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Does the family side of Ireland change your perspective?

I saw a side of Jeff Ireland over the weekend that I wasn't familiar with. I saw him put his youngest girl Annie on his shoulders like dads put their kids on their shoulders to see parades. I saw his pride in his only boy Riley. I listened to Rachel Ireland, the Dolphins general manager's wife, talk of how they met and how Ireland cared for her when she was in an auto accident soon after they met.

He asked her to marry him three months after they met. As I write in my column today, she was in a wheelchair when he proposed.

My column is not about the relationship Ireland and his wife share, although it does touch on it. That relationship seems strong from the outside. It has to be.

Because my column is about the Ireland twins and the struggles and fight and fallout that caused by the autism that attacked them when they were two years old.

MandoMarinoIreland
I spent time with the Irelands (and Dan Marino as you can see in the photo) during this weekend's Dan Marino Foundation Walkabout for Autism at Sun Life Stadium. Ireland told me he's on the road for the Dolphins 150 to 175 days per year -- scouting, at bowls, at league meetings, at the combine, at player workouts. I've dealt with that side of Jeff Ireland. The General Manager side.

I hadn't dealt too often with the guy I saw over the weekend. The father. The husband. The guy who got a call when he was at the East-West Shrine game from his wife telling him to come home.

Three of the children had Influenza A. Annie had a fever of 105 and it wasn't coming down. Two others were throwing up. The nanny had gone home for the evening and Rachel couldn't get a hold of anyone to watch the other kids.

It was time to head to the hospital so Rachel called Ireland, who was in Tampa for the game. 

"I was taking them all the kids with me so I said by the time I get them all packed up and out the door, you need to be driving across Alligator Alley and come get the other kids so they don’t have to spend the night in the hospital with me," Rachel said. "And he came home.”

What else is a father to do, right?

“That doesn’t happen very often so when she makes that call, it’s a big deal," Ireland told me. "She can balance a lot. We sit there an argue for a second and then I realize it’s serious and I come."

We don't think of football players as people. They are guys on a TV screen that are chiseled and strong and fast. We don't often see their human side behind that helmet.

We don't think of coaches or general managers as people. They're the guys pacing the sideline or making trades from behind a curtain. And all we seem to care is if they get results. We don't much care if their children are sick, or their marriage is strong, or their twins twins have autism.

Or do we.

Look, many of you are very hard on Ireland. Your reasons for that, I assume, have to do with his work in bringing a winner to the Dolphins. But some of the criticism  is personal and cruel.

So now that you've gotten to know the Ireland family better are you as likely or less likely to take shots at the Miami GM?

Remember, professional accountability and criticism is inbounds. But can you agree with me, personal cracks are out of bounds?

Comments

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Kris, your thoughts?

lol

this column changed me on ireland. give him a lifetime contract and make sure his kids have everything they need.

Mando, you need to lose weight.

We heard Henne needed help . So we got him Jake Long, Mike Pouncey, Rich Incognito, Brandon Marshall, and Reggie Bush. IT DIDNT HELP ONE BIT!! Now , we hear the same excuses for Tannehill. He needs help? Hilarious. Take off the rose colored glasses and you will see Chad Henne 2.0. Tannehill sucks. Surround him with an all star team and he'll still suck. We STILL need a QB and it SHOULD be priority #1. But of course it wont be. This FO will suffer thru more bad years a la the Henne years.

Armando - what does this have to do with football. The man chose to be a GM in the NFL which invites scrutiny and unfavorable attention; personal attacks included. What I dont get is why you're wasting time on this and not focusing on the complete LACK of results Ireland has failed to deliver. How many losing seasons? How many draft flops? How many HUGE contracts to aging veterans that seem to drop off when they get here? Focus on football please

Marino looks like he's smashed a few buffets recently too

Great Post Mando!!

To Bad Nobody Cares Ireland Is Human! And Is Actually A Good Person!!

People Here Are Just Going To Use That As Ammunition!!

And The Ireland Haters Will Take This As Proof!! That You And Ireland Are Buddies!!

But Agreed!! Peoples Personal Lives Is Out Of Bounds!! Doesn't Matter If They Are A Public Figure!!

This Also Explains Why Ireland Is So Stoic!!

