Category: Opinion

Big decisions ahead for Stephen Ross, Dolphins

 

By Miami Jules (@Miami_Jules on Twitter)

Jeff Ireland is gone, so is offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and ahead, bright blue skies and ticket sales. OK, maybe higher ticket sales but there’s a lot of uncertainty going around, at least in the world of arm chair analysts on the Internet, but sports media reporters and insiders  don’t seem to know any better either. Rumors and tweets from media insiders with reliable sources claiming Jeff Ireland was safe, were being spread around like the Swine Flu right up to the moment in which the Jeff Ireland news broke bringing into question the accuracy of any and all reports and rumors.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

We now have the last remaining pockets of resistance from Jeff Ireland loyalists, who are emphatically claiming the Ireland departure was in part or mostly due to a Machiavellian plan concocted by VP of Football Administration Dawn Aponte, in order to oust the often embattled and misunderstood Ireland. There are also rumors, perhaps even unconfirmed reports about  Joe Philbin who has long been on Stephen Ross’ good side, enjoying a huge amount of authority and vetoing power within the Dolphins organization. Here’s the thing, whether these rumors or reports are true or not, if the perception exists around the league  that Joe Philbin’s power is such, the search for a new GM will probably yield less than desired results.

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A (Funny) tribute & thank you letter to Jeff Ireland

 

Dear Jeff Ireland,

After your 6 seasons of service with the Miami Dolphins, we here at PhinNation only felt that it would be appropriate to give you the proper send off you deserve.  You helped build the last Dolphins AFC East Championship team in 2008.  And we know you tried your best in the years that followed.  You know, the 7-9, 7-9, 6-10, 7-9, 8-8 years?  You tried and for that you should be commended.

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A look back at Jeff Ireland’s tenure with the Dolphins

 

By Cyrus (@cyruslassus on Twitter)

The “Fireland” campaign has been going on for years and with the voice of the people getting louder and louder, Stephen Ross finally caved into the public pressure and mutually agreed to part ways with Jeff Ireland.

Dolphin fans everywhere view this move as addition by subtraction, but I will reserve judgement until the next general manager proves to be better and not just more likable.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

While it is easy to zero in on the mistakes he committed, I will start with some of the highlights of his tenure.

He was great at picking up acorns.

Cameron Wake was signed from the Canadian Football League and the three time Pro Bowler had his contract extended through 2017.  Many give Bill Parcells credit for the signing, but the extension was all Ireland.  Richie Incognito became a Pro Bowler in Miami after being released by two teams.  Dimitri Patterson, who had an injury shortened career year, was picked up off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns late in 2012.

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Ireland and Philbin should return to the Dolphins

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

The Miami Dolphins are a good football team, but their 8 wins are a major disappointment, especially considering that half of them were against teams who were only playing for pride.

Losing to Buffalo twice and also to Tampa Bay and the New York Jets is inexcusable.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

However, more than anything, it showed that the Dolphins can be beat by old fashioned football.  They struggled against teams that could run the ball and play defense, but there are many ways to fix that for 2014.

On the other hand, the Dolphins were built to beat the best, and did.

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What is Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross doing?

 

Miami Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross, is conspicuous by his absence.  Where is he? What is he doing?  Who is he seeking advice from?  What decisions will he ultimately make regarding the future of the Miami Dolphins?  Will he force Joe Philbin to fire Mike Sherman?  Will he fire Philbin himself?  Will Jeff Ireland’s reign in Miami finally come to an end?  The truth is, no one knows because Stephen Ross has not been seen since his helicopter left the Dolphins Headquarters on Thursday night.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The latest news we have came from Chris Mortensen of ESPN on Sunday Countdown.  More essentially said that both Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland appear to be ‘safe’.  Then, on Sunday night, Mike Silver of NFL Network tweeted this out:

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Dolphins’ Mike Sherman should be ‘Sherminated’

 

By Miami Jules (@Miami_Jules on Twitter)

There is a lot I like about Mike Sherman and yet I understand the best thing for the Miami Dolphins is for Sherman to be relieved of his play calling responsibilities. I was able to get an idea of what the new incoming offensive coordinator was like, as far as his personality was concerned, from last year’s HBO series “Hard Knocks”. I liked what I saw. Here was a man who embodied what I have to come to identify with as being a football coach. A man who displayed, at least in front of the rolling cameras, a healthy amount of “in-your-face-I’ll-tell-you-how-it-is-around-here” attitude, while at the same time showing an almost parental willingness to impart knowledge stemming from his vast experience and the logic of it all. Perfect! A player’s coach. A man with vision, discipline and a healthy amount of tough love. Mike Sherman was also able to put together game plans which maximized the strengths of his team, based on the players he had available to him.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Why is it then that I would feel very strongly and advocate for relieving him of his play calling duties? Could it be that there was a mandate from higher ups for him to focus on making something work in order to justify acquisitions made during the off season, instead of allowing him to perform his job in its full capacity as a play caller and focus on what needed to be done.  Which is to blame for his troubles? The answer I came up with, after much pondering, was a resounding no.

