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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. 

Kindly follow me on twitter.


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Had to step out..I hope some folks are still around..

Rob in OC...If we stay at 15 there are multiple choices that would be alright. I'm officially on the Newton wagon if we do not have to move to aquire him. Lets do it. The pick gets tricky because I think that there is tremendous value on the defensive side of the ball, not so much offensively. A guy like Akeem Ayers is a piece I think we could plug in. I also think that a cornerback(Wilson fro Colorado) would be a nice piece. Offensive line is probably the realistic choice. Also a lot depends on the workout results. My thinking is that we are very close on defense to being a very good unit, and that the best value in the first round is on this side of the ball...What say you?

Dying breed... My point about aquiring a third rounder is this. We already have a pick in this round. San Diego, and N.O. both have 2 picks in this round. If we cannot aquire a second round pick, trading down in the first to one of these teams to get another third is an option. A scenario with NO would probably include a later pick as well. I'm all for aquiring more chances if we can. My feeling is that moving down in the draft will force us to look at some skill players we may otherwise pass on.

Now some may say if we like a guy take him right away. Sure, but I think that we can get fairly equal value at some skill spots in the third round that are found in the second round. Having 2 opportunities to choose IMO increases or odds of finding a starter. Especially because the players in the third round aren't to far away talent wise as some found in the later parts of the first round, and the whole of the second.

DB, (Remember, I am not picking on you bro, this is still just healthy debate so please don't take it the wrong way)

In going back over the posts these were the two that jumped out that sparked much of this debate that DD, yourself and I are in.

Your post at 7:13 where you saying that drafting a QB in the 1st means we are going one step forward two steps back is a bit perplexing. By getting other talented QBs on the roster with any pick including the 1st means we are attempting to upgrade the QB spot was my thinking. Early picks just mean you are more convicted and beleive that player won't be there in a later round.

From your post at 7:02 I cut and pasted in which you said, quote...

"That being said, and again, the serious depletion of overally quality offensive talent. If we're concerned about fielding a decent offensive team in 2011, the absolute best way is to add quality draft pieces.

The best way to add quality draft pieces guarranteeing fielding our absolute best possible offensive unit in 2011 is un questionably using 1st and 2nd rd picks at wr and oline.

Doesnt matter if Henne's over or underthrowing them. If this is still the case with Henne in 2011 we use a 2012 1st rd pick to replace him. At least we're in a better position to draft a day one starting qb and insuring a best case scenario for him to succeed in his 1st season because we've taken care of that in 2011's draft"... End quote

The part where you say "it doesn't matter if Henne is over or underthrowing them"(I am taking them to be WR,TE,RB). "If this is still the case then we replace him in 2012."

That stanza is definitley where the rub lies. There are many on this blog that believe that after 3 years already in books that they have seen enough of Henne to go get the safety net QBs all lined up now, in 2011.

My logic was one vet one draft pick.

You are basically saying lets get a few more pieces for Henne (WR, OL) to try another year to succeed, correct?

If Henne fails then if we have added the great WR and OL then the next QB will be in a better spot.

I would share your vision if I thought or had any major belief that Henne was what the doctor ordered. If I thought that Henne just needed one more year of seasoning, different coaching and more pieces on OFF he would be a 11-12 win guy. I believe he will be a journeyman type QB no matter if he stays or where he goes.

It is just my opinion and the split seems to be right down the Dolphin faithful. Many Fin fans are with you DB, Henne just needs X,Y.Z and then we will be fine on OFF. Many Fin fans are thinking they have already seen enough and want Henne at least into a backup role or gone.


Dying..one more thing. What I think we are looking for as far as skill position guys I think we can find in the third round. Just say we don't get a second round pick. Wouldn't it make sense to try and get another third? I think there are 2 premium recievers in the first round(Jones, Green) both will probably be gone before we pick at 15. If Miami wants to take Titus Young in this slot fine, I won't argue. but I think what we are looking for is a reciever that not only has speed, but the ability to get open doen the field. If we can't wrangle up a second rounder, I think the next option is to try and find someone in the third round. There will be running backs(if that is a position we covet) or a reciever. That can fill this void.


I can see you are frustrated man. Part of debating is not to get to a point where you feel that IF you say something perfectly people will automatically jump on that thought or idea bandwagon. You have solid thinking in getting ourselves into the best possible position to get two day one starters. That's solid thinking in my opinion as well.

