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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.

Enjoy.

Comments

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Also, fire Daniel. That boy can't speak english worth a damn.

Anyone else's heart stop beating when Antonio Brown raced into the endzone on that final play?

Damn, that was inches away from being the most demoralizing defeat in history! Thank God he stepped out because this blog would be on fire right now if he didn't.

Tannehill is progressing and our run game is more effective .....coincidence? I think not.

I've been a D. Thomas critic all season and like to give credit when due...nice 50 yard run to set up the go ahead TD.

Finally...really, a 57 yard FG attempt to the "open end" of Heinz Field, in the snow? nothing but bad can come out of that decision and it was almost a run back TD. Philbin, stop making bone-head moves like that.

Armando,

If you thought Ross was going to clean house with Ireland after the Tampa game you didn't express it here. You feel safe to say it now after the Dolphins have put together a few wins and are still in the playoff hunt. Ireland is not worthy of his position with the Dolphins and I still think he has something on somebody to keep his job. You can point out a few of his successes for sure (but even a blind squerrel gets a nut sometimes).

Tony Dungy picked us to get the last WC spot, which means it ain't happening HAHA

I am now, and have been,neutral when it comes to Ireland. He has made a lot of good decisions and some really dumb decisions,but overall we have a lot of talent on this team. I still think Philbin is not the answer as our head coach. Perfect example was the coaxing Tannehill had to do to get him to throw the replay red flag after Hartline's td. WTF?
PS:Shermanhater you are so right,Daniel is a moron at the highest level!

The team will continue to stink as long as Ireland is GM.

@ 8:37
The Dolphins don't stink but some of their "fans" certainly do.

I saw dusty say yesterday that 'Ireland is gone'. That's all I need to know that Jeff Ireland will. Be back next year. This guy is NEVER right.

And his only retort to anyone that disagrees with him is 'everyone knows you're gay'. BRILLIANT!

Wow!, so many floppers(besides Armando) here now. heheheh

You know When he stepped out of bound, I looked up to the football gods and said is this the sign.

After all that is exactly how it feels to be a Dolphin fan it always feels like we are one foot away from winning but always lose by one foot.

Maybe the tide is turning. Go Dolphins!! Every time I think it is time to cancel my Sunday Ticket they pull me back in. LOL

The Dolphins are EARNING their wins...I said to myself when the Steelers went ahead 28-24, the offense must score to take the lead and then the defense must hold with a little over 2 mins left - and that's exactly how it went down. Great hard-earned win away in the snow in December.

Roethlisberger tossed a forward lateral to Brown that the officials didn't see.Anybody know if that would have been reviewable?

It was no secret that Daniel Thomas struggled with scholastics, especially Math. But he persisted and graduated. Sometimes, Persistence is more important than Scholastic gifts. He is running much better right now, as Everyone saw.

saw dusty say yesterday that 'Ireland is gone'. That's all I need to know that Jeff Ireland will. Be back next year. This guy is NEVER right.

And his only retort to anyone that disagrees with him is 'everyone knows you're gay'. BRILLIANT!

Posted by: Craig M | December 09, 2013 at 08:46 AM

dusty's posts are worthless drivel

nemo,i shuld cheer on #17 more often?
.
lol

mark,kudos 2 ur boy, he chat on himself but came out in the end

Maybe someone should break Thomas's other ankle and he will get 200 yards. :)

so it's a game of 2 toes
.
lol

BEAT THE PATS!! go dolphins!!

Oscar, u bet the -?

And where are the updates regarding Martin and Incognito?
There are fans out there who actually care about this case as it would greatly effect our desire to support the team or not.

I have greatly mixed feelings about this situation, particularly on how nfl handles it...and how it addresses bullying period.

I await some real reporting

Roethlisberger tossed a forward lateral to Brown that the officials didn't see.Anybody know if that would have been reviewable?

Posted by: 6bucks7games | December 09, 2013 at 08:51 AM

The NFL has taken up the practice of reviewing ALL scoring this year. So yes it would have been reviewed. And yes it is certain that Big Ben threw the ball from about the 31 and Brown caught it at the 33. It definitely was an illegal forward pass there. Still, all the true fans hearts stopped for that moment!

The injuries and scandal may have had a positive effect on this team.

Keller's injury gave Clay more reps to develop.
Gibson's injury gave Mathews more reps
Cogs and Martin scandal and the Pouncey injury got Brenner and garner reps.

The O-line problems in the long run made T-Hill a better qb. He had to learn to move an Offence with no running game and bad pass protection.

Who on Baltimore said McKinney was all done as a player ??? He may not be a pro bowl caliper player anymore but what a god send he has been. That may be the best move Ireland Has made all year.

Yep, called it a few weeks back, bring everyone back. personally I'm glad that it seems it will turn out that way. Now Jeff, repet after me, sign your own best players first, then fill holes in free agency then select the ebst playmaker available in the draft. All will be well...

Marc, @ 8:30. That has to be the weakest hate attempt ever, haha. Get your Tannehill jersey yet???

