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Jeff Ireland speaks from Senior Bowl

Jeff Ireland just spoke to the media in Mobile, Alabama, site of the Senior Bowl, and explained in detail the Dolphins' offseason plans for the quarterback position, confirmed the cap space amount the club has to work with, and gave up the name of the player Miami will draft in the first round of the April draft ...

... Actually, he didn't, but I just wanted to see how it felt to write that sentence.

Truth is the session, attended by The Herald's Barry Jackson, revealed precious little we didn't already know. It began with Ireland repeating something every Dolphins fan has known since January of 2000.

"We need a quarterback that can lead us over the hump," he said. "This is a quarterback league. We have to do our best to make our position better."

Ireland praised 2011 starter Matt Moore's toughness, but the inference was clearly made that Miami wants to upgrade from him in 2012. If Miami needs the QB to lead the team over the hump, it obviously does not have the QB to lead the team over the top.

Moore, however, remains under contract for 2012.

The truth is the Dolphins have to get better all up and down the roster. And Ireland recognizes that.

"We're 6-10, we've got to do a better job of putting wins together," he said. "We've got to build a roster to be better than good. Good is not good enough. We want championships. Are we rebuilding? I don't believe so. I like some core pieces of this roster."

I would imagine Ireland knows what kind of offensive and defensive talent he's searching for. On defense that might include personnel for the 4-3 scheme, which the Dolphins used a lot in pass situations last season anyway, but is also a scheme the team might go to as a base look in 2012.

Ireland said he told his scouts to start looking at 4-3 personnel in case Miami goes there.

"If we have to go to a 4-3, we have the personnel to make the transition," Ireland said. "We have to add pieces."

As a personal aside, I believe the Dolphins will use their first-round pick on a pass rusher. Quinton Coples of North Carolina is a player the Dolphins are heavily scrutinizing at the Senior Bowl. The Dolphins desperately need a pass rusher to add on the side opposite Cameron Wake.

That is not where Miami's needs end. Ireland said he would love to add an "explosive" tight end.

The team needs to rebuild the entire right side of the offensive line because Marc Colombo is clearly not the answer at right tackle and right guard Vernon Carey is a free agent.

John Jerry is a possibility at either right guard or tackle.

"John has come a long way," Ireland said. "He has a long way to go."

Ireland said he is still looking forward to seeing what Lydon Murtha can do.

There will be a couple of cornerback prospects worthy or selecting high in the draft and Ireland is not showing his hand in that regard. But it's clear he's not giving up on Sean Smith and Vontae Davis.

"I believe in Sean," Ireland said. "They [Smith and Davis[ have got to take another step in the right direction."

Deeper in the secondary, Ireland praised Reshad Jones, Chris Clemon and Tyrone Culver, but noted, "I don't think we got our hands on enough balls."

New coach Joe Philbin will revamp the offense but don't expect much work done at running back. Reggie Bush has a year left on his contract and Daniel Thomas will be in his second season.

"Daniel Thomas will be a fine player," Ireland said. "He has got to stay healthy."

Ireland said he would like to keep unrestricted free agents Kendall Langford and Paul Soliai. But neither is signed and it is improbable the club with be able to keep both and still find a pass rusher.

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