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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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The way I see it is that the coaches finally listend to me and Armando and they corrected their mistakes and are now winning.

Guys it was fun talking to you all today. I have to go but everyone drive safe and have a great night. Go Dolphins!

McKinnie is already signed for 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.

Posted by: Krillian | December 09, 2013 at 04:10 PM

3rd week of December and talking playoffs? Absolutely incredible! Much more fun than discussing mock drafts.

yes mark, was number one recruit in country coming out of hs

id like mckinnie back as a backup

If the Bengals lose to the Steeler we control our destiny, but we would have to win out.

We would be 10-6. The Ravens would be at 9-6 playing the 10-5 Bengals to end the year. With a win the Ravens and Bengals would both be 10-6. The Ravens would have swept them giving them the division though.

Then, we would get the wildcard by having the head to head tiebreaker against hte Bengals with both teams being 10-6.

I hope that helped it was kind of confusing. Miami has to go maybe 3-0 and 2-1 minimum to get in, bottom line.

Mark, I think you mean Kelvin.. Ive watch a bunch of FSU game. They have a couple of fast phsyical LB name Christian Jones and Telvin Smith who are beasts! Also a DB named Lamarcus Joyner there defense is stack and i really hope Ireland can snag some players off there squad next draft. Benjamin will be a top 20 pick

I think McKinnie had a clause in his contract where the 2014 year voids if he is trade. I read it on overthecap I think. So, he will be a free agent, but I think being in Miami he might come back for a discount.

McKinnie is a bit of a question mark with the weight and the partying, but he has been great for the Dolphins this year.

Mando, buddy, you are so wishy washy !! So what has happened since you proclaimed Ross should clean house? Nothing, thats what,,nothing. The Dolphins are one game over 500 and the chance of them winning out, or running the table is slim,,very slim. The Steeler game was won because the Steeler WR couldn't run a straight line and for no reason, stepped out of bounds just yards from scoring a game winning TD. Id rather be lucky then good, should be Philbins prayer ever night. Stats are for losers,,,These are the stats that count, Jets, Pats, Bills. The Fish could lose all three with no problem what so ever. And they could win the last three, with no problem, depending on how lucky they are?

NeMo, you think he would void a year at home at $4M a year, I don't think so... or is it an automatic void?

Kelvin Benjamin, #1, FSU, 6.5 234 lbs, yeah, he's a sophmore and the guy I'm talking about.

Posted by: NeMo | December 09, 2013 at 04:23 PM

Hadn't looked at it that closely. Very cool. So all we really have to do is keep winning and we're in. Easier said than done, but I like the fact that we're still in control of our own destiny. This week will be a huge test.

A wins a win but I would have liked to see Miami put the game away on that last drive rather than play safe and take the 3. I can only imagine the ripping the Dolphins coaching staff would have gotten from press and bloggers had the Steelers won the game after that.

Agree with those that Rothlisberger lateraled forward.

Not that it's any type of feat but I predicted an 8-8 season give or take one. Unfortunately, it's going to play out that way. Miami wont win out. I don't wish to be negative but if one wants to be honest about it, Miami is a mediocre team.

Also agree with Rage. Cant get much more CYA wishy washy that this Salguero post.

MIT, Walter Campbell has Kelvin Benjamin draft eligible. Just a matter of announcing he's coming out. That's all.

Is he a 3rd year soph? That's the only way he can come out. If he is omcing out, he's the man, no doubt. beastly. Just don't see enough teams behing us passing on someone of that skill set though.

Ross (the New Yorker)continues to be the worst owner in the NFL. The Dolphins have no fan base.

Grier, 9-7 shows improvement and is a lot better than 7-9 again if you ask me. I hope for playoffs, so it would be a bit of a let down, but 9-7 or 10-6 with no playoffs I would be ok with.

Krillian @ 4:23 if Miami goes 10-6 all they need is for the Ravens to lose 1 of the next 3 OR the Bengals to lose to the steelers or vikings before they play the Ravens.

I actually think the Ravens could lose all of the following 3. Bengals could lose to the Steelers at Pitt, its a tossup imo.

It appears he is a 3rd year soph. Yeah, he's going to come out. Bright, bright prospect and exactly the kind of WR I want here.

