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Current Dolphins philosophy is win NOW

Usually, when NFL teams hire a new head coach and staff there's a honeymoon period. There's a year or so when ownership and fans and the media accept that something is being built and this is going to take time and patience is the order of the day.

Joe Philbin apparently doesn't get that.

That's because in discussing the current Miami philosophy on quarterbacks, general manager Jeff Ireland made it very clear he's in win-now mode and that Philbin's responsibility is to both "win right now" and in the future.

That's how it is when the coach is new and the GM has been around four years before him and they're under different pressures and expectations.

In this case, the Ireland agenda wins out, as is understandable, because he is higher in the Dolphins hierarchy than Philbin. And since he's higher, his view of things is the club view.

And because the club believes it is in win-now mode, the kind of player it seeks, the kind of approach it uses it might be different than a team that is in full rebuilding mode. Suddenly, older players are OK. Suddenly, patching the ship at sea is viewed as just as useful as sailing into dock for repairs.

That is most evident in Miami's approach to the looming chase for a starting quarterback. While most teams in full rebuild mode are searching for a young QB that can grow and learn with the new staff and revamped roster, the Dolphins are going to be just fine with a bridge quarterback, thank you very much.

"I don't think it has to be a long-term solution," Ireland said today during his media availability in Indianapolis. "I think you can look at a short-term solution. Obviously, you like a long-term solution, but you can try to make sure that ... or you can try to get both. You can certaintly try to get both in that regard.

"You've got to try to help this football team win today. And you have to look to the future. That's my job, you know, build a team for today and the future. Joe's responsibility is to try to win right now with the mind on continuing for the future as well."

In saying this, Ireland is clearing the way for a chase of a veteran quarterback. Let me see ... what veteran quarterback might be available on the market in the next two or three weeks, by say, March 9th?

Hmmm.

Obviously, Ireland is insulating against criticism that Peyton Manning is soon 36 years old and he's, at best, a solution for a year or two before his age diminishes his once amazing skills.

So the door for a Manning addition is officially open. And this had to happen if the team was going to chase Manning. It could not philosophically claim that it was building for the future and still chase a veteran of 14 NFL seasons. The two don't match.

So Miami is officially in win-now mode.

By the way, previously I told you that a chase of Manning would put Miami in win-now mode. And, if Manning is released by Indianapolis and signed by Miami, I warned you that win-now mode meant commiting resources to that win-now effort.

That means signing older players in free agency. That means diverting resources that one might use for other needs or wants to help Manning succeed immediately because his window of opportunity is small.

It is clearly not the long-range view of things. It is, by definition, a now effort.

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