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Jeff Ireland address Friday night's Dolphins draft picks; Stephen Ross speaks out

Some quick comments from Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland on his three picks Friday:

### On Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor: "Great kid.  Prototypical size and speed.  Very smart.  Very physical.  Can play inside and outside.  He plays with a great awareness, instinct."

### On Utah State cornerback Will Davis: "Can play inside or outside. Very skilled athlete. Doesn't have a lot of experience. Really came on the scene this year.

"Obviously with his experience level you would think that he may be a little bit of a developmental player, but I think the guy has the skill set to play in this league. I think that with the great coaching that we have and the players around him, he will develop fast.” 

### Ireland said Tennessee offensive lineman Dallas Thomas would play on the left side, but he was non-committal about whether he will play guard or tackle. He said the coaches would determine that.

“We spent a lot of time watching him play in 2011 and 2012. I  love the versatility. When you see a big guy that can pull and move his feet and play guard and tackle on the left side, that’s pretty unique."

Ireland suggested he doesn't expect a trade for Kansas City's Branden Albert, but he also said nothing was going on with Davone Bess a day before was traded. He wouldn't rule out a trade for Albert.

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Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made some interesting revelations and comments in a studio appearance on Dan Le Batard’s show on 790 The Ticket today. Among them:

### “This organization is functioning the best since the Shula days, [because] I picked the head coach with Jeff Ireland. People see this organization is really on the uptick.”

### On Ireland: “People wanted to blame our losing on somebody, and he was the easy person to blame it on. I believe in Jeff, and you’re seeing today what Jeff Ireland can really do. This past year is the first year, under my [ownership] this organization is coming into its own.”

### He said No. 1 draft pick Dion Jordan reminded the front office of Jason Taylor and DeMarcus Ware.

### He said during his first year as owner, “Everybody had me walking on eggshells... or we were going to lose Bill Parcells.”... He disagreed with Le Batard's assertion that Parcells is a fraud: "I have a lot of respect for the guy. I like the guy. He didn't stay with it for personal reasons."

### On his trip to visit then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh when Tony Sparano was still the team’s coach: “I got blasted for Harbaugh. He turned out to be a pretty darn good coach. It wasn’t like I was looking in the wrong direction. Everyone said, ‘This guy doesn’t know what he’s doing.’… I learned a lot. I knew this guy would be a great head coach. We have one now.”

Ross said he quickly learned he was being used by Harbaugh's agent. Soon after, Harbaugh became head coach of the 49ers.

### Ross criticized former coach Tony Sparano: “The way Tony reacted to [the Harbaugh interview] damaged the whole organization. He could never put it behind him. I don’t think he was right head coach for Miami Dolphins. I didn’t hire him. We’re a much better organization today than then.”

Sparano was upset that Ross interviewed Harbaugh while Sparano was still employed, then was rewarded with a one-year extension that apparently didn’t soothe his feelings as much as Ross expected it would.

By the way, Ross openly questioned Sparano's coaching decisions around confidantes. He thought Sparano's teams played below their talent level.

### He said his pitch to Peyton Manning during free agency last spring included a role with the Dolphins after he retired. “I got to know Archie Manning. I tried every angle. You have to be tenacious. I thought we had a shot at him. We went up to Indianapolis. I then flew him from Indianapolis to North Carolina, to Duke, and he and I spent some time together.

“I know the reason why he made the decision. I made an offer I thought would get him there [with a post-playing career role that Ross did not specify on the radio]. He wrote me a letter: ‘I would love to come with you, but I guess that would mean I have to play for you.’

He said one of the main reasons Manning chose Denver was “his familiarity with the coaches and their [offensive] systems. He didn’t know our coaches or our system.”

### When Manning returned to Miami after meeting with the Dolphins and other teams, TV reporters cascaded on him, and helicopters followed his car back home.

“The helicopters really spooked him,” Ross said. “He wants privacy. He takes his profession very seriously. He didn’t want all that in Miami. There were a number of factors why we didn’t get him.”

### Ross revealed the team “hired five quarterback experts” last offseason to study available quarterback options. The reason? He said the Dolphins wanted “to leave no stone unturned, because we couldn’t make a mistake.” He said his experts liked Andrew Luck No. 1, Robert Griffin No. 2 and Tannehill third among quarterbacks in the 2012 draft.

### He said Tannehill “will turn out to be a great quarterback.”

### He said: “I don’t know if there’s a fair argument against” the team’s public financing plan. The Miami-Dade referendum is scheduled for May 14.

### What if the stadium financing plan is voted down? "There isn't a backup plan. If we don't get it, I'll have to figure it out."

### Why not pay for the whole project himself? "I'm paying much, much more than the percentage I would possibly benefit. It's not the community paying me. It's the tourists who stay in the hotels who are paying."

### He admitted he "absolutely" wishes there wasn't a vote on the issue. "The county commission could have voted for it, but we agreed to a referendum because of the Marlins deal. It's not even close to the Marlins [ballpark] deal. If it were close to the Marlins deal, it wouldn't even be [given] to the voters. Why should anybody be against it? If you really love Dade County, you shouldn't be against it. They're the beneficiaries."

### If fans feel hopeful about the team, does that help with the vote? "I would hope so. [But] I will be judged on if we have a winning team, not on the stadium. If we fail [with the stadium], I'm still trying to put a winning team on the field.... The challenge is great, but we're going to succeed."

### Please see our last post for analysis from pundits on the Dion Jordan pick; some players the Dolphins checked out at key positions; and an agent ripping the Marlins.

