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Victory Monday: Ireland safe, locker room well, Philbin good

PITTSBURGH -- I reported in my column that appears in Monday's Miami Herald that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has given Jeff Ireland assurances he is safe in his job as general manager.

It has been long speculated around league circles that Ireland could be something of a scapegoat after this season if the Dolphins didn't reach certain heights -- most likely making the playoffs -- or if the continuing NFL investigation finds some sort of lack of institutional control within the organization that led to Richie Incognito to somehow harass Jonathan Martin.

That speculation was fed the evening of November 11 when Ross spoke in glowing terms about coach Joe Philbin but did not mention Ireland other than to say he would be on one of his committees.

It was as if Ross was supporting his head coach while throwing his GM under the bus.

But I'm told Ross and Ireland have discussed the GM's status and the speculation is not accurate -- at least not right now. Obviously, there are three games remaining in the regular season and the Dolphins are neither in the playoffs nor out of the playoff hunt so no final declarations or assertions of fact can be made on the matter.

But for now, that which is being widely assumed -- that Ireland is a goner after the season -- is not correct.

And you know what?

Right now, keeping Ireland would seem to be the right call. Indeed, keeping the current administration -- personnel dept., coaching staff -- as status quo seems right based on the results the team is getting.

That's not how I felt back when the Dolphins lost to winless Tampa Bay and the NFL investigation was in its infancy. At that point it seemed as if the Dolphins were a mess internally and Ross needed to clean house.

But the team has won three of four games since then, the so-called "Code Red" reported by two South Florida media outlets has been debunked by team sources, and the locker room that was supposedly in disrepair has come together.

Even the offensive line that seemed to be a mess doesn't look so bad now. (The Dolphins averaged 7.5 yards per carry against Pittsbugh).

That all requires credit given to the players and coaches that previously came under earned criticism. Fair is fair. Tyson Clabo was a turnstile to the quarterback early in the season. He's been good the past month. Offensive line coach Jim Turner, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, and yes, head coach Joe Philbin, made mistakes and were criticized earlier this seaosn.

Lately, they've made corrections, corrected course even as they remained convinced what they've been doing is right, and it has worked. 

This team's course has changed. And that must be noted and accepted as fact now.

Obviously, the season is not over. And if this NFL season has proven anything it's to expect the unexpected. So no one knows whether the Dolphins will continue their current hot streak and perhaps finish the season 10-6. No one knows if the Dolphins might also collapse and finish 7-9.

The point is to draw conclusions on what will happen based on what we know today is unwise. To say the offense or defense is this or that based on what we saw early in the season is unwise.

The wise thing, I believe, is to see what actually happens before we make proclamations about the 2013 Dolphins. Let's see what happens first. Let's watch the next three weeks and judge afterward.



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hehehe, Armando covering all tracks.

They should absolutely keep Ireland because if they get a new GM , the perception will start that the new GM is just waiting to fire Philbin and bring in HIS guy (as Armando has pointed out). That atmosphere would be cancerous and a waste of time.

Dolphin fans need to understand that Philbin and Ireland must be tied together. And that once Ross hires Philbin, he has to give him at LEAST 3 years. And by extension that means Ireland too.

Nice Armando!

7 wins equals last years total. Knowing it could go either way, I would still have to bet on bettering last years record-LOL.

So, I'm betting on being better. The big question is, how much better?

I wouldn't ever celebrate a player being injured, but knowing that Gronk's out, I feel better about our chances. Now, if we could just get some of the "Officials" put on IR.

I think this next game will be huge in determining how the rest of our season plays out. I know that sounds like I'm stating the obvious. But.......

If we loose at home to the pats again, I could see somewhat of a collapse happening. On the other hand, I get the feeling that if this group wins against the pats, it will be a tremendous confidence boost. I personally believe we have a lot of talent and it's coming together at just the right time. Add in the confidence with a win over New England and suddenly:

Winning Out doesn't seem that far fetched!

LV has been wrong about Us this Season more often than not. 9-7 doesn't seem far fetched.

We are going to have to play at least 2 scores better than New England IMO!
The refs just seem to give them at least one score a game, week in and week out.

Also, maybe Antonio Smith is onto something. Every week NE finds a way to come back from way down in the 2nd half. Hmmmmmm


Why is the OLD Tannehill story still the lead on the Dolphin's page?

Tannehill's at 3315 for yards, 20 TD's vs. 14 Int's and ranks good in Completions, attempts and yards a game.

Cool, now maybe Ireland can draft another field goal kicker on crack.

Last week Tomlin stuck his foot in bounds, this week Brown sticks his foot out of bounds.

