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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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Incase you noticed we have a smart new coach and a rookie qb as an emerging star

Rumors have quietly surfaced that Matt Ryan is considering a switch to politics, and may very well be the Republican front runner for the next presidential election.

Fins up go miami

Tannehill is "growing" like Henne did.

I can't wait till march 12th

A random poll of 101 young beautiful women on Miami Beach were asked who would be there ultimate dream date. They all answered Matty Icicle.

Tannehill is way better than henne ever was

The South Florida Tourist Association is now saying tourism would have been up well over 700% had we drafted Matty IceBoy.

Matty ice should have been that pick not jake

Last Sunday a topless walk was sponsored to initiate a trade for Matty Icefeld. 812,989 women showed up teets to the wind for the walk.

The big tuna is god right........NOT

The US institute of MetaPhysical Research has just been awarded a 900 billion dollar grant to bring Van Gogh back from the dead so he can paint Matt Boy Of Wonder's portrait.

Nj--

Please tell me about Piscataway and Cinnaminson. Also, Nutley.

Hard knocks confirmed Ireland was the giant D-bag I believed him to be. If he was a nice guy that was just bad at his job I wouldn't have near the disdain. But he's arrogant, has the personality of an entitled teenager, and is simply awful at his job.

I have no empathy for him and just want him fired. Hire a football nerd to be GM, not a frat boy with a low football IQ.

Vacuum sealed canisters of Matty Ice's fart air have been selling at an alarming rate in South Florida.

They all suck

I am jealous of Matt Ryan

With no room for another face on Mt Rushmore, the Congress will have to think long and hard about which face to remove in order to make room for the face of the American of the millennium, Matty IceNut

There is new evidence unfolding that shows Shakespeare may have indeed traveled briefly into the future, and that all his sonnets of love were inspired by Matty Laces.

Sources intimately close to Falcons QB Matty IceWonder, have confirmed that he has not needed to use the bathroom once in his entire life, which have some scientists questioning if he may be an extra terrestrial.

Mike Smith, coach of the Atlanta Falcons, has new footage of Matt Ryan during practice throwing footballs straight up to the sky, and they never come back down.

I heard Ireland's mother cleans the toilets at club LIV.

Odin=Ireland's momma.

Ok Armando
FIRELAND is a great family man, but really bad GM. 150 or 175 days out of the year scouting, and this is what he has drafted for the PHINS. That in its self translate a dismissal , can't you see Mando that JI is a poor talent evaluator. No only that but picking already NFL veterans he still can't get it right!
Great story Mando my heart bleeds for him! LOL. BUT doesn't deserve the GM position for this team. Only for Wayne Huizenga GM.

No need for personal cracks..every family out there has at least one "issue" to deal with..so that would be the pot calling the kettle black...for lack of a better term.

He still needs to get canned though...

My perspective on Jeff Ireland has not changed. My dissatisfaction comes strictly from a performance or production stand point. How can I judge him as a person if I am only exposed to fragments and skewed snapshots of who he is? Sure he faces challenges that all people face . . . this thing called life. On a personal basis I wish he and his family the best. From a General Manager viewpoint he has to produce or suffer the consequences.

More likely to continue criticism of his ineptitude, less likely to make personal cracks.


Let Ross give him a huge severance package so he can care for his family & be gone from the front office.

YG,

Where Do I Start?

For D.Thomas To Get Cut!! He Would Have To Be The 4th Worst RB! On The Team!!

Plain And Simple!!

That Would Also Mean!!

Ireland, Not Only Would Have Replaced!! D.Thomas!! But R.Bush With 2 RB's That Are Better!! And Not Including Lamar Smith!!

NOT BAD!!

So That Would Mean!! Ireland Would've Drafted!! E.Lacy! And M.Lattimore!! In The Same Draft!! To Team Up With! L.Miller!

Again!! That Is Fantasy Land!!

Dashi Lives In Reality!!

And Reality! Is For What The Fins Are Paying! D.Thomas And Clay! They Will Let Them Play Out Their Rookie Contracts!! Like Hartline!

Clay Will Be Cheaper To Keep! Than J.Lane!! For Then Next Couple Seasons!

The Same Thing With Egnew!!

Even If It Is For Depth!! You Try And Keep Your Rookies 2-3 Years! Before You Make A Decision!! Even The Bad Ones!!

The Point Is To Replace Them With Somebody Better!! But Keep Cheap Developing Players On Your Roster!!

BUILD THRU THE DRAFT!!

Wouldn't It Be Great! If Ireland Answers The Questions With Draft Picks! And Doesn't Spend All The Money On Free Agents!! So We Can Have The Same Chance Again, Next Year!!

