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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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Truth, marc, she's available too if you have the cash. Come up to Toronto and I will make the introductions. Take it from personal expereince, it's worth it!

Good God! Remember if Brown moved his foot 2" to the right this would have been another game that was lost.

Posted by: JimT | December 09, 2013 at 07:04 AM
==================================================

Wrong. The forward lateral would have negated the return.

Consult your handy Rules Book for further clarification.

Posted by: Ryno | December 09, 2013 at 01:11 PM


I deplore changing regimes unless left with ZERO other options. Most times, it's a never ending loop. Ask the Buffalo's other teams, and even ourselves how well this works?

Most times what's available are only unproven newbies,
loser retreads, and television booth quitters. Exactly why changing regimes every few year is not a real answer either.

Ryno, that attitude is so November of you. It's December now, time to catch the caboose of the train.

Don't like our recoerd against good teams? Go cheer Denver, their record is awful against winning teams with peyton too.

I'm with you WSam, I didn't want to see a turnover here unless it was clear there was no future and with tannehill improving the last thing I wanted to see was a new gm who doesn't have a handle on what his coach and organization want or evena new coach to install a new system new players, taking a step back to go forward etc, etc ... keep things going as is!!

Ireland isn't perfect but he's not bad either.

Well, in the summer I might do that. I've been there for New Years and won't do that again, lol

MIT i wouldnt mind dunking my sausauge between thos balloons hahaha

BTW,for those who are cheering Gonkowski's injury,please remember that he was not playing when we lost to the Pat's earlier this year. Duh!

an Inch, a lateral. Regardless the game should have never been that close.

Seriously questionable coaching decisions

The bizzrre clock management at the end of the half, the FG decision

Not going for it up 3 and giving Ben 2:50 left down by 6

They were a slipped Clay tackle away from coughing up that drive too

Very close, just like all games

Choose your ONE INCH play it was too close..

Just saw the Roeslisberger lateral again. Clearly, it seems the ball was actually caught 1yd ahead of the spot from which Ben tossed it.

I would like to hope we would win that challenge, but, it wouldn't be a first that the replay booth saw the results 360 degrees differently with REAL EVIDENCE staring them right in the face.

Thank goodness the sideline ref saw the "out of bounds" so it did not come to that.

What the heck is Cody Wallace doing to Randy STarks? What am I watching and why cant I stop laughing

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24370016/watch-you-dont-want-to-encounter-the-steelers-cody-wallace-in-a-pile

Marc, a couple of years back, we had temperature in the 50s for NYE and that was awesome but yeah normally it is in the 30s for you folk. You aren't hearty enough to handle it!

Truth , it's one of life's great pleasure to find a girl so easy to obtain but yet so bouncy. My wife found some video tape I had with her on it recently which i even forgot i had (taken before we were marries of course). Luckily it was of the tame stuff i had and she was clothed. Still my house was very cold for a week or two.

Mark,

did you visit that link I just posted? It is the funniest thing and very gay

well I have see the stupid coments people made of me from last night so it dosent matter but any ays what Iwas talking about IS THE PLAY WHERE ROTSLISBURGER HAD IT BEHIND HIM AND THE BALL ALMOST WENT FOR THE TOUCH DOWN ALL THE WAY BUT ALSO COULD HAVE GONE BACKWORDS!!! and so I am STUPID for mentoning this???? you are stupid then that you did not see this!

Titman, yes he was and Dion Jordan covered him like a blanket down the field. He made something like 55 yards receiving. Anyway the true defeining moments of that game were the turnovers and the three drive extended nonsensical penalties called against the Dolphins that were skin to another three turnovers garanted by the NFL because Bob Kraft is such a swell gentleman and a treasure to the National Football League.

That game was stolen from us.

MIT, I even think the Redskins will regret letting Shanahan go at the end of the season, or before.

I also believe RG3 is becoming a coach killer. Even in a game which RG3 threw 2picks, he was throwing his team underneath the bus. Then had to have a presser to retract.

Still, regardless of the final outcome of this season, were I Dan Snyder I would give Shanahan at least 2014. The greatest 2013 issue has been RG3 wasn't physically the same 2012 RG3. Coaching changes doesn't heal that.

