Are Ireland’s Days Numbered For Fins?
DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Getting sacked has been one of the biggest issues facing the Miami Dolphins offense this season. The same terminology may soon be applied to the coaching staff and general manager in the wake of the harassment scandal that has enveloped the team.
Tackle Jonathan Martin alleges he was harassed daily by teammates, including Incognito, who has been suspended. While Martin is scheduled to meet with an NFL special investigator late this week, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has formed two committees to study the team’s locker room culture.
“Changes need to be made,” Ross said at a news conference Monday. “We need to examine everything internally.”
Reading between the lines of Ross’ comments to the media on Monday afternoon; the owner heaped praise on the character of head coach Joe Philbin, but never mentioned embattled general manager Jeff Ireland during his statements.
Ireland is in his sixth year in charge of a roster that has yet to produce a playoff berth since he’s been in complete control of it. Ross has expressed confidence in the past in Ireland and gave him a contract extension in the offseason, but that was before the offensive line exploded and the team began to sink.
Among the many questionable personnel decisions in recent years, asking a draft pick if his mother was a prostitute, a constantly turning offensive line, poor free agent signings, for going behind his coach’s back to try to hire Jim Harbaugh, and not re-signing Reggie Bush; but pairing Incognito and Martin may be the final straw for Ross.
“It is not just about Richie Incognito, it’s just not about Jonathan Martin, it is about the organization as a whole, from the top down,” former NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson said on ESPN, where he is now an analyst. “In a locker room setting, everybody has to coexist. Or you at least have to know what personalities go together. . Obviously, the Dolphins didn’t do their homework.”
Former Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson echoed that opinion on Fox and questioned Ireland’s decision to take Martin in the second round of the 2012 draft.
“The Dolphins used a high pick on Jonathan Martin and had high expectations,” Johnson said. “Well, other teams shied away from Martin. Maybe the Dolphins should have investigated why they shied away.”
The one thing you can say about the Dolphins under Ireland, and Philbin, is that they’ve been consistently inconsistent and have on multiple occasions been outmaneuvered in the front office and outcoached on the field.
“People are asking me how Joe Philbin could not know what was going on in that locker room,” former NFL coach Tony Dungy said in his analyst role on NBC. “Well, as a head coach, you don’t know everything. My job was to set the atmosphere up, and I counted on my leaders. So, if I said no hazing in the locker room, then it was up to Derrick Brooks, Jeff Saturday, Reggie Wayne and those types of guys to control it.”
The Dolphins will take the field again on Sunday, this time against the San Diego Chargers. The team will be looking to break out of a streak that has seen the team lose five of its last six games, including a loss to the woeful Buccaneers last Monday.
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