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Amid Parcells rumors, Ireland power unquestionable

There have been some speculative reports about Bill Parcells lately about what he is thinking of doing, what he's about to do, what he's going to do unless he changes his mind and doesn't do anything.

Can we be transparant here?

Nobody in the media knows what Bill Parcells is really, truly going to do and when exactly he's going to do it. He will leave the Dolphins completely whenever he decides and until that time, he's going to be around (even if perhaps infrequently) as the team's football consultant. It is all very unclear.

What is very clear is that general manager Jeff Ireland is in charge of personnel and has as solid a grip on that as Parcells did before his resignation as the team's executive vice president of football operations. How is this so?

Well, Parcells answered to no one but ownership while he was in charge of everything Dolphins football. And here's the news: Ireland answers to no one but owner Stephen Ross now.

That has not always been the case. When Ireland came to the Dolphins, his contract called for him to answer to Parcells and the club president. But that contract has been amended in the last couple of months before Parcells stepped down, according to multiple NFL sources.

Ireland's contract now says he answers only to Ross. He does not answer to Parcells. He no longer reports to Dolphins CEO Mike Dee. Furthermore, while Ireland is under this current deal, the Dolphins cannot hire a football czar and place that person over Ireland because, again, Ireland answers only to ownership.

So Ireland does not have the specter of being told what decisions to make by the business side of the organization or by a person Ross might hire to fill the role Parcells previously played.

That essentially means concerns that Parcells might leave and Ross might hire someone such as Carl Peterson to run the show as Ireland's boss are moot.

Obviously, once Ireland's contract expires following the 2011 season, all bets are off. Obviously, if Ross discharges Ireland at some point, he can hire whomever he wishes atop the football side of the organization.

But while Ireland is in Miami, he's the boss on pesonnel answering only to the owner.

And that's the case regardless of when or whether Bill Parcells leaves.