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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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LOL,

Other people? Yeah cause I forgot NOBODY here posts under multi-names. I'm sure these are all REAL people. Every single one of them.

If they do in fact read, I'm sure they'll know you for the clown you really are. If they don't, they'll find out really soon.

Later...

"All of the players you mentioned except for Matt Roth and Jason Allen were picked by the Ireland/Parcells regime. I think Parcells was the one that set this team back big time more than any other person taking the two billionaire's money. (Huizenga and Ross)"

Promichael,

Don't forget Ginn. There were some terrible drafts before Tuna arrived. Tuna certainly didn't help but the REALLY good teams in the NFL have been building their teams with CRITICAL pieces for more than five off seasons. Tuna & Parcells had no foundation. Just nothing here to build off of.

Nate Jones did have his moments but I think the best nickel corner we had in my time here was Cousins and Wannstedt refused to pay him. That trio of Surtain, Madison, and Cousins was awesome. But then again, I was pretty good back then too - I think I may have been in my mid 20s ... sigh

Anyway...corner is a tough position to fill and often you pay for little return it seems

Certainly Parcells set us back the most by his hiring of Sparano as HC.

Terell Buckley was our best nickel

Craig Moron,

Now, you're trying to use "who cares" on me? LOL You're using my lines now? How pathetic! You keep asking so lemme answer you.

Who cares? YOU DO!

Grow a pair, get some new material & come back for more trashing of your ridiculous posts. I look forward to it.

Maybe Ireland will wind up making a trade for a WR or a CB before the draft.

Playmakers, that's true. We were in expansion team in 2007 because Wannstedt did nothing but live off JJ's drafts and the defense got so expensive that we couldn't add any offense. Other than McMichael, Carey, and Chambers ... Wannstedt drafted NOTHING in all his years. Still feeling the effects but those days should be over soon.

Sure thing bud....'who cares'.

I know the signing didn't work out but that's the going rate for competent 2nd corners on the market. It's actually cheap. I think we were paying benny sapp almost $4m. These fukkkkers are expensive and none can do the job.

Mark,

They cost a fortune & they still can't play? Hmmmm....I think that sums it up very well.

Buckley was a good one too. I also remember being in Buffalo to see him return a pick 6 in Jim Kelly's final year to seal a victory. best live moment at a game ever for me. JJ's first year and the first game I ever saw live. Good times ...

For some odd reason I think LOL and Aloco = YG.


LOL,

Other people? Yeah cause I forgot NOBODY here posts under multi-names. I'm sure these are all REAL people. Every single one of them.

If they do in fact read, I'm sure they'll know you for the clown you really are. If they don't, they'll find out really soon.

Later...

Posted by: Craig M | January 30, 2013 at 04:52 PM

Enough moron! everyone saw today what an insensitive, classless lowlife you really are.

That was enough to make my afternoon.

Again with the lack of integrity. If you say you're leaving then LEAVE!

BE A MAN AND BACK UP WHAT YOU SAY! You say I have to have the spotlight? Is that why you say you're leaving & never do? because you keep posting & checking to see what people say about you?

Are you sure it isn't about you, BUD? LOL beat it!

bang for the buck, you might be right in filling the roster with corners in the draft and some solid but unspectacular vets. I mean, I can't name any corners on baltimore besides Webb and he wasn't even playing against New England as they did a great job in minimizing NE's short pass game. There's cary williams but I just know the name, don;t actually know how good he is.

Personal attacks are out-of-bounds for me! Leave the man's family alone! Criticize his decisions that affect the team, but not the man.

And, those that do are ignorant morons...

Craig M tell us again how Irelands goal is to win the division and not the SB.

Very good read on nfl.com by Daniel Jeremiah on the construction of the Ravens. Major point about not picking players for need sake only. One habit Ireland has had is picking for need. Our team needs pieces here amd there, so hopefully we are drafting impact players, regardless of position.

On the football side of things...

I'm somewhat concerned that most of out good players that are up for free agency this year are pricing themselves out of a Miami Dolphin uniform. Jake Long wants $10 million a year? Reggie Bush expects $5 million? Maybe there's more to this whole concussion thing than meets the eye. If they're all about the money and getting paid, let them walk...

We have draft picks and cap money. No hometown discounts...see ya!

And, that goes for ALL of Miami's FA players!

Tracy474,

If you dont think that Reggie Bush is a bargain at $5 million a year, well, that's only your opinion.

Bush played the last two seasons for us at $4.5 million per year. I feel, thinking that not resigning Bush at an meezly extra $500,000 per season, is utterly ridiculous.

Bush is the only legit game changer on our roster. At any time Bush has the ball in his hands he's a legit threat to go all the way. In what universe would you not resign Bush for only $500,000 per season?

Can you find another player as dangerous as Bush for the $500,000 youre saving by allowing Bush to walk? I didnt think so.

In today's nfl $500,000 doesnt even buy a decent "acorn". So why the hell wouldnt you resign Bush at an extra $500,000 a season, because he's black?

Just playing around with the race card, but, I still wonder where some posters come up with some of the stuff that's posted. My cut of poin with Bush would be at $6 million.