Even On The Jake Long Situation!

The Fins Can Let Jake Walk!! But That Would Mean!! We Expect A Draft Pick At RT! In The Mid Rounds! Or A LT! In The First!

Sign! Jake! And Let Us Answer Our Questions! With Draft Picks!!

Dashi = Odindouche = monkey boy

DASHI HAVE OLIVE NOUGAT CUBA DRUM CAT!

There's only 1 poster left here besides myself. Shame.

Well.... at least Dashi has a sense of humor. At the end of the day. We all lovev the same team.

This used to be a good Blog and got really rocking about this Time. Don't really know what happened.

The quality(and of course quantity) of the Posters here has decreased sharply(except for myself). They don't know Football and have 0 Imagination.

Armando :
We all have problems__some small ones and some big ones.. The point I'm trying to make is Ireland has to win the Jackpot, the lottery, the once in a lifetime draft pick (Marino)! Is Ireland responsibility to produce that magic master key to finally open that gate, S.Ross was right in going after Harbaugh, but Ross did not sign, seal and deliver .

Good, Bubbles, good.

Oscar, is it true, that you and Jeff Ireland play naked chess?

You see? In the Past somebody here would have told me, - Fukkkk you, Oscar! You have been dome$ticated.

You see what I mean? Cheesee jokes with absolutely no imagination.

Yes, bubbles. Bubbles muy bueno. Me gusta bubbles mucho.

Mis esposa es un CEBOLLA de mariscos flacos! Mi nombre en espanol es "Charles Billingsworth" pero en Ingles es "Gustavo Albondigas."

SENOR OSCAR CANOSA: PLEASE ACOMPANY ME TO PUBLIX TO PURCHASE SQUIRREL MEAT SANDWICHES AND THEN WE SHALL MAKE SNO-CONES FOR JESUS.

Broder!

Let's talk about Sex. I know some pretty good Stories.

Andy and the river rats,
My friend Andy had spotted a "hole", a place where a woman masturbated every night and where she could be seen from. This was near the Miami River and Andy had parked himself in a phone booth there, to observe. While the woman was going at it, Andy did too. However, the river rats had managed to crawl into the booth and were baring their fangs at Andy. However, Andy was steadfast and managed to finish his duty and at the same time as the woman did. Great!

You didn't like it.

oscar = sick rodent

Its a shame that Ireland's children are afflicted with autism. He's a good man to stand by his wife and kids & do all he can to help them. Thats what good Fathers/Husbands do. I respect him for that.
Good GMs position the teams they are in charge of for consistent playoff appearances & possible SuperBowl Championships. They are mutually exclusive. Jeff Ireland is a good Father/Husband & a horrible NFL executive. The teams he has 'led' have been sub .500 each & every year he has been in his lead position. People can say he has done OK drafting because some favorable % of his draft picks are still on the team, but they are lesser players on a bad team - which means they wouldn't be on the roster of a better team - thats where he has failed us as fans & the organization. I wish he & his family nothing but the best. I do wish he'd find employment elsewhere.

IF ANYONE THINKS ADDING BRANDON MARSHALL AND REGGIE BUSH SHOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH FOR HENNE HAS OTHER ISSUES ALL TOGETHER.

THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE START NOT THE END.

I have nothing personally against Ireland. He is a GM who found a job with the Dolphins, and found two owners willing to pay him for that job. Granted, he's had a questionable tenure with the Dolphins, and the only winning team came when Chad Pennington fell out of the sky - personally I don't dislike him.

Now, do I question him professionally? Of course. I wonder how he still has a job. Ross must see something in the guy. I think right now he's coming into a dream situation for a GM - loads of cap space and a bunch of picks at the top half of the draft.

Do I think he can turn it around? Of course - look at Bellichick - he was a run of the mill head coach and now his bust is going to Canton.

The NFL is full of stories about guys who struggled through adversity and came out the other end fine. It's also full of stories of great promise that never surfaces. So, in all fairness - Ireland gets this off-season to finally fix the ship. The great thing for Dolphins fans, is we win either way. We either get a team we deserve, or we get a new GM.

JEFF BEING THERE FOR HIS FAMILY SHOULDN't EARN HIM ANY BROWNIE POINTS.

HE's DOING WHAT EVERY MAN WHO HAS A FAMILY IS DOING OR HAS DONE.

WE NEED PLAY MAKERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL.

ABOUT 5 ON THE D.

4 ON THE O UNLESS BUSH LEAVES THAN IT's 5.

HARTLINE IS A BUM. HE COULDN't BREAK A PLAY OPEN IF THE CB HAD NO ARMS.

BESS IS A BUM. QUICK AS A RABBIT SLOW AS A TURTLE.