Man, Armando is eating some Major Crow. All he had to do was follow his initial advice and be patient...let the process and truth come out. Now he is writing backtracking articles. SMH. Ah well at least he is apologizing...for now. I'm glad these guys came closer together and played as the "brotherhood." So they were a game off, losing to Tampa. Better late than never. Great win yesterday. I hope we can pull this win off against the pats...it will be us v.s the pats and the refs. Did you guys see that HORRIBLE call against the browns yesterday? My GOD!

haha, rdubs, I just did... i knew Tannehill was pre med but it looks like Cody here is an amateur proctologist...

there's that Lubeless Sodomy again...

he made me look foolish on that TD but
mark,that is pretty ez 2 do
.
lol

Mark,


What is he doing ?

Why is he digging in his butthole!

Cody I promise the ball isnt up there

Sam, I don't know... I think even before this year the Shanahans were butchering RG3. The Shanahans shoudl ahve brought RG3 up like the Dolphins did to Tannehill. Stressing pocket passing. Now we have a good pocket passer that can put 60 yards on you in a hurry if you lose your lane discipline. That is a unique scenario because at no instance do I believe that the Shanahans were protecting the investment.

haha, 2 watt, the Dolphins are giving you the Cody Wallace treatment this year with your predictions...

At least I was smart enough to believe...

Jeff Ireland, being a Baylor alum, did get it exactly right not trading the house to move up and select RG3.

Like Ted Ginn, RG3 came with a family on draft day too. Now they are trying to run the Redskins.

So "upon further review", gotta give Ireland, the Baylor alum, for not moving up to draft his "Homeboy" RG3.

Mark in Toronto,

I think it's wiser to look at Ireland's body of work post-Parcells, kicking off with the 2011 draft (keep in mind that the Pat White debacle was on Parcells). What I'm noticing is that we actually have a really deep team of hard-working team-first individuals who believe in themselves. From that point forward I feel we've made some good moves and some that I wasn't as big of a fan of.

I will always question the Vontae Davis trade, but perhaps that set a precedent for the high work ethic, team-first mold that both Ireland (and Philbin) believe in. I was a huge fan of how he left no rock unturned and was personally responsible for bringing in Cam Wake (during Parcells reign as czar, but that was an Ireland move). The fact our secondary has been fairly strong while battling injuries gives Ireland's decision a legitimate argument.

There's still time left to be had, but I also loved the Dion Jordan move-> he didn't address need with that first round pick (which is always tempting), and went with the one guy he felt had the potential to make plays at the next level. Dion's already proven that ability-> in 2-3 years, if healthy, he's going to prove to be a brilliant move.

rdubs, maybe that was an extension for Movember and men's cancers awareness. Cody was just showing everyone what exam every man should get when he turns 40.

Hahaa, wow, my favourite part is how Randy kicks his leg out when he realizes he's been penetrated. That guy has the guts of a burgler to do that to Randy. He's a bad man ... ran over a cop once and got away with it. Anyways, I picture the revenge being a scene out of Pulp Fiction. Get the orange gag ball ready...

yeah, as long as the ravens lose and the phinz win out it will b worth it
.
lol
but?
.
lol

I could just Cody saying "Tickle Tickle" as he was doing it. I mean really!! I have never seen anything like that, except that time at band camp......

Krillian, although I won't give Ireland a pass for teh first three years, there were still some good players drafted there. However, like you, I believe the last two drafts were absolute home runs. This regime doesn't play rookies unless they are flat out better than teh guys ahead of them but in time you will see Jordan, Jenkins, Davis, and Taylor are dynamic athletic, high character productive players.

Last year ... Tannehill, Vernon, Miller, Matthews, my goodness ... A franchise Qb, a double digit sack guy, and a big play one half of a good rb tandem and a reliable wr. That's about as good as you get.

I still have to see Vernon Davis being tackled by his penis but that play there and the butt fumble ... man that's an all timer

Rdubs, what kind of sound do you think Randy made when he realized what happened?

If you look at Ireland's drafts 2011 and 2012 look really strong right now. 2013 is still a question mark, but they need another year or 2 to develop. 2011 is the first year Ireland took over the drafting from Parcells.

