From 2008-13, the Miami Dolphins had Jeff Ireland as the general manager of the team. A general manager’s job is to supply talent for an NFL team. A GM provides the groceries and the coaches prepare the meal.
Ireland and the Dolphins mutually parted ways after the 2013 season, one which was filled with disappointment and anguish for the Dolphins and their fans. Ireland was constantly bashed by salty fans who thought Ireland was not performing his duties very well.
This may have been fair criticism, as Ireland executed several questionable personnel moves in his time as the main man picking players. The most recent blunder was the decision to cut the Dolphins’ two productive starting linebackers, Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby, in favor of two unproven guys in Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe. The change proved to be for the worse, as the Dolphins allowed the most rushing yards in 2013 since the infamous 1-15 season of 2007.
Ireland also was responsible for the Swiss cheese offensive line, which allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks in 2013. Ireland trusted that Jonathan Martin could hold down the left tackle position, one of the most important positions in football, after playing right tackle nearly his entire rookie season. Because of this belief, Ireland signed a veteran right tackle in Tyson Clabo this offseason instead of adding help at left tackle. This was one of the most damning decision of the 2013 offseason.
Ireland brought talent to this team, but never seemed to have the right talent in place at the right times, such as adding Brandon Marshall when the team needed a receiver, then having Chad Henne replace Chad Pennington as starter, creating a huge hole at quarterback.
Now, with all that being said, the next sentence is the most important of this article and cannot be stressed enough.
Get over it!
Ireland is finally gone after five straight years of mediocrity; after not one, but two banners were flown over Sun Life Stadium begging for the firing of Ireland.
Yet, Dolphins fans still talk about the man.
The Dolphins are moving forward, building toward a new future while forgetting the painful memories of past. It’s time for you to do the same. Embrace Dennis Hickey, as it wasn’t too long ago that some of you Dolphins fans said “anyone but Ireland.”
Ireland was the villain of the Dolphins’ franchise and the one to blame for all problems even remotely Dolphins-related for fans. And he deserved it for the most part.
But now that he is gone, do not blame him for future problems. This is no longer his team; he is no longer picking players.
Your wish has been granted, Dolphins fans. Enjoy it and forget you even heard the name Jeff Ireland.