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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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Jcb, The big receiver from Tennessee, you're joking right. Here's what he did, oh and his name is Kenny Britt, 45 catches for 589 yards. Hartline doubled that production and Hartline's a number 2.

The proof is in the pudding. 4 CONSECUTIVE LOSING SEASONS.....AND COUNTING!!

BOYCOTT IS ON, you might want to look at the National Football Post article.

Thanks Mike.

IT'S THE QB STUPID.

Much of the problems that the Phins have had can be traced to that 2006 draft. The worst draft in the last 10 yrs,

Jeff Irland = Bill Parcells puppet without a string = FLOP!!!!!!!!

Mike,


. You might want to look at 4 CONSECUTIVE LOSING SEASONS.....AND COUNTING!!

$flaco

Mike, you might want to form your own opinion, dumbo.

A few years ago, Packers fans had a fire ted thompson website. Amazing what winning can do for a guys image.

Ireland bought some good faith with the Ryan Tannehill selection. With substantial cap space, as well as 5 picks in the top 82, a slam dunk offseason, combined with a playoff berth can really start to empty the Ireland hate bandwagon.

armando, start a rumor on twatter that flaco want$ 2 play along side with the heat.
lol

One thing is personal/family business, the other is official Dolphins football. We are hardcore Fin fans down here in Miami. Nothing personal against him just that he sucks at putting together a winning team. People are not going to spend their hard earned bucks to see the Dolphins based on the fact that Ireland is a great family guy.
The truth is this guy has made some of the dumbest decisions, worst picks, highly questionable moves, as a GM, and he has got to go. We just don't trust him and this next off season will be another major disappointment.

Mike, tell that to the guys paying for the fire Ireland sign planes LOL

I have formed my own opinions, but I also try to educate myself, unlike you stupid.

Now if you want to name call I can do that to moron.

After that article I now think he is a really good GM.

Irescum couldnt find an elite QB if one sat in his lap...

Mike thanks, thaat was an interesting read. The 10 year numbers are understandable but I was shocked to see the past 5 year rankings.

The one thing I can say isnthat they seem to base some of the numbers of games started by the drafted players but that is a bit misleading. Players coming into a bad situation are more likely to start sometimes due to neccesity more than talent. If you don't already have good talent on the team rookies have a better chnce to play.

Hey Mike, if ya believe everything ya read I have some ice in Alaska to sell ya! HAHA

Yep you're right about that one. Too much has to do with players starting.

Duck Dynasty, stay in your fantasy world and don't try to get other opinions most stups in this world.

Duck Dynasty, you such a sense of humor.....not.

Mike people are too lazy to educate themselves, ignorance is bliss and this is the most blissful blog on the internet. Have a great day, thanks for the interesting posts.

You're welcome, have a great day.

The ones supporting Irescum are all JESTS fans.

Gee your funny too Zonk, you should get your own show.

PINS 78 AND GREG HAVE NO SHAME WITH THERE FILTHY LANGUGE,I WONDER WHEN ARMANMDO WILL BAN THEM?????
BY THE LOOK OF ARMANDO IN THE PICTURE PROBABLY AFTER LUNCH.

(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

Maybe, just maybe, Jeff Ireland will be my friend? Because I don't really have any. :(

Ireland was molded into a GM by Parcells and the mentality was bigger stronger players and the predictable pound the ball football. Now that he is on his own and is listening (not hearing as before) to what the HC wants, he will be more productive in a positive way as the GM. It's only my opinion.

Right on sticker. I believe he will have his best off-season this year.

We're with you Jeff...make us proud!

lol

This is why Ross is a bad owner: he can't separate the personal side from the business side. You don't keep bad employees just because they are good family people.

Mike, I did a similar study to this one on my own but using only the first 2 rounds (because these are the picks you are supposed to nail and i do have a bit of a life outide football) since 2008 (ireland's first draft). I too used games started and pro bowls as key metrics. However I also included bonus points for selecting players that play key positions (i.e QBs got the most points, then there were more points for WR, OT, CB, S, TE,DE then fewer points for interior players like C, G, ILB).

Conclusion ... Ireland wasn't as high as #2 like this study but he was more than adequate compared to his peers. He got a lot of quality mileage from the top draft picks during his regime. Problem was there wasn't an experienced QB on his team and the players on the team before 2008 were not impactful at all leading to below par team records.

