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Ireland's assignment is simple really -- make a difference

Jeff Ireland will conduct his 2011 pre-draft presser (as ordered by NFL rules) today and I will be certain to look beneath his footwear to check for a net. I'm pretty certain I will not find one, but for journalism's sake one has to confirm things.

I want to confirm Ireland is indeed operating in this draft without the Bill Parcells net under him.

This draft, you see, Ireland's on his own. It's his baby and his alone. To him goes the glory if things work out. To him goes the ignominy if things don't.

This draft will be different for the Dolphins in that there can be no rewrite of history when or if things go wrong. The Pat White draft pick, for example, was pretty much an orphan for quite some time until the last three months when I got Ireland and Parcells to took responsibility for the mistake on the record -- Ireland on my radio show, Parcells in a column I wrote last week.Jeff ireland one

No big deal, but I think that kind of set the record straight.

Parcells is still proud of the Jake Long pick and doesn't deem it a mistake but he understands, he also told me, if some folks think Matt Ryan would have been the better selection. The Big Tuna has also told me that in the spring of 2008 he sent Dan Henning, Tony Sparano and Ireland to Ann Arbor (to see Chad Henne), to Delaware (to see Joe Flacco) and to Boston (to see Ryan) and everyone came back saying Henne was every bit as good as the other two. 

So again, responsibility goes where responsibility goes -- on the entire organization.

Now the responsibility belongs to Ireland. As it should be. No more shadows behind curtains. No more masters jostling puppet strings. We're not in Oz anymore.

Jeff Ireland is the man and he will get from fans whatever his picks bring him -- credit or contempt.

But, I wonder, what is your confidence level he's ready? Are you anxious whether he can avoid mistakes that would not be made if Parcells were here? Are you excited he might make more bold moves now that Parcells is gone?

My view?

There can be no doubt Ireland has an approach that is his own. I hope he does, anyway, because he is an individual rather than a clone of his mentor. He's younger than Parcells which suggests he might be bolder but also comes with the caution that he might not be wiser. Jeff and bill

I do not predict he will depart from precepts Parcells taught him. He'll pick prototype guys or try to, anyway. He'll want big guys. He'll especially want fast guys in this draft. He'll try to stay away from troublemakers.

I hope he is desperate. I hope he comes to this draft ready to go for the end zone rather than settle for field goals. I've had enough of field goals. I saw too many field goals the past couple of seasons. I want picks that will prove themselves to be touchdowns!

Think about it: The Dolphins have been good at drafting the past three years. Assuming Jared Odrick does get healthy and back on the field and becomes productive, the last three years brought outstanding to solid picks, with Long being outstanding and Vontae Davis representing solid.

The second round has brought satisifaction (Sean Smith) and disappointment (White) and a still hung jury in the court of public opinion (Chad Henne). Later rounds have had both good and bad picks.

So the work is worthy of a C-plus, in my opinion. 

That's because there has been no awe inspiring pick. There has been no take-your-breath-away, give-that-personnel man-a-prize selection. Not one Dolphins pick the past three years has been a game-changer. Not one Dolphins pick the past three years has brought a player other teams must game-plan around or for. Long isn't that because, by definition, left tackles can only change the course of a game by screwing up. They do not change the course of games when they merely do their jobs.

Davis has not been a game-changer. Smith hasn't although had he caught his six potential interceptions a year ago that he dropped, he might have reached that plateau. Odrick hasn't gotten a chance. Henne hasn't been a game-changer in any consistent or confidence-building manner. Anyone else?

Anyone?

Ireland needs to find a game changer this draft. He needs to do something his mentor could not. Oh, Parcells helped bring solid talent to the Dolphins when they were lacking even that. But conference titles and Super Bowls are won with difference-makers, game-changers stacked atop solid talent.

Ireland, on his own this draft, has work to do.

NOTES: I will be updating the blog several times Thursday so check back throughout the day. I will also provide real-time updates from Ireland's presser on twitter. So please follow me to get those updates.

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Now you're typing Armando! Get this blog back to sanity, and worthy posts.

