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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?

Really?

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?

Hmmmm.

We might see. 

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I was hoping Lady Nutsack would win a Grammy, too. Maybe next year...

Hey JJ,

Indy S Bob Sanders got the boot too... lotta talent floating around at S right now. I don't see them adding Sanders due to his size. The BP mantra lives on in Ireland.

They were interested in Otogwe at one time but I don't think he will take a big enough paycut to be added. I feel they will have Gibril flash backs as they would look very bad if the whiffed twice on 2 high dollar Safeties.

Cheers,

Good Evening "Finland" What is up??????????

Speaking about Safty, Didnt Sean Smith drop like 12 Interceptions last year????

Whasssup Menace?

What do you make of the mediator helping the NFL and NFLPA out? You think it gets done?

He did drop a ton.

The weird thing is when they drafted him I thought that was one thing he would be able to do better than most DBs was come down with the picks when he could make a play on the ball.

His run support is what scared me most.

He is gonna have to come down with more next year flat out. I will say he did really well at knocking the ball down in general the last half of the season.

I know you don't like him. For me the jury is still out.

If he gets all those picks or even most of em we win at least two more games.

Cheers,

Rob, Could'nt hurt, I hear these guy's are at a stand still, The players made out like a bandit last CBA, I look for the owners to come out on top this time(Assumimg Steven(Holly)Ross is left outta the loop).......

No Rob,I dont mind Sean, It's just he reminds me of a Defensive Ted(Opps I dropped it again) Ginn......

The last CBA was signed under more duress it seems. I think your right, the owners have had more time to think about what they want and are gonna do a better job getting it.

I am still shocked most fans don't seem to be leaning towards an 18 game season???

I thought that would be a shoe in but many are not wanting it. Expand the rosters...throw another by week in, maybe some puffy helmets and pay em and I would think it would eb a in all the way around.

Cheers,

CM,

Except for Sean doesn't dive bomb the ground EVERY time contact is emminent. lol

Good old Ted "I never met a sideline I didn't like" Ginn. He was painful to watch and with all that latent talent. He needed to see Oz for the Tinman's disease.

Cheers,

I Hear the owner's also dont want to pay the Players currently uner contract for 18 games EG paying the same amount for 16 games, I understand where the players would be peved at that... though after a few years that could be fixed...

how bout we get champ bailey to reunite with nolan shut down!!

I wonder if 18 game seson would also mean a larger roster, from the current 46 to maybe 54???, I wonder about these trhings...Anyone know if the roster size would increase????

The great teams, especially the great Dolphin teams, had great centers. That' what we've been missing. Every sports needs strength up the middle.

I hope the owners wouldn't try to pay the same. That's like a 10% pay decrease from jump street. I wouldn't want that as a player either.

I would say if the price was right, who cares if it shortened your career. Give you a chance to do other things after the NFL sooner.

The owners can take their ball and go home...we shall see. Lot at risk.

Cheers,

SureShockMiami,

I am pretty sure he would demand too large of a salary.

Good thought but I think they have too much tied up in their corners at the meoment.

Cheers,

Here's the quandry:the very people that we are all hoping can fix our Fins are the very same people who created the current problem.Oh,I know what some of you will say...but,this front office has been together long enough to accept any credit or blame for the state of our Fins.

Ralphie, Could'nt agree with you you more, Who ever is avalible this group of idiots will pick the wrong person... Sorry IMHO..

I havent felt this bad since Dave(No nut sack)Wannstedt was head coach..........

A Decade of buffoonery has brought the mighty air breathers to the same level of the browns,Lions,Bills(And BTW, The fins lost to all three)(at home none the less).........

Lets see:

The last time a player can complete with his own family to the Dolphins it was disaster(Ted Ginn).

Newton comes complete with his too. Even if he's great, good luck to the team that drafts come free agency time. There's no telling how much Newton's father asks now that he's in the pros! LOL.........

Cant wait to see some get thier wish here and Dolphins draft a qb 1st rd.

Well I guess I will wait. Ive waited 37yrs now since the Dolphins last SB title so what's another decade. LOL................

If Ireland honors his promise to Ross of a more dynamic offense he'll draft a wr 1st rd.

