Buh-bye! Dolphins and embattled GM 'mutually part ways'
Sorry, Dolphins Nation: You won't have Jeff Ireland to kick around any more.
Six years and five days after officially being named the general manager of the Miami Dolphins, Ireland and the team "mutually agreed to part ways" on Tuesday. He leaves behind a legacy of one playoff appearance back in 2008, a season which saw the Dolphins clinch the AFC East title just one year after winning one game.
The five years since were a sequence of failed expectations and underachievement. Ireland had a bitter rift with former mentor and former Dolphins VP of Football Operations Bill Parcells (who hired him for the job) and former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, which Dan Le Batard detailed in a fascinating story in the Miami Herald.
Of course, he was also the man responsible for asking Dez Bryant, a draft prospect in 2010, if his mother was a prostitute. Then, he was the man at the helm during the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin mess of 2012. So, things haven't been pretty during his tenure, so it probably comes as no surprise to see Ireland and the team cut ties with each other.
The reaction from the fans has been ... joyous.
Finally Miami Dolphins drop hammer on GM Jeff Ireland. What took so long?— Dr. Johnny Benjamin (@DrJCBenjamin) January 7, 2014
GOOD BY JEFF IRELAND.... GOOD BY JEFF IRELAND....GOOD BY JEFF IRELAND....GOOD BY JEFF IRELAND....GOOD BY JEFF IRELAND....— crazdolfan (@crazdolfan) January 7, 2014
JEFF IRELAND IS FIRED!!!!! BRING OUT THE POTS AND PANS MIAMI! ALREADY EXCITED FOR NEXT SEASON!!!— Shawn Temple (@TempleIsTheName) January 7, 2014
Jeff Ireland being fired made my night— Andrew Iduate (@drewiduate) January 7, 2014
His awfulness will be missed. RT @MiamiDolphins: The Miami Dolphins and General Manager Jeff Ireland have mutually agreed to part ways.— Allen Strk (@Allen_Strk) January 7, 2014
Peace out Jeff Ireland ..... On behalf of Dolphins fans everywhere, thanks for nothing !!!— Michael Samuels (@Michael_Samuels) January 7, 2014
That's fine, fans are allowed to think and feel what they want. I will say this: A changing of the guard doesn't guarantee future success. Just take a look at what has gone down in Cleveland over the past few years or in Kansas City during the Scott Pioli debacle from 2009-2012.
What's more, Ireland became an easy target for fans' ire. Yet, one thing people overlook is that GMs and even head coaches can only do so much. They can't catch passes, they can't make blocks, they can't avoid a sack, they can't secure the football, they can't make the right reads, etc.
So, cheer for now, Dolphins fans. But just remember that the team has a lot of work and critical decisions ahead of it. And even if everything goes right, nothing is guaranteed.