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Jeff Ireland addresses state of Dolphins

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland addressed the state of the team with hosts Bob Papa and Ross Tucker on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Tuesday. Here’s what he had to say:

### On whether Ryan Tannehill is ready to compete to start immediately: “We’ve got to let this process play itself out. Certain guys develop at different levels. He has knowledge of the offense. He’s going to look like he’s ready pretty quick. There’s a competition here. There are two other experienced players who are great pros. We drafted him to let him compete for the position. We need to play better at that position, whether it’s a new player or Matt. That position really has to be more productive. We’ve got to do a better job of protecting him.”

### Would the Dolphins have taken him if he hadn’t gone to Texas A&M and hadn’t been coached by offensive coordinator Mike Sherman? “Absolutely. I started scouting Ryan back in August. My opinion of him didn’t change a whole lot when we hired Mike Sherman. It helped the process. I had a strong conviction about Ryan from October, December. The more I spent time with him, the more I broke down [tape], the more I liked him. When Mike and [assistant quarterback coach] Zach Taylor and [offensive line coach] Jimmy Turner came on board [from Texas A&M], it only helped the conviction.”

### On receiver: “We’ve got some good veteran players in Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. We’ve added depth in Legedu Naanee. We’ve got two young up-and-coming receivers in Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace. We drafted two young kids and signed two young kids.” (Ireland didn’t mention Clyde Gates, but has told us previously he expects big things from him this season.)

"We have a pretty good young corps of receivers. We have some tight ends, some backs that can play in the slot. It’s about moving the football down the field, not necessarily always trying to get the ball to receivers. We’re going to develop the position and improve the position with the players we have on our roster. We feel pretty good about the position as it stands right now.”

### On the possibility of adding another receiver: “There is always a possibility of that. As my former mentor used to say, you never know when an acorn is going to fall off the tree right before training camp. We track those things during the course of the summer. There are guys out there getting ready for that prospect. We will get a good chance to look at the guys on our roster right now. If we feel we need to address that position, we certainly will do that.”

### On Lamar Miller: “Lamar has a very good set of skills. He can run, he can catch. We’ve got to get him more rugged from a blocking standpoint.”

### On defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s defense: “What Kevin’s job is, is to keep everyone confused until we line up. I’m going to contend he’s done a pretty good job. We got a pretty good group of front seven. It’s a nickel league. You will see us in a four man front, you will see us in a hybrid front. He will be using the players we have in the best position we can to get pressure on the quarterback and disrupt the guy throwing the ball and disrupt the receiver and use the talent to the best of their ability. The vision has been ambiguous [because] I know he’s going to do a lot of things.”

### On second-round pick Jonathan Martin, the offensive tackle from Stanford: “You can expect him to be a real good pro. You can expect him to come in here and learn the offense and be very up to speed about what our protections are. He fits very well in the scheme. Even he said you use different muscles on the right side of the line [as opposed to the left, where he played at Stanford]. He’s a long arm, good knee bender, good punch, plays with great awareness, very smart.” Martin will play right tackle.

### On Cameron Wake’s contract extension: “I have to give most of the credit to the pro scouting department – Brian Gaine. Brian and the pro staff hit the Canadian Football League at the beginning of the season. Brian brought his name to me a year before we signed him. Then we found out he was not eligible to sign. We were on his radar really early on. We’re glad to get him done the next five years. He’s a real pro, a great kid, handled this thing with great patience. We felt it was a win/win for both sides.”

### Ireland, on the state of the franchise and himself personally: “We’re extremely happy with the direction of the team right now. I handle [the criticism] great. We’ve built some momentum. Most of the plan – I’m not saying 100 percent – most of the plan has come to fruition…. We’ve got to win. There’s no doubt about it. My job is on the line, just like everybody else is. We’ve all got to win here. That’s what we’ve got to get accomplished.”

### On safety: “From the safety position, it’s going to be very competitive. We’ve got some guys that have played in starting roles. You’ve got Tyrone Culver, Chris Clemons, Reshad Jones. We’ve moved Jimmy Wilson [there]. We signed [Tyrell Johnson]. It’s going to be very competitive. It’s a young position. To say I have a crystal ball to say who is going to be the starters in this group, I couldn’t tell you even if I wanted to. I’m anxious to see where that plays out, to be honest with you.”

### On Joe Philbin: “Great vision. A man of integrity. A man of mental toughness. A guy around a program that has been successful. His ability to put an offense together and be productive. I liked him personally, felt like I could work with him. There are a lot of things you like about Joe. He impressed me so quickly about how he presented himself. Just had an aura about being a head coach. It’s been a really good marriage so far.”

Check back later for Heat-Knicks notes and Wednesday's buzz column.

 

Comments

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tadow

Ireland, as much crap that I talked about you, the draft you put together, along with the resigning of Wake, I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. I'm hoping we are all wrong and that Tannehill gets groomed like Aaron Rodgers, and he brings the Dolphins two-three Super Bowl rings

Cavanaugh

This team will finish 4-12 next year.

tadow

and if they do, all 12 of those losses would be by three points or less. Remember, Peyton Manning finished 3-13 his first year, 13-3 his second year. So please shut the "F" up Cavanaugh-crap

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Wow, real mature 'tadow'.

You're obviously one of those knee jerk know-nothing fans who jumped all over Ireland for not signing Manning and now are anointing him savior because he drafted a quarterback.

Dolphins could finish anywhere between 4-12 and 12-4 but it won't matter where they wind up in 2012 unless Tannehill turns out to be the real deal.

DavidR

Everyone feels great about their team in May.

tadow

Lt. Lois Einhorn, knee jerk-know nothing? OK, i'll take it

Please, i played two years in college football and write on the national level for ncaa football. The problem with the Miami fan base is that we are fair weather fans.