I can't wait til draft day, and your next several post regarding it

Yeah!

Go Jeffy!

I've posted two mocks (the first nearly two months ago, and the last two weeks ago) but the one I am going to submit on sundays competition here, will be a revision worth screaming at.

Some will scream for my head, while others might scream, "why didn't I think of that?"

odin/gulfD,

please watch this video on Dan Marino when talking mobility


http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d801f9781/Top-Ten-Mobile-QBs-Dan-Marino

Ok Here's My Mock:

1. Fantasy Island
3. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
4. A Charlie Brown Christmas
5. Freaks And Geeks
6. The George Burns And Gracie Allen Show
7a The Simpsons(Not related to OJ)
7b X-Files
7c Pee Wee's Playhouse

There you have it guys, we're on our way to the Super Potty!

Meatsword Salad Sandwiches... Jeff is Jeff, we will be the same until there is new mgmt. We need to straigten this org out.. And bring Miami back to the elite. This non playoff laughing stock of a team might fly in Cleveland for 20 years..but darnit...not in my Miami man! I'm tired of the same old dolphins...we need to draft and spend in FA like we got no limmits

great article armando

the last 3 years were about turning round a 1-15 team so they took fewer risks (except p white), this time he's got a lot of holes to fill on offense and is missing a second round pick, without trading down he's gonna struggle to impress with the no 15 pick unless its a surprise and bold and ultimately blows the pants of everyone, if it doesn't his rep will be trashed for years to come ("crazy ireland remember that 15 th pick when he was with the fins in 2011") so bold would be a surprise

the only way he can impress is by trading down and getting good picks or nailing a great player from the latter rounds, tough to do but rb's are the most likely source and we need a load of those, that's where ireland has got to find the right picks - two dead on rb performers who hit the ground running this year with several (6+) 100+ games and make it all the way to the probowl inside 3 years

come on ireland

I look forward to the Barcelona Dragons 2011 season.

Do you really believe, Armado, that Parcells had no input into this Draft? C'mon. He will try to finish his responsebility in the best possible way.

I am beginning not to like Mallet. Sure, we all know he doesn't want to play for Carolina, but not to show up for a scheduled meeting shows bad, sneaky character. Personally,I would stay away from that kind of element even if he is the second coming of Dan Marino.

Let it be known now guys, I have changed my #1 pick to Mark Ingram.

You know, "Game Changer" for me would not necessarily be the same as most people, I think. . . I believe that the O-line is what let us down last year. Yes, Henne played poorly and the coordinator called questionable games, but we need fixin what needs fixin. That is the O line. To do that I hope the Dolphins Trade down and acquire a 2nd round pick because lets face it the need more than one bite at the apple.

If they have to stay at 15 the choices are in my opinion Pouncy (G) or a QB. Ponder or Mallet are the best choices here (I don't think Dalton fits our system or personel unless the New OC is changing that in a strike shorten offseason - good luck with that).

Pouncey makes the most sense for the Dolphins though it is not a "sexy" pick; it is a game changer, as he could start immediately and we've settled 4 of the 5 line positions by move Incognito to C, giving Henne (or insert your favorite FA here) more time and open holes for - - - (insert any RB name you like here) to run through. Go running back with 2nd or 3rd selection, but don't do it in round 1. There are to many other needs on this team.

If there is no faith in Henne you have to go QB, but you have to still try and trade down and hope a Ponder or Mallet fall. Possible but an "iffy" strategy because you take the control out of the teams hands, but you still need that 2nd round pick to address the O line and you double down on the Guard position (possibly by doing more trade downs later and acquire more picks throughout the draft - a strategy I hope the Dolphins employ a lot during the draft.

Fact of the matter is I hope to hear the following words often during the Draft when Miami is on the clock "there has been a trade 'Insert the name of trade partner here' is now on the clock." I want the Dolphins to overwork the ESPN and NFL network Draft teams, scrawling the newly acquired picks.