@ 8:51, I remember from teh music city miracle, they reviewed that forward pass forever. So if it was indeed a forward pass, it would've been called back ... hopefully... never know when it goes up to the booth and what they deem irrefutable evidence.

It was a great win yesterday for the Dolphins and us fans! I think the Patriots are ripe for the taking. They have had to overcome big second half deficits these past weeks and now they have lost Gronk, most likely for the season. (And well into next season, if not all of next season) However, I do believe Philbin and the coaching staff need to be nearly flawless in their coaching this week and on game day to win. It is time!

Dolphins 35
Patriots 34

I need my finger nails to grow an extra inch before Sunday!

yes, 2 watt, he did pull off a boner move but he made and Daniel Thomas and Charles Clay made up for it.

Also defense was getting smacked around but came up when it mattered most...kudos to them. All year I've had to listen to my friend talk up his Chief tandem of Hali and Houston but Vernon and Wake are catching up in the sack department. And we have a Qb that can move an offense to trump that!

Mark,

Kudos to Tannehill for his play the last few games. I was hard on him after the Buffalo game but he's picked it up noticeably since the Tampa game. With the exception of the boneheaded pick 6 yesterday, hes played very well lately. This is what I wanted to see from Tannehill. This is improvement.

One thing I'll add guys....

I'm not impressed by the Ravens at all. Very lucky to beat the Vikings yesterday. They have games against the Lions, Bengals and Pats. I could see them losing them all. i had the 'phins going 9-7 this year at the beginning of the season. 9-7 could in fact make the playoffs. I figure we need to win at least two of the next three. It would be huge to winSunday. Against the Pats (also VERY lucky yeaterday).

Craig, during the past four games or so, he's played at a top 10 Qb level. he's finishing very, very strong. Even I thought he may unravel after that pick six, but man, right the next drive he picks himself back up and leads a td drive. This guy is one tough hombre. How "real fans" can cheer against this guy is beyond me.

@ 8:59
Go back to your cucumber finger sandwiches and tea parties. It's obvious you would rather be there than at a football game and all that yucky sweat and dirt and noise anyway.

And I'm with you on the Ravens. Flacco has been below average thsi year and that supporting cast is not very strong. Torrey Smith is a complete animal but besides him there is not much there ... miles also starting to show up on Rice. Defense has two strong pass rushers and Ngata and nothing else. Decent team, capable team but I easily see them losing at least two of the last three against motivated talented teams.

Going to feel dirty cheering on the Patriots tho

mark, we rogues can actually enjoy hi-lites 4 once
.
lol

I haven't bought a jersey since Marino retired. I was gifted a Brown jersey that I wore, but, there's been nobody else that I would have worn. I probably would have gotten a Marshall jersey, but, I had a feeling he wouldn't last. Can't keep superstars.

mark, I cheer all fla. teams and all afc east teams when it matters.
lol

mark, did u smash u'r tv on that last play?
.
lol

Posted by: ajdczar | December 09, 2013 at 08:59 AM

You can't be serious!? Have you not been paying attention? Martin is a big baby. What happened in the Dolphins locker room happens EVERYWHERE, in EVERY WORK ENVIROMENT. Heck, just look at how people talk to each other here on this blog. If Martin were on this blog, he would have left crying long ago!

Start routing for the Fins and stop caring about stupid Jonathan Martin!

How many Patriots fans will assume the role of an orange seat in Miami this weekend?

No matter what this team does they still can't fill the stadium.

Mark,

I'm going to pick on Kris this morning. Last season he told me Flacco was 'elite'. We debated it endlessly. I told him I didn't think he was and we debated it endlessly. I told him I felt that Flacco was a product of his environment.

What I don't get with Kris is how he's so tough on Tannehill but when you look at the numbers, Tannehill's numbers are much better than Flacco's.

Kris, rather than talking about you behind your back, I'll let you respond, if you get the chance.

2watt, ur still a dikk, hahaa

what happened to 3-9, matt moore in? sukk it!

Mando,

I told you that you were jumping to conclusions when you were writing all that garbage about incognito and martin. Right now the fins have a better grade on their report card than you do! You're better than that.

2watt, ur still a dikk, hahaa

what happened to 3-9, matt moore in? sukk it!

Huge Win but the play calling at the end when the Dolphins took over on downs at Pittsburg's 10 yard line was VERY conservative.Seemed like they were playing not to lose instead of playing to win. If they put the ball in the endzone instead of kicking a field goal the game is over right there and no miracle finish is possible. Need to go for the throat when they sense victory.

That's not entirely true. The first home game was packed, then the fans realized this team could not have continued success and that all the money spent still resulted in close, boring games...Who wants to sit in those tiny, uncomfortable orange sits in 90 degree weather and watch the team struggle to move the ball, struggle to stop the other team, collapse in the 4th qtr, etc?

Marc, why haven't you bought a jersey? I don't buy any to wear since I'm near 40 years old and find they look ridiculous on people my age but I do buy hats, polos, track jackets, more team stuff. I also do buy jerseys of Dolphins all timers for framing. I have Dan, Sam Madison, Zach Thomas, and Ricky Williams. next one for me is Paul Warfield.

