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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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Bill, that's awesome. Don't know where i'd get my hands on that footage now but ... still cool.

..Mark..You mean Aaron Murray right?

Truth for Dolphin fan Buffalo is the worst. For ANY opposing fan Philly is the worst. I was working a MNF game in the 90's. The Eagles were playing the Cowboys. I had on a Dolphins jacket and had numerous objects thrown at me...including batteries.....that place is so bad they actually have a holding cell and Court inside the stadium. You get processed right there in the under belly of the Vet!!

This will be another interesting offseason that is for sure. I went to the game we beat the Colts this year. There were tons of Miami fans there. I had my Tannehill jersey on.

It wasn't bad at all. A few drunk idiots, but nothing violent. I was pretty loud when the team made plays. A few Colts fans actually came up to me and said good game.

Might go to the Dolphins Bears game in Chicago next year. Not sure if I can dress up in my Dolphins stuff for that one lol.

Mark its on line its available because it was one of Marino's great comebacks....it was a Belicheat coached team. The date of the game was 9-14-92....Marino's bday hit at midnight 9-15. In fact if I remember correctly the winning score came just as midnight struck

Bill sounds horrible! What a bunch of scumbags.

JPAO I don't mean to be a naysayer but I think Starks is gone after the season.

The flipping the bird incident, the sitting out, complaining about contract, 31 years old, emergence of Odrick who can put more muscle and weight on next off season, and A.J. Francis who had a solid camp and whom we almost lost to the Patriots (did for a little while and I think Ireland was thanking his lucky stars New England needed room and placed him on the practice squad). All of these things don't really point to someone Philbin would keep. Ireland's track record also suggests he will go younger and cheaper especially considering our d-line is a deep unit.

The teams that won yesterday threw the ball. More touchdowns were scored yesterday than ever before. That is even with Thursday Night Football every week.

All the tweaks made to this defense were to stop the pass. Do you guys remember how bad we were against the pass last year?

Progress, we have progress.

...What is it with batteries? I thought it was a San Francisco thing...The battery throwing was so bad in the 80's the Niners were known as the Battery Chuckers..I. Mark..You can probably comment on this..English Football stadiums are on a different level from American Football stadiums. The fist time I ever visited Jolly Ole' I went to a game in London..It was Leeds United v Milwall in an FA cup game..I have never experienced anything like that day in this country..

Phins 78,

I would love not to have to draft a QB till 6-7, as we really need help in other areas my friend.

Your concerns regarding the ILB situation are well placed. Im very troubled by our play at FS too. R Jones has not been playing well for us and a young FS could get the start if this continues.

D Thomas really surprised me and a lot of people, but again the next 3 games will impact on where we take that power runner from. At least we coould benefit from a true FB on the roster. Egnew does ok, but we want to develop him and Sims at TE surely ?

We need to treat this Pats game like a playoff game. We had NE on the ropes in there house and should of beat them. Im so sick of Brady beating us, for once i want the Dolphins to pound like like Starks was violated in the pile yesterday.


By all means if Austin Jenkins or anyone is a Gronk type play maker then pull the trigger. Otherwise I would explore Keller again or see how egnew progresses.

TE game for sure epecially in red zone.

It might make sense to draft a qb to be the backup in rounds 4-7 and cut Moore. Team could save 4 million in cap by dumping him.

Yes, we do have a lot of cap room right now. Grimes and Starks and/or Soliai will all need to be paid. Clay is also going to need a hefty contract extension. We prob need a free agent O-lineman or 2. That 4 mil freed up would help alot.

From reading the post above it appears that many of us have attended some of the Dolphins road games at the same time. I go to EVERY game close by. Buffalo, NYJ, NYG, Philly, NE, Bal. sometimes Cleve and Pitt.
Its funny we may have crossed paths and didn't even realize it. Too bad we couldn't all meet at Buff for the game...maybe will our team to victory.
As for outing the troll pig I would be interested to see the post so I could see if it is in fact the jerk that has attempted to torture me. That idiot Fire Ross Kill Martin Jail Pouncey. Is that who this Michael W Scott fool is?


I'll probably get yelled at for this one, but I've been saying all along that we might have 1-2 more wins with Moore starting this season. However, Tannehill's overall talent potential is higher and we would have wasted this year's opportunity to give him experience. I think we're all starting to see his development now and potential.

