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Jeff Ireland will return for 2012, Sparano will not

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland is totally safe as of this moment. Tony Sparano is not.

I am reporting the Dolphins plan to let Ireland continue in his job with the team beyond this season. The plan is also to fire Sparano, although the team is adamant no final decision has been made on this front.

I know this as fact. Period.

So what's news here?

The Ireland stuff.

I already wrote in my column Sunday that Sparano was in grave danger of losing his job even if he won the final four games of the year. Sparano's team has since lost a 26-10 decision to the Philadelphia Eagles and so he will will not win out, which logically signals his end. A source has confirmed for me that end is now certain although the timing is still unclear.

Ireland is another story. He stays, barring some unexpected circumstance, regardless of who the new coach is or is not. It is as solid as something of this matter can be in the NFL. Ireland stays for 2012.

Owner Stephen Ross is convinced the Dolphins are a team that is underachieving despite considerable talent. Yes, Ross believes the roster needs some upgrading. But he also thinks Ireland, who has full control of the personnel department since October 2010, can do the job. (Bill Parcells was in charge of personnel from Jan. 2008 to October 2010.)

So Ireland stays once this season is over. And Tony Sparano does not.

Discuss ...


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Joshn McDaniels came from the Pats. Proved he was in WAY over his head as a HC. Just about destroyed the organization. It doesn't always work out the way you want.

Having said that, there's a couple of coaches with GB I think we should take a look at.

Is any defense playing as well as the Dolphins over the last 6 weeks? If we lost Sparano - we probably lose Nolan as well as most of our defensive until, Solai, Taylor, etc - and I think Brian Dabol actully is pretty innovative - we did lose our starting qb and all pro left tackle and have been beating teams by over 20 points the last 5 weeks - I dont think we want retreads like Gruden, Cowler, and Fisher - I say let Sparano finish out his contract if he can finish 7-9 this year. 7-2 finish

I can just see it on draft day, Ireland trades our no1 pick next year and this one to move up to take.....the OT from USC, Ryan Kalil.

Ireland later our OL is now set for years to come and we can always take Weedon in the 2nd round because that philosophy worked for us before.

Please tell me Armando that Ross will demand Ireland does what it takes to position the team to draft either Luck, Barkley or RG3.


I don't think the winning ways rubbed off on Mangini.......

I'd pass on him.....I know he is trying to re-make his image on ESPN....but I say no...not to Mangini.....

JUST LOVELY, we are screwed.


I say no too. But what will Ross say? Just saying he is a candidate flying under the radar.

I want someone I never heard of with a name I can't even pronounce.

Hey let's get rid of them and bring in new!!! Yeah what a great idea lets set the team back further so we can suffer for three or four more years of building!! We aren't far away. A couple players. The defense is looking good, maybe another pass rusher but still pretty good, Nolan getting good schemes for these players.... Offense is coming around. Need depth, another faster bigger TE, and a LT. All this talk of start over start over.... Haven't we started over enough. Ot takes a few seasons to fix what was destroyed by CC and Satan. Stay the course is my vote! Look at our record of we had one more piece to win the last second games of NYG, Cleve, broncos,Cowgirls. Not that far off people!!


I don't think that's an awful idea. Just because it didn't work out for Mangini in how first two gigs doesn't mean it won't work out for him in Miami. He's not first choice but I think the team could make worse choices.

Craig M....and DA.....

Yeah....you have have already shot holes all in my theory......


I don't know about no Coach right now, I'm just immensely Happy that this godforsaken season is over.

I hate to see what happends Christmas Eve, The Pats will be playing for Home field advantage, Last year they did the biggest beatdown(42 to 0 @ Half-time) adminstered to the fins since they got beat in Dannys last game vs Jacksonville.

With Ireland back ...the TE from the cowboys will be a FIN next year for sure...M.Bennett.


