The Dolphins head into week 17 eliminated from the playoffs and left with a best case scenario of an 8-8 season. That being said it seems that it is all but a certainty that Jeff Ireland will be retained for another season as the Dolphins general manager. Despite and up and down season, the Dolphins organization feels that this team is headed in the right direction and Ireland should be given the chance to configure the final pieces to finish this roster.
This offseason is not just any offseason for the Dolphins as huge decisions are looming with impending free agents in Jake Long, Reggie Bush, Sean Smith and Brian Hartline. The Dolphins also several other key issues which will have to be dealt with in free agency and the draft.
This past season when the Dolphins defeated Buffalo, I had the opportunity to meet with Jeff Ireland and discuss some of his thoughts regarding the direction of the team. While my source is very creditable as I went straight to the man who will be making all the key decisions this offseason I caution fans perhaps not to read into my discussion with him too much as he was merely talking to me as a fan and not a reporter.
I spoke to Jeff on several topics, first being Jake Long. Ireland stressed how he would love to have Jake back and that they will make it a priority to have 77 back in the locker room. They believe Jakes talent on the field matched with his passion, and leadership off the field are huge assets to the team. Ireland gave me a such of true admiration when talking about Jake as he made it appear as Jake is truly one of the faces of this franchise.
Next Jeff was refreshing honest when discussion the team's lack of playmakers. Ireland stated the team definitely will be looking for help on the outsides this year and speed and WR help is something that has not gone unnoticed amongst the Dolphins brass. Ireland laughed when I brought up Mike Wallace's name saying that the team will have to see how the market goes in terms of the big name free agent WR's.
In summary, Ireland said that he is happy where the direction of this team is going and that the organization has full confidence this is all heading in the right direction. Ireland said they know this year wasn't exactly what they wanted but the first step was to find the QB and now that they have him they feel they are ready to build around him to build a contender in Miami.
The final overall impression I got from Ireland was clearly that this team feels they are doing something right and heading to the right place.
Who knows if he is right and who knows how much patience fans and Stephen Ross have , time will tell.