Appreciated cocoajoe.
_______________

The Football Post statistics are fine, and they favor starting and playing, which is also fine, but not indicative of winning. You'll notice the tendancy of cellar teams ranked high last 5 years, and the playoff/SB teams ranked last.

As I said Ireland finds a lot of guys who can play. What he doesn't find is top-level talent, and guys who impact a team in such a way that we consistently win.

He has talent and merit at certain things, but not as the GM. A GM's helper?... yeah, maybe.

Everyone deals with family issues in life. I agree that Ireland has to deal with more than most of us. But he still get's paid very well to do a job. If he doesn't do his job correctly then he'll get fired just like the rest of us.
I wish the Ireland family well. It's very tough dealing with Autistic children.

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

Mark you hit, people that have a problem with the study should complain to the author of it not me. I did n't write it. But your right he has hit the most important position and that's why the team has been losing. This problem goes back 10 years, we haven't just had bad drafts recently, this goes back to Jimmy and Wanny's drafts.

Hey Mark should have said you hit IT.

Hey Armando,

In writing this blog are you telling the readers that Ireland has a good personal side, one that trumps the guy who asked a WR prospect if his Mom was a prostitute. Well I'm sure all of the delusional GM's on this site figured that out already. Armando, the guy in the factory who gets fired from his assembly line job has a family with children that get ill also. So does the guy selling used cars on a weekend to take care of his family. THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT JEFF IRELAND IS PAID A LOT OF MONEY TO HAVE EXPERTISE. KNOWING WHAT COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS HAVE TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TO THE NFL. WHEN HE SCREWS UP BIG TIME AND THE DOLPHINS HAVE MARGINAL PLAYERS WHO WERE DRAFTED EARLY IN THE DRAFT SYSTEM POST BILL PARCELLS. BUT THOSE DRAFTED PLAYER'S SKILLS JUST DO NOT TRANSFER TO THE NFL. THERE IS A PROBLEM! PERHAPS JEFF IS IN THE WRONG PROFESSION. PERHAPS HE SHOULD BE MANAGING THE FINANCE DEPT. OF A CAR DEALERSHIP MAKING $100K INSTEAD OF THE HEFTY INCOME AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MIAMI DOLPHINS. SOMEHOW JEFF KNOWS PEOPLE WHO HAVE INFLUENCE ON HIM STAYING EMPLOYED AS THE GM. THAT IS THE REALITY OF THIS WHOLE DOLPHIN GM FIASCO. THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH JEFF IRELAND THE FAMILY MAN WHO IS CAPABLE OF EARNING A GOOD LIVING TO TAKE CARE OF HIS FAMILY IN ANOTHER PROFESSION. RANDY MUELLER FORMER DOLPHIN GM SCREWED UP BUT WAS NOT GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO SCREW UP TWICE. PARCELLS TOOK OVER WITH IRELAND.....AND SO IT GOES.....

Mike, I think most of the people just equate losing with the GM or coach or whatever - a scapegoat develops. However, they don't often spend the time to think about why it's happening. Or if they think it's the GM - they don't try to find a way to compare the job this gm does to the other 31. No Ireland isn't the best, but the Dolphins stunk real hard before he got here and it all started the day Dave Wannstedt got hired. This may all turn around if Tannehill turns the corner and the team does some good things this offseason ... let's see

Armando,

I also have twins. One is perfectly fine & the other has developmental delays. He just turned 3 & still is unable to speak. He babbles & tries but, it's hard for him.

He isn't autistic but, he is delayed. He's on the autism spectrum because of his language & some other delays.

That would have NOTHING to do with grading me on how I perform my duties at my job. What is this a pity party?

If anyone can relate to what the Ireland's deal with with their twins on a daily basis, I CAN. However, that is not an excuse for me to be looked at in a different light because of the home difficulties.

We're paid to do our jobs & the fact of the matter is, Ireland hasn't done his very well.

I notice a lot of credit in Ireland's corner for picking a QB 1st round with starting and maybe star potential.
Well take a look at his pool to pick from.

Luck, Griffin III, Tannehill, Weeden, Wilson, Foles, Cousins.

Any team could've picked up a starting QB with star potential all the way into the 4th round.

Terrific QB draft, and all the GMs who picked these guys get credit for being geniuses.