Maybe I missed it in one of your previous posts, but when would you want to draft another qb? If THill continues to play at around the same level or improve over the course of the remainder of the season, then I'm not sure we need another guy as backup. From what I recall, Philbin loves him some Pat Devlin. They're also extremely fond of Matt Moore as both a backup and leader. I think they would be willing to see how those guys perform provided THill ever severely falters.

...Any chance this game gets flexed out of its og start time? The game is supposed to be Cinnci v Pitt. I bet the tv guys assumed the Seelers would beat Miami. Now this game has no meaning.

True EK, the pass defense has stepped it's game up and that's amazing.

Consider this, Ellerbe and Wheeler are two of the worst rated linebackers in the nfl, Misi is okay but certainly not top 20 as far as I can tell.

That means before yesterday our dbs, Jones, Clemons, Grimes, Patterson, Carroll, Jones, and Wilson had been mostly responsible for only allowing 1 td to wrs all season. And that's with them playing through a bunch of injuries and Grimes playing in a brand new scheme.

Pretty impressive.

what game has no meaning?

phins 78 our dline has some say in it also

Clee, check out Eric Ebron from North Carolina at tight end. I have a man crush on this guy. I think he could add another dimension to the offense.

Granted there is a long way to go, but he caught my eye. Him, Clay, Wallace, and Hartline could be a nightmare for a defense.

...Seriously. I don't see any reason to mess with the defense. We have good players. I would concentrate on offense. seriously. Score 35 plus points a game, and this defense would look a lot different. Why do the Saints play so well at home?? Because their offense scores every possession. Their defense can get after the quarterback. They can play 1 dimensional.

Posted by: darryldunphy | December 09, 2013 at 03:25 PM

I agree with Krillian, if there's a guy that jumps off the page, you take him regardless of need and you worry about finding a spot later.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | December 09, 2013 at 03:26 PM

Totally agree with both these posts. Exactly why I love FSU wr Kelvin Benjamin. Not only can he get deep, he's HUGE and physical. Tannehill would not have worry of "deep underthrows" with Benjamin. Benjamin would rip the helmet from head of db while fighting and catching ball from OVERMATCHED defender.

He's the missing wr corps piece from having the most DEVASTATING 4-WIDE set in the league. Just picture:


The lump in Tannehill's crotch on gameday would not be his cup.


you have commented on Murray before my friend.

On your advisal I checked out his highlights, he looks to be a great prospect.

Will be go early though ? some have him going to the Cardinals in the 2-3 rounds. If he is sitting there who knows ? He also tore his ACL last month so he may fall to us in the later rounds.

nemo if u want to be a playoff contender u almost always need a vet as a backup qb. its killed green bay this year. with our oline thill is bound at some point to go down. we need a vet backing up thill next year, 2014 is the year of the fins!

..Bill I think if people wanted to meet for a game..Why not a home game? For me, going to Miami would be great. I would stay all week, go catch a bonefish, or snook down in the Keys..

Buffalo...As you know sucks big donkey scrotum. I wold be down for a game in NYC though.

But, but, we have the backup to Tannehill, Philbin's personal favorite, Pat Devlin.

I think he said Bengals Steelers have no meaning. They are keeping that game as the Sunday primetime game as far as I know. Figured Chris Collinsworth wouldn't miss an opportunity to drool over Brady, but he must have been overruled.

nemo we currently pick to high to get ebron

I don't give a flip about ratings. I believe Ellerbee running around with that wild look in his eye has had a big effect on our pass defense.

Also, the fear of the blitz by our LBs is very disruptive. Ellerbee looks like a beast, even if he isn't.

"Im very troubled by our play at FS too."

Marco keep in mind that Jones was asked to do a completely different thing this year.

Last year Coyle was installing his defense and he didn't want to put too much on Jones' plate so he allowed him to roam free and play instinctively. It helped him to a great season but put a lot of pressure on our corners as Smith was asked to play a lot of zone even though he is more comfortable in press.

This year he is being asked to think more and be more responsible within each defensive play called. He has reads to make and has to adjust his coverage based on those reads. It's night and day from what he did last year and he's actually rating better as the season goes on.

I'm not saying you shouldn't be concerned, just saying hopefully for our sake he is adapting to his new role and the coaches see that he will be fine. That way we don't have to waste a pick.

oscar if u remember there were serious guys in here calling for devlin over thill, comical

You make a good point Dusty. Not something I had a strong feeling about, I was just kicking it around a little bit. I believe Moore is the highest paid backup QB in the NFL.