I get that maybe you're not sold on Mangini. I understand that. But I bet guys thought the Pats were nuts to hire Bellichick after his stint in Cleveland. Seems to have worked out OK.

I also know you'd prefer if Daboll could stick around. Hiring Mangini might be one way this could happen. Mangini had ZERO talent to work with in Cleveland. The talent level is better here. I don't think it's the worst idea to be honest with you.

DA....your might be on to something with this Mangini thing.....but I hope your wrong.....

Ross needs to get better coaching mentorship.....

Time to clean house and reboot this franchise. Fire Ireland (obviously) and everyone in the front office - including (especially) the PR marketing folks. Fire Sparano - he reeks of the smell of Bill Parcell. Clean house on the roster - it is a short list of who is essential to keep among the players. Trade most away for picks. Trade the picks to move up and get several 1st and 2nd round picks in the 2012 and 2013 drafts. Need a franchise QB big time. Forget the reach picks and start drafting for talent and quality. It is time to reboot - no more short term fixes. Just changing head coaches is insufficient.

Hiring Mangini gives the surest shot at Daboll and Nolan staying. Could happen.

I still would not be surprised if even a guy like Fisher was willing to accept our coordinators, if of course he was in agreement with their philosophy.

..I'm down with Mangini..The guy is freekin off the charts smart. The thing with the next head coach. He could be a big name guy, he could be obscure. A portion of the fan base will be upset whoever it is.. The key will obviously be can he win here? So if it is Mangini, or the Ghost of Tom Landry I don't care...

Craig M....Da brought that up as well.....

As I think about it....maybe I could warm up to the idea.....but it will take time......

This is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Foolish...... The same dumb picks over n over again... Hard to be a Dolfan right now..Another 4years waisted... They need to clean house.. Start with fresh new faces...

So if Sparano is officially fired, how do they let him coach out the last 3 games when he can make decisions that could affect this team for next season.
No1 Priority, shut Jake Long down.
No2 Priority, make sure we dont win again ie next week, cant see us somehow beating the Pats and Jets.
Sparano should be fired tomorrow after this latest revalation, its only fair to him and the team.

Not happy Ireland is staying at the moment but if Cowher wants him gone as his stipulations for coming here then its got to be a no brainer.

My final thought is that I am very worried for this franchise with Ross's latest thinking, I hope he doesnt screw this up.

Think about it. Hiring Mangini causes the least amount of disruption. He has already worked with Daboll. If he is working with Ross, he already knows Ireland.

Ireland back?! Might as well turn the calendar past 2012 and start hoping for 2013 to come quick, unless of course he's staying for that too!!!


Trade the whole draft picks this year and next and get LUCK that way the Fins won't miss on picks and they have there QB!


I don't think it's a bad idea. Not sure Nolan would stick around under that scenario. I think Mangini would want to run his own defence and I'n not sure they have any ties to each other.

That's completely backwards, in my opinion. Sparano should stay, and Ireland should go.

Sparano has shown an ability to not give up despite terrible circumstances, have his players not give up on him (most important factor), and an ability to learn from his mistakes and change his style (changes to coaching style he made after they were 0-6, which players rave about).

Ireland on the other hand makes baffling roster decisions year after year, and poor decisions in the draft. Ireland has given Sparano a sub-optimal roster to work with, which has been a major factor in poor performance in the win column.

Not saying Ireland + new coach won't be successful, but not the best choice in my opinion.

Would you post Ross's email address so Dolfans can flood his inbox with messages of his stupidity.

Trade the whole draft picks this year and next and get LUCK that way the Fins won't miss on picks and they have there QB!

Posted by: BLACKCEROTE | December 11, 2011 at 08:32 PM

As Crazy as this sounds I'm all for it. Ross has to make Ireland aware that his 1st round pick has to be either Luck, Barkley or RG3.
Im personally not sold on RG3 so Luck is my first choice by a clear mile if Indianapolis will do business!!!!