Comments

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rboud

Ross didn't think Sparano was the right coach for the Miami Dolphins. That may be. Ross is definitely not the right owner for the Miami Dolphins, or any other NFL team for that matter.

John

A tax is a tax.

Mr. Ross's comment that It's the tourists who stay in the hotels who are paying" , is certainly not a fair argument for the financing plan. The guy wants a handout.

DannyHesford

Rboud.... Why?

I can't bare those who make thoughtless statements without offering any reason.

rboud

DannyHesford Why?

He's much more worried about what entertainers he can align himself with instead of football being his highest priority. He has the utmost faith in Ireland as a GM and just what does he base that on. Ireland made a risky pick considering it was the 3rd pick of the draft and he gave up a 2nd round pick to get it. He should be fired if this pick doesn't pan out next year, not 2 or 3 years from now. You don't gamble on such a high draft choice. I hope I'm wrong about this pick, but we shall see.

Dom

Dude r ya related to sparano> he did a lousy job, we went backwards.,
2. We got a top 5 top 7 player based on every draft review I read and mayock is in love with this guy. we still had a 2nd rd pick, so its worth it. He was going in top 6,,,,,,,,,,
3. they r headed in right direction, we just signed top WR on market, and bejesus,,,,,,,geesh
Ross keep on truckin!

TinSouthMiami

Steve Ross can go fvck himself.
Is the fact that the taxpayers get no ownership stake for their investment a "fair argument against"?

I think so and plenty others do too. Cant wait to vote this down. BTW the renovations will still happen he isn't fooling anyone

Jojo

Well...the jury is still out on Philbin though he does show me glimpses of possibly being a very good coach.Mainly....I like his organization and big picture view of what type teams are successful in the NFL.His GB background helps and he s his own man and is serious about having the proper team chemistry and talent needed for success on an NFL team also.The developement of Tannehill and Offensive production in general will tell us if Philbin s the real deal very soon.Ireland s been shaky but I m giving him renewed respect because his light finally has turned on in HIS last 2 drafts.Ross is an owner and he can say and do what he wants.I do hope he wants the fans to be happy though with their local team and will work very hard to deliver them a winner.I feel too that he s improved and learned since he first arrived in Miami.Looking forward for a change......to the upcoming season.GO PHINS.

FIUJM

Like the Dolphins pick addressing defense! Hope Dion Jordan turns out to be a stud, risk they took was worth it.

Congrats to Cyprien being 1st pick of 2nd round. Jaguars got a physical safety!

Jmike

rboud, really and the reason for that is what. I love fans that say something and then don't give a reason for their position. He spends money, and gets out of the way. Red carpet a mistake. sure , but he tries to innovate. I absolutely disagree with you about Ross.

Stricklyroots

All y'all geniuses against the tax realize that the stadium deal is the ONLY type of deal that the tax can be used on?!!! It is TOURISM DEVELOPMENT - you've heard of tourism, right?! That thing that drives South Florida's economic engine.

I CHALLENGE ANYONE TO COME UP WITH TWO BETTER IDEAS FOR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT THAN BRINGING MULTIPLE SUPER BOWLS AND COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIPS... ANYBODY!!!

Jmike

rboud, you are a moron. Jordan was projected to be picked between 3 and 6. He was considered to be the best pass rusher in the draft. At one time he was even projected to go number 2 by ESPN, nothing wrong with moving up in the draft to get the best pass rusher. Beside the Phins only game up a 2nd to make that move. In any event the Phins killed Oakland on the trade, according to the trade value chart the 3rd pick is worth 2200 points, the Phins gave up the 12th pick worth 1200 points, and the 42 pick worth 480 points, meaning Oakland left almost 600 value points on the table. They also drafted 2 sud DB's about where they should have been drafted. Taylor was projected as a high 2nd and Davis as a low 2 or high 3. BTW did you sleep through the off season, yeah probably did.

rboud

Jmike - We'll see who the moron is this time next year.
Your arrogance is very unappealing. You can disagree with people without attacking them. The jury will be out on this pick for another year. Your opinion is worth no more than mine. Grow up?

green

Congrats to CB Brandon MCGee, selected No. 149 overall (5th round) by St. Louis Rams.

UM has player drafted for 39th straight year.
-- @MiamiHurricanes

FREAK STREAK

TinSouthMiami

"Strickly"
What you wrote is exactly the asininely flawed logic.
that lead to the marlins stadium. But but but it's only the tourists that are going to pay@ ....They cant use the money for anything else.
You sir are an idiot and morons like you are all too willing to give your money away and that's why things like this keep happening. Not going to happen this time though

Bobbyd12

TinsouthMiami, ask a business owner, which you obviously are not, what a SuperBowl and Major Events bring o their business. You and Norman Braman should get a room together because I bet you are just as much as a hypocrite as him.

TinSouthMiami

You must work for the Dolphins, the Related Group, or one of the pissants who work at the stadium. Which is it?

konandy

Hey Ross, you made some of the most STUPID statements of blame on Sporano the other day. You said his poor attitude hurt the team?? Really? LOL, you know what hurt this team when he was coach??>>>The JACKASS owner who let the WHOLE world know (before the season was even done) that he was looking to replace the head coach while the poor guy was still employed! I wouldn't have handled it anywhere near as well as he did! You know what else hurts (not hurt, but "hurts" as in currently)this team?? The JACKASS owner who instead of concentrating on the job at hand (football) makes a circus attraction out of the team by employing a bunch of trained celebrity chimps and has-been celebrity chimps!
I realluy don't know how an idiot like you got your money.........
Baffling.

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