Miami Dolphins: Team's Dreadful Play Proves It's Time to Fire Jeff Ireland
Remember how terrible the Miami Dolphins looked in the preseason?
If you need a refresher, then take a look at the scoring summary from their final game versus the Dallas Cowboys (and if you really want to relive the nightmare, then you can watch the highlights here):
This is what I wrote immediately following that loss:
The Dolphins were undisciplined, inefficient and incompetent. For starters, they committed 10 penalties for 126 yards and converted on just three of 13 third downs. They also yielded 238 rushing yards. No, not to DeMarco Murray or Felix Jones, but to Lance Dunbar, Jamize Olawale and Phillip Tanner.
All this being said, there were a few scattered glimmers of light. They were just dwarfed by the team's collective failure.
After teasing us for eight weeks, the Dolphins have regressed back into the team that was utterly embarrassed that night.
These last four weeks have exposed the Dolphins for what they truly are: a depthless team devoid of offensive weapons, a stable offensive line and a reliable secondary. These are the same problem areas that have plagued the team for years, more specifically in Jeff Ireland's reign as general manager.
Watching Miami's offense struggle to complete mundane tasks like pick up first downs, it was hard not to look upstairs at Ireland and ask: "Wait, why do you still have a job again?"
Really, take a hard look at this team.
Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are the only wide receivers that would even make another team's 53-man roster. Reggie Bush is suddenly average, Daniel Thomas has been mediocre at best, Charles Clay has been a monumental disappointment and Michael Egnew...yikes.
That's just the tip of the iceberg.
Hopes of Sean Smith becoming a dominant cornerback are dwindling, Jonathan Martin is only a rookie but he has been manhandled this season, and the Dolphins still don't have a pass rusher to complement Cameron Wake.
Let's take a look at his most recent draft class. Ryan Tannehill and Jonathan Martin will both be integral pieces of this offense for years to come—whether they pan out remains to be seen—but how about the other seven draftees?
Third-round pick Michael Egnew hasn't even cracked the active roster for a single game and sixth-round pick B.J. Cunningham was cut before the regular season. The remaining five—Olivier Vernon, Lamar Miller, Josh Kaddu, Kheeston Randall and Rishard Matthews—have combined to play just 281 snaps.
Jack Bechta of NationalFootballPost.com defines a successful NFL general manager as: "[An] Individual who can evaluate talent, work well with others, deal with the media, lead, manage, build and put together a winning and profitable blueprint for a billion dollar company."
Does Ireland fit this description at all?
Well, his talent evaluation is less than stellar. Reshad Jones, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Cameron Wake, Randy Starks, Marcus Thigpen and Matt Moore were great finds, but this is all Ireland has to show after five seasons?
That just doesn't cut it.
And, his list of misses is exponentially longer than his list of hits. Chad Henne, Pat White and Patrick Turner were huge busts. Koa Misi hasn't lived up to his second-round billing and Vontae Davis didn't even play out his rookie contract with the team. Even his biggest free agent splurges—Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby—didn't pan out.
He has most definitely failed to work well with others and deal with the media on numerous occasions. There's the Dez Bryant fiasco and the time Channing Crowder said Ireland is "not a good person." And, let's not forget about the time Ireland single-handedly prevented Ryan Clark from signing with the Dolphins:
ryan clark (@RealRClark25) March 19, 2012
No one! To believe I almost went there but it was easy decision not to. GM RT @captmrose: No kidding!NOONE wants to go to the Dolphins!— ryan clark (@RealRClark25) March 18, 2012
Finally, he most definitely has not put together a winning and profitable blueprint for a billion dollar company:
The Dolphins will likely finish with the worst home attendance as a percentage of capacity. Fins on the way to a 70% sold number.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) November 16, 2012
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Complicating Ireland's standing with the Dolphins is Bill Parcells. Parcells had final say when he and Ireland arrived in Miami in 2008. However, Parcells essentially stepped down in 2010. That means Ireland is now in his third year as the Dolphins shot-caller, and this team has only gotten progressively worse.
So, why does he deserve another chance to try and rebuild this team?
What has he done to convince anybody that he's capable of doing the job?
The Dolphins have a promising quarterback and a promising head coach. It's time to fully eradicate the stench from the Tony Sparano Era and wipe the slate completely clean by bringing in a new GM.
In a word: Fireland.
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