Seems like he couldn't miss to me. And we might have been able to pick up another star top round, and still found our QB later. So I don't see how it balances or erases the other poorer decisions.

For The Sake Of Removing Argument , Let Say We Do Judge Ireland By The Last 2 Drafts:

2011

This was the worst draft since "Parcells" 2008 draft. From 2008's draft only one pick currently remains on the team, Jake Long, and he could be gone this offseason.

2011, mirrors this because Mike Pouncey could be the only remaining pick from this draft. Besides Pouncey, only Hartline and Sean Smith remain. Both or one of them could walk this season.

However, 2012, could be Ireland's best work to date. Tannehill, Martin, Vernon, Miller, Matthews. All look like contributors or starters well into the future. Verdict's still out on Egnew, but Ireland claims he will be much better this season, we'll see.

So if we credit the last 2 drafts to Ireland's expense, I grade 2011 as disastrous save for Mike Pouncey, and a solid B for 2012's draft.

This offseason needs be no lower than a solid B grade too if this franchise is to successfully move forward. Football is a business and has absolutely nothing to do with Ireland's family nor personal life.

As harsh as this business can be, Ireland knows exactly what he signed up for beginning in 2008. If not, when he fails he'll wish he had.

Mando, couple of problems with your puff piece (not on the merits, on the forum). On the merits, you're absolutely right. Ireland (for all I've read) is a pretty good guy. I ascertained that when I read how he let Ricky Williams stay at his house (who was between houses or something). Really stand-up thing to do. And even on Hard Knocks, the guy isn't the Devil. A bit arrogant, but who isn't in that business (not many). And the love for his family is commendable.

My issue is bringing it to THIS forum, is a bit like going to a strip club and asking patrons to invest in the daily lives of the strippers.

People here rip Ireland exactly BECAUSE they have no connection to him. Trust and believe, many here who spew the most hateful rhetoric would NEVER say it to Ireland's face, because most people aren't that mean. Sure, behind a handle, never being seen, not meeting anyone in person, it's EASY not to have a personal investment in your topic. But if you were a Dolphins fan, and a neighbor of Ireland, you'd have that social connection, that even if you thought he was doing a horrible job, would force you to tone it down.

So I just don't think those that "hate" Ireland for his work as GM will give 2 sh*ts if he's a great father or husband or human being. Compassion and empathy are in short supply in this world today (maybe it's always been so).

But as far as personal attacks, to me that's out-of-bounds no matter who it is (even you Mando).


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

No one in their right mind would put their work ahead of their family.

You continue to act like an as*hole & post like one. Don't you EVER get tired of it? Stop acting like an immature 4th grader!

Messed up, 2011 draft everyone could be gone except Pouncey. Here's the 2011 draft:

Pouncey
Thomas
Gates
Clay
Kearse
Jimmy Wilson

Clay and Kearse already gone. Thomas and Clay can soon be gone. Jimmy Wilson regressed last season.

Excellent article Mando! Thanks for introducing us to the personal element of Jeff Ireland.

Posted by: FYI | January 30, 2013 at 01:43 PM

LOL!!!!!!! Glad to see I'm not the only 1! I'm trying to be nicer today which is why I let the original comment go unshredded!

JS, I give Ireland ALL THE CREDIT IN THE WORLD for picking a 1st-round QB. PERIOD! Even if he was a bust (like Jamarcus Russell). Not ONE GM for this team has done that in 30 years. THIRTY! That's amazing, and disgusting. Most important position in any sport on Earth. And we went THAT long without taking a chance on hitting on a jackpot. It's actually an embarrassing indictment of what Ireland has had to clean up after. Heck, there's some posters here who STILL didn't want him to get a 1st-rd QB THIS year. There are still some who believe you can do just as well with a 2nd, 3rd, later round talent as 1st-round at the QB position today. Yeah, they'll throw up Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, maybe Colin Kaepernick. But they will overlook the dozens of other QBs who were 1st-rd talents who (coincidentally) are on the most elite teams in the league.

It's a discussion I remember having probably a million times with people. It's why we drafted Jake Long, put him in front of bozos for 5 years, so that he's had 1 winning Season as a Dolphin, and might be off the team next Season (and wasted his elite talent if that happens). Thinking Chad Henne was "cheaper" yet somehow just as good as the other QB taken before him that year. That was the thinking here for a LONG time. Skimping on the QB position. It's why we haven't won a Playoff game in a decade.