FASANO IS A BUM. WOULDN't EVEN BE IN TOP 10 AS A BACK-UP.

CLAY SHOWS PROMISE.

BUSH SHOULD GET RESIGNED. PUT HIM AT WR AND HE BECOMES OUR BEST WR ON THE TEAM.

WE ARE BRINGING FIST TO GUN FIGHTS.
LOL

THAT's SAD BUT PRETTY TRUE,

What I see on many of the blogs is unfounded character bashing of Jeff Ireland. If you don't like the job he's doing, fine it's okay to criticize, but there is no need to name call or defame his character that has nothing to do with this job. We must remember whether it's Jeff Ireland or anyone else, these are people with feelings, just trying to make a living like everyone else. BTW, I enjoyed your column. Ireland sounds like a great guy and family man, and I have great respect for how he has handled his situation. I wish only the best for him. I hope he have success with the Dolphins or somewhere else, but preferably the Dolphins.

Thanks to Mike yesterday for the National Football Post article. It dovetails with Armando's blog on JI.
http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Whos-been-doing-the-best-job-of-drafting.html

The author of the piece wanted to ascertain what teams had been doing the best job of drafting over a period of years, suggesting that perception wasn't reality. Among the conclusions: the Dolphins have had the 2nd best draft ranking over the last 5 cumulative years. Of course, most here will 1) react incredulously; 2) debate; 3) deny that point- even if Jeff Ireland wasn't involved. (Read the article to see the parameters developed for his research.)

How ever the author arrived at his conclusion, the facts remain: from the years 2008-2012, the Dolphins are tied at #2 with the Texans, Patriots & Ravens, each with 33 players they drafted still active in the NFL, while the Eagles bested everybody at 37. During that 5 year span the Eagles had a total of 51 picks; the Pats 47; the Dolphins 41; the Texans 40 and the Ravens 39. Dolphin and ex-dolphin drafted players also accumulated 621 starts, 2nd only to the Chiefs' players 687 starts over the 5 years.

This 33 of 41 players for the Dolphins is an 80% draft success rate. It suggests that 4 out of each 5 players the team drafts in 2013 will still be playing in the NFL 5 years from now in 2017. It does not state that all players will remain with the Dolphins, though. But it indicates a favorable salary cap going forward if the Dolphins can correctly guess who they need to keep from each draft class- and is a strong argument against over-spending this year in FA.

After looking at the above facts, some questions come to mind. One: was Steve Ross stupid to retain Ireland for this year? (Well, what owner in his right mind would fire a GM that had an 80% success rate in the draft?) Two: is it so crazy to think that the Dolphins- with Jeff Ireland- can build through the draft? (again, 4/5 means youthful teams and multiple chances for those better players.) Three: why hasn't Ireland used early rounds to pick successful playmakers?

Wanting Ireland to fail is the same as wanting the Phins to fail which makes you either a lousy fan or a fan of another team. The personal attacks are just silly. I can't wait to see how the team turns out and I got news for the lousy fans...don't be surprised when Ireland does well up against the pressure of this off season.

BILLCALE:

DOES PLAYERS LIKE AUSTIN SPLITER,JOSH KADDU PATTRICK TURNER COUNT.

BECAUSE NOW WHO CARES IF HIS PERCENTAGE IS HIGH IF HE IS ONLY ABLE TO ADD TO TEAMS BENCHES.

IT SHOWS HE SHOULD BE A SPECIAL TEAMS GENERAL MANAGER.

HE HAS HAD CHANCES TO DRAFT KEY PLAYERS TO KEY POSITIONS.

IN ALL OF HIS DRAFTS ONLY 2 TEAM LEADERS. LONG AND MAYBE POUNCY NOW.

Fire him so he could spend some time at home!!

Justin, sure, those players count. But if you look at the amount of starts Dolphin and ex-dolphin players have had over the 5 years (2nd only to the Chiefs), you can see that the team's draft has provided starters also. To me, it would be unfair to characterize it as just bench players.

But I question the lack of key players, same as you. I just hope he can hit on 4 of 5 this year with young playmakers.

Good post billcale. It makes the point well 33 of 41 is very good. See these guys can cherry pick some guys that did not pan out but never get into the overall numbers.

How has the crticism of Ireland been "personal and cruel?'

Egnew, Misi, Odrick, Pat White, dumping Brandon Marshall for scraps...no impact free agents except Bush...Vontae Davis, Richard Marshall.....

How has anyone been personal or cruel? This is his job.....

Complicated thing the Dolphins are. I'm still getting the Gut feeling that we won't return to being a top-flight Organization again under present management. Still, we must give them this Year. After that, the Picture will be defined.

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