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For the final slide of the takeaways piece (and final slide of the season), I'm going to refrain from blindly saying to fire general manager Jeff Ireland. Instead I'll debate his merits and his detriments.
One could make the argument that Ireland actually did a good job acquiring talent. One can point to the coaching staff for not utilizing that talent properly.
That's a very valid argument. All year this season when Dion Jordan played, he made an impact, yet the coaches rarely used him.
Jordan is just one example. You could also look at the schemes the coaches used with the players, and how sometimes it just didn't seem to fit.
Check out agent David Canter's timeline on Twitter, as this is the argument he's making.
It's a valid argument in favor of Jeff Ireland—he acquired the talent, it wasn't used well—and it is all true. However, I just have one question.
Who hired these coaches to begin with?
The staff was put together by Joe Philbin himself, and Joe Philbin appeared to be the choice of Stephen Ross two years ago when he was hired.
But Jeff Ireland, as the general manager, had a voice and could've gone to bat for someone else as coach. He didn't, and Philbin was hired to complete what I call the confederacy of dunces.
That by itself cancels out any other argument, in my not-so-humble opinion. As the general manager, you not only acquire the talent but also the coaches to coach up that talent.
The Dolphins' coaches failed to do that—coaches hired by Jeff Ireland.
There are other reasons Ireland must go (he hasn't had the best drafts, especially on Day 2), but this is reason No. 1.
Now before I sign off for the season, I'd like to thank all of you readers for such a great season. Sure the Dolphins disappointed us, but it was never a disappointment to write about the Dolphins and analyze them for all of you, nor was it ever a disappointment to participate in some of the more lively discussions with you all on Twitter and in the comments section.
I'll continue writing about the Dolphins this offseason, and it is my hope that you will continue reading. Thank you for making this year a good one professionally for me, and may the Dolphins give me reasons to write positively about them in 2014.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everybody!