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Changes afoot around the NFL, but not in Miami

In New York, there's speculation general manager Mike Tannenbaum will be demoted. In San Diego, both coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith reportedly will be gone after this season. In Cleveland, the future of general manager Tom Heckert Jr. is uncertain and rumors are swirling about a successor.

Carolina is in the market for a new general manager, Scott Pioli is on the hot seat as the general manager in Kansas City, and there could be other moves elsewhere.

Yup, it's that time of year.

But not in Miami. Probably not this year.

Despite the fact the team is likely headed to a fourth consecutive season out of the playoffs and perhaps a fourth consecutive losing season, I am told there has been zero discussion about replacing general manager Jeff Ireland. And obviously, head coach Joe Philbin isn't on the one-and-done road last traveled by Cam Cameron. He's not going anywhere, either.

So firings in Miami seem at this point unlikely.

Now, this comes with a caveat: The season is not over. All the data is not known with four games to play. And everyone will be ultimately evaluated by owner Stephen Ross once the season is over. So no decision is final at this point.

If the Dolphins collapse the next four Sundays or if quarterback Ryan Tannehill plays so poorly as to suggest drafting him was a major error, then all bets are off.

But the Dolphins are typically an easy team to read on such matters. If someone as high-ranking in the organization as Ireland were on the outs, the signs would be there by now. Last year, for example, it was clear coach Tony Sparano was on his way out only weeks into the regular season.

No such signs this year. Quite the opposite, actually. Last week, for example, Ireland spent the entire week grinding on tape with his scouts and other personnel people as they prepare for the coming Senior Bowl in January, Indianapolis Combine in February, and yes, NFL draft in April.

Ireland's relationship with Ross also remains strong. The men continue to speak almost on a weekly basis and some weeks more often than that. Same with coach Joe Philbin. By contrast, once Sparano fell out of favor with Ross, the two talked only occasionally.

Another reason there isn't a huge likelihood anyone will be fired is Ross is a strong believer in continuity. He is convinced an NFL team needs it to succeed. Ross, you'll remember, stayed with Sparano and Ireland once he took over ownership even though he had no allegiance to either man.

He kept both even after he was already displeased enough with Sparano that he met with Jim Harbaugh, now in San Francisco, when that coach wanted to make the jump to the NFL from Stanford University.

It was only after the Dolphins got off to an 0-7 start in 2011 and his relationship with Sparano rotted that Ross dismissed Sparano. And, it must be said, Ross kept Ireland at that time even though the general manager was very unpopular with the fan base.

Ross kept Ireland even though fans hired banner planes to fly over Sun Life asking for the general manager's firing. He kept Ireland after fans showed up at training camp to protest the general manager's offseason moves.

As someone in the organization told me recently, "Jeff survived that and other uncomfortable moments, what makes you think he'd be fired now?"

It would take an epic, disastrous final four weeks to make is a possibility. Otherwise, all quiet in Miami. 



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Hire Bill Polian

Craig M says:

Yes, there's been missed picks. Pat White. Patrick Turner, some will argue Misi and Odrick and Thomas. Happens with every team.
Dude, you are one of the most irrational posters on this site. Your delusional opinions on Jeff Ireland have no substance at all. If Pat White and Michael Egnew were the only dumb decisions that would be OK but the poor decision making in early rounds is to pervasive to overlook.

FLPD he drafted the best center in football..

Posted by: mattybfromnc | December 06, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Yes, but so did the Steelers (Mike Webster...HOF, and the Fins Dwight Stevenson...HOF..and NEITHER were drafted in the FIRST ROUND!!
BTW, I can name at least 3 other 6-10 year all pro centers that were drafted in in round 2 or later, and one who was UN-DRAFTED.

The smartest guy in the business may still be Charlie Casserly.
The Fins could pay him more than he gets with CBS. I guess Ross doesn't even know who Charlie Casserly is. He had the guts...and smarts to draft Mario Williams instead of Reggie Bush.
He is a big part of why the NY Giants are real, same as the Texans.

We missed out on Wolff, we'll miss out on Casserly, if he gets an offer from the Chiefs, or more likely the Super Chargers.

