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.”
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