If Bush resigned at $5 million, Im sure Ireland himself, would be doing backhand cartwheels in celebration. LOL...

Let's face it, it's one thing to discuss what player you want and why, but this conversation how much each player is worth is beyond ridiculous. Nobody here has a clue about how the negotiations and bidding wards go.

In most cases you overpay to get what you want, it's just the way it is. If any GM took the advice being spouted here they would end up with no players on the roster!

You sure can tell who the pathetic posters are on this article. Sitting behind a keyboard throwing stones to make themselves feel superior but just pathetic individuals.

Also, as far as the "hometown discount" thing:

No player has an "obligation" to do this. GM's have an opportunity to get "the hometown discount" by resigning these players "in season" or at the end of the previous season before a player's fa season begins.

This is when you get your "hometown discount". As a gm, sometimes you roll the dice and win, sometimes you also lose. Once the gm rolls those dices and loses, those players are under no obligation "legally nor morally" to supply that gm with a "hometown discount".

It's now only: "LET'S PLAY BALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You sure can tell who the pathetic posters are on this article. Sitting behind a keyboard throwing stones to make themselves feel superior but just pathetic individuals.

Posted by: morphin | January 30, 2013 at 06:00 PM

Hmm........

Is this why you use the troll name morphin? Not only do you hide behind the "keyboard". You also hide behind "an alias".

Is this your way of feeling "superior"?

Posted by: morphin | January 30, 2013 at 06:00 PM

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.........

Pot meet kettle! LOL...

Free agency might be good for the players as businessmen, it is not really good for the sport. The unseen sport is strategic momey management, creatively maintaining a winner withint the limits of the budget you have to work with.

If you want to really judge who the good coaches and GM's are, it would take a fixed salary league...each position has a fixed salary based on years in the league.

Then you'd see who can coach and and who can pick players, rather than who can best run a salary cap merry go round.

Posted by: Theo | January 30, 2013 at 06:08 PM

Yes'em masta'! You shouldnt be allowed to be employed by whom "you choose" to be employed by either.

Is this an in favor of slavery, slave state, vote? You are aware the North won right? LOL....

No free agency = Runaway slave = Plantation mentality

What do you think brought about free agency anyway? LOL...

Without free agency all that we have is "Platation Mentality".

You cant leave the plantation unless the masta' "sell you"(trade or cut free). LOL...

A contracted employee is no more than an "indentured servant". Working an X amount of time then gaining the right to freedom.

Indentured servitude is not a new practice and is as old as slavery itself. Not being allowed to leave your place of servitude ever, is called slavery, plain and simple.

Free agency just started (for real) and the Pats get to sign Armond Armstead. Played in Canada last yrs, but this guy is one solid end/dt. He does have some issues with some heart problems, but was clear to play and the dolphins know about him when he worked for the team. This guy is first round material even if you use him on 60% of the def snaps.. Great move by a team with 30 mil less in cap space.

Without free agency many gm's would treat players with gross disrespect, and pay them only their sense of value, not market value.

This is why free agency began in the first place people.

Plus without fa, there would be gross collusion by all of the owners to keep market value at absolute "bottom feeder" levels. The owners would be the only real profiteers of a mega-billion dollar business.

Before fa, a player making $1,000,000 a year was absolutely unheard of. But the owners still greatly profitted.

I'm not critical of Jeff Ireland the family-man, I am critical of Jeff Ireland the GM. If his family demands cloud his decision making as a GM, he needs to step aside. In reality, he got the biggest Christmas gift of all, another shot. While I don't agree he deserves it, he has to win BIG this off-season. If not, we can only hope Ross has the vision to fire him.

Wow YG now posting since 9am this morning, Dude can you beat your record of 15 hours?, Can you beat Odindouches 33 hour?, I'll check back at midnight to see if you broke your old record an check back at 6pm tommarrow to see if yo broke odinstanks 33 hour mark., Come on dude I think you can do it.

Bottomline:

FA forces owners to fairly share the profits.

Salary Cap is devised to try and keep a "level playing field" between the smaller and larger market teams.

First let me say I have thrown no stones at Ireland based on his personal life. It's obviously comendable what he's doing for his family and folks with autism.

Some of us do sometimes forget that folks could have issues we don't even know about and sometimes we don't realize how good we've actually got it.

As far as football, it is what it is and it is a business. Its a pretty brutal business if your not winning. If you to continue to lose for example noone in the organization would have a job. The team would have to move and the community would lose alot of charitable contributions.

The GM of football operations should be held accountable for wins and losses. Especially one who's been granted total control.

Like I've said before I hope Jeff Ireland and his family are still apart of the Dolphins organization next year and years to come. That would mean we've gotten back to the business of returning this franchise to the world class organization it use to be.

Damn I ran everyone off the blog! Everyone must have went to dinner...surely i'm not that boring.

I believe it could be done that way also. Fill in our needs in FA then take those huge talents in the 1st and 2nd rounds.

My was missed point entirely. It had nothing to do with human rights or fairness. Nor was I suggesting how it should be. Of course I understand and support equal opportunity.

Let's not go off the deep end reading too much into it.