..Sam I Am...I haven't watched more then 1 minute of FSU games this year. 1 of those minutes was last week when Benjamin caught that TD...I told my girlfriend that whoever caught that must have been a tight end split out wide..Then I looked at his number...That dude is huge! Missouri had some big receivers as well. Whoever number 15 is for them is going to be a Pro....

pitt bengals big game. bengals fighting for div and a bye still ravens could still win div. we want pitt to win so that cincy balt game in week 17 has meaning


Should that not be 'Philbins personal Pet', my friend ?

Devlin is ok, but he looks unlikely to ever challenge anyone ? Its hard to say. In pre-season he always looks Ok. I guess you keep him and as NeMo stated you can free up $4mill to go after keeping our good players, Grimes, Soliai and maybe McKinnie ?

Absolutely Dusty good point.

In saying that I also have to point out that our d-line has been horrible protecting against the run. You don't have to throw as much when you can run for over 125 yards regularly on our d-line.

So the defense is partly responsible in two ways. One of the ways being a negative that leads to a positive for our dbs. ha!

Posted by: Phins78 | December 09, 2013 at 04:00 PM

Hmmm, interesting. Didn't know that- Great post.

Posted by: JPAO | December 09, 2013 at 03:32 PM

Exactly why Im not on the Wheeler/Ellerbee lynch mob. Came from different defenses with different disciplines, and first time playing together. Even playing on the same style defenses, disciplines and responsibilities can differ.

These are all reason I defer from the lynch mob. At least until midseason 2014. Both are young and super athletic, still have time to become super special.

But, as usual, dolfans want what they want and want it right now. Life usually doesn't operates this way. So, good luck with that attitude people.

We might be able to get Lebron? There's our tall TE! ;)

DD, yeah, him too...

grimes has to be the number one priority let starks go

Sam, I agree. If Benjamin can be had we need to get him. His priority should be as important as Dion's was last year.

P78, don't gforget Starks got fisted wearing a Dolphins uniform. Must be that Miami tramp stamp they have on their pants. I imagine that changes a man ... the fisting that is...

If we end up tied with Cincy for the wildcard, we're in. But our chances are better hoping Baltimore loses one? Cincy would have to lose 2 and Baltimore win out. I would have been rooting that way if Cincy lost this past week, but now it's looking pretty shaky for that to happen. We'd end up in a position where we needed Baltimore to win that last game. Heebee. Let's just do our best to try to win out, and let the other teams make their own beds.

Thanks Krillian.

And the funny thing is Smith is actually having a great year in KC assssss (you guessed it) a press corner!

This has always been my issue with Philbin and Coyle. Forcing round pegs into square holes.

BUT, when they get all of their square pegs lined up the fit is going to be nice. It's just a pain in the rear waiting while they rebuild. We have waited so long that we never give a new regime enough time.

I'm hoping the fins don't collapse so Philbin can keep building the team he thinks can win us some Super Bowls. I respect the man for doing it his way and hopefully for everyone's sake it works out.

..Sam I Am...I haven't watched more then 1 minute of FSU games this year. 1 of those minutes was last week when Benjamin caught that TD...I told my girlfriend that whoever caught that must have been a tight end split out wide..Then I looked at his number...That dude is huge! Missouri had some big receivers as well. Whoever number 15 is for them is going to be a Pro....

Posted by: darryldunphy | December 09, 2013 at 04:02 PM

Exactly why I say he would be an OUSTANDING DEEP TARGET for Tannehil should he not fully overcome his underthrow deepball woes. At his size, he would be a monster in any part of the playing field.

Benjamin is 19.ypc, mostly because of YACS. He's exactly the type of wr needed when playing defenses with huge corers like the SEAHAWKS.

Seahawk corners just mug hell out of smaller wr's.

Posted by: Sam I Am | December 09, 2013 at 04:04 PM

Yep...agreed. Both Ellerbe and Wheeler are playing better right now. I like their upside potential, esp. going into next year.

But we're still in it this year mofos!!! December football and it actually means something(hahaha). I'll take it. What a game yesterday...love this team's fight. Go Phins.

DD, Millwall is the most thuggish club team in any sport. I once saw a friendly between Millwall and the Canadian National team (yes our national team is taht bad) and i saw plyers getting stomped on for absolutely no reason at all.