Agree Breed, You buy Cam, You buy the whole Family.... Did'nt work out to well the last time....(Except for Tenisha(All the way) Ginn, Heard she kept spirts high during the 1-15 season.....If you know what I mean..., And I think you do....

DB,
The Cam Newton issue is a waste of keyboard strokes dude... Newton will be long gone by the time Miami picks. It is nearly a certainty that Miami will want to recoup the 2nd round pick that they lack. That is not going to happen by magic. It is a simple math equation once you take a look at it. Miami has a certain number of position that they want to fill via the draft and a certain amount via FA. That means they need value. Value is found in the 25 through 32 pick of the first and entire second round when you need starters but not blue chip pieces. The age of High 1st round Tailbacks has come to an end in all but the most talented of cases and NONE of those guys is an Adrian Peterson. So unless they grab a speedy receiver or a Tailback... I cannot see how they get around the interior line. Not happy about it... But know how important it is.

CM,

As to the roster size, it would seem it would have to expand. Just from an injury standpoint alone gotta carry a few more players to rotate when the meat wagon comes to scrape up some players.

Cheers,

Derek,

Seems anyone worth a damn in fa are slowly being franchised. By the time its over there wont be anyone available who's more than a very slight upgrade to what we already have, if that.

That's why those proposind trading up for Newton, taking a qb at 15, or taking a qb even in the tradeback scenario arent paying close attention to fa. Even if there's a cba what's left after all of the franchising is done will be of very little value to suit our major needs.

We need at least 5 new starters on offense. We need at least 2 new starters on offense just to finish a game or two better than 2010. I dont see them coming in fa and its a very huge gamble expecting to find them in rds 3-7.

The best right course I see is Get 2011 starters 1st and 2nd rds. Its highly doubtful any of this year's rookie qb's will be ready to start his first season and puts us further behind the 8-ball drafting one before the 3rd rd.

I suppose along with having to increase the number of players on the roster, it would change the way the schedules are set up. Instead of playing an entire Division in the other conference during a season and all the rest of the games being in your own conference, you would pick up a game each out of both conferences. If the 2 extra games were played in your own conference it would make the playoff races much tighter in the end.

DB,
Because of the way this draft is falling before free agency begins, it may take away much of the pressure that is normally on free agents from teams who got their pieces in the draft instead. I believe team get antsy, they go fishing in free agency before the draft just in case they cannot get their man during it. Yes, there are many who have been franchised, but just today some very sound players were released because of high salary demands. I know it causes a visceral reaction in some when they hear it. But a guy like Vince Young could take a ton of pressure of the Dolphins to answer the biggest question they need to answer in a season that seems not very well suited to them doing so. I feel Matt Flynn would do the same. Both are good QB, and neither would be just a junk pick up to fill a gap. As long as whoever took charge of Vince Young got it all straight up front, I am confident he could outplay any of the rookies coming out this year and may even be a long term answer or at least until the stars and moon line up a bit better, This off season just is not lining up well at that position. I I totally hate it.

Vince Young scored Lower Then Bryon (Duhhhh) Cox on the IQ test, Around 45 from what I hear, Is this a guy you want on your team???? Considering you got a coach with a IQ of a grapefruit and a GM that cant spell his name???????????

Derek,

I just would not like to see the Dolphins give more than one 3rd rd pick for any qb this off season.

Cuban.... I am no "Vince Young Fan"... But clearly your clueless... Vince Young scored a 15 on his wonderlic... the exact same as Dan Marino. And unless you are a personal friend, I doubt seriously you know the mans IQ. Since that is something that is about as personal as a SS Number.
I am not hopping all around wanting him here... And in truth would rather see Matt Flynn... I am offering ideas and suggestions... But it seems you are better at bitching then offering clear and concise ideas... Instead of mocking my thoughts... try having a few original ones of your own. Perhaps even trying to share them instead of continuing with your incessant whining and bitching at the state of the franchise. This is the only place it seems you have to vent your frustration, you'll find sharing THOUGHTS (if you indeed are capable of them) is far more rewarding then pissing and moaning for the 3 hours a night that you spend here..EVERY NIGHT!

I wonder how many other armchair GM's also wanted Brady Quinn. Speak up boys...you know you wanted him too.