Where we mostly differ is I say that QB needs to be shot at every year until we establish the sure fire QB of the future. It sounds like you think that still could be Henne (with better pieces). I am thinking my Henne ship has sailed more to me. Agree to disagree is fine. Because I am not in agreement doesn't mean you don't still have some great ideas bro.


6 hours in a room today. Boy would i have liked to have been a fly on that wall. I have no idea if this CBA is close to getting figured out. I hope so as it would really be in our best interest, and the interest of all fans, and teams(especially those in qb limbo) If this deal gets ironed out, I think we all will have to re-evaluate the draft strategy as it brings in possible free agents.

As it goes now, we can't really discuss future possibilities. It would make drafting a quarterback much less risky for two reasons. 1 the new CBA will most likely include a rookie salary cap. So drating a first round quarterback will not set back a franchise years of worthless salary. Much easier to take the plunge. 2, practice time. No CBA, no offseason programs. It is imparitive rookies get as many reps as possible. A whole offseason of lost reps is like a day your doors are closed in a buisness. You never get those days back to earn.

I think a free agent that would be a very good pickup is Senneca Wallace. I only say this because his familiarity with Dabols offense could be an important learning tool for the quarterbacks we plan on building this franchise around. That, and he is a decent back up. And if Henne cannot beat him out, well we have huge problems. Think about this before you rain hate on me. It makes sense in my crazy head.

Darryl Dunphy,

Yes I am still on my friend. I guess my main challenge is rallying to any of the players that will be left at 15. At this time last year I was really excited for Brandon Graham which went to Philly with the pick after ours.

It seems clear they Fins brass was all over Misi and got him in the 2nd. Since BG would have been in the same role I can see why they passed.

For this draft Cam Newton or Von Miller are the only two that I really feel merit the 15th overall choice. I also think both will be gone much earlier. Does that mean that no quality starters will be yanked out by teams after the 15th pick up until the end of the 1st round can't say that either.

I am simply having a hard time identifying players that would help us that seem to have a 15th overall grade for value.

I am big on trying to get the best value. Do to what we would have to give up if Newton goes high, coupled with his mainly one year of success and certain questions of his background I don't want to mortgage our house to go up and get him.

That is why I am huge on Kaepernick as he has had more long term success than Newton, is faster than Newton, is only about 25 lbs lighter and has the masssive upside. It seems he is a very bright guy and they say he will tear up the Wonderlic and be good on the board.

Ayers and Wilson seem to be fine pieces although I like Ayers better as we are more set at DB. At 6'5" and 221 lbs I wonder if Safety Robert Sands passes the size mantra Ireland has? lol

I have a handful of players I want but they seem much more like late 1st or 2nd round picks. Since we don't have the 2nd round pick it seems further away from getting say Titus Young or Mike Pouncey which would both be reaches at 15 imho.

Cheers bro,


I won't rain down crazy stuff on you but, because Seneca Wallace doesn't have the upside that say VY does that is why I wouldn't go in that direction.

My FA list is short... VY, Orton, Flynn in that order. I have this list as I think all 3 have the ability to relegate Henne to the bench by beating him out in a fair camp battle. Seneca Wallace could as could McNabb but both have limited upside either being maxed out ability for Seneca and twilight of his career for McNabb.

With VY, Orton and Flynn they all are young enough to get many years out of them if they do well.

I am certainly hoping that the CBA gets done for sure. Lock them into a room and order nothing but pizza and pancakes (as that's the ONLY thing that will fit under the door) until March 3rd!

Suck it up NFL brass and NFLPA brass!!!


Rob in OC...I have been up to recently against taking a QB in the first round. Newton is the only guy I would like us to take a go at(if he is available)

Gabbert..I know nothing about. Did not see one snap. I have only seen You Tube clips, and read about him in the mock o' sphere. it doesn't look like he will come into play, so Good luck Blaine(except against Miami)

Mallet..I don't see it. A few very knowledgable bloggers here really like him. I have seen a few games and saw both very good, and very bad. I have also heard him give interviews. And he speaks worse then any poor throw he has made. He sounds like a has been 90's rapper. I know this is a reach, but charachter is a huge part of playing this position. I question his. I cannot argue his arm strength or bravado. What struck me was in the Alabama game he was horrible from behind center. Very inacurate and struggled in the pocket(second half when adjustments were made) Same with the Sugar Bowl. In this game his recievers let him down. But if he wasn't throwing from the shotgun, he couldn't complete passes, and was again happy footed under pressure.