He Has To Be!!

marino must of lost that endorsement for weight watchers. and wow is that mando? dude looks like hes pushing 330 bills

I have a nephew with autism and a niece with downs syndrome, but if my brothers suck at their jobs they get fired. ireland sucks at his job, it has nothing to do with his family, he should have been fired 2 years ago. That said, I think he is a terrific father.

Armando, did u ask Irescum if his momma's a hooka?

I'm sure most of the idiots on here will have a field day with this.

'See, he should be spending time at the Senior Bowl, rather than with his sick kids. No wonder he misses on his picks'.

Here they come....3,2,1......

..Armando. Good post. Around Christmas someone(I forget the blogger, I apoligize) suggested an exercise in which we had to say something positive about what Ireland had done while his time as GM here. I struggled to come up with much on the football side. I listed drafting a quarterback round 1(even though I was tough on Tanny, and disagreed with the pick. It was the right thing to do in principle)..But to me his biggest accomplishment, his most important work here has been his efforts with Autism.

My nephew has autism, so I understand the challenges my sister faces each day.(Actually I have no clue to be honest, and perhaps challenges is the wrong word) I have praise Ireland here for his foundation, and the work he does to help people understand, and maybe one day find a cure for this.

I would propose putting the web site up for donations. I think it would be a great way for the fans to show support(if they can) to something that is actually important.

Shula hit the nail on the head!

@10:58!

Somebody Is Mad, Sanchez Is Worst Than Henne!!

It's Cool, Fool!!

Just Don't Use The God's Name In Vain!!

Have Some Respect For Shula!! At Least!!

But I Know You're A Jets' Fan!! You People Have No Class!!

I've spoken/written harshly about Jeff Ireland before. Called him an incompetent bum and gotten worse from there. But it's because of the job he's done with the Dolphins, not the person he is.

However, I noticed something after the team fired Dan Henning. Ireland started trying trying very hard to acquire players who fit a modern offense, not the post-WWII offensive scheme that Parcells, Sparano, and Henning loved so much. That's how Matt Moore and Reggie Bush came to be.

The problem (if you want to call it that), is that he gives his coaches a lot of input into the players he acquires. Guys like John Jerry, Richie Incognito, Marc Columbo, and Daniel Thomas, those are Sparano players. And while Ireland fell on his sword when asked, Pat White was a Sparano player too.

The guys that the Dolphins drafted this year were clearly Philbin guys. Sure, there were misses, but there were a bunch of hits too. I'm willing to give Jeffy and Joe another year to retool this roster and build a winner before I start calling for heads.

dusty @11:03am...too funny!!

Tell John Jerry he could be in danger of losing his place on the team....LOL.

Doesn't change my opinion at all...

I still think he is a very good scout.

lol on jerry losing place

Nothing personal at all from me, it's strictly business. Lack of performance. The same thing that gets people fired everyday across the country.

very good scout,loooooooool

I'm sure he's a swell guy outside of the GM seat.
But in it, he's a schmuck.

Ireland is classless and incompetent at his job. How does he still have a job?

I'm sure most of the idiots on here will have a field day with this.

'See, he should be spending time at the Senior Bowl, rather than with his sick kids. No wonder he misses on his picks'.

Here they come....3,2,1......

Posted by: Craig M | January 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Here we go....

You are already beginning to label fans who view this from a different perspective as idiots...

Does the family side of Ireland change your perspective? NO, why would it?

Yep....there they are.

Have a good day fellas.

All of us take our kids to the park, Fire up the grill in the back yard with the family and watch the kids run around, chill out with our friends and loved ones with a cold one, but then come Monday morning we go back to work and if we do not do what we get paid to do we are given the pink slip. This is probably the most import year in Irelands career as a GM. We have the Draft picks and Cap. How does acquire the personel
needed on the O and D side of the ball. Over paying in FA, giving up draft picks and then have a knee blow out without decent back ups or rookies trying to get us to the next level???? Which direction does he go and where will that lead us.

His family situation is VERY sad but he's the worst GM in football.