11- Pouncey, Daniel Thomas (he's been decent this year), Clay (sick pick for a 6th rounder), Jimmy Wilson.
12- Tannehill, Vernon (11.5 sacks with 3 games to go for a 3rd rounder), Miller, Matthews (nice 7th round acorn). Egnew also at least contributes and could develop further in the pass game next year.

If this team goes 10-6 or 9-7 like I think they will, he deserves another year.


Sam, I don't know... I think even before this year the Shanahans were butchering RG3. The Shanahans shoudl ahve brought RG3 up like the Dolphins did to Tannehill. Stressing pocket passing.


Posted by: Mark in Toronto | December 09, 2013 at 01:40 PM


MIT, Shanahan had a pocket passer in Elway, who also had decent speed. I'm beginning to become suspicious the Shanahans devised this offense for RG3 specifically to cover glaring flaws they found in RG3's game.

Which now seem to be raising their ugly head since RG3 can no longer use the devastating speed.

Think about it, Snyder traded the house and kitchen sink for RG3. The Shanahans were under tremendous pressure to make sure RG3 was a BIG HIT right away.

BTW,for those who are cheering Gonkowski's injury,please remember that he was not playing when we lost to the Pat's earlier this year. Duh!

Posted by: Mr. Titman | December 09, 2013 at 01:24 PM

This post makes no sense. Are you saying that Gronkowski being out in no way helps the Dolphins?

My God the nonsense that is spewed in here is unbelievable.

Mando, you were accountable in revisiting your statements of 3 weeks ago, but the funny thing about your article is that you BEGIN by saying "I" said this and "I" said that, but in closing your article you say "it's time WE rethink"...you were NOT speaking for all of us, i was firmly behind PHILBIN and SHERMAN, and some of irelands decisions have been good, but i still think he made far more blunders then homeruns...now about that game...WAY TO GO! Nolan Carrol-i'm tuff on you, but, GREAT GAME! Daniel Thomas-i've been waiting for this type of effort for years now, WAY TO GO, and if you had a tighter shirt OR some vasoline on that shirt you may had had another score...great game! that's what a runningback is supposed to look like...O-LINE tremendous job! CHARLES CLAY-my man!-we all know what they say, the team who "GETS HOT" in december makes it to the playoffs----well miami finally thawed their perenial december freeze...way to go Philbin! good job!...............oh happy day!

Gronk played us the first game of the year titman. They player they have back that they didn't have that scares me is Vereen.

"Marc, a couple of years back, we had temperature in the 50s for NYE and that was awesome but yeah normally it is in the 30s for you folk. You aren't hearty enough to handle it!"

30's?! That's some pansy weather right there! Try Saratoga NY, New Years Eve, 9 degrees,-5 wind chill. I would have been in a tshirt had it been in the 30's. hahaha

Odin I remember that game in1980 as well. Trivia for ya, who were the fins playing and how did the game end.

"let's see what happens". what a fking hypocrite you are Mando. This wasn't your attitude when the J Martin thing fist hit. No, as a judgmental "Christian", you wanted blame distributed. you are a joke

Budtki I think in saying we he is talking about the media, at least I hope he is.

These guys are so knee jerk it's laughable. The greatest thing to me, and I'm loving it, is watching some posters constantly flip flop based on what the media tells them to believe.

Armando writes an article about coaches or players being bad and needing to be fired or cut and you have guys in here saying "I agree 100%" and then Armando apologizes or admits he may have been too hasty and the same people are like, "yeah,,,uhhh, me too,,,uhhh I agree 100%".

It's amazing how many people rely on the paper to formulate opinions for them.

Not only that Sam I Am,

But the cap penalty and the first round draft picks that the Redskins gave up for Griff are also still costing this current regime. I wasn't a fan of what they paid in draft picks for Robert, but I understood why they were doing it. Establishing your qb of the future has almost always proven to be an essential element for success. However, it works ONLY when you recognize that it's probably gonna take a few years to develop. Like you said, they went into frenzy mode following some immediate success and have put to much expectation and stress around one injured player with little NFL experience. You can't sacrifice first round talent with no free agent $$$ and truly expect success.

"We should have given up our whole draft for RG3!!!!!!!!"

lmao, stick with your day job, future nfl gm isn't in the cards for you.