Instant Karma on the anniversary of John Lennon's assasination. I call it an assassination for a reason. I mean, after all, Lennon was the subject of the largest FBI file ever assembled.

A sad, sad day in Music History!

Sturgis is on crack?

Thank God! I thought his DOC was Meth!

I hope Sturgis turns out Great. He has the leg and the talent. Apparently he didn't realize what it takes to make it in the NFL. Whatever he was getting by on in college isn't cutting it.

Hopefully he figures out what it takes to master his craft.

Kudos to the entire team.. this was a team win...

I remember December 8, 1980.

The Dolphins were playing the patriots on Monday Night Football.

I heard the news about Lennon from Howard Cosell.


Even if the Steelers player had not stepped out of bounds on that final play it would not have been a touchdown on review.

The second time Roethlisberger got the football on that series he threw/tossed a forward lateral.

Illegal play. Game over right there.

@the woodshed gang.....I have thinking the same thing..something is definitely going on...hopefully it will come to the light. Remember when the pats got caught cheating the NFL took like two days to investigate the pats b4 laying down their punishment. Look how long they r investigating us for the bulling. The seems like they wanted to sweep the pats thing under the rug quickly...the question is why

So in other words,Mando, you are saying you have absolutely no clue what the hell you are talking/writing about? Yeah....that sounds about right.

Rage's comment is right on the money.
I remember his dolphins are a mess ramble just moments ago.


I am curious though,Mando. When you were ready for the Dolphins brass to CLEAN HOUSE,after they went on the losing streak, and all the doom & gloom posts you put up, What changed your mind? Was it the aSZ whooping we gave the Jet's? Or maybe the beating of a team we haven't in a very,very long time. In conditions this team is not used to?
By the way, love the waffling. YG and you should go out for beers.

By the way, love the waffling. YG and you should go out for beers.

Posted by: rage | December 09, 2013 at 01:42 AM


Why did the chicken cross the playground> to get to the other slide..:)

Dolfans it doesn't get any better than this.. relax, enjoy the win. a Deflated Patriot team looms on the horizon..


Why do I keep seeing stories about the Steelers coming an "inch" from a miracle win?

Even the writers in the Pittsburgh paper say that Roethlisberger tossed an illegal forward lateral on that play.

It would have been reviewed and there would have been no touchdown even if the player had stayed in bounds.

End of story. They did NOT come an "inch" from a miracle.

I seen the game grastons and also they had one plays in the first halve were on the ten yard lined and there quarterback threw it to the other player he went behid him before so that also could have been a touch down!

Don't get too excited because the Ravens came back to win at the end of the game and they still hold the tie breaker over the Dolphins. And the Dolphins will probably lose to the Jets or Bills in a game that they should win. Nonetheless, today's victory on the road in the snow against the Steelers was impressive. The Dolphins were resilient and made some really clutch plays.

I have no idea what Daniel was trying to say up above^^^.
What I do know is, that this is a 2 horse race. Baltimore and the Fins. Unless San Diego sacks up, and starts winning some games.(which I highly doubt)

All the media can show is Palamolu with his interception and then the so-called near miracle. There is a general dislike that goes against the Dolphins from the days of Shula because he was conservative and it shows in how the Dolphins get LOUSY coverage. Here's the deal. I watched the game. The Dolphins played an awesome game. We are 1 offensive line away from being a great team. Look at all the games we were 2 to 3 points from winning. To work through the adversity and become stronger says a lot. Jeff Ireland screwed up in not getting an offensive lineman....he better the next draft or he's toast.....stop whining Dolphin fans and give your guys a break...

rage then you are the stupid one that didn't see the play I talk about!! it was then in the first halve and Ben Rotlisburger threw it to the an behind him and it could have been an easy toch down or even go the other way!!

Won't one of you gentlemen join me for a civilized evening of bathing and mutual grooming in New Orleans?

Is it just me or on the final crazy play Roethlisberger's lateral went forward, it should have been called.
Thank god it didn't come to that..
But if you watch it closely he threw the ball forward.

Posted by: tarniman | December 09, 2013 at 01:16 AM

Yes, the Pats and the Ravens seem to get gifts from the refs. The Ravens had a 60 yd drive against us solely on 2 phantom PI calls. They got another phantom PI call today with less than minute to go. Flacco has looked bad this year but miraculously gets some nice calls so he can be sold as clutch.

It's a weekly thing for the Pats. It doesn't matter if they are down to practice squad players, they always get those calls. I still fume over that intentional batting call on Vernon in our first match up. I hope Vernon breaks Brady's arm while forcing a fumble this Sunday!

