Report: Fins’ Ireland Finally On Hot Seat
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland has proven to be Teflon-like for his ability to not have the Dolphins continuing woes stick to him. But, his time may be about to run out with the expected horrendous season the Dolphins are undertaking now.
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, sources said Ireland may finally lose his job if the team turns in a performance of 5-11 or worse this season. There were caveats including if quarterback Ryan Tannehill plays well or coach Joe Philbin asks for Ireland to stay.
But, fans revolted last season after Ireland was kept and the early results on the rebuilt roster Ireland put together have been awful to say the least. The Dolphins haven’t won a game since Week 17 of last year and have lost six of their last eight games dating back to last season, including the preseason.
Ireland’s recent decisions to cut or trade players have not endeared him to the fans or to the current players. The most recent decision to trade Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts riled players and had fans asking who the top draft picks available next season would be.
The embattled general manager also traded away the team’s best receiver, Brandon Marshall, for two third-round picks. Marshall started for the Chicago Bears on Sunday and had nine catches for 119 yards and a touchdown.
For comparison purposes, the top Dolphins receiver on Sunday was Brian Hartline who had 50 receiving yards against the Houston Texans.
Ireland also has roughly $15 million in dead cap space that is on the books for this season for players that have since either left the Dolphins or professional football completely. The $15 million includes millions of dollars for Marshall.
The biggest thing the Dolphins lack after Week 1 of the 2012 regular season is hope. The offensive line, which has two first-round picks and a second-round pick playing on it was abysmal against the Texans pass rush.
The receiver position was similarly bad against Houston and the defensive secondary was torched by Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. The veteran quarterback finished 20-31 for 266 yards and 1 touchdown for a quarterback rating of 102.4.
For the Dolphins, rookie Ryan Tannehill was 20-36 for 219 yards, no touchdowns, and three interceptions against Houston. Two of the interceptions were off tipped passes at the line of scrimmage which can go against both the quarterback and the offensive line.
Tannehill has quarterbacked the Dolphins since Week 2 of the preseason and has steadily regressed since being named the starter. Tannehill was the first quarterback the Dolphins took in the first-round of the NFL Draft since Dan Marino in 1983.
If there is some hope for the Dolphins, it’s the upcoming schedule isn’t as tough as it could be. The Fins play Oakland on a short week this week and then play the Jets, Cardinals, Bengals, and Rams before the bye week in Week 7.
The Dolphins also have games against the Colts, Seahawks, Jaguars and two against the Buffalo Bills remaining. Five wins should be a distinct possibility if the Fins can right the many wrongs in Week 1’s game against Houston.
But, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants a winner on the field and thus far, Ireland has failed to produce a winner despite spending right up to the salary cap. How long Ross will keep Ireland if the team falters is something only the owner knows.
If the Dolphins struggle and fans stop coming, like they did last year and in 2007, Ross may have no choice. But, the Dolphins are a long way from 1-15 after Week 1, at least the fans hope.