I'll admit i was wrong for ripping Ireland, but in reality, Ireland was a front man for all of Parcell's decision, and since Ireland is still around, we as fans have all ripped him. Last year was his first draft, it was pretty good, this years draft was better. I joined the bandwagon of ripping Ireland because of our frustration as Dolphans. We are tired of losing.

We were 16 points away last year from being 11-5

Lost 17-16 to Cleveland
Lost 18-15 OT to Denver
Lost 20-17 to NY Giants
Lost 20-19 to Dallas
Lost 27-24 to NE

turn those close losses into wins, and 6-10 now looks like 11-5. With no QB & Sparano running the team, none of which Ireland was at fault for.

If we groom Tannehill like Philbin did Aaron Rodgers, we will have something special.

N.D. Boochiss

To add to what tadow said: In the beginning of the year Sparano was working against a negative locker room which was made to be that way because of what Ross did to him leaving him twisting in the wind while he was making his own self & the Dolphins look bad courting Harbaugh with an active head coach still in place. Harbaugh may have come here if Ross has the wafers to fire Sparano first before going off coach hunting.

N.D. Boochiss

That was part of the reason we got off to such a dreadful start.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Well knee jerk to rip him and knee jerk to admit you were wrong. Maybe not a know-nothing, but then you might know better than to think Ireland proved himself by picking Tannehill. Ireland is what he is, a decent talent evaluator who doesn't respect that the quarterback position is all-important, just like his mentor.

Tannehill is what he is too, Philbin can't turn him into Aaron Rogers. He seems like an organized, level headed guy and I think he's going to be a good head coach but in Green Bay McCarthy designed the offense and drew and called the plays. Philbin's history is as an offensive line coach, he's never been a QB coach or designed or called plays in his career.

I think it was totally Ireland's fault that they didn't have a QB last year because he's the one who still thought Chad Henne could be a franchise quarterback and passed over 8 quarterbacks in the draft. He was forced to pick one this year, just have to hope we got lucky.

Dolphins looked like an 11-5 team for most of last year, I think I'd lean closer to that than 5-11 for 2012.

N.D. Boochiss

If Tannehill doesn't look like he is the goods then we need to keep going after QB's high in the draft until we get it right. The QB situation on this team has been deplorable since Dan and as everyone knows every coach and GM thought they could get away with a Fiedler a Green, Lemon, Culpepper, Frerotte or Harrington and didn't address the position except for Beck. THAT made us have to go for broke on Tannehill in this draft.

We are still gonna have a deficit at WR unless we get lucky with some of these longshots we have or just drafted or signed - but I have a distinct feeling that next year we are gonna HAVE to use a high pick on a need player at WR if we want to have a respectable passing game. Time will tell.

Roger Ribas

I still don't hear an adequate reason as to why not bring back fan favorite Y Bell???? The other folks always played out of position and Y Bell had to be constantly helping them THAT IS A JOKE!

Joe

We ll see.We ll definitely see if there s reason to get excited after a few games.Yes ...Ireland did the best draft here I ve seen yet.However..the Dolphin receivers are still too young and raw to really improve the offense drastically.The key is ....as is for every team in the NFL......the QB spot.That s why fans are excited becaise at least Tannehill brings .....hope.Hope we just never had the past 10 years or longer.Secondly....does or will Philbin really know what he is doing?Can he be a good head coach?THAT too in itself is a HUGE question also.Finally........I m excited to see how Matt Moore can be utilized in the new Offensive scheme/new coaches scheme as compared to his earnest showing last year.Can Moore improve?I really,really liked Moore s savvy and competitiveness many times last year.HE always gave great effort and was an intelligent and athletic guy.I m not down on the guy.

jerry

AS IN THE WORDS OF PHILBIN....football is not a hard game.Relax haters if you know what your really doing you will have success.4-12 is for losers like Sparano and who ever else that would in anyway defend him as a head-coach.

jerry

P.S...Case dis-missed!

Phinish

I know we don't know if Philbin will turn out to be a bad,good or great coach, but I like the option he represents as to what we had in Sparano.

I really believe Sparano had the heart to win, but not the brains, he got outcoached too many times, and he never seemed to have a clue about it. He had no problem motivating players, but never seemed to know how to use them to their full strengths. So I like what I see in Philbin, that is, he really understands football I just hope that reflects on the field.

Marios

In addition to the toughest schedule any team has had in years, I believe that the players were out of shape at the beginning of last season due to the lockout. So that falls on the captains and "team leaders" like Henne, YBell, Dansby,, JLong, JT, etc..for not keeping the group busy and together, Dansby himself came in more than 20lbs overweight. It's time we lay a little blame on the players themselves instead of blaming Sparano, Ross, Ireland, and all those guys we hate cause they get paid for doing what we wish we could do for a living... even though they had their fair share of the blame too.
All other guys I named are gone or retired,so Dansby just like JLong and all guys eating up the capspace better take charge or ship out.
With the 2 good drafts, normal schedule, OTAs, Philbin, etc... we should not suck so bad this year, maybe even win a playoff game, that would be a good step in the right direction and it's not a fairytale IMO, it's a very real goal for this team.

echmjh

For those of you too young to remember when Marino came into the league he had 2 young receivers come along with him. Duper was drafted in 1982 and Clayton was drafted in 83 with Marino. How long did it take them to become one of the best reciever duo's in the league (props to Nat Moore for being a great veteran and helping them along). Bottom line is a great QB will make any decent receiver a great one. If they can run a decent route and don't develop the dropsies (AKA B. Marshall) then most of the guys on this team will be good enough if Taneyhill or Moore turns out to be an upper tier QB.

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