I wouldn't mind, dusty, letting Devlin go. I believe the guy needs a chance, he was better than Flacco at Delaware. But not to NE, please.

The Fins have a HUGE fan base. Their problem is that most people wo live in the greater Miami area are not fans and that is why the stadium stands empty on Sundays. Large population of hispanics and other international citizans who didn't grow up soccer fans and a large retired community who aren't going to pay for NFL tickets and sit in the heat.

I know the team hasn't been good and that doesn't help ticket sales. But the reality is the metro area is a real challenge for any owner...as been demonstrated he past 20 years.

Here's a funny one I read just now.

What do Andrew Luck, RG3, Joe Flacco, Kaepernick, + Eli Manning have in common? The answer is Tannehill has more TD passes than all of them.

one this is for sure about this team. the national sports media could care less about any of our wins.

in the highlights the show the clay TD but don't talk about him breaking tackles but what a bad job pittsburgh did trying to tackle him. then talk about how lucky the fins were brown stepped out of bounds. the only person on espn or the NFL network who gave the fins props was jeff garcia. he lavished praise on joe philbin and tannehill playing 2 solid road gamed in high wind and snow.

Man, you guys know nuthing. We told you last year about Hopkins. Now, we tell you about his teammate Watkins who is infinitely better than DeAndre, but you no listen. uh, odin?

NeMo, yes, 9-7 is a better number than 7-9. However, the Bills stink the Jets have no offense/QB although Smith did show a pulse on Sunday. If they don't go 9-7 at this point, it would be a real disappointment ... especially because they lost to the Bills once already. If they win out and look good doing it then I'll change my tune but losing to the Patriots and getting by Buffalo and NY would not be impressive in and of itself. This is a league in which Teams turn seasons around in one offseason and Miami was already mediocre last season. They keep serving the same Koolaid and most fans keep buying it. Playoffs would be a good experience for Tannehill though ...

Dolphins can def use a 6 4 225 type WR

Now, we tell you about his teammate Watkins who is infinitely better than DeAndre, but you no listen. uh, odin?

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 09, 2013 at 04:55 PM

Oscar, just truly doubt Watkins is still on the board when we draft. Especially if we finish 9-7/10-6.

the one thing offensively that i've been wanted to see more of but still don't is them letting tannehill use his legs more. in the read option 99% of the time it's either a straight handoff or pass. even in this game they have tannehill run once for44? yards and never do it again?? he throws very good on the run. don't trap him in a closing pocket 99% of the time. how about just 75% of the time instead??

he's not dumb like RG#, he will slide or get out of bounds. plus he is tougher than RG3 anyway!! most sacked QB but he is one of the few that has taken every snap this season.

I tell ya, when are you going to get this thru your thick heads. Most People in Miami don't care about any Sport, they just want to be associated with a Winner. Those $16,000 a pair courtside seats available for the Heat's last Game this Season I'm sure didn't last long.

the guy we should have tried to get was josh gordon!!! wonder if he was on the trade blocks at all with the suspension. that is a star. he does everything, with crap QB's.

Lame.... Ireland stinks!!!

Posted by: jaison | December 09, 2013 at 05:00 PM

This seems to work better for those teams that truly have a rb threat to boot. We really don't have an established rb like that. Never know what we might get from our rb's.

Anyway, I wouldn't want to see Tannehill on designed runs more than twice a game.

What would be nice to see Tannehill do a little more of is seeing him pick up yardage scrambling a little more when the pocket collapses. This is what demoralizes defenses most.

sam id take a look at chris johnson

If there is a Special Player in there, doesn't matter, you try to go up and get him.

I'm happy for us and Ireland that the bogus media speculation about him is inaccurate with the emergence of Clay, O. Vernon, T-hill, Thomas, J. Wilson, L. Miller and the signings of Grimes, Wallace (production doesn't matter he got the to FA prize last year)....I could go on but that'll be enough to drive the pretend fans out of their minds.

I believe Moore is the highest paid backup QB in the NFL.

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

I believe that would be Mike Vick.

remember the missed personal foul penalty at the end of the Balt Miami game. big play against the fins playoff chances.

well you can call me STUPID here for that you don't understand when I talked about the paly in the 1 quater yesterday when Rotlisburger throwed it and it almost went all the way for a touch down or could have gone back wards also but all I ever see here is the SAME STUPID PEOPLE ALL WAYS and they are say all the same thing over and over and over all days long so who is the REAL STUPID????