I have no beef with a Dolphin exec, coach or player outside the game - it's none of my business. Power to them if they are stand-up folks.
As a fan, I care about the product on the field.
I have maintained, as had numerous fans, that Ireland has scouting skills, but ultimately not GM skills. He is terrific at scouring the dreggs, looking under rocks and finding unheralded folks who can play and some who have unique but untested potential. What he's not good at is fielding a total roster of top tier starters that are super-bowl, or even playoff caliber.
Ireland belongs in the catagory of the guy who is sent by the GM to go find some hidden gems. Not the GM himself.
That's how I see it.

Who cares about his personal life?

Craig Should've Just Said You.

Agreed. Calling Everyone With An Opinion A Idiot Is A Little Misguided!

Craig Is Right Though. You Have A Select Few! About 2 Clowns!! Who Come On Here With The Sole Purpose Of Defecating Everything Ireland!!

Look, many of you are very hard on Ireland. Your reasons for that, I assume, have to do with his work in bringing a winner to the Dolphins. But some of the criticism is personal and cruel.

Mando,

Give me a break....Why are you pulling on heart strings??? I can't speak for anyone else but for me it's nothing personal, it's strictly business.
The guy has failed to find enough talent through the draft & through FA to still have a job.

Bear in mind that regardless of a player's situation--he is judged solely on performance & production. Ireland has told hundreds of players that they are not good enough to be a Dolphin well guess what??? After 4 straight losing season he's not good enough at what he does to be making those decisions.

I haven't read one post yet, but I'm sure there are some stupid hate filled posts from the truly insane.

I question Ireland about his ability to find play makers and other football related issues and that's as far as it goes.

I don't tell him to go fire himself in public and I don't call him names like an 8 year old child would, like some in here do on a daily basis.

There is something mentally off about people who are not able to voice their displeasure regarding their football team without resorting to low class verbal assaults. People need to grow up, it's a f^%&ing game.

I have no beef with a Dolphin exec, coach or player outside the game - it's none of my business. Power to them if they are stand-up folks.
As a fan, I care about the product on the field.
I have maintained, as had numerous fans, that Ireland has scouting skills, but ultimately not GM skills. He is terrific at scouring the dreggs, looking under rocks and finding unheralded folks who can play and some who have unique but untested potential. What he's not good at is fielding a total roster of top tier starters that are super-bowl, or even playoff caliber.
Ireland belongs in the catagory of the guy who is sent by the GM to go find some hidden gems. Not the GM himself.
That's how I see it.

Posted by: JS_in_LA | January 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM
------------------------------------------------------

JS, post of the day.


armando how much$ did irecorn give u to write this.?
lol

"I haven't read one post yet, but I'm sure there are some stupid hate filled posts from the truly insane.

I question Ireland about his ability to find play makers and other football related issues and that's as far as it goes.

I don't tell him to go fire himself in public and I don't call him names like an 8 year old child would, like some in here do on a daily basis.

There is something mentally off about people who are not able to voice their displeasure regarding their football team without resorting to low class verbal assaults. People need to grow up, it's a f^%&ing game."

Phins78,

Great post & I couldn't agree more. People who call Ireland's house making death threats to him & his familty??? Really??? You people should be ashamed of yourselves. Seriously!!! Get a f#cking grip people.

where's ginn familia?
lol

Yes, he became the GM so he should be aware there are going to be personal attacks. And I'm pretty sure it's safe to say he was aware before taking the job.

But that misses the point completely . The point is, that it is people like that who make this world harder to live in. People who think personal attacks on a someone because you don't agree with the job he's done are warranted.

We all know they happen,,,,,no s^%t. They happen because there are a$%holes in this world intent on ruining it for everyone else. People who are selfish and inconsiderate. Add to that the fact they are getting mad because their own lives are so mundane they have this overwhelming need to live vicariously through another persons accomplishments. When they lose, the person loses because they can't brag about what that team/player did. That's when the screaming and name calling starts. It's pretty pathetic and the worst part is they will never see it in themselves.

78, who the f0ck r u 2 tell another someone how to root,cheer,feel,dress,talk about their team.?
lol

Hey Armando,

How about informing Ireland of our opinion on the FA and draft picks we have been talking about for a couple of weeks now. Maybe he will see the problems from a different perspective and get some insight of what the fans would like to see on the field and our frustrations of him not delivering a quality product. Maybe that would save his job. The lemon law does not only pertain to cars but all consumer products and we are the consumers buyin tickets for an inferior product.