Locker... I don't know much about him except he would have been a top pick last year. Accuracy seems to be a huge problem for him. But I really only saw the Holiday Bowl this year. He showed some toughness after getting lit up. He came back in and lead his team to a win over a team that dominated him earlier in the year.

Pssst, hey NFL and NFLPA...

No pressure but the only people counting on you to do your jobs and figure out an equitable CBA is just, oh,... ANYONE that watched the Super Bowl, the entire NFL and its workers and everyone related to the Union!

No pressure, just a couple of people.

Rob... I only mention Wallace as a Vet that can come in and help the other quarterbacks in the system. He would come cheap, and be a part of the competition. Along with hopefully a realistic starter(maybe one of the guys you mentioned)Henne, and any rookie we may draft. He isn't a replacemant, but more of a tutor.

As far as Von Miller..That dude is BAAAAAD!!!
I wouldn't be suprised to see him taken in the top 5.. I would actually have less problem trading UP to get him as I think he is the best player in the entire draft. That probably isn't going to happen..But I can always dream.

Darryl Dunphy,

Great post @ 1:46.

I can say I see the warts on ALL the options. Andrew Luck was the closest to a sure thing and he withdrew. I hope he doesn't pull a Locker as he would have been #1 overall this year almost bar none.

Mallet does talk funny but, I try not to rate guys on lingustics too much. Terry Bradshaw was suppose to be a dumb hillbilly guy, Vince Young is 30-17 as a starter and he won't be confused with a rocket scientist. Nothing Mensa about the guy but his athletic prowess simply takes over at times.

I think Kaepernick is a smarter version of VY. They are both similar in size and speed. I think Kaepernick is actually faster but I think it would be a good race.

With Locker and his accuracy being so much in question I would rather simply stay with Henne and get up and down accuracy.

A guy like Ponder might make a nice selection later in the draft if one wanted to take a later stab.


Newton has a greater upside than Andrew Luck by far


Only three guys I would feel comfortable trading up into top 5 for would be OLB Von Miller, CB Patrick Peterson and WR A.J. Green.

You are VERY right, Von Miller is a BAAAAD MAN!

I know he will bring thunder off the corner for some team early.

*Note Feel comfortable meaning I wouldn't say "No way that guy has that kind of talent!"
Trading up more than a couple of spots would cause too many lost future picks which is why I hope they don't.

If they got any of those players I think it would totally help the team with imediate dividends but when you factor in lost opportunity later it would be more of an overall net loss.

It would be the ultimate to work the draft like the Pats so we ended up with multiple nice draft picks.


Kaepernick may come into play. He seems to be another climbing up the ranks. He may be the wildcard. Depending on how much the Phins fall in love with him, and where they have him on the board could you see him as an option at 15? or is this to far of a reach???

Beerphin..I have to disagree. If Luck would have come out this year. He would have had the highest grade for a first round QB since Elway. This doesn't guarantee a thing. But it says a lot about what teams think of the guy.

Granted beerphin but Newton also comes with much more of a bust potential as well.

I think most would agree.

It is just like in gambling though, you gotta pay to play...one way or the other.

In a perfect scenario Newton is there at 15 for the Fins to decide what they want to do pick him or trade the pick to one of the teams that does.

I beleive if Jamarcus Russell used his skillset and physical demensions to be #1 overall. Someone is going to take a chance on Newton in the top 7.

If Cam Newton is gone...what would you do at #15 beerphin?

Alright fellas...Callin' it a night. Gotta make an apperance at los cantina for a night cap. Thanks Rob for the chat, Beerphin. Lot's to discuss in the next few weeks. Hopefully the Ownership, and Union can find a way to settle their differences. If you boys need help I'm available...With that I bid you all a goodnight..


I am VERY high on Kaepernick so I could easily stomach using the #15 overall on him with a great combine, great pro days, great interviews and all that goes into the process this late in the game. I think he is a guy that has a passion for the game and would make it his lifes work to be as good of a pro as he could be.

That said, many will say it is a reach no matter what happens between now and draft day. Many folks believe you can't gain ground (or substantial ground) after the pads come off.