"Game Changer," while that would be nice there are too many needs and Game Changer is in the eye of the beholder. One person, one player ain't gonna fix the Dolphins this year. We don't need Pat White or in this case Colin "whatever the hell his name is" we need a solid draft, not a sexy one loaded with quite game changers at many positions.

True Tim, but RB is a position of need for us and you don't pass up on the Emmitt Smiths, Barry Sanders if you see him that way.

Have ZERO Faith in this Guy to pick any-one that will Help a Team going Now where....

We'll soon find out, zonk-39.

Drafting an elite OLman with the 15th pick would, in my opinion be a waste of the pick and of the talent. The way Tony plays his game with the OL is extremely physical and he needs more bodies than talent(except for LT). Again, my opinion.

This FO does not have the best record drafting linemen on ether side of the ball, and some want to trust them to use the most precious pick on another lineman?

Jake Long - winner
Donald Thomas - gone
Shawn Murphy - gone
Lionel Dotson - ?
Andrew Gardner - gone
Merling - nuff said
Langford - ok, won't knock him
Odrick - still giving him the benefit of the doubt, but drafting a DE with a bum leg #1?
Jerry - still giving him the benefit of the doubt.

So far, only 1 out of 9 linemen picked by this FO has been a great pick. Ouch!

I say its time to think about some offensive weapons in the early rounds, RB, TE, QB.

I'm thinking if we are forced to pick at 15 it should either be OL or RB. Depending on if there is a surprising drop of one of the top 2 receivers.

oscar you do know that the reason Mallett didn't show up was because he was ill?

Yeah, right, kyphinfan. I'm sure he had to go to the Hospital.

Trading down will def be what they prefer to do if they can find a partner. Unfortunately I don't see that happening this season.

Which leaves us you would think going with Pouncey,Ingram, or Mallet at 15.

All 3 of their stock has began to fall a bit in the last few days though. After Pouncey'stock was rising pretty fast in beginning of the week.

Alot can happen in the next week though....

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/20/agents-panthers-respond-to-mallett-report/

google the information and you can find more articles on this subject; not defending him because i like him (i don't know the guy) but i don't take much stock in what many of these rags put out just to attract readers.

Watching Pouncey's replays I noticed a LB named Hightower. Uff..

I hope you are right, kyphinfa. How will we know if all these rumors are true or not? If he's available at #15 and the Dolphins pass him by.

I totally agree with Tim, we need to trade down , then go OL and either QB or running back.

One thing that we need to mix here is who are Miami targets on FA, I think they will push hard for Robert Gallery (G- Raiders), if that's the case then you move Richie to C as Tim mentioned and you can have a battle between Jerry, garner and Pouncey if you decide to draft an OL.
Oscar mentioned about RB, that's also a need , i think here you re sign either Ricky or Ronnie and then you drft one RB on the 3rd but if we trade down and get a 2nd then I stick to OL and QB with the first 2 picks, then go with the best TE available on the 4th round, the rest you can fill it with best available athletes (pass rush would be nice), but again the strategy will depend on who are the targets on FA (risky approach given the circumstances but hey , Ireland needs to be bold during this off season not much time will be given).

does jeff ireland's draft day misses give us any reason for hope??? if you take jake long out (no brainer) his OL and DL picks have failed miserably. pat white,pat turner,edds and jerry were taken 2 rounds early. ireland better study bellichek's picks. sparano can study brady so he knows what a pro offense is supposed to look like.

I'm thinking Bess could almost qualify.

yeah oscar i wouldn't want to be in Ireland's shoes this year because if you subscribe to the best player available (it probabally wouldn't be one of the quarterbacks)but if you trade back you're not going to get an earlier second round pick in that trade and most likely the quarterbacks would be gone in the second by the time our trade pick came up because a lot of the teams needing them will make their run eary second round. So as some have said on here before if we can identify a quarterback we want you have to grab him in the first. what to do? what to do?

Can you imagine the complications for us if one of those two elite WR's you mentioned happen to be there at # 15, kyphinfan? Uff..

It seems to me it all hinges on wether or not this regime thinks it can fix Henne.

