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The joke that is the pre-draft press conference

Around the NFL as many as a dozen general managers and personnel department vice presidents will conduct mandatory pre-draft press conferences next week, most of them on April 21. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland is similarly scheduled to have his presser on the 21st.

I encourage Ireland to lie if he must.

You did not misread because I did not mistype.

I encourage Ireland to lie ... if he must.

The truth of the matter is those pre-draft pressers are a hoax, a farce, an exercise in futility for journalists trying to get meaty and truthful answers to questions as fundamental as, "What are your team's most signficant needs?" or "Who are you going to select?"

Yes, we as journalists have to ask.

And, no, the GMs and VPs are not really going to tell us.

So it devolves into many words signifying nothing. The true reason the pressers happen at all is that the NFL mandates them. The NFL, you see, likes publicity.

The intriguing thing is that while most general managers and journalists understand this to be a dance in which the truth gets trampled, some folks are simply more open than others. Some folks are just salt and light. They cannot bring themselves to obfuscation. Or they let stuff slip.

Seeing the new Denver Broncos front office do things this offseason, I nominate John Elway as a candidate for being candid in his upcoming pre-draft presser. Having attended a couple of Ireland's meets with the media, I nominate him as someone who will offer nothing or perhaps even throw out a nugget of misdirection.

If I'm a fan, I'm hoping my team falls in the latter category rather than the former.

The truth is teams monitor each other. They watch each other's pre-draft visits and meetings. They read each other's press clippings. They do all they can do to get a handle on what the opposition is about to do on draft day.

And these pressers are a window through which teams peek.

So the really good teams offer a view of a dark room or no view at all. They do, not because they like to fib or have no morals. They do it for the sake of their own competitive advantage.

Overblown, you say?

Look, teams have eyes on each other and sometimes even the most casual misstep affects careers and drafts. I present to you the 2008 draft.

The Dolphins needed and wanted to add a running back later in the process. Bill Parcells had long been a proponent of sending a coach or scout to work out and check on his targetted player two days before the draft -- as a last-minute guard against surprises.

Except in April of 2008, for one reason or another, the Dolphins sent out running back coach James Saxon to work out Richmond's Tim Hightower one day earlier. The Dolphins liked Hightower and intended to pick him. The problem is the Arizona Cardinals picked Hightower instead.

Arizona's running back coach at the time, Maurice Carthon, played for Parcells and worked for Parcells. He knew that Parcells typically sent his RB coach to his targetted running back a couple of days before the draft. When he read media reports that Hightower worked out for Saxon, he turned the information over to Arizona's personnel department. The fact the Dolphins had met with Hightower one day earlier had allowed the visit to be in the press in time for Arizona to use the info.

The Cardinals swooped ahead of Miami and plucked Hightower.

I talked to Parcells last week. He told me the story. He was still somewhat irked about losing on out on a good player because of the circumstances simply because the information got out.

Parcells invented the Iron Curtain in the NFL. Bill Belichick, his former trusted assistant, perfected it. The Patriots say little when it comes to injury, depth chart, or draft information. In fact, I know of stories in which they openly used to mock former New York Jets coach Herm Edwards for having such an open approach with the media.

The Pats believed they could find out plenty about their New York competition just by reading newspaper accounts about them.

And so, yes, sometimes the open approach which the media hopes for during the coming pre-draft pressers can on occasion hurt a team.

I don't want the Dolphins hurt. If Jeff Ireland says something, I'll report it. That's my job. If he says the Dolphins are looking for a quarterback in the first round and Ryan Mallett is their guy, you'll hear it here first. (By the way, I don't think you better get used to the idea of Mallett being draft at No. 15)

But root for him to reveal anything significant? To hope he says something that could help Miami's opponents?

Go ahead, Jeff, lie if you must. You get an annual free pass for this one.  

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0X80 ,

I CAME BAKE TO COMMENT AFTER READING YOUR POST@ 11;28 ....


SEEMS THE FAKE ALoco IS A SLEEP .

It just occured to me I haven't seen anyone mention Pouncey for a few days now. We now have a few Mallet fans, a few Ingram fans, and many many anti-Ingram fans. Have the Pouncey fans changed their mind?

0x80,

I don`t feel the Ingram pick gets us any closer to achieving a SB Championship, what I mean when I post your way that I know no matter how hard I try I`ll never swing your opinion on the matter is based on your opinion that he can be an important cogg, while I see more of the last decade based on the approach.

These are to very fundamentally different approaches and I can respect yours because at the end of the day I don`t think any of us are going to be worring about getting the I told you so`s posted on Championship day but rather celebrating. I felt it a slight when you post that "what do you mean pull me over to your side ?" It felt condicending in nature, I don`t think I need to explain something as trivial to somebody of your obvious intelligance.

I over exceeded my bounds and it was un-called for I respect your point of view just not the way you cared to express it there or maybe it`s my misunderstanding you and what you meant in any event I hope this post can clears that up.

I'm no Doctor!

Still, while arthritis isn't a good thing, I don't think it's a debilitating CONDITION either. Depending upon the severity, I think certain stretches and warm ups can make it a non factor on game day.

The way I understand it, it's the nerve damage that can result from an injury that ends careers.

Great, like I don't have enough to do! I know I'm not going to be able to fight this urge. I'm off to google arthritis and nerve damage!!!!

fin4,

Look at your post to me..it was you that stated you would never pull me over to your side. That is why I used those words back to you, was not intended as a slight to you in anyway, I was simply asking what you meant by that. Please go back and take a look. I will too to double check.

Without typing 1500 words here, my philosophy probably isn't as far off from yours as you think, although probably not identical either. It's more of how we both view were we are right now and how we view whats the quickest way to get there from here. I will say though I would never state any one player would bring us a championship, and never have, Marino taught me it just doesn't work that way.

I will back up my opinion based on facts.

1) In 2002 we traded for Ricky Williams a vastly superior athlete to Ingram and he proceeded to run for a league leading 1,863 yds. for the season our Q.B. J.Fiedler was serviceable and an above averege game manager.

2) We would go on that season to also boast the #1 ranked Defense in the NFL, top 5 in every significant catagory and for my money vastly superior to the one we field today.

3) We actually had very good ST during this period as well, Brock Marion would block 2 punts that season and we permitted nothing spectacular against us that I can think remember, the JJ model/stamp of ST play.

These are the core of the principles J.Irelan/T.Sparano want instilled in our team moving foward in a blue print they see fail safe in accomplishing the ultimate goal, while I believe an above averege D is important, it`s also fair to note that the 2002 Miami Dolphins modeled under this very blue print finnished 8-8

New Blog Up

fin4, check your post at 10:49 PM

0x80,

We both want to win that`s it in a nutshell if I misunderstood then I apologize if you felt slighted by me, believe it. I can get a little passionate when it comes to this game and I`ll be the 1st to admitt it. Dan is a great example of needing a team. The poor guy never smells a Championship due to the fact he never had a team and that`s just wrong.

I just am completely soured on the model and feel were getting force fed more of the same, we need to evolve seriously or were gonna be a couple of old timers jerking off our computers screaming next year will be our year !! LOL !! THINK ABOUT IT !

fin4, no worries.. just know my choice of words were not to condescend you, I was merely repeating the phrase you used with me, and really I was making a very honest, unprovoking question, so I was caught offguard with your response.

I'll respond to your comments next time around regarding 2002 ect, just now my mind is fading too much to get dialed in.

Is DB still here? Really... some of his points are just dumb. Sorry to be so blunt, but he makes statements and does not think them out... Sorry Just venting... Oh, and why is everything LOL, when no one is laughing.

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