No way I can speak for Nolan. But if he likes it in Miami, he may prefer to stick with what he has than start over.

husketeer... Yeah they should than Ireland can find more undrafted Acorns.


You might be right. Reagrdless, I like your idea. After Jeff Fisher taking over this is quite likely my second choice. But I'd have to give it a lot more thought....

So the guy who helped select Jake Long over Matt Ryan, drafted bust like Pat White, Philip Merling, Patrick Turner, Chad Henne, and John Jerry gets to keep his job??? If this actually happens, as a fan I'm done. Yeah I'll still root for them, but no way I'll spend a single cent on Mr. Ross's franchise. Btw, what proven coach is going to agree to work with Ireland? Not Cowher, Gruden, or Fisher. This organization is a joke.

The ONLY way Ross could save face with the fan base is if he hires a guy like Dungy president of football operations. Marino would make sense too because of his connections with Cowher ( and Manning too for that matter). But unlike Huzenga, Marino has no loyalties to Ross and probably wouldn't even consider it. Seriously, WTF did Wayne sell to this clown?

The thing i hate about Ireland the most when he could have gotten a veteran ..but decides to play a draft pick thats not that good ..but he drafted him so he plays.. a Acorn! The best players on the Dolphins are other teams players they never find great players..BUSH..MARSHALL..DANSBY.

The only thing unexpected in Armando's statement is the Sparano is gone (still dubious).
For the record: We are currently sitting in the #3 Qb draft pick spot, if the season ended today. Roughly 8th position, but the other teams have young QBs that they have faith/investment in.
Just the facts, no opinion.

Would rather keep Sparano and find a decent GM instead.

The only potential ex NFL coaches certainly available are Fisher and Mangini. The advantage they have over a college guy is obvious, they know the ropes, the break may have done them both good and probably have learned from their mistakes. They can implement a new system faster, start off more organized, more certain of what they are doing.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Hey guys as much as I agree with you about Ireland I think he really hasn't had much control with the exception of last and this year (parcells had control before that). Look at the last 2yrs of drafts:

Odrick has been pretty good this yr the entire 2011 draft class has helped.

ALso Bush has been a very pleasant surprise. We have a good team we just need a "killing QB". Moore has shown flashes but definitely not the franchise type. It will be interesting to see who wants the job. Look at for CAR OC Rob Chudynski (not sure how to spell it), the GB OC, Erig Mangini, I don't think they get a big name.

The guy Ross will target to be the next coach you ask? I have an educated guess; Les Miles

Why? He Is a Michigan man, so is Ross. Also, the success of Jim Harbaugh will make Ross even more confident that a college coach can succeed in the NFL. He's also a big name coach who probably wouldn't object to working with Ireland.


He could of had Sproles for nothing, who is having a better year then Reggie, but instead traded 2 picks and what turned out to be a starting safety for a guy who everyone knew would be cut. Not very savy

this sucks way the go ross worst owner of NFL!

Jon in the last three months on the blog I've seen that Einstein quote around 92000 times.

Just sayin....

Can't believe guys are still defending Sparano. Eery coach has a shelf life and his has come and gone. I like the guy but the only thing we can judge him on is the won/loss record and it's not NEARLY good enough. Time to go....coaches are hired to be fired...that's how it works.

Fire Jeff Ireland. He has repeatedly embarrassed this once proud franchise. Do you really want the stadium to be empty for another year Ross?

I've been really impressed with Reggie this season and the draft picks were low rounders of no value anyway not when you consider Bush was the No2 overall pick. His attitude is different now, he has a fire and I hope he brings that next season.
Sproles has Brees giving/throwing him the ball and Sean Payton in charge, big difference to the idiots in charge here.
3 short yardage runs when everyone in the stadium could have predicted what the Dolphins were going to do, its the same thing they did with Polite for the last 3 years, too predictable.
Puzzling decisions today also, the 55 yard FG, accepting a holding call on 3rd down when the Eagles would have been on 4th down and out of Field goal range anyway, accepting the penalty gave them another shot of extending the drive although as it turned out the blocked punt that followed, they got away with it.
TS should be fired in the morning out of decency, Jake Long put on IR and I still don't buy that Ireland stays if Cowher agrees to come here.