They have a very short leash. Do they want to risk their future taking a QB at 15 who most experts dont even have in the top 32 on their boards?
(Mallet,Dalton,Kaep etc)

Henne won seven games last year with an offensive line that looked like a mash unit, a running game that regressed, and a senile offensive coordinator.

They could be thinking if they shore up their ol, get a rb with fresh legs, a pass catching te, and a more creative scheme, maybe they can squeeze 3 more wins out of Henne and save their jobs.

I think their hoping they can trade down and pick up 2nd rd pick to use on a QB for insurance behind Henne. But then what the hell do i know and who knows what their thinking..lol

If we have to go best player available at #15 then it would have to be a RB or WR. TE and Linemen(O or D) drafted that high would have to come with a guarantee of stardom for many years in the League(Jake Long).

Rick, we will know the FO opinion of Henne sooner rather than later. If they pick Mallet or if they draft a potentially good QB in later rounds and sign an efficient veteran QB, Henne is toast.

Look, I really did not like parcells and still believe he is a overrated blow hard. His drafts were average, and we were hoping for ground-breaking.

In his support I will agree, Long was the best pick at that time, and still may be the best pick for that draft over Ryan. Vonte, Smith and the free agent signing of Bess all seem to be solid. )Hoping Sean smith can learn how to catch.)

You all know how I feel about Henne. I do agree he should be every bit as good as Ryan, and I believe better than Flacco by a great distance. Both Ryan and Flacco have had better support systems and coaching. Also better luck with no major injuries to the O-lines.

Here is to hoping our rookie coach has figured it out a bit, lets the o-coord do his job and there is not over coaching. No one here, including Mando should "trust" my opinion here, and quite frankly many of you don't. But I am confident, with a solid consistant o-line, creative game plans, and solid trust from the team in their coaching. Henne and this team will be really good.

So to Parcells credit, I say the Long/Henne combo was the best decision for that draft.

agree oscar if a quarterback is drafter then Henne's days are numbered unless he lights it up during this year then he may get a contract extension until the qb they draft is ready and trade him for a pick.

I FEEL HENNE IS AS GOOD AS RYAN AND FLACCO.

THEY STARTED FROM DAY ONE.

THEY HAVE MUCH BETTER TALENT AROUND THEM.

THEY HAVE BETTER COACHES.

BUT AT LEAST WE HAVE THE BETTER LEFT TACKLE.

Hey, Poizen, we are all blowhards here, ain't we. heehee

Just throwing out a trade scenario if we ever get a CBA. I had Kyle Orton in fantasy last year and he was awesome. Not sure if Denver would give him up though...

Poizen the only opinion that matters is the coaches in regards to Henne (not yours, mine, or any other fan, writer etc.) I personally don't hate on the guy and wish a light bulb would flash on this year and he does well because at times he has shown some potential, but at other times he has done some bone headed things that leave you wondering. That being said if the coaches don't believe in him then like oscar said we will know by what they do in the draft since drafting one of the second tier quarterbacks in the first round will be a signal that his number is up in Miami.

You should also compare Ireland to his immediate predecessors.

Dave Wannstedt (the man who gave us EDDIE MOORE!!! Lamar Gordon, AJ Feely and Jama Fletcher)

The Alabama Sleazebag (who traded for Daunte Culpepper and drafted Jason Allen)

Cam Cameron (John Beck? Ted Ginn's family?)

By the standards of recent Dolphin history Ireland is already Polian-eseque.

good point Gary. Compare to past regimes Ireland has done 100% better even considering his misses.

I'd feel pretty good if they drafted Rudolph, Taiwan Jones, Danny Watkins, & either Ponder/Dalton/Kaepernick

henne = luck in 2012

parcells sux

personally if we target any wide receiver i hope we go after randall cobb from kentucky (might be biased here) but he is a versatile wide receiver that can do it all

Just an observation, but since there seem to be so many undrafted players not only making teams but making an impact & the draft is held on multiple days, does anyone think the draft should expand to 8 rounds?

kyphinfan, your point is valid and well taken. I just let mine be known, and really hope this coaching staff lets Henne off this short leash and let us see what we have. Our expectations for next year can not be high considering last year. so let the guys we have go out and play and lets see what we got. Because last year was a disaster all the way around with the "over" coaching. We made little progress to find out what talent we do and what we dont.