Dude I just gave my opinion. That's what we do in here. You don't like it,, I don't care.

What exactly do you disagree with 2 watt? Are you saying I'm being too harsh on the fans that call Ireland names every day?

Shouldn't they have thicker skin? Shouldn't they expect not everyone is going to agree with their choices?

Irescum, the worst GM ever?

We all have families Armando so that really doesn't matter, all we care are about and how he will be judged is how the team does and he is a below average GM just like the team is below average. Now having said this the 7-9 years could have been playoff teams with an above QB or even perhaps an average QB , you know like 21 td passes 15 ints, with the defense we had and a pretty good run game it could have made a difference.So Jeff needs to figure out the most important position on the field and so far has been unable to do so however it would have been interesting to see what Moore could have done this pat year, he was 12th rated QB in the league the year before, just saying.

Is his mother a prostitute?

Irescum has more busts then Dolly Parton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When Ireland wasted 3 picks on D Thomas the draft room broke out in hysterical laughter.

He may be a great father and husband, that does not make him a great GM!

Heck, we could use a Dez Bryant or a Brandon Marshall right about now. BUT THATS OK WE HAVE EGGNEW!!!!!!!!

The Phins won't be signing anyone before free agency starts, meaning all of our players will probably test the open market without a contract offer from the team. The only one I see them possibly signing is Fasano because he may take the home team discount realizing there are no starting positions for him out there. But in saying that, he is also the free agent I would like to see go because it would force Ireland to make a big move , hopefully in the draft imo. I'm sick of the team simply feeling comfortable enough with Fasano to ignore the position.

We Need Playmakers, Not according to Pro Football Focus. He is far from the worst. You should go on the website and see. The worst draft in the last 10 years in all of football though, was the 2006 draft by the Phins (not an Ireland draft) according to Pro Football Focus. The site has a rating of all GM, you might want to look at it.

Has Ireland been fired yet?

"We all have families Armando so that really doesn't matter,"

I 'm pretty sure Armando was asking if your viewpoint of him as a man changed, not your take on his gm skills.

Why are so many missing this point? Armando is not saying he is a nice guy therefore you should ignore the job he has done with the team. He's saying he's a nice guy so calling him Irescum and other childish names is uncalled for.

Posted by: Fin 77 | January 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

. BPOTD!

We need the big receiver from Tennessee, the Tight End from Norte Dame and add 1 FA WR. Then we rolling!

Mike I just went over to pro football focus and used the search engine. I typed General Manager rankings and nothing came up. Do you have some key words we can use to find the info you talked about? Or a specific section to look in?

I would love to take a look at their numbers so I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you

Phins78, I don't Omar Kelly Tweeted out yesterday. I'll see if I can find it.

I do feel for the guy , that is a tough home life and I commend him for being a great father.
I dont think he has as bad as some people state here but it is clear he hasnt been very good.
The mediocre season is a result of mediocre drafting.
He has all the tools to make a huge improvement this yr.
LOOK JEFF,
REMOVE EVERYTHING THAT OUTDATED BAFOON (PARCELLS)WHO AINT WON SQUAT SINCE THE 80'S TOLD YOU AND BASE YOUR EVALS CONSIDERING HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED TODAY.
BITE THE BULLET ON LONG AND LET EVERYONE ELSE GO.
PLAYMAKERS
PLAYMAKERS
PLAYMAKERS

Found it, my error it's from the National Football Post

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Whos-been-doing-the-best-job-of-drafting.html

Just as I always backed Spielman, and was right about him being a good GM when EVERYBODY else thought he was crap, I feel the same about Ireland, and for the same reason...neither is going to be outworked or uninformed. Sooner or later those qualities are going to produce the desired results....and it's usually when they step out of whoever's shadow they started working under and blossom on their own. Like Spielman did when he got away from Wannstedt and like Ireland is doing now that he doesnt smell like tuna anymore. Given time and trust, these men will put together super bowl teams one day. No doubt about that in my mind.

BOYCOTT THE FINS UNTIL IRELAND IS FIRED! WE'RE TIRED OF THE LOSING! HELP MAKE A CHANGE!

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