Phins78, I agree with you that people are way to fast to rush to judgement. I even did it a bit after the losses to the Bucs and the Panthers. This team still has lots of room for improvement, but I like the direction its going in. Lets see where they end up by the end of the season.

Oh man that's right Nemo, Gronk was in for the first game.

Hahaha so the post was even more ridiculous than I had originally pointed out.

Phins78,


I agree with your assessment regarding Armando. Lets not Cody Wallace, Armando! He is admitting to his mistakes

**** some intersting tid bits ****
TANNEHILL- way to execute that read option play!, hopefully sherman makes some adjustments to it going forward as other teams will be preparing for it, maybe a read option reverse or something to that effect as upcoming defenses will be trying to set you up.
COACH TOMLIN- isn't it ironic that antonio brown stepped out of bounds when a week earlier tomlin wasout of his boundary and denied any wrong doing...i get the feeling that in any other situation involving the dolphins the refs would NOT have thrown that flag and we would have lost on another sour note.
TANNEHILL- the polomalou interception was so much your fault, it was just a great play call by the steelers defense...that tricky troy linning up as a defensive tackle disguised himself well...maybe we can ADD that to dion jordans bag of tricks!
PHILBIN- not being sarcastic here but...why didn't we call a timeout with a minute and a half left on the play clock late in the fourth quarter?


GREAT GAME, way to have this team prepared!

A couple of nuggets about the game from Pro Football Focus.

The highest grades for us were Clay and Wake at +3.8 each. The lowest were Wheeler and Ellerbee at -4.4 and -3.6.

Cody Wallace got a negative 4.2 grade, possibly for what he did to Randy Starks.

Clay broke 6 tackles.

Wake played the most since his injury. He had 7 QB distruptions and the strip sack that the Dolphins Offense turned into 7 points.

NeMo,

I don't blame anyone for their frustration after the Bucs and Panthers games. That Panthers loss was probably the most painful loss I remember experiencing in the last 10 years. I can think of about 10 plays-> if ANY of them goes differently (just one) I think we win the game.

Our 2002 loss to the Pats was probably the worst. Unbelievably horrible ending to an otherwise great year.

Sam @ 1:55, it could be. I'm not as in tune with what's going on there as i am here but I found it odd from teh start that they used RG3 as almost a 3rd running back instead of a true QB. Not even Michael Vick was brought up this way and he was a horrible passer when he came up...

NeMo I'm guilty a bit as well. But what I never do is rush to wanting someone fired or cut. I have been very consistent in my three year grace period.

3rd year make something happen or move on, development takes time. It's why you don't throw a qb out with the garbage when he's not "elite" 6 games in to his second season.

Now I will scream and complain about what they are doing wrong, but I definitely give them a chance to learn from their mistakes and take it to the next level. Not every player or team has immediate success.

It's the exception not the rule. Most players and new teams/coaches need time to build. If you keep going after immediate success you could destroy any chance you have at building a program.

I hate to keep bringing it up but I could point out dozens of championship teams that weren't built over night. Example from my state is the Giants. Fans were so harsh on Coughlin and wanted him gone and they almost got their wish. The owner almost caved to fan pressure but the gm told him continuity was the key and Coughlin just needed to round out his roster, he hadn't had enough time to do so before fans started screaming for his head. They have won two Super Bowls since. And guess what, fans are again wanting Coughlin fired up here.

P78, that's brutal - why would anyone want to be in that kind of weather?

Wife wants to go to a chalet this year for new years witha few friends. Never did that, may look into it.


COACH TOMLIN- isn't it ironic that antonio brown stepped out of bounds when a week earlier tomlin wasout of his boundary and denied any wrong doing...i get the feeling that in any other situation involving the dolphins the refs would NOT have thrown that flag and we would have lost on another sour note.

Posted by: budtki | December 09, 2013 at 02:18 PM


I never thought of this until you brought it, but, isn't that ironic?

Further proof that what comes around goes around, right?

Krillian, they may have traded the first overall pick this year for Griffin too ... yikes. PLay mock draft, if you're St. Louis, qb on the board, you draft teh qb or give Bradford another year. Bradford played well this year but man, guy is always injured.

Or do you draft Clowney when you already have Quinn and Chris Long??? I can't see that happening since both are so young...

Only other option seems to be trade ... maybe pick up both of Cleveland's first round picks?