Wow Dannyboy, you are right. I must be stupid. Cause I still have no idea what the hell you are talking about.


Stop yelling,Dan. You may wake the neighbors.

Philbins clock management at the end of games concerns me. First half, he let the clock run down. Second half the d was gassed. 10 seconds left. Call the time out. The New England Cheaters got a touchdown the same way.
D is gassed and not set. It was too close to call yesterday and I almost had a crise cardiac.

The team played awesome yesterday. I thought we were done at tight end when Keller went down. But no, Clay took over and has done a great job.

Dan, do you have spell check bro? It makes it better for the reader, my eyes cross while I'm trying to read your garble dude.

You still have to question play calling. Horrible decision to try a 56 yd field goal.

That's not how I felt back when the Dolphins lost to winless Tampa Bay and the NFL investigation was in its infancy. At that point it seemed as if the Dolphins were a mess internally and Ross needed to clean house

What a clown and a hypocrit you are. You should have been FIRED a month ago. All you could do was publish lies and garbage. All you could do is trash Philbin as a HC and trash this organization. No other media source was as shytty to this team as you were. You are pathetic and you are a HYPOCRIT. And now you want back on their coat tails. I hope they leave your sorry arse out to dry. Your writing sucks but not as much as you do, as a human being. So Fk you Armando Salguero. You should be FIRED.

So basically Armando, if you were in charge you would have sacked the gm and coaches a few games ago?
aren't we lucky you only write for a newspaper then!
the team has a good start a few dodgy games(like most do) and most defeats could have gone either way, we win a few, now you change your mind again.

pretty embarrassing Imo!

I like you Armando, but you do change with the wind.

In the offsesason we just need to boost oline and saftey. We have Keller, Gibson and our two rookie CB's that figure to be good. We are set everywhere else.

This is what a dynasty in the making looks like. This reminds me of when the lowly 49'rs marched into the lofty Steelers backyard and beat them when they were rising for their first SB title.

R0yal Aqua: I hear ya buddy... But most teams are only a few pieces away.

I like Keller, but Miami wont bring him back, too much injury history and a breakout season for Charles Clay.

Are the stinkin Patriots the luckiest team on earth? Yeah,I know Brady is great,but did you ever see a ball bounce so much in their favor? WTF? I truly believe the Pats will lose in Miami this Sunday,the Fins are hot at the right time of the season and Brady and co. are going dowm! Hell,they should have lost at home to the lowly Browns if it was'nt for that luck thing!


I like Philbin and have always felt he would start making the in game adjustments to win at the NFL level. Ireland has been the issue with his Acorn philosophy to personnel but yes the two are joined at the hip for NFL purposes. So be it as long as Ross gives Philbin some decision making power with player personnel. The fact that Philbin has Miami winning with some questionable moves by Ireland shows that the HC is the right guy for the job. Wallace is much more important to this team than many realize. His value is in the attention given to him which opens up plays for the other receivers. The Dolphins would be wise to draft a speed receiver early in the event of a Wallace injury.

Good God! Remember if Brown moved his foot 2" to the right this would have been another game that was lost. For me, the prevailing comment during and after most Miami games this season is "Missed Opportunities". $100 million in guaranteed money was suppose to be the difference maker this season.

A tremendous team win yesterday!!! I'm sitting there thinking wow NE and the Ravens are both going to lose!!! Then the football gods spoken.

Game ball to Daniel Thomas!!!!! To all the haters.... Big middle finger!!!

Take Sammy Watkins. Clemson.

Never forget we have probably let at least 3 games slip through our fingers because of sub standard coaching and play calling.

The Dolphins seem to winning games despite Philbin, rather than because of him.

The talent on this roster should put us in the playoffs, look at it.

Barry Switzer's Cowboy team played other teams off the field without much influence from Switzer.

Thills deep ball looks ok to other recievers not called Wallace. The Pats game would be a nice time to get that going, I think it will eventually.

Armando ........ Falling on the sword. Deity you took the words right out of my mouth .... but I will take the high road here an watch Armando get crucified by all the posters that he has alienated over the last two months........... and grovel on his knees to the dolphin hierarchy.


Who woulda thunk it? Miami travels to Pittsburgh and beats a backs-to-the-wall Steelers team in the snow! How far back in Dolphins fan-dom do we have to go to match this?

This team has been very inconsistent this year, so no telling how far they'll go. But based on yesterday's game, some very good things are happening, nonetheless.

-The draft priority this year was to get a DE at #3 in order to get a bookend pass rusher to C Wake. That strategy has worked well as O Vernon continues to lead the team in sacks and is just behind Wake in QB hurries.