Worst Dolphin news since "with the 9th pick in the 2008 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins select Ted Ginn Jr". Terrible. Just Terrible.

Fire everyone. Fire everyone. Ross doesn't know a darn thing about the NFL. Dolphins back in the doldrums.

I guess Ireland will hire some ex coordinator from Dallas.
He should go to, this team has been his failure to, is not fair for sparano

It's very simple, if the majority of season ticket holders do not want Ireland to stay then they can easily get the guy fired. You find out how many ticket holders and other regular paying customers are against this then you start a petition telling the owner that none of you will even think about buying tickets unless they get rid of both men. This isn't all Tony's fault for a bunch of reasons most of which even a child could understand. Ireland has made numerous mistakes in the draft and free agency, I don't see how Ross keeps him even if he doesn't get pressure.

And this goes back to what I said in week 4. I warned of this happening. I said that Sparano would likely be shown the door before Ireland because the GM has more business to take care of after the season then the coach. He might stay on for a little bit to clean up some loose ends but make no mistake, if a big name coach, (which is what Ross is salivating over) says he will take the job IF he gets a new GM, Ireland will be out the door before the new coach finishes his request.

Another thing to think about is the timing. You can tell people the coach is done now, what's the difference? What, he won't coach as hard for the last three meaningless games? GOOD, better for us. But if you make an announcement now that the Gm is gone as well, OR you leave him hanging in the wind he could do some damage to your roster and the scouting department simply by mailing it in for the rest of the season.

I know an insider told Armando these things and that he must trust this person I assume they didn't lie to him, BUT "barring some unexpected circumstance" covers A LOT of ground. And like I said, the organization may have put this out there on purpose, dangling the proverbial carrot in front of Ireland's face in order to keep him engaged. If Ireland miraculously stays I still believe we could land Jeff Fisher who is said to be chomping at the bit to get back in the league. If not Fisher say hello to our next head coach, some other teams coordinator, a first time head coach,,,,and cross your fingers.

Looks like Mando is playing "April fool" about 4 months early.Funny Mando Ireland is staying haahahahahaahah.you had me nervous for a second.good one!

I have spent so much time looking at Ireland's decisions since he arrived, and I just learned something I didnt' know. Parcells was in charge or personnel decisions from Jan 08- Oct 10. So most of the bone-headed decisions were made by PARCELLS! This last draft was a huge improvement over the previous two, and the free agents he brought in were better as well (Burnett,Bush). Bring Ireland back, but Sparano HAS TO GO.

That means more Dallas discards. I said it before....Ireland should be the first to go...He doesn't know how to manipulate a draft to either get extra picks or game changing players.

Season ticket holders have never gotten anyone fired. Nice try. They are not share holders, they are fools for supporting a joke of a team.

Aloco you're just about as stupid as any one person could hope to be. Keep up the good work with your God awful grammar and senseless bigotry, you make your parents proud.

I feel like we're entering those years when Detroit kept M Millen. Over and over and over....

Gates looks like another Tedd Ginn, minus any kickoff return ability. The only guy from last draft that looks suspect.

I will not be renewing my season tickets if Jeff Ireland returns. The biggest problem with this team is JEFF IRELAND.

If Jeff Ireland returns, I won't.

They've never gotten anyone fired? Wrong. There are so many examples of fan pressure causing changes in the front office and on the field. Apparently you just started watching football.

But with fans like you and the rest of the useless Floridians who let our rivals out number us in our own stadium I believe that your point is true in Miami, no one cares enough about the team to get together and force the owners hand. That only happens in cities where fans give a s**t.

I wonder what prospect Ireland will insult in this draft.

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