Hire Bill Polian

Keeping Ireland means bad drafts, loosing seasons, etc etc. Ross is blind, senile, and too proud and ignorant to acknowledge failure. It was stupid to keep Ireland after firing Sparanus.
It is we fans who suffer week after week watching the games every given Sunday with no real hopes for the future. 40 years without a SB win and still hanging out with the Dolphins, this is somethig that Ross and Ireland surely cannot understand. Sad, sad, sad !

ross is a moron and would not know how to hire a new gm. He knows nothing about the game. Anyway, who would want to work for this moron.

They have zero judgement of talent.

Did you see Hard Knocks with Ireland raving about the tight end ("Guys like that just aren't just walkin' down the street everyday" said Ireland)....the guy was cut before the preseason.

Look I have noticed no body likes Ireland and its been this way for a while. Why wont Ross get rid of a known dislike Isnt the team about the fans. If Ireland does go then maybe that black cloud over Miami is lifted. I just want to know Did ireland ever play football?

I have always maintained that Ireland is in way over his head as a GM. He should be relegated to super scout, where he can pore over his measurables and lobby the GM to sign his acorns.

He has been an absolute failure, and all you have to do is look at the list of stiffs that he has brought into Miami like Nanee and Colombo.

I agree that Ross will not fire him. He must feel sorry for him and wants to give him a chance. Our only hope is that Philbin gets more input in player selection this April. If Ireland makes the call on all of these draft picks we're looking at, we'll be set back another 3 years.

Tommy you name 2 failures, how about naming 2 'acorns' that have worked out? Wake and beds!!!
I think this year will determine how good or bad Ireland is IMO. Providing the right players we need are actually in this draft Ireland should be aggressive enough to go out and get them i.e move up etc if needed


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Jeffy needs to GO. Since he took over the draft the last couple of years we have zero playmakers. We didnt draft JPP, but chose Odrick instead. We chose Davis over Matthews when Jeffy knew Davis had maturity issues. He has known since Hard Knocks that we have no number 1 WRs, but has he made any attempt to get one? NO. He keeps getting TEs that cant play or make the team. Yet Chris Cooley was free, never picked him up or asked him to come try out.Did you see former Fin Donald Thomas, starting and playing for the Pats? Ross needs new glasses if he cant see that Jeffy isnt the answer. The one guy who has built multiple Super Bowl teams is still sitting and waiting for a call. Thats Bill Polian. He knows talent and how to build a great team. His last team did pretty well, The Colts. Thats who we need to run this team. Jeffy has had his chance to build a team. he has failed. He gave out so many bad contracts to linemen who arent here anymore we had little cap room. Then to see we have nothing to show for Brandon Marshall is a joke too. As long as Jeffy is here we will never rise to the top. We will swim along the bottom, until a REAL GM is chosen

Ireland is the man.

To all the IDIOTS--- especially Dashi!!!Who cares if Ireland did decent at this or that. Who cares if someone is improving. Who cares if Tanne-crap is a rookie!!! This team has been a mess for way to long!!!Pretty much since Shula left. There is absolutely Zero leadership on any part of this team!!Any other business doing this bad would be bankrupt by now. The fans should be disgusted! No one in this organization is trying. When we try to fill coaching positions we settle for second best. It's like when you go to the store, buy the generic brand and get it home it tastes like crap. This team is crap!! Even Mando will not ask the "real" questions of these idiots. Sure an article on no changes in Miami. They are going to keep doing the same thing and expect the fans to eat it.

Its a shame the mighty Dolphins will again sit out the playoffs and watch the Jets, a team they thoroughly thrashed last month get the final seed in the playoffs. Sucks to be a Fins fan.

AJ Smith has signed and traded for the most talented players in the league, Norv has ALWAYS !!! sucked as a head coach, he got the job because he is or was buddies with SD owner, Turner has got to have the best relations in the NFL, he keeps getting hired even though he has managed to waste the best talent available.

SD owner has been very stupid, Schottenheimer left SD in one of the best situations in the NFL talent wise and he fired him to get Turner, stupid is as stupid does.

AJ Smith won't have problems getting a job, Turner probably won't either but the first is about credentials the second is about his buddies.


Ireland is a turd!!

Your almost there Mr Ross keep doing what your doing. So no other teams have to worry about you

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