This year's Brady Quinn will be Cam Newton!!!

hindsight is a wonderful thing. when it comes to the qb's in this year's draft there will be a lot of people who said, "i told you so" about each of them and half will mean they were right about the guy being a bust and the other half mean they were right about the guy being good or even great.

Mock NFL Draft 2011

Trade back 2x to acquire 2nd rd picks and an extra 3rd

that means no 1st rd

2nd rd (1st pick)- Washington QB Jake Locker
2nd rd (2nd pick)- Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure
3rd rd (3rd Pick)- TCU G Marcus Cannon
3rd rd (3rd pick)- NC DT Marvin Austin
4th rd (4th pick)- OK ST RB Kendall Hunter
5th rd (5th pick)- UM ILB Casey Mathews
6th rd (6th pick)- Utah C Zane Taylor
7th rd (7th pick)- BPA

I have faith that a speedy receiver can be found after the draft. Ireland has a knack for finding undrafted free agents.

BK,

There's a HUGE hole in your trade back scenario. If we're trading completely out of the 1st rd for another team's 2nd rd pick.

Since we have no original 2nd rd pick where in the hell did you get two 2nd rd picks. I understand that the team you traded down with could give you thier "only" 2nd rd pick and a 3rd rd'er for our 1st rd pick.

Your math is flawed because the only way to get that extra 2nd rd'er is by trading a player. That's impossible if there isnt first a new cba and if we do have a player on our roster we can get a 2nd rd pick for, we need to keep him. LOL.................

BK,

Also a speedy wr can be found off of the streets. The problem is finding one who can get off of nfl db jams at the line, run precise routes, knows how to beat a db deep(aint always just raw speed alone), then consistently catch the damn ball once he's open.

Now do you see why those type gys are DRAFTED so high? If they were so easy as you seem to think they are to acquire, every team would have one.

Only team we can trade completely out of the 1st rd and gain two first 2nd rd picks from are the New Endgland Patriots. They have 2 maybe 3 2nd rd picks this year.

However I seriously doubt they're looking to do us any favors. LOL................

The Dolphins need offensive help period. If the best player available is defensive then he needs to trade down and pick up additional picks and get his dynamic offensive player further down. You never ever reach for a player.. you always take best available..

IF YOU CAN READ THIS YOU ARE BEING TOO LOUD

The chances an undrafted free agent makes a squad this year is slim to none. There will be no undrafted free agents signed until the CBA is resolved. Can't do it, against the law, do not pass go.

Now if this mess gets solved before the draft. This tune may change. But these undrafted players need every mini camp, every OTA, every extra rep they can get to make an impression. If these players are brought in to a camp that is shortened. Forget about it. Until this mess is resolved. Do not count on undrafted free agents making any noise.

So our defense was too good last year. So we should pass on a higher rated defensive player because statistically we were rated 7th?
ARE YOU JOKING? SERIOUSLY?
Did anyone watch our defense last year? I don't care what stats show! Did everyone see Brady carve us up in a game that didn't even matter to the Pats?
The jests last year built their team TO BEAT THE PATRIOTS! That's right, the only way to the playoffs is to win the division, so you build to beat the Pats, and yes,now the stinking jests too.
That means get the best player available to us. We aren't one player away, heck we aren't seven players away. There is no quick fix. It took years to get us into this mess and it will take a few to get out. That won't happen by some GM trying to be popular! What is this, the prom?
GROW A PAIR IRELAND!

Let's all hope Ireland has his period before this next draft instead of during it...I want some playmakers for once..

Shot across the bow...

Now Mayock and Warren Sapp say that DT Marcell Dareus from Alabama will be better than Auburn's DT Nick Fairley in the Pro's...

I will take that action. I will take Fairley to do the more damage in the Pro's of the two.

Fairley has far superior stats and Mayock had DT Gerald McCoy ahead of Suh last year as well.

I like Mayock and he does have a lot of insight but I will bet against the ex-DT W. Sapp and the NFLN's main scout Mayock on this call.

Man, I haven't lived on the edge like this since I drank milk 7 days past the expiration date...Woot!