There were also changes in the 1980s in the sport because Ultra (name of the hardcore club supporters) had got so bad.

DD, take up the book on football globalism, what's it called again ...How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization. Great book and there is a chapter about an English football fan who moved to the USA, became a raiders fan and tried to set up an Ultra group. Awesome stuff.

Green-Beckham is number 15 from Mizzou I think. Good player, he had some consistency issues this year though. He's a junior I believe.

I'm a huge FSU (sorry I like the Canes too, but FSU has always been my number 1) and I have watched a ton of their games this year.

Benjamin is a phyiscal beast. I bet he gets drafted in the first round. He is only a junior, but will probably come out. He has made HUGE strides from last year. He does drop a few easy ones that he shouldn't, but make some really tough catches too.

I would say the only big need on this team right now is O-line after we resign most of our own guys on defense. Everything else should best playermaker/impact player available.

nyphin balt gonna lose 2 of last 3 so miami only needs to go 2-1

green-beckham is the man here in kc. huge and fast. plays a lot like jeffrey on bears

DD, Orlando Phin said that if the Steelers beat the bengals, we control our own fate and if we win out, we are in. haven't got around to testing this out but if it's true, it certainly has meaning.

wasn't binns supposed to be our big WR project? was a beast at Cincinnati Mathews looks pretty good as a big target inside but too slow for WR.

Phins 78,

I hope you are right my friend. The lack of press coverage and the zone defense has caused us a lot of trouble this year too.

It seems our lack of physicality at the line or in the first 5 yards leaves us so open and exposed. Overall the bend but don't break approach by Coyle is very risky indeed. We tend to sit back a bit too much for my liking, especially with the lead.

We are in the top half of defenses in the league and are 13th overall on 3rd down. I still would like to see a young FS picked up next year. D Jones hasn't really played much, so lets hope he develops that hard hitting ST action into regular snaps on D.

That would be great. miami needs some serious fortitude to win out 3 straight divisional games all chomping at the bit... hope they are truely preparing.

Many think we can't beat the Patriots. We just about beat them last time. And if I recall the refs helped put them in position to come back in that game. If we can take what we did this week and carry it over to next week, we can beat them. Don't let up if we get a lead or if we hit adversity. Keep pushing. The team that usually wins is the one that keeps pushing forward with heart.

Sam I'm not part of any lynch mob. (ps be careful talking about black people and lynch mobs in the same sentence ;) but I do recognize Ellerbe's limitations. I'm not on the field or coaching him so I don't know if this is truly because he's not comfortable in the scheme or if he will always be this way.

(I don't know how being uncomfortable in a scheme causes you to miss tackles when you have your guy wrapped up or to not be able to run with rbs and tes but I digress.)

If the coaches feel Ireland made a mistake and Ellerbe is as good as he's going to get they need to identify a young lber in the draft.

And we STILL don't have a leader from that defense. We have not seen one of these guys step up and take the reigns like JT used to. Nobody talks to them on the sideline they just all sit.

Tannehill talks up his oline and wrs the whole time, patting backs, 'stay focused, we'll get em next time' type of things. No one is doing that on defense. WE NEED THAT. I'm fine with Ellerbe stepping up, still waiting on that.

Missouri had some big receivers as well. Whoever number 15 is for them is going to be a Pro....

Posted by: darryldunphy | December 09, 2013 at 04:02 PM

Dorial Green-Beckham, I would take him if Benjamin wasn't available. At 6'6 220lbs, his season number are similar to Benjamin's. Both are beasts, Benjamin at 235lbs is a slightly bigger beast.

Sam, Travis benjamin would hands down be the best WR in this class, he's more polished than Mike Evans even upon first glance but he's too young to be in this draft. Next year!

Dusty, love that 6.6 Green-Beckham but he too is only a 2nd year player I believe.

Miami needs to take note of the NE break and mend pattern. It's almost like they are allowing teams to beat them early.. lulling them into overconfidence, and then pouncing in the 4th quarter. If they play that game, hopefully the coaching is there to prepare for that mentally. There needs to be a few leaders on the field ready to spit sparks all 4th quarter long.

if miami goes 2-1 they will be in. balt gonna lose least 2 of 3 at det, patriots, at cincy. so if miami makes playoffs they will either play at cincy or new england.

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