Bill Parcells, "The Tuna," the man who has turned around many a franchise, most recently the newly in contention Miami Dolphins, is finally stepping down, at least for now. He announced on Tuesday that he is stepping down from his role as the VP of Dolphins football operations and will assume a "daily consultant" role. In short, he is only a phone call away if the new man in charge, Jeff Ireland, needs advice, but would rather be left alone.
But is Jeff "is your mother a prostitute" Ireland ready for the Big Show, for the 24/7 controlling all aspects of a football team? Let's face it, Parcells has been completely in charge of all personnel aspects since taking over in 2007.
First, Who is he?
Jeff Ireland was a placekicker for the Baylor Bears in 1988 and blew one of the biggest games in Bears history, he missed three under-45 yard field goals that cost the Bears the game and their No. 8 national ranking, the highest they have ever been since.
Ireland served for three years as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs, then was a national scout for the Dallas Cowboys, and during his tenure the team drafted pro bowlers Jason Witten and Roy Williams among others. He was then promoted in 2005 to the Vice President of Pro and College Scouting.
He was hired by Parcells on January 2, 2008, to the GM position with the Miami Dolphins along with current head coach Tony Sparano a few weeks later. Ireland and Parcells, along with Sparano, had worked together previously both serving with the Dallas Cowboys, Parcells as head coach and Ireland as an executive.
Jeff is married and has four children
Current Dolphins Career
Ireland has spent two seasons with the Dolphins, the first a remarkable turnaround following a 1-15 season, the Dolphins went 11-5, the biggest single season comeback in league history. The Phins made the playoffs, losing to Baltimore in the first round. Prior to that run, Ireland (but mainly Parcells) acquired veteran Chad Pennington, and the offense put in a new system, the Wildcat, that would change the league for ever.
In Week 3 of 2009, with the Dolphins having lost their first two games and on track to lose their third, Pennington went down making way for 2nd year QB Chad Henne to start. He looked great until the end of the year when he began to throw too many interceptions. Henne, the Dolphins 2nd round pick prior to the 2008 season, will start for Ireland's Phins in 2010.
The Dolphins finished 7-9 in 2009 behind Henne, who Ireland has been a supporter of from the start, and who has Dolphins fans everywhere screaming for a playoff birth. Prior to Parcells' departure, the two former Cowboys employees made 3 more important moves. They drafted a fantastic defensive class, acquired LB Karlos Dansby and WR Brandon Marshall.
However the thing that got Dolphins fans very on edge about Ireland was an incident right before the NFL draft, that occurred with a player named Dez Bryant, and the job of his mother. Bryant allegedly said that his father was a pimp and that his mother worked for his father, provoking the question: So your mother is a prostitute? That question was way out of line and has still Dolphins fans that Ireland is now in a very important leadership role.
Can someone seemingly that immature, irrational, and short-sighted possibly run an NFL team?
Ideally the Dez Bryant debacle was a mere mishap on Ireland's part and will be forgiven and forgotten. Let's hope so.
Now, less than a week from the first game of the year, at Buffalo where the Dolphins have lost their last five meetings, the Big Tuna jumps ship, stuns Dolphins fans, and leaves the Phins in the hopefully very capable hands of Jeff Ireland, Tony Sparano, and Chad Henne. Lets hope they're ready!