-B Hartline's toe-tapping in the end zone made for a highlight reel score. Perhaps this guy- more heart than talent- will end up a Steve Largent copy for the Phins.

-C Clay again! Anybody else wondering what Clay and D Keller could do together next year?

Yeah, these 3 may not be all-pros but they are developing as playmakers. Teams need players of this caliber- guys that can step up and make things happen when necessary. It's what got the Dolphins off to the 3 straight wins early this season and it's what may keep them going into January.

A tremendous team win yesterday!!! I'm sitting there thinking wow NE and the Ravens are both going to lose!!! Then the football gods spoken.

Game ball to Daniel Thomas!!!!! To all the haters.... Big middle finger!!!

Posted by: Bane | December 09, 2013 at 07:09 AM

Comments regarding Thomas not being good enough were justified. The guy was struggling to convert on 3rd and short, he also had a poor average at 3.7.

Against the Steelers he hit the holes hard and was dangerous in the open field, great game.

But you can't seriously expect us to start waving flags at the level of his play before this game, makes no sense.

If a players output is poor, do we not have the right to discuss it ? thats what sports blogs are about surely. Or should we do back flips regardsless of the Dolphins performance, no.

The Dolphins coaches themselves in private will be very critical of the Steelers game and they should be too. Thats how teams win, they constantly develop themselves reinforcing their strengths, working to develop their weaknesses and look to take opportunities against new enemies.


I still believe and always believed there was talent there. The OL has been so bad at times you couldn't gage our rb's well. There is talent there. To think that he played was a miracle. This team is getting better each week and the OL play is a miracle in itself. I give a lot of credit to the coaches and players of their mindset during this bullygate garbage!!!

After all the juicy contracts handed over in free agency, there is no way Ireland survives a non-winning/ playoff season.
If we get to 9 wins (even without playoffs), he'll stay. At 7-9 or 8-8 he's gone.

absolutely agree armando……but this is why I had a problem with so many dopey fans and media 4-6 weeks ago, when the Fins were getting absolutely skewered across the league (and even outside of the league)--"rush to judgement" took on a whole new meaning……BUT, problem is that the damage was/is essentially already done as the Dolphins were dragged through the mud, with the Miami media piling on as much as anybody (I recall "laughingstock"…..now looks like a regretful headline, no?)--my point was…..shouldnt local media, the guys that know their teams better than most, give those teams/coaches/players some benefit of the doubt, at least while things are playing out?

Armando Salguero; I have been telling you that for the past few weeks that you have been running the Dolphins down. I told everyone in family & on these blogs that Miami would go at least 9 - 7 & possibly even 10 - 6. So Miami is right where I said they will be, Despite loosing 2 key offensive weapons for the season in Duston Keller & Brandon Gibson for the season. Even when Jonathan Martin walked off the team & Miami suspended Ritchie Incognito indefinitely, I didn't loose confidence in this team like so many other people did. Great organizations find ways to win despite injuries & dire circumstances & I have had total confidence in this organization since the day they hired Joe Philbin.

If the fins win the super bowl I hope Martin does not get a ring.

sorta funny (or sad)……whatever happened to "martin/incognito-gate"? its like it fell off the map/headlines……the investigation, Good Morning America interviews, the "laughingstock" headlines, the 600 media members at every press conference…..the ad-nauseum "bullying" coverage, by all outlets--gotta be kidding me.

There is something special about this team. I just get that feeling. If nothing.... this team is resilient.

Can't remember the last time the Dolphins have gone into a December road game with bad weather in a must game and won.

Fish win, Gronk out for year and Armando eating crow.

I've said it too!! N. I had faith that this team would go 9-7 minimally. I was heavily criticized. We may go 0-3 and we may go 3-0 in these last three games. It's hard to say. My prediction though remains 9-7. And I think we are catching the patriots at the right time. That offense is not the same without gronkowski.

I hate haters. If the team was 4-9 right now I would get the hate. But te team has been in playoff contention now for the last month. They've won "must win" games against sd, Pitt, and nyj. Typically, teams don't beat teams twice in the same season- therefore, I see us beating the pats and bills but possibly losing to the jets (but I like our chances of winning)!

The chess master is safe! No possible better news for a Monday morning. Lots more Jeff Ireland in the future!

Still need to get rid of Mike Sherman. FGs in the red zone don't cut it.

The game against the Patriots this week is a huge statement game for this organization period. Living in Mass has been hell for me since Brady and Belicheat came along. This game means so much more than any game left. Until we beat them we are just pretenders not contenders IMO.

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