Do you not buy jerseys anymore because they don't match your favourite dress?

Ireland was always safe.

Good article Armando. We accept your apology. You showed more backbone than all these reporters and journalist that seem to forget they have been writing sensational speculation the last month and a half, without ever getting the real facts.

I understand everyone "wants" Ireland Fired!! But that was never in play.

Seems pretty Idiotic to me to give a guy a 1-year extension before the season and then fire him before that contract even starts. I just wouldn't sign him to the extension and let his contract play out. Plus, Ireland was the only one doing his job the last 5 years. Him and Dawn.

Now he has Philbin & Co., Watch Out!! With Ireland's Scouting ability and Philbin's understanding of what he wants in every position, The Fins will be able to develop more players to play better in their system.

Craig, I do think Kris is just tougher on his own ... you know?

Craig M,

You left out the fact that Flacco now makes 100+ million for those stats! Lol!

Well, I don't wear them out either. I would have gotten a ZT or JT jersey for sure. There's nobody in the past decade though. Wake, sure, but he'll last a total of maybe 5-6 years

I don't buy ANY gear though and anything I have currently I was gifted. I refuse to buy anything until they field a decent team

I am glad that Clay broke that tackle and scored a TD as I'm still concerned about Sturgis...guy runs hot and cold.

Great win and with Gronk out we can be very competitive with the Pats on Sunday. Bills game can and will be tough up in Buffalo.
Jets at home is already penciled in as a win.

Take 2 of 3 and we are the #6 seed...no way Flacco wins 2 of 3....looking good fellas.

..Good game yesterday. I am going to disagree that 9-7 is going to be good enough to get a playoff spot. Like match play in golf. You cannot ever assume your opponent will miss. Assuming the Ravens are going to lose 2-3 games is IMO setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Miami needs to win their last 3 games..Simple. Win those 3 games and see what happens. That would mean going into the playoffs on a 5 game winning streak. That would be going into the playoffs with a lot of confidence. An actual threat, not just a body to be pounded by a real contender.

Yesterdays game was a nice step. But lets not forget that the Steelers are garbage this year. The real test is this week. This is what all of us Phin fans have been waiting for. An opportunity to beat a very good team, in a game that has consequence late in the season..

Posted by: Marc | December 09, 2013 at 09:38 AM

Marc,

I would sit in that 90 degree weather and watch every game if I lived in Florida. Heck I have flown Rochester, NY for two games this year to watch my beloved Dolphins. I love the South Florida heat and the Dolphins. All the fans that live within driving range of Miami Gardens should get their buts to that stadium this Sunday! A WINNING TEAM AND FAN SUPPORT GO HAND-IN-HAND. Get there if you can!

Craig M for Moron & odinsdirtybrowneye ruin this oncedecnt blog

Also, to those saying Philbin listened to Hartline and Tannehill to throw the flag for the TD. SEEM TO FORGET PHILBIN IS PERFECT WHEN THROWING THE CHALLENGE FLAG THIS SEASON. Philbin doesn't have to Listen to anyone. Except the guy on the headset watching the TV telling him throw the flag.

On the Defense always giving up big plays at the end of Half's and games. I Blame Coyle!! It is his Defense. If he didn't get the subs in or the Phins are playing Prevent. I blame Coyle, Not Philbin.

On the FG, Really!! Some of you are complaining about a FG to end the Half. Yes, he missed it. Like 8 Other Kickers before him. But if Sturgis would've made it the Kids confidence would've been thru the roof. Nobody was returning that for a TD!! Nobody scores against our special teams. I would rather have them out on the last play of the game than the defense. Denny and Fields could Tackle. If I'm not mistaken Denny was in on the Tackle on Polamalu.

Marc,

What do you consider a 'decent' team? What happened to you, man? Years of losing have obviously broken you. This team is 7-6 and in playoff contention and you still don't consider them 'decent'. We've beaten the Colts, Bengals, Falcons and Steelers and you still don't want to give them their due.

Tannehill is poised to become only the second Dolphin QB to go over 4000 yards in a season and what do we get from you? NOTHING.....fair enough.

For the record, I'll be picking up the Tannehill aqua jersey over Christmas. Time to get some new wear. I'll put it alongside my authentic Marino jersey and my aqua Ricky Williams jersey.

Marc, perhaps it's time you buy yourself a nice polo then considering you were waiting for a decent team. The pro shop link at the top of this page has a nice selection.

why is craig here? to call people out for what they've said? offer nothing to the convo?

what a low life schlep you gots to be to keep a log of quotes.

lol

I hope we all enjoyed that game, especially you 2 watt.

The huge momentum swing and pick 6 by Tannehill concerned me, but the team fought back. The defense got stops when it needed to and the drive at the end was very nice. The last play scared the hell out of me.

I'm not seeing too many trading 3 draft picks for Daniel Thomas was MORONIC posts this morning. Ya, the guy played a really nice game yesterday and deserves credit for it. Also, Clay needs to get locked up long term this offseason.

beating the falcons & steelers both below .500 is some grand achievement now

lol

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