Brighter Days Ahead
Yes Sir, South Florida is running “HOT” with FIRELAND FEVER, as the embattled GM Jeff Ireland continues to show that he is a survivor. He has distanced himself from Bill Parcells when the guru left Miami and he managed to shift all the blame to Tony Sparano when he was fired. He has managed since then to completely bungle the off-season period thus far and has created an aura of distrust league wide, yet he is still standing! If this were a reality show he’d be a shoe-in to win a million bucks.
Lets look to the brighter side, Ireland is on his last year of his contract, and most likely will be kept as GM until then, especially with the draft right around the corner. He most likely won’t be gone before next season, unless the situation takes a nosedive even further during the season, I never doubt this man’s ability to do the unthinkable.
The Dolphins made season-ticket holders pay their down-payments before the start of free agency period, with all the Peyton Manning hype prior to Free Agency, I would expect that the Dolphins achieved good pre-sales, in an economy where people in Miami are suffering. Some would even go as far as saying that the Peyton Manning chase, even when it seemed unattainable, was a ruse, and that the Dolphins defrauded their loyal fans to drum up sales before Free Agency. If true, it was a good business ploy on their part, hats off! But watch out next year, fans are going to have a bitter taste in their mouths!
With the anti-climatic Free Agency period so far, some of those season ticket holders can’t show their level of disappointment with management this year, since they already paid their re-up fee and would most likely pay of the balance for their 2012 season tickets. But next year! If Ireland can’t pull a miracle out of his butt and have the combination of Moore, Fasano, Bess and Hartline walk on water, he will be on Alligator Alley with no gas. He must change the perception during the season, or next year its adios amigo, and his contract will not be renewed.
Fact is, yes, we need a new GM. For no simpler reason than the fact that the negative perception that currently surrounds Jeff Ireland is a league wide phenomenon. His image with potential employees and player is unrepairable, and thus Ireland’s current role as GM places this franchise at a significant disadvantage when competing with other teams to acquire scarce services. That is a major point, in negotiation process, and if people can’t understand that ramification then it makes no sense saying much more.
Ireland has made some good and bad choices in the past, but ultimately he did not add value to his role as GM. Most of Miami best picks have come in the first round, its not hard to miss when you are shooting from below the basket. But the Dolphins are practically the worst drafting team in the 2nd round over the last four years, and beyond that we consistently fail to find diamonds in the rough in the later rounds.
Where has the last four years of drafting taken us, has it yielded any results, usually when a team goes into rebuilding, it means that you have come off some period of sustained success right! Well you will hope so. The point is, if I turn the keys to the Dolphins over to you…. chances are you will make some good calls and some bad calls, but a great GM finds added value in the draft on a consistent basis, and in the later rounds, Ireland has not done that.
The Dolphins drafts (Ireland/Parcells) over the past four years have been below average from a added value perspective. Lets take a look at the drafts. I am assuming you guys/gals know what I mean by Value Added (Value Added eg. Mario Willaims round 1 pick # 1 is not value added, that’s what you expect from a consensus #1 DE. Jared Allen round 4 pick #126 is value added!)
2008 (First 4 rounds)
- Overall Pick # 1 Jake Long – Great Player! No Value Added. He was #1 overall pick. Matt Ryan was still on the board, the pick can be criticized for selecting a LT before having a franchise QB on the roster to protect.
- Overall Pick # 32 Philip Merling – Bust! Negative Value Added. Consider the players at his position of DE/DT that were selected right after him: Calais Campbell, Jason Jones and Kendall Langford. Also consider other notable players at positions other than DE/DT that went right after Merling’s selection: CB Brandon Flowers, LB Curtis Lofton, RB Matt Forte, WR DeSean Jackson and RB Ray Rice.
- Overall Pick # 57 Chad Henne – Not a Franchise QB. No longer in Miami. No Value Added. Considering the Dolphins went Jake Long instead of Matt Ryan admittedly they needed to take a shot at Henne with this pick, especially in this QB weak class of 2008. But they forced themselves into this position by not selecting Matt Ryan, further making this pick look bad is that other QB needy teams passed on Henne in the 2nd round before Miami picked him, Miami’s talent assessment of Chad Henne vs Matt Ryan was obviously wrong.
- Overall Pick # 66 Kendal Langford – Good DE/DT, Good Value Added. No longer in Miami. Langford turned out to be better than Philip Merling who was drafted an entire round ahead of him. This was a rare occasion where Miami showed very good talent assessment by considering Langford was a small school prospect.
- Overall Pick # 110 Shawn Murphy – Non Impact Player. No longer in MIA. No Value Added. Considering that two of the better guards in all of the NFL went after this pick it can be considered huge opportunity missed. Those two have super rings, they are Josh Sitton and Carl Nicks.
- Other Picks: Jalen Parmele, Donald Thomas, Lex Hilliard, Lionel Dotson
2009 (First 4 rounds)
- Overall Pick # 25 Vontae Davis – Very Good DB. Value Added because its was bottom of the first round, and other teams that needed CB help passed on him. Notable that Clay Matthews, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt went immediately after Vontae Davis selection. Vontae Davis was a solid pick.