My point was that business ramifications dictate far more than most realize. To accurately assess the quality of a GM/HC, you would need to remove the business element entirely out of the picture. No trading, no cap, only the draft. I pose it as a laboratory experiment, not as a suggestion that should be followed.

In today's league a team may be great at picking talent and great at coaching, but without being an artist in managing the financial side of it, you will never be able hold enough good players together long enough to win anything.

-My point was missed...

Go Jeff you are the man

Go get some players jeff

Do I Have To Explain To You Clowns!!

How Ireland!! Is A Even BETTER GM!! Than He Is A Father!!

Starting With The As'CLOWN!! Talking About The 2011 Draft!!

Pouncey, D.Thomas, Clay, and Wilson Will Still Be Here For The Next Couple Seasons!!

You Are The Main One Talking Cap!!

All Those Players Make Change For The Next 2-3 Years! Thomas Doesn't See $1M for The Next 3 Years! Clay and Wilson Make Less Than $500k Each!! For The Next Couple Seasons!!

How Many Ireland Players Still In The NFL?

More Than 50% Right!!

Think About That For A Second!!

Manti teo best friend is his girlfriend except she's a boy........

Jeff for president

Truly, 3rd round and beyond is reaching for It.

Ashly Judd is mante teo new girlfriend

Boy Matt Barkley really screwed himself big time

I am so glad we drafted ryan last year

Nj appears to be angry as hell.


In today's league a team may be great at picking talent and great at coaching, but without being an artist in managing the financial side of it, you will never be able hold enough good players together long enough to win anything.

Posted by: Theo | January 30, 2013 at 06:59 PM

Theo,

"League Parity", exactly what the "salary cap" is all about. League parity "policies in" discouraging against "team dynasties". As well as "larger market teams" having a distinct advantage over "smaller market teams" when it comes to the acquisition of talent.

Professional Sports period have "grandfathered to policy" discouraging keeping all talent in place, by making it "infeasible".

True,a gm has to be an artist on the financial side of things, to keep as much of that talent together as the "salary cap" will allow. He definitely needs to be "financially clever".

Clown!!

L.Miller Makes Less Than $500k For Each Of The Next 3 SEASONS!!

And I Bet L.Miller Or Whomever Is The Dolphins Lead Back Next Season!! Gains Over 1200 Yds!!

And Probably Will Scores More Than 10 TD's!!

L.Miller, D.Thomas, And J.Grey Will Cost The Fins Less Than $1M Combined Next Season!!

Add In A M.Lattimore or Another Late Pick Rookie! Less Than $1.5 For 4 RB's!!

Reggie Bush Is Expendable!!

Right Now! The Fins Major Need Is WR and CB!

Followed By Jake If He Is Let Go!!

Sorry Guys Should have said "Lord And Taylors".

Posted by: ( . ) ( . ) MaGee | January 30, 2013 at 04:09 PM

Dude, Lord and taylors?Is'nt where they sell top end dresses?? Dude Are you a chick?

Posted by: The Truth.Com | January 30, 2013 at 04:20 PM

Score More Than 10 TD'S!!

Don't get hardly any time to post due to job, family, etc., but do still read the blog. I agree personal remarks are not constructive but can probably be traced to either a very frustrated or very juvenile poster. The fact is Ireland has done a not horrible but inarguably below average job with the Dolphins. Whether he is a good guy or not isn't at issue. My grandpa was a good guy but I wouldn't have wanted him to run the Dolphins either.

And I won't cry for Ireland because a few people have called him names in his short tenure with the Fins. He knew what comes with such a public job. He has made more as a Dolphin than most individuals will make in two lifetimes. Frankly, I doubt most fans care if the guy has heads in his freezer so long as he returns the Dolphins to the champions they once were. Obviously I'm being silly there but you get the point.


Posted by: The Leader Of The IRA | January 30, 2013 at 07:31 PM

DEAR ODIN-ASSI,

CLAY shows no "real consistency". D-THOMAS showed more proness to injury and lack of big-rb power than anything else he's proven thus far.

JIMMY WILSON REGRESSED BIG TIME LAST YEAR. OR DID YOU HAVE YOUR HEAD UP YOUR ODI-ASSI IN 2012?

ODI-ASSI, neither Clay, Thomas, nor Jimmy Wilson are "locks to be on the roster by regular season this year. Not if its based soley on 2012.

The first thing that comes to camp that plays any of thier positions, even if slightly better, Clay, Thomas, and Wilson would be sent packing faster than you can say:

ODI-ASSI! LOL....

ODI-ASSI,

Youre talking rookies, youre far behind the conversation. Exactly why, youre the:

ODI-ASSI! LOL...

And I Bet L.Miller Or Whomever Is The Dolphins Lead Back Next Season!! Gains Over 1200 Yds!!

And Probably Will Scores More Than 10 TD's!!

Posted by: The Leader Of The IRA | January 30, 2013 at 07:57 PM

ODI-ASSI,

YOU WOULD ACTUALLY BET THAT FOOL? VEGAS IS WAITING IDIOT! LOL...

ODDI-ASSI,

WHERE ARE YOU? LOL...

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