My fear is that Cam Newton goes early and probably Gabbert. At 15 we have all the others left. I have a sneaky feeling that Minn (who also need a QB badly) will be VERY interested in Kaepernick. They draft at 12 in round 1 and 11th in round 2. The kicker is that their GM Spielman used to work with us and would LOVE the opportunity to stick it to Miami as we kicked him to the curb.

So this fuzzy math we have to take him at 15 or trade back and still be in front of the 11th pick of round 2.

I know that this is pure speculation because all is cloak and dagger plus smoke and mirrors about any teams intentions at this time of year. It makes a lot of sense in my dome. Haha.


Anthony Castonzo or Julio Jones if they are there

Ryan Kerrigan if they go defense

Carey would have to move to RG if Castonzo and if Kerrigan than move Misi inside to compete with Edds and Crowder

Hey g'nite DD. Have a good one bud and thanks for the Fins chat.

DB good stuff flying back and forth. It's all good man, your guesses are as good as anyones man.

beerphin, You're very high on Newton and I can see why. There is a ton to like about the guy as a QB option. I like Newton as well, I just can't see mortgaging the future if he doesn't fall. Kaepernick is very athletic and similar in body type. He is my answer to a potential QB upgrade and we should be able to trade back and still grab him.

I am gonna call it a night as well. Until next time.


Locker could be had with a trade down now it seems but he would also be someone to watch for if they trade down and find value


I finally figured out who Julio Jones reminds me of... WR Dwayne Bowe.

I also think that Misi is well rounded enough to move inside.

With the right guy to put pressure off the edge I could see that. Kerrigan sure is able to create lots of pressure in college and has a great knack for turnovers.



If there is one thing I want out of a QB it is accuracy. I could not trust his accuracy. I know Locker was once thought of as the top draft pick but, I can't erase his senior season in my mind.

From a value standpoint I see what you are saying with the value though.


I have raised so many plastic rabbits. All of them in the sunshine and rain.

The rain. On and on rain tick tock metronome on my window so cool.

The rain. beatific and solemn how it quiets everything so clean and shuts the world.


Love the rain.

Not so much Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as Luminous Spongy Daschunds but betwixt and between a lucious special drop.

Half the 1972 Dolphins dropped acid and the owner worked for George McGovern.

You Republicans are a bunch of uneducated, sexless, dreary nitwits dead by the age of 35.

I hate Jason Taylor.

Don't hate Jason. Different times/different player.

But Larry Csonka IS the Miami Dolphins. So was Joe Robbie and the shoestring budget he and his Lebanese partner in crime Danny Thomas founded the franchis on.

The Dolphins were almost absurd in their origin.

Six years later, they had the greatest season in professional sports history.

The team started downhill with that GOP henchman Huizenga. Wealthier, sure...but all the passion and creativity left the franchise.

Ross? So far he's a putz.


You woke up early just to post that you hate Jason Taylor ???

What.........did you have a NIGHTMARE about Jayson Taylor ?????

He hasn't been a Dolphin for over a year and a half !!!

He was merely average last season -- and his career (in Pro Football) is just about over.

So don't worry about it...

As long as the Dolphins have Mike Nolan and some decent players on defense -- JT will remain a distant memory!

Anyway ...Relax and enjoy your Sunday!


A plastic rabbit(nothing to be ashamed about).

Seems like a lot of People today are going the preach-a-blog route.

On the subject of Religion.....

Ocala Howie says:
February 20, 2011 at 9:10 am
my girl cat does that too, then she licks my wifes nose and drools all over her face…

Jetssuck says:
February 20, 2011 at 9:14 am
my cat try’s to lick me but I don’t allow it because this cats tongue feels like sandpaper. My dog licks me. Anyways ,Gotta get a couple hours sleep for the race.

This is a sample of some posts over at the Sun Sentinel. LOL

NJ and his girlfriend TIM have the nerve to say things about the fine folks here at the herald.

The menace and his minions at it again..so sad....poor lost fool.

