Baby with the bath water

So, the Dolphin trifecta is breaking up. Bill Parcells left over a year ago and Tony Sparano was just fired during a disastrous 2010-2011 season. Nobody should be mourning over this. In retrospect, the thought of the Dolphins hiring a 1980's fossil like Parcells was ludicrous. Furthermore, the idea of trusting Parcells in his hire of an inexperienced coach like Sparano was even more absurd. The only remaining member of the Trifecta is Jeff ireland. Stephen Ross has made it clear that Ireland is staying. The decisions that will be made from now until next August may affect the direction of the Miami Dolphins for the next decade or more. Should Ireland, who was involved in key personnel decisions, be retained?

There have been four drafts since the Trifecta arrived. Parcells had a strong hand in the first three (2008, 2009 and 2010). The fourth (2011) occurred after Parcells disappeared from view. One can thus conclude that the 2011 draft was the sole property of Jeff Ireland. How did he do? Outstanding. It may turn out to be one of the greatest Dolphins drafts ever. Mike Pouncy, the first draft pick, has been terrific and will probably anchor the offensive line for the next decade. Should Ireland have taken a QB? Probably. His decision to award the job to Chad Henne without real competition was a mistake. But the center position, a slot that has had constant turmoil since the 1990's days of Tim Ruddy, is now resolved without question. Daniel Thomas has shown flashes of excellence between stints on the injury list. His inability to gain goal line yards is disturbing. Yet, one has to feel that his very best days are ahead of him. Also, Thomas' blocking skills have markedly improved since the beginning of the season. Charles Clay has unique ability as an H-back and should be a vital cog in the Dolphin offense once he gets additional seasoning. Clyde Gates is a speedster who has also shown flashes but needs experience. Jimmy Wilson is a late-round cornerback who already shows playmaking ability. Frank Kearse was a late-round draft bust. Keep in mind the general consensus of experts is that successfully hitting on 50% of draft choices constitutes a rousing success. The 2011 Dolphin draft should far exceed that.

Many other Ireland decisions were sound. Taking a chance on Matt Moore after he failed as QB with two other teams was a brilliant decision and could have far-reaching impact. Signing Reggie Bush as free agent exceeded all expectations. The decision to discontinue Parcells' absurd roster churning has led to vastly improved Special Teams play. Ireland's decision to ignore the ridiculous preseason chants for QB Kyle Orton was justified, especially when Denver overplayed their hand and wanted a second-round choice in return. Ireland has a reputation as an exceptional evaluator of talent. A major error was in signing Marc Columbo, an over-the-hill offensive tackle. Ireland may have put too much faith, in this case, in Tony Sparano's supposed expertise as an offensive line "guru". We'll never know.

Anecdotally, most Dolfans and observers would prefer Ireland be fired to remove the stench of the Trifecta from the franchise. I don't subscribe to that view. Ireland should be judged on his own merits, not those of either Parcells or Sparano. The 2012 draft may be the most critical in Dolphin history. Let's give him a chance. I have confidence in him.


  1. Agree 100%, even the 2010 draft: Odrick- potential superstar minimal long term strater, Misi- servicable to average OLB, Jones-passagle safety, and now Jerry making strides. Just saying give him 2 more years see what happens

  2. I'm starting to cool down a bit when it comes to Ireland. I want to see what he does in the 2012 draft, more specifically what he does about the QB position. While I'm pretty sure Miami will lose this weekend, it wouldn't shock me to see them beat the Jets. If they can get one of the top three either by straight up draft or trade, I would be happy. By the same token I don't want to see him mortgage the future with some ridiculous trade to get one. A team like St Louis or Carolina that already has a QB might try to rape one of these QB needy teams. I'm really starting to like Matt Moore and there are worse things that can happen than him coming back as the starter next season.

  3. No, Moore coming back still shows this franchise is fucking clueless. It's been almost 30 years since the dolphins have taken a QB in rd 1.

    Matt Moore isn't leading a team to the playoffs or winning a super bowl. Just more of a waste of time and wasted seasons as long as he is starting and the #1 QB on any roster

  4. His passer rating is 1.8 points less and completion percentage the same as Matt Ryan, the guy everyone says we should have used the first pick in the draft on back in 08. Both have a 2-1 TD to INT ration. So either Ryan aint worth a shit or Moore aint all that bad. And last I checked Ryan had better weapons around him.

  5. Matt Ryan has led a team to the playoffs 3 times. And was the #1 seed in the NFC last year.

    Matt Moore sucked in Carolina. And this year in Miami hasn't beaten one good team. his wins are vs (Buffalo twice, KC, Oak, and Washington). The 4 decent teams he played, he lost (Jets, Giants, Dallas, Philly). Nuff said. DEBATE OVER!

    Ryan went to a team who was drafting 3rd, just as bad as Miami was. He didn't walk into a team of pro bowlers.

    Matt Moore isn't any good. Compared to the other garbage Miami has had he is the best. But it's still garbage at the end of the day. He is a career back-up. Nothing more, nothing less.

  6. It's too early to label Moore a career backup. QBs mature at different rates. Moore's reading of defenses is continually improving and he permits few turnovers. His throwing accuracy, while far exceeding Chad Henne's, could use improvement. Patience will be required in any scenario. There are precious few Dan Marinos or Cam Newtons who are superstars from day #1. The vast majority are John Elways or Drew Brees' who struggle for years until the "light comes on". Let's draft 1-2 QBs and work on the many other deficiencies.

  7. Bullshit. Ryan went to a team that had a very good offensive line and had just signed Michael Turner. And just remember, Matt Moore didn't have the benefit of an off season program and had very little if any time with the regular players before Henne went down. His first few games were basically his training camp. And against Dallas, Miami had the lead late and the defense gave it up. Against Philly the O-line fell apart when Jake Long went out.

  8. Yeah Brian, I agree. How long did Kurt Warner play in Europe and bag groceries? Like 5 years?

  9. So why did Matt Moore suck in Carolina. They had TWO 1,000 yard rushers, Steve Smith, and one of the great o-lines in the NFL in recent years. Yet he sucked there with all that talent around.

    Please, enough excuses, the man will never lead a team anywhere in this league. Marginal player


Post a Comment