What exactly did Josh Gordon do against Us?

Ben Roethlisberger asked why Steelers didn't run as much in the second half. Says, "No idea. Coach Haley's over there. You can ask him.".....seems like there is a meltdown coming in Steeltown.

How could a coach like Tomlin, according to Mando that has few equals...allow this to happen where the star QB is throwing his OC under the bus?

daniel now go read back your post just now, and tell me whos stupid

Freaking unreal that some of these talking heads on ESPN are STILL blathering on about the Steelers just missing a miracle comeback by an inch.


Seriously, I think I've heard ONE of their overpaid analysts actually point this fact out.

well DUSTY BOTTOM you must be one of the homosexal here calling me STUPID last night and agan on today the same JUST BECAUSE THEY DIDNT KNOW OF THAT PLAY I TALK ABOUT EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ON THE TV IN THE 1 QUATER!!! so then I am the STUPID ONE??? it is all ways like this on here wich is why I never come on here before but then I DID and almost right away 3 4 5 PEOPLE CALL ME STUPID AND THEY ARE THE STUPID ONE OK???!!!

yeah truth todd haley is long gone in pitt

daniel come on bro, take your meds

You never come on here before? Go do it somewhere else, d.

What the heck is a QUATER?

For all the valid (and deserved) criticism of how poorly Clabo was playing earlier in the season we should now be fair and recognize that he has turned things around pretty dramatically and is now playing respectably.

It doesn't mean the team shouldn't still seek an upgrade there in the offseason. They almost certainly will. But time to give the man his due. He's a different player right now.


This daniel character has been here all day with the same post and guys are responding to him because they have no clue what the heck he is talking about. Moreover, there are so many grammatical and contextual errors that it is apparent that daniel is a troll with inane babble just looking for a response from those willing to give it to him.

Nah, dbm, we'll toy around with him. After all, it's only Monday.



Daniel just use spell check and stop with all caps if you want people to answer you.

This team has to get better. Pittsburgh is not an elite team in the AFC this year. Tannyhill still is not accurate throwing the deep ball to Wallace. Ireland still needs to go. I'm tired of mediocre seasons (either NOT making the playoffs or ALMOST making the playoffs). I don't like Sherman as a play caller. Philibin's philosophy seems to be to keep the game close then play not to lose. We need a new GM to get more elite talent on this team (OL, DL, RB, LB). Ireland does not select impact rookies. Philibin needs to get better assistants (OC and DC) or hit the road.

Daniel is from Irish descent.

Dee....beating Pitt at home was no small feat....especially in a snow storm!! We also beat Cincy, NYJ (don't care what their record is), Indy, SD. We also had Bal, Buff, Car and Tampa beat untl final minute of game. We are not the Seahawks but we also are the Jags!!

My father married a pure Cherokee
My mother's people were ashamed of me
The indians said I was white by law
The White Man always called me "Indian Squaw"

Half-breed, that's all I ever heard
Half-breed, how I learned to hate the word
Half-breed, she's no good they warned
Both sides were against me since the day I was born

In fact a team just like this years Dolphins won the last 2 Super Bowls....9-7, 10-6 type teams with warts that got hot in Dec and Jan.

It's scary how so many fans are happy about that win. We were inches away from losing, because Philbin let the players fall asleep on that final play. Philbin and the Dolphins did NOTHING to stop that final player. 8 out of 11 Pittsburgh players had the ball on that player, and not a single tackle was made. If Brown hadn't run out of bounds on his own, we'd all be angry today. As it urns out, only the smart fans are angry. www.DolphinsTruth.com

It's scary how so many fans are happy about that win. We were inches away from losing, because Philbin let the players fall asleep on that final play. Philbin and the Dolphins did NOTHING to stop that final player. 8 out of 11 Pittsburgh players had the ball on that play, and not a single tackle was made. If Brown hadn't run out of bounds on his own, we'd all be angry today. As it turns out, only the smart fans are angry. www.DolphinsTruth.com

listening today to nfl network or espn don't remember but they said this:

Patriots beat Browns
Ravens beat Vikings
Steelers fall short to Dolphins.

fall short? can't they say Dolphins beat Steelers?

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