Cheers,

I'm tired of hearing these draft pundits say you "pick the best player available." That is such a subjective thing. The best player available to your team should address one of the most glaring needs. If it is Center or Safety, so be it. Anyone the Dolphins pick at #15 should be a starter, period, unless it is a QB. If it is center, it better be someone that can come in an start and help with the running game and make Henne a stud (or better). If it is a Safety, then it must be someone that knows how to find the ball and won't drop it. I'm talking ball-hawking safety and must be able to displace Chris Clemmons. Anything less at those positions is a busted pick. If the pick is a RB or QB, it should be a marquee name. If it is another defensive player, again must be a started. Bottom line, whoever the Dolphins pick, it must address the most pressing need with a superstar.

They should Draft a QB at 15 if possible and then go get a vet QB, our biggest problem was QB last year followed by the O line. Not all can be fixed in one year but if we get good QB play next year the playoffs are within reach. 7-9 and the last 2 years with a rel QB we win 3 more games or so it can be done!

Moisture

TURKEY CAKE MOISTURE

Randy Mueller is the idiot that traded Wes Welker to the hated Patriots! He is dumber than an Amoeba and should not be allowed to ever work again without a shovel in his hand.

I don't mind drafting an OLman or a center or a safty,,, as long as he can make the team & be a playmaker!

We need a dynamic player. We need to draft the best available reciever to boost up our offense and we need to pickup a dynamic tight end because I dont think fasano can get the job done(although he was open a few times and henne never even looked his way). We need a speed back who can help us in the return game and oline can wait.
Heres how offseason should go:
1. Reciever(1st round draft)
2. Running back/returner(free agency)
3. Tightend(free agency or draft)
4. Oline(Draft)
The packers didnt beef up their oline until after rodgers had weapons and they had no running game and still did fine.

Open your eyes people! We need some excitement! Who cares if we lose a few as long as its a shootout. Football is supposed to be entertaining and our team is a bore.

I want cam I want cam netwon

I want a fig newton

Man we have so many holes..i think every category when you break it down we have a hole (OL-hole) (DL-hole) (LB-hole) (secondary-hole) (wr-hole) (rb-hole) (qb-hole) so honestly whatever choice he makes will just make us that much better..i mean at this point just pick the best available player because we are lacking lots of depth in many places..we have some talent in all those places just not enough..we have 2 good recievers...1 good corner...no rb's to date - SS is good...FS ehhh - OL is a mess no NT we need a couple more LB's a KR/PR - man this list goes on and on you get the drift lOL

We cant keep waiting 3rd rd and further to draft onlinemen. Nor depend on free agency for quality oline help. We must begin using quality picks to get quality starters to add with Jake Long.

Therefore it would not disappoint me at all if we traded down to get a 2nd rd pick and chose an offensive lineman with the first rd pick. We need to at least select an olineman 1st or 2nd rd to get a young quality day one starter.

Our 1st and 2nd rd(if acquired) picks should be an olineman/ wr. But in no particular order as long as they are our 1st and 2nd rd picks.

We cant get a qb early without cutting off our noses to spite our face anyway. So I suggest not drafting a qb earlier than 3rd rd. After filling a couple critical need areas on offense in this 2011 draft we can still comeback and grab a qb 1st rd in 2012 after building a better supporting cast in 2011.

That way the rookie qb drafted in 2012 has a much better chance of being successful in his rookie starting season. Of course that's if Henne is continuing on a downward spiral.

We desperately need another pro bowl calibre olineman to add with Jake Long. If anyone thinks we have a better chance of finding this guy drafting one 3rd rd and further out. Please dont hold your breath on it.

We need to acquire a 2nd rd pick and our 1st 2 picks need to be an olineman and a wr. In no particular order.

There's not even going to be any free agency this year. What a waste of time babbling on about it.

I'm bored with the NFL, anyway. It's just a bunch of billionaires trying to leech every penny out of the fans. I'm a sucker no more.

I would like to play in a band called JJ Evans and the Avenging Tampons.

Atogwe released by Rams

DB,

I like you line of thinking here and I notice that you have come around about drafting O-line early and focusing on the glaring need at WR.

I recall pointing these things out months ago and getting alot of flack from many posters who were against drafting O-line early.

You are articulating these ideas very well.

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