And Ireland broke the cycle. I will ALWAYS love him for that!

DC,

Football is a business. Even the attacks on Ireland in this blog isnt personal. Dolfans are expressing their strong love for their team. If it appears the team isnt headed in the right direction in their eye. They have a "right" to voice their displeasure.

America isnt a "communist block nation". Nothing said here is a personal attack on Ireland nor his family. Its only about how some here veiw in how he's doing his job. Which is to bring the personnel to build this franchise into a winner.

End of story!

I agree YG. No one gives a rats *ss about Irelands family life. It'd be a safe bet to think a majority of fans didn't even know a shred of his family life.

We are football fans. Dolphin Fans! Who cares about Ireland's wife, kids etc? All I or anyone should care about is how he is helpong this football team.

And by any objective measure, there is PLENTY OF ROOM for displeasure.

LOL/DB/YG4E/FLIPPER, WHY DO YOU HAVE SO MANY NAMES,AND WHY DO YOU TALK TO THEM LIKE THERE OTHER PEOPLE?,MAYBE OSCAR CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR MULTIBLE PERSONALITYS?

(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

the 49ers would seek to send Smith to a new team as quickly as possible. That would make an outright release unnecessary.

While Smith has often been typecast as a West Coast-style passer, NFL personnel insiders remember him successfully running Urban Meyer’s high-powered spread offense as a college phenom at Utah.

“Everyone sees upside in Alex Smith,” NFL executive Jeff Ireland told FOXSports.com. “And he’s handled himself like a professional with the Kaepernick situation.”
Tannehenne on the outgoing bus?

Aloco, Ask armando if Im YG, instead of me.

Email him & ask him. Do it!

Are you afraid he'll tell you you're wrong as usual?

P.S. You do seem as dumb as your posts indicate.

As long as every attack on Ireland is placed into "football text", Im 100% fine with it. Even when some here say "Irescum", Im fine with that because it isnt personal its an attack on his ability to run a franchise.

Until this franchise becomes a "consistent winner". Any attacks of a football nature on anyone employed by the Dolphins is in "full play". Somebody has to get this right. Especially those being "well paid" to do so.

DC, I think the person you pick for the position has a lot more weight than simply picking a position in a particular round. But I understand your argument and agree in part.
However, if we had drafted a top receiver, or DE or linebacker or whoever in the first, and got Russell Wilson later, would you be complaining? Wouldn't you say this Ireland guy is a genius for seeing that opportunity?
But i also wanted him to slect a QB 1st or 2nd round, but I also had a particular notion on who those picks should be. The right guy is everything. I wasn't sold on Tannehill at all, and am still hesitant. But he's better than my fears had him, but he's not better YET than a couple of the QBs drafted after him. YET: key word.
SO we'll see. But credit to Ireland for Tannehill, to me, is still waiting for confimration the next few seasons.

YG, I have no problem with people who don't think Ireland did a good job and want to call him out on it. But some people here make it sound like he's the Devil. They keep going on and on about the Dez Bryant incident. Last I checked, Dez was drafted in the 1st round, makes MILLIONS of dollars a year, and is a star. So how exactly did that hurt Dez? I don't ever hear him saying Ireland is the worst person in the world. Do you?

I don't think Ireland is MALICIOUSLY trying to hurt the team. He's doing the best he can. Has it been good enough, no! I'm FINE with people who think he should be fired. I'm fine with them saying he doesn't know anything about putting a football team together. Fans who pay money to support their team (including paying for the stadium through taxes) have a RIGHT to judge based on performance.

But that's different than attacking someone's humanity or family, etc. I agree, not everyone here does that. But some do. And that goes too far.

LOL, YOU MAY NOT EVEN KNOW THAT YOUR YG/YG4E/FLIPER BREED..
PLESE SEEK OSCAR FO HELP,BUT CALL HIM EARLY MORNING(AROND 7 AM), CAUSE HE SARTS TO DRINK AT 9AM.

(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

Armando,

Since Aloco the Cowardly brain dead blogger is out here making false accusations & won't ask you to verify it, allow me.

CAN YOU PLEASE VERIFY WHETHER YG & LOL ARE THE SAME BLOGGER?

Break it to him gently please!

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