Jason Taylor blows

To BoulderFinFan,
"everybody" didn't think Henne was the answer last year. I never believed he was the answerSeveral fans spoke of him not being the answer, and even if he is, why not draft a qb in the mid to late rounds just to develop into a backup if nothing else? Many GM's draft a qb every year.
Why waste a second round pick on Pat White? When Pat White was first drafted, there was talk he may beat out Henne for the starting qb job eventually. If they thought that, everybody obviously was not sold on Henne. To use your argument that we haven't given enough time to Ireland's draft picks, why did they release White after onlt two years? Pat White was a "project" I feel they should have tried him at another Posistion (WR) and kick returner rather than just cutting him all together. That was a second round pick. Pat Turner was a third round pick. He was also released. To use your own argument, why do they draft players that many say are "reaches", then release them so quickly? Sure, I think its posible any of the drafted players still on the team can get better. Its even posible that Henne can improve(Id be shocked) but its still posible, but Ireland doesnt give them long enough. Why is Ireland giving up on Henne now? Why not give Henne one or two more years? Go reasearch Bill Walsh's drafts for San Fran, or Joe Thomas and Bobby Beathards in Miami, or Ozzie Newsom's in Baltimore. Baltimore is not in contention every year because they are lucky. Jimmy Johnson didnt win two super bowls in Dallas because he was lucky.
As I said we are all entitled to our opinion, but BoulderFinFan, I am just curious what players do you think Ireland drafted that are still on the team are the ones that will improve given time? I think Lex Hilliard may, but he was 4th string last year. I guess its posible Merling can improve. Sean Smith has a lot of room to improve. Let's see what we are talking about 3 years from now ok? If I am wrong, I will be the first to admit it!

I don't think we are going anywhere with this group. This includes the owner, The GM and the HC. Nolan did a good job with what he had last year. We need to start drafting winners. The QB from Boise st is a winner, Divine from WV is a winner, Blackmon from Okla St is a winner, Stanzi is a winner, Any of the Auburn kids are winners. But Ireland will sink us again by asking them if they moms are working the night shift and their fathers are unknown,

pretty positive we had that return guy in Ginn, and we either released or traded him. Either way he is gone and he was dynamic in space granted not the best hands but a great return guy.

Here's the problem, ireland's perception of the 'right thing' so far has been the wrong thing. I think he and parcel's have been overthinking things for the past few years. now he's on his own. he hasn't prven he knows how to shop for personnel yet.

Armondo poses a very interresting question,
Popular vs Unpopular draft pick but what he fails to ask is where is our most need on the team?,so the question should read,popular vs need and i believe that need should win out every time we draft,if Ireland can pick and fill in the most needed areas then the Dolphins will be a better team sooner than later and for a longer period of time,my question to Ireland would be does he really know what the needs are ?

Trade back once and twice if possible...because after the first dozen picks or so,the talent level drops off and stays about the same up through the third round.This is just not a great draft.To many question marks!

Dolphins need a QB plain and simple the fans know that as well the world, work out a deal to land Carson Palmer screw the QBs in the draft your pretty much searching for a needle in a haystack in dolphins case, how many times is this franchise willing to set itself back, Henne clearly isnt cut out to be a starter in this league let alone a second string, the organization for the franchise is terrible it's just ashame how much talent we have and have nothing to show for it The Offensive line is fine it's not their fault the QB moves like a snail in the pocket!!!!

I say he doesn't care what everybody thinks, IMO he will go with his guts, or hiring this last OC was a popular choice ??? This organization doesn't care about what fans and media thinks of its choices. Of course they'll have to live with the consecuences of those choices.

I'd be fine with using picks on o-line, it is no secret that is real need. However, if Pouncey's name wasn't Pouncey, he would not be in 1st round conversations.

Posted by: Tom | February 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Tom, that seems correct to me, as Brantley (UF's QB) was sacked a whole lot, and their running game was nearly non-existant.
Mike ain't his brother...at least not yet. Kind of reminds me of Mike Vick's younger brother...less talent but right up there with Mike for criminal mentality...maybe worse.

draft a kicker. all we do is kick field goals and tony celebrates like we won the superbowl after each field goal.

picking an unpopular player may show stubborness but it's the reason we're in the situation we're in now.

What the fans want and what ireland picks are two different things.
While doofin fans were spending countless hrs preparing for a popular pick, ireland picks a whodunit, odrick?? funny, then he picks an even funnier linebacker next. While meesy played, he didn't make any all rookie teams and odrick was easily injured and out for the year.
The doofins have a way, no matter where they pick, to take ho hum talent, with the exception of no brainer jake long.

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