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A first look at players the Dolphins might target this offseason

 

By Cyrus Lassus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

The Miami Dolphins offseason has begun and the time to make plans for 2014 has begun.  Many would say fire everybody, but I am closer to saying bring everybody back.

Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, Brent Grimes, Richie Incognito, Dustin Keller, Tyson Clabo, Chris Clemons, Bryant McKinnie and Nolan Carroll are the top unrestricted free agents and they are all NFL caliber starters at their positions, some of them Pro Bowlers.  Only Brent Grimes seems to qualify for a pay raise, so it should not be too costly to keep your best players.

Photo courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo courtesy of Dolphins.com

Other unrestricted free agents are in the fringe roster spot category Chris Owens, Austin Spitler, Marlon Moore and John Jerry, who actually is a starter for Miami’s beleaguered offensive line.  I have no problem with camp invites for all of those guys, along with the restricted free agents, RJ Stanford, Danny Watkins, Pat Devlin and Will Yeatman.

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Jeff Ireland’s resume cannot be defended

 

By Miami Jules (@Miami_Jules on Twitter)

It was on a late Sunday afternoon back in November, when I said to someone. wake me up when the season’s over. What I meant by that was, that any effort I would make in trying to analyze upcoming games would be pointless, because in spite of any single game plan’s effectiveness, our offensive coordinator would just switch arbitrarily at some point (usually halftime) to something jaw-droppingly insane. I decided at that point to put my pen down and enjoy whatever was left of the regular football season while taking a literary nap. I have now, because the season has ended, been awoken from this nap… and I woke up in a bad mood.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

I will be looking forward to any and all news coming out of Davie starting now, I will go back on Twitter and will eagerly await the dismissal of he who carries a bigger self-centered attitude than clear vision of putting a winning franchise together, and that person of whom I speak  of is Mr. Jeff Ireland. What is left as the remnants of  hopes and dreams of a once illusioned filled fan base, are the ashes of all the passion that once ardently burned in the hearts and souls of all Dolfans worldwide. A quickly eroding local fan base, and I refer to local, because we are the ones in the best position to go to the stadium and cheer our team on while making the ownership feel appreciated and reciprocally compensated.

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Is it playoffs or bust for Dolphins’ Philbin and Ireland?

 

On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins will come to a fork in the road.  Will the Ryan Tannehill led Dolphins travel down the road that the Chad Henne, Cleo Lemon, and John Beck Dolphins ventured down?  Or will the Ryan Tannehill led Dolphins travel down the newly paved road…the one that hasn’t been used for a few years (since 2008)?  Will Sunday’s performance be ‘the same old Dolphins’?  Or will we see what a new franchise quarterback can do?  Will we see a coaching staff, despite their issues, prepare their team well enough to make a statement and hopefully make the playoffs?  We’ll know very soon.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The Dolphins will lay it all on the line on Sunday (we hope), with a second chance to earn a postseason berth.  That’s right, they laid an egg in their first chance to take a strangle hold on the #6 seed, but instead shot themselves in the foot….repeatedly.  The players want to make the playoffs…..they want to beat the Jets again……they want all of their hard work to pay off in the form of a playoff berth…..they want to reach a place the Dolphins have only sniffed once in the last decade.  BUT, Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland NEED this team to win on Sunday.  They need the Dolphins to take care of their own business and hope to get some help in Cincinnati or San Diego.  If they don’t, I contend that the Dolphins should press the reset button and start over. Fire them.  Both.  Start over.  I have no idea if Stephen Ross feels the same way, but he should.

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Dolphins have no excuses, just win in Buffalo

 

The Miami Dolphins have been playing like a different football team the last 3 weeks.  In their 3 straight wins they have shown an ability to close out games that was missing earlier this season.  More specifically, the Dolphins found ways to close out games against both the Steelers and the Patriots.  Yes, the endings of those games were eerily similar to losses the Dolphins faced earlier this season (i.e. the Panthers and Ravens games come to mind).  BUT, in the last 2 weeks, the Dolphins have held on for dear life…..and emerged with victories.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The Dolphins have also played very well against established quarterbacks in the NFL.  Think about it, the Dolphins have beaten Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Phillip Rivers, and Tom Brady this season.  Unfortunately, the Dolphins lost games to Mike Glennon and something called a Thad Lewis.  Well we learned on Wednesday that the Dolphins will get another crack at Mr. Thad Lewis, when the Dolphins head to Buffalo on Sunday for a crucial game against the Bills.

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