Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland Should Be Fired On NFL’s Black Monday

Steve Mitchell–USA TODAY Sports

There is a contingent of Miami Dolphins faithful who are pinning the team’s collapse in 2013 on head coach Joe Philbin while resolving GM Jeff Ireland of blame. Those who hold this opinion point to a roster they say is too talented to miss the playoffs with. I respectfully disagree with this stance, as I believe Ireland’s inability to build a roster hindered the team more than anything else and that he should be fired on the NFL‘s Black Monday or sometime relatively soon.

While poor coaching certainly held the Dolphins back this season, the talent of their roster is being overrated by Ireland apologists. In fact, Ireland has constructed a below-average offense and defense. Take for example the Dolphins’ mediocre standing in most statistical categories.

Miami ranked in the bottom half of the league in passing yards, rushing yards, opponents passing yards and opponents rushing yards in 2013. Coaching certainly played a role in the Dolphins’ underachievement, but a roster as talented as some say it is would have excelled in something. The Dolphins were mediocre in virtually every way.

Yes, they were one win from making the postseason and actually defeated four of the AFC‘s six playoff teams, but that is more of an indictment on the conference itself than any endorsement of Miami’s talent level.

Look at the roster unit by unit. How many above-average corps do you see? Let’s begin on offense. Ryan Tannehill could be the team’s long-term answer at quarterback, but has yet to cement himself as such. The offensive line is one of the league’s worst, as evidenced by it conceding the most sacks in franchise history and doing little to help field a productive rushing attack.

The playmakers, while capable, still left something to be desired with a below average set of tailbacks and variety of one-dimensional pass catchers.

On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins possess one of the NFL’s best defensive lines, but their linebacker corps was perhaps the league’s worst and the secondary is only average.

The damage Ireland did this most recent offseason should be all the evidence owner Stephen Ross needs to part ways with the GM. Ireland spent big money to upgrade Tannehill’s weapons, only to virtually neglect the offensive line. The revolving door that followed handicapped the Dolphins’ offense all season and put Tannehill in danger of significant injury as he was sacked 58 times. It was an irresponsible act.

On defense, Ireland’s attempt to remodel the linebacker position severely backfired. Replacing Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett with Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler clearly made the Dolphins a worse defensive team and was one of Ireland’s worst decisions of his five-year tenure. Ellerbe and Wheeler’s inability to disengage from blockers, consistently tackle and cover downfield turned a decent defense into a below average one.

Some of the Dolphins’ issues could have been less detrimental if the team would have gotten some contribution from its rookie class. Instead, Miami’s top picks struggled to earn playing time all season as third overall selection Dion Jordan managed a whopping two sacks and second- and third-round cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis were beat out for playing time by fringe players all year.

The jury is still out on these rookies, but it wasn’t a promising first season for the 2013 draft class.

Ireland’s free agency and draft selection gaffes have plagued the Dolphins for long enough. Philbin and his staff deserve plenty of blame for Miami’s collapse in Weeks 16 and 17, but the lack of execution by the players Ireland hand selected is the biggest reason why the Dolphins aren’t going to the playoffs. For that, Ireland must be removed as the team’s GM.

Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.

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  • lionsuar77

    Ireland is a weirdo. The guy just irks me. He needs to go and then replaced by someone who has a stronger and more professional persona.,..Ireland just seems like the know-it-all in high school/college who tried to get in the way of people having a good time. He’s a mood killer. The Dolphins aren’t going anywhere as long as this black cloud hovers over us. Remember how he asked Dez Bryant if his mom was a prostitute? This is also the guy that turned a blind eye to Incognito’s molestation of a young lady in a golf course. The guy is just a freaking weirdo!! ROSS, GROW A PAIR!!

  • Jacqui Patterson-Kimbrough

    If the Dolphins have any chance of winning in anything ,Ireland has to go.Philbin should get one more chance since he had to work with the hand he was dealt by Ireland.With this being my thought ,Philbin is going to get a more competent staff,beginning with the offensive line coaches and a new and professional “General Manager”.Maybe we fans will see some light at the end of the tunnel.Stay tuned.!

    • Tim


    • trickyric

      could not agree more!
      Do people realize that 4 of the 5 offensive lineman will not be on this team in 2014?

  • Tim

    Jeff Ireland is a cheapskate, look around at all he passed on, luck being the obvious.he doesn’t know how to recruit that’s been proven he disappoints me every year! Wake up Miami ! FIRE IRELAND!

    • Trevor

      How did he pass on Luck? The colts got him with pick number 1… I hate him and want him gone but he didn’t have a chance on Andrew luck. I have faith in tannehill. He and Wallace should be out there everyday perfecting the deep ball so many times Tanny under threw it. Dion Jordan was a bad draft pick should of got a LTackle

      • trickyric

        I am not sure what your point is?
        Matt Moore played well so the urgency to overdraft Tannehill was not needed.
        As for the Wallace connection, you can’t practice your way to being able to throw an accurate deep ball. Once a QB is in the NFL their skills are pretty much what they are. They learn to read defenses and audibles.
        Ireland dismantled the O-line, receivers, secondary and linebackers and all are worse for it.
        I don’t see how getting a QB that should not have been selected in the first round was going to change any of that?

        • Trevor

          Matt moore looked pretty bad this past preseason and in the bills game. How can you not practice the deep ball? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. he’s a young qb who is 4-1 vs his draft class. If he had time to throw that would help.
          My point was the OP said Ireland obviously passed on luck. He couldn’t draft him. We would of had to loss every game to get him. Rg3 was next how did that trade work out. Fix the oline work on getting a connection with Wallace and fireland. Have faith in Tannehill

        • ned

          it is hard throwing a deep ball when you’re being hit.

  • John Tee

    Yes…Ireland needs to go. He over paid for Wallace (12 million dollar signing bonus). The Dolphins need a leader that will utilize the talent available and allow Philbin another year, maybe two to take the team to the Playoffs. Matt Moore should be the starter and place Tannehill as a back-up QB. The Dolphins need someone to utilize the talent that’s available and the get the job done. Easier said than done.

  • coleman j. weeks

    Joe lost the locker room, but he will be on top of that. Ireland needed to get veteran offensive lineman for a long time and if he is not fired I will probably have a stroke. I know he knows what he is doing, but he needs to inflict that on somebody else been a local fan for forty years and spent many of the years waiting for the total package, you can’t drive a car on three wheels either