The Dolphins have pretty much said they plan to add QB competition through the draft and free agency.

The thing is there is adding competition and then there is adding someone you fully expect to be lining up behind center game one (ie Palmer,Orton, Kolb, and I believe Mallet may fit into that category).

pete g. Bess and Wake don't count cause they weren't drafted. I think he's talking about draft picks

Turd, i like your list @ 9:13!!! Afraid Watkins and Rudolph may both go in the 1st though.

Boulderphinfan, the point stil lstands that the acquisition of players like Bess and Wake are a testament to the skills of Ireland as a talent evaluator and decision maker.

Who cares whether either was drafted -- we made a play on an overlooked CFL player who became a sack-monster, and an undrafted undersized WR out of Hawaii who became our offense's best playmaker.

Do players like Wake and Bess offset draft misses like Pat White? I happen to think so.

It's funny how Mando talks about the need for game-changers (which we definitely need), and then the posters start talking about trading back.

I'm not saying moving back isn't advisable to pick up a 2nd-round pick, but if we read Mando's blog, he tells us we haven't been very fortunate in our 2nd-round picks. So if there's a stud in the 1st round we could get who would be a game changer, I'd rather grab him even if it costs us getting our 2nd-round pick back, because who's to say our 2nd-round pick will do anything to help the team (if the best we've had in the last few years is Sean Smith, then we're not missing much here folks).

The ONLY way that Ireland has a successful draft is if he constantly maneuvers. Trade back a few spots in first to get a 2nd. Then trade up into 2nd from the 3rd round to acquire another impact player. 3 picks in the 1st 2 rounds would stifle NE's edge. If they have 8 picks overall it is possible. It also wouldn't hurt making a trade to pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd rounder for 2012.

I think I read somewhere that this front office when Parcells was around considers certain key positions more important than others.

QB, LT, NT, pressure players (OLB/DE) and CB.

If you look at the 3 year history we have taken Jake Long, Vontae Davis, Odrick...

It seems a lot of focus was spent on these key positions.

Chad Henne/QB hasn't really panned out. Some on him. Some on the Dolphins for reasons out of his control.

Regardless he's inconsistent and regresses in 4th quarter.

So I'm thinking Miami is going QB in round 1. I also think that Ryan Mallett doesn't meet Parcells criteria. I'm thinking the pick is Andy Dalton or Colin Kaepernick.

DC Dolfan, Any ideas on who that game changer is at 15?

Gary I understand and I agree but the point of the article is the draft. That's why mando didn't mention wake and bess.

Shaun, I wouldn't be completely shocked if that happened although they are complete opposites.

Kaepernick is a project but has all the intangables (he would be risky because he would take some time to develop).

Dalton is the heady guy who could start right away but he is small and lacks arm srength.

There is no doubt in my mind that Mallet, Ingram would be great difference makers for us.

Are the Dolphins going to be interested in Raiders free agent S Micheal Huff whenever free agency finally starts?

A few thoughts

Mando, your C+ grade is spot on. But what is a C+ anyway? A hair better than average, that's what. At this rate, we might have a playoff quality team by 2013-14. That's assuming we get 2 starters per draft. That's also assuming Wake 29 and Dansby 31 will still be playing at a high level.

In my opinion, this draft class is not a particularly good one. Meaning after 10th or 12th overall, there isn't much diff quality wise compared to later slots.

There are always surprises in every draft. Players get picked higher than thought, players fall for no apparent reason. I'm hoping that if that happens, Ireland will have enough brains to take advantage of it.

Don't be shocked if they go for Pouncy and solidiy the line. Not a sexy game changer, but a good pick.

I highly doubt there will be a trade waiting for us. Of course you never know how things progress, but this is a pretty average draft with no consensus on the studs.

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