- Overall Pick # 44 Pat White – Disastrous Selection! Negative Value Added. Wasted Pick. Could have thrown a dart at the draft board and probably selected someone better! Second year in a row selecting a QB in the second round. Clint Sintim and Connor Barwin selected immediately after, and LeSean McCoy followed a couple picks later. This selection eroded any positive gains from the Vontae Davis selection in round one.
- Overall Pick # 61 Sean Smith – Good Pick. Value Added. Sean has been able to fulfill a starter’s role, although he has had up and down seasons, he has massive potential if he can gain consistency. He is considered added value because of where he was drafted and the players that went before him. Notable that Ladarius Webb went a round later than Sean Smith. Sean was a solid pick.
- Overall Pick # 87 Patrick Turner – No Value Added. No Longer in Miami. Never showed much of anything. Yet another wasted pick. Ladarius Webb, Jared Cook, and Jerraud Powers went immediately after Turner’s selection.
- Overall Pick # 108 Brian Hartline – Average wideout talent. He is a career backup. Very small Value Added for his draft position. He is serviceable. But the combine’s standout Johnny Knox was still available on the board.
- Other Picks: John Nalbone, Chris Clemons, Andrew Gardener, JD Folsom
2010 (First 4 rounds)
- Overall Pick # 28 Jared Odrick – Decent Player. No Value Added. Because of Merling’s struggles, Miami was forced to look at DE/DT again in 2010, Jared is a decent player, certainly not a bust, but considering Lamarr Houston and Carlos Dunalp went an entire round later, there is no value added to selecting Jared Odrick at 28th overall. Safeties Nate Allen and TJ Ward went soon after his selection.
- Overall Pick # 40 Koa Misi – Under-performing LB. Negative Value Added. Considering the players taken right after him such as Rob Gronkowski, Sergio Kindle, Lamarr houston, Daryl Washington, Jermaine Cunningham, Carlos Dunlap, and Sean Lee! Misi is ok, but it’s clear that there was wealth of other options available who are having much better careers at this point.
- Overall Pick # 73 John Jerry – Backup Guard. Has not shown much to be considered a future starter at guard. No Value Added. Notable players to go right after him were Major Wright, Emmanuel Sanders, Corey Peters, Jordan Shipley, NaVorro Bowman, Tony Moeaki, Jimmy Graham! Jimmy Graham! Jimmy Graham, who played at UM!
- Overall Pick # 119 A.J. Edds – Not much to say here, its A.J. Edds!
- Other Picks: Nolan Carroll, Reshad Jones, Chris McCoy, Austin Spitler
2011 (First 4 rounds)
- Overall Pick # 15 Mike Pouncey – Top Center on the board. No Value Added. But Center at pick # 15, too safe of a pick some say might say. Yet another offense lineman selected by Miami before a franchise QB is on the roster. Added to that the greater valued position of offensive tackle had several prospects still on the board such as Nate Solder, Anthony Castonzo and James Carpenter. The #2 ranked Center Stefen Wisniewski, who turned into a very solid pick and some might say outplayed Mike Pouncey in his rookie year went almost a round and half after Pouncey’s selection. Other notable players who went directly after Mike Pouncey were Ryan Kerrigan, Prince Amukamara, Adrain Clayborn, Philip Taylor, Cameron Jordan, Jonathan Baldwin, Jimmy Smith, Mark Ingram, Cameron Heyward, Andy Dalton. I like Mike Pouncey but this was a very safe pick, Stefen Wiseniewski had just as good a season and he went much later.
- Overall Pick # 62 Daniel Thomas – Super Negative Value. Traded up! Miami did not have 2nd rounder, using a 3rd, 5th, and 7th rounder Miami traded back into the 2nd round for what every thought was going to be the QB Ryan Mallett. Miami instead selected running back Daniel Thomas, at time when all around the league running backs were being devalued. The pick was particularly distressing since QB Ryan Mallett a player with first round talent was still on the board, after falling down draft boards because of personality issues. Mallett went 12 picks later to a division rival, to the stronger more respected front office/coach of New England. New England got Super Value with this selection. We would not be discussing the lack of a young QB right now in Miami, if Mallett was selected, but hey we got Daniel Thomas… when this off-season RBs like Peyton Hillis and Mike Tolbert were going on the cheap. Tolbert just signed for 4y/10million.
- Overall Pick # 111 Edmond Gates – Decent Pick – Avg. WR. Verdict still out.
- Other Picks: Charles Clay, Frank Kearse, Jimmy Wilson
Mama said Proof is in the Pudding!
I don’t buy the excuse that Ireland had nothing to do with draft picks while Parcells was here, its not right to offer Ireland a mulligan, after all Ireland was the GM. He was not sitting around twiddling his thumbs while Parcells was there, as GM Ireland’s sub-ordinates was the Director of Player Personnel and the Head of College Recruiting! Ireland was heavily involved in the recruiting process, yes he may not have had final say, but his hands are as dirty as Parcells. Show me with a straight face where Jeff Ireland has added significant value through the draft, show me where Ireland has shown his superior ability for talent assessment beyond that of his peers! He has not! When Jeff Ireland is compared to guys like Eric Dacosta of the Baltimore Ravens, Ireland looks like an intern doing the job of a professional. So for a team that has burned the bridges in the Free Agency market and one that’s hopes to build through the draft, I am deeply worried!
Almost forgot: “Oh and is your momma a ………..?” Jeff Ireland to Dez Bryant.
Writer – MaxVain
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