A, B, or C?

I would do C.

Remember the 0-8 Bucs?, against these Steelers the Phins defense gave up 28 points, THill was due for a game where he scores more than 17 pts and doesn't choke, fumble or toss INT's in the 4th quarter. this was that game. Reality says were back to 17pts. next week again against the Pats.

I'm not as fast to form a Wheeler/Ellerbee "lynch mob" as most here are.

In Miami, both lb's are playing entirely different "defensive concepts" as they did with their former teams. Then, let's throw in both are playing together as a "tandem" for the first times with each other.

This means for both there is a LEARNING CURVE for both playing entirely different defenses, and "learning each other.

The bright side of this is there's next season, and both are fairly young. Next season they'll better know this defensive concept, it's disciplines, and each other. Most of all, there will be far less THINKING. This makes a HUGE difference.

Had we only brought in 1 new ilb it would different, then we have only "one guy" learning on the fly. Not 2.

Rdubs That's why I'm loyal to Armando and keep contributing to this blog.

He may be a pain in the butt sometimes but I'll tell you this much.

He is the ONLY reporter covering the Dolphins (that I have noticed) who isn't afraid to admit he rushed to judgement or simply made a mistake in reporting.

The hacks at the Sentinel are constantly reporting on stories without having all of the facts, it's lazy reporting and the Sentinel obviously lets them get away with it. Then the national media picks up on it and now the lies and assumptions become real to anyone who reads them.

When the TRUE facts come out those guys crawl under a rock and pretend they never said a word about it. They have zero credibility in my eyes. If you can't own up to your mistakes and learn from them you are not a man and you're certainly not a good reporter. How can you trust anything a reporter says after that? He lies, prints his lies ,and gets the whole country believing them to be the truth. Then the facts come out and he doesn't speak to it? Just moves on to the next story.

I cancelled my subscription to the Sentinel after the Incognito thing. And now they last week reported Daniel Thomas was done for the season. The same guy who just put up a buck twenty five, IN THE SNOW! Terrible.

And these guys have the nerve to question Philbin, Ireland, Ross, and the players?! Who holds them accountable? NO ONE. And that's why they can continue to get away with it and will continue to mislead and lie. Armando is one of the good ones, he holds HIMSELF accountable and that's admirable.

hmm, maybe D would be pick up Mike Evans which fills out their offense quite well. Maybe it is D????

By teh way, the bill for RG3 already is
Michael Brockers

janoris Jenkins

Alec Ogletree who I really liked at LB coming into the year

... now add maybe J. Clowney, Mike Evans, a top rated Qb or a couple of other first picks in trade.

Wow, that's a steep tab.

Sam, also the LBs did have a few good games ina row before stinking it up through 3 quarters yesterday. But they need to pick it up ... grace period is over.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | December 09, 2013 at 02:35 PM


MIT with Fisher being the defensive minded hc he is. If Redskins traded 1st rd pick becomes the 1s overall(2014) I believe it raises the stakes for Jadaveon Clowney being the Rams #1 pick.

It's nearly no-brainerthe "defensive-minded" Fisher takes Clowney.

Mark I didn't even leave the house last year. They do free cab rides here in Saratoga on Broadway and Caroline St. They will take you anywhere in the capital district which is pretty big and includes Troy and Albany.

But who in the heck is going to stand outside waiting for a cab in sub zero temps with a bunch of amateurs who can't hold their liquor?! hahaha

Home is the best bet, football and hockey by the fireplace, perfect New Years!

Armando writes an article about coaches or players being bad and needing to be fired or cut and you have guys in here saying "I agree 100%" and then Armando apologizes or admits he may have been too hasty and the same people are like, "yeah,,,uhhh, me too,,,uhhh I agree 100%".

It's amazing how many people rely on the paper to formulate opinions for them.

Posted by: Phins78 | December 09, 2013 at 02:11 PM

-----------------------------------------------------

Yippee a bad Dolphins team beats a bad Steelers team, idiots with short memories.

Remember the 0-8 Bucs?, against these Steelers the Phins defense gave up 28 points, THill was due for a game where he scores more than 17 pts and doesn't choke, fumble or toss INT's in the 4th quarter. this was that game. Reality says were back to 17pts. next week again against the Pats.

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