger at the other guy instead of taking the blame. He did throw Sparano under the bus

CBA delays + Sopranos lame duck season = 2011 is a wash year.

Henne will most likely win out over any rookie QB, and the FO are in major win now mode to save their jobs...they are really in a no win situation.

I'd be fine with them taking Center, WR, RB, even a top DE since we are stacked there others can be trade bait later. Let the new 2012 coach and the new 2012 OC pick the QB of the future while we build a solid foundation for him to work with.

Why does everybody say we have to give up pics to get Newton? All Ross needs to do is get Ireland to deliver a duffle bag of cash to Newton's father.

Problem solved.

Well maybe we do like other teams. Take the best player and trade the players already in that position to move up in the draft or trade for a position we need. Along with develope unknown players that other people didnt notice in other positions.

Trade Sparano for a late round OLineman with a broken leg.

Personally, if the 3 Qbs are off the board, I'd like an OT. There should be some on the board that porject ot excellent RTs in this league.

DMB...I agree with you on your points about Henne. I have been making the same ones for weeks(new OC, no time to learn the system). But a lockout includes the rookies too. They won't get a playbook(at least Henne has his now) There will be no rookie camps, nothing. So I don't know how rookies will be ahead of the vets.

I think that if Henne is the starter(big if). The leash is going to be so short, that he will get yanked before supporters can start spewing excuses. The Henne is in a new system argument isn't going to fly. He doesn't get that saftey net. If he would have shown ANYTHING the last 5 weeks of the season, maybe he gets the benefit of the doubt. No mas.


VY = Culpepper??

VY is still in his prime, has a 30-17 record in his last 47 starts. He is a suprememly gifted athlete with no major injuries to his extremities. His knock is intelligence with the super low Wonderlic score and locker room antics. Much akin to the BM tantrum stuff.

We got Culpepper was a great locker room guy but was coming off a major knee operation. Two years prior he had been in the running for OFF player of the year but for Manning going off that year. He was in the declining portion of his career but was still young enough to think he could get over the leg injury woes. As some tell it, he was pressed into service too early by Saban and was not back at full speed. The pass rushers would catch him when he used to outrun them.

They both have/had fleas but these are definitely two different cats.


The gavel sounds... Hear, hear to DD @ 12:30

If the QB we need (Newton or Mallot) not there then get Pouncey cause we need a true center. Speed at running back and receiver will be available in every other round. Just look at Oregon and TCU's roster. Miami ALWAYS drafts someone from the Big 10 in the early rounds. Why? I think Ireland will follow the above scenario. QB and Center is the two biggest needs before you bring in a speed back or special speed player. Let's not forget Sheets.

In no particular order:

Cam Newton (if available which I see he most likely won't be)
Nate Solder - (if available)
Mike Pouncey

Just my opinion...GO DOLPHINS.



Sanders is a 7yr vet and former NFL devensive MVP. Problem is he's only played 9 games in the past 3 seasons.

What do you guys say to signing him if we could sign him on the real really skinny?

Rob in OC,

Just read your post from last night. Things for the info on the two WR prospects. Sounds to me like Jernigan would be a better fit for this team too. I've also heard Hankerson is a bit like Marshall and Baldwin too. Total agree that we need help on the return game. I was really just wondering what some of these other guys are like if we miss out on Julio Jones or Titus Young.

To everyone else who only sees a first round QB as the answer, I'm wondering what the over/under will be before the fanbase turns on the kid and realizes it's not the QB but the pieces around him that are the real problem?


I'd be fine with signing Sanders. The only problem is can they do this before the lockout kicks in? The other problem is if we sign Sanders, do we still keep Clemons and Jones the roster? I'd hate to give up one of these kids if we also find out Sanders can't stay healthy. He's a Hell of a player when he's able to play.

a dilemma of his own making.

he's an adenoidal, pre-pubescent punk.........he'll botch the pick regardless.

If Ireland maker the RIGHT decision, the decision will be popular, no matter who he chooses.

I wish we never traded Ted Ginn. I think he would have had his best year.

Daboll isn't going to make anyone better except miami's draft pick next year!

All you cam newton haters out there probably said the same crap about tebow. When you got "it" you got it. Henne does not!

I also believe that Ronnie Brown deserves 1 more year more than Henne.

Henne regressed because of David lee right? Well what Is here for any one to believe he will make the same jump Brees did! Cause your wrong!

Here is my dolphins 2011-12 prediction.
We draft mark ingram. ( should be newton)
Sign a crappy vet qb who hasn't been cut yet.
We go 5-11 winning 4 of the last 5 games.
Causing a debate weather they should all be fired.
We obtain the 5th pick in the next draft.
And Cowher takes over and drafts kordell Stewart #2.

Do not be misstaken. I love Miami. And do not Want this, however. This is my fear!!
At least we have Vontae Cameron wake and Jake long.

The Dolphins have drafted four wide receivers (Yatil Green, Chris Chambers, Ted Ginn, and Patrick Turner) in Rounds 1 - 3 in the last eighteen drafts.

I don't see it happening this year either.


As far as the new CBA goes, both sides agreeing to a mediator is a HUGE step forward. It's nearly immeasurable how this step alone could possibly bring about a new agreement even before the draft begins.

Im a heck of a more optimistic about something being finalized before the draft now with the immergence of this oh so important good news than I was without it. It showing me both sides are now coming into full reality that a lockout or expulsion of the 2011 season absolutely benifits neither party involved nor the fans of this most popular sport.

No on Sanders. The problem with perenially injured players is that you end up needing to count on them just when they get injured. We tried that with Smiley and Grove and it backfired. Too risky to take Sanders even on the cheap. Cheap on the bench is expensive in more ways than one.


Didn't realize about the arbitrator. That's good news. I'm still not as optmistic as you. I can see this thing dragging on and maybe into September. I don't see where there's any urgency from either side to get this done. For these guys it's more important to get the best deal they can rather than when the deal gets done.

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