Yes, I know we had several posts about GM Ireland, but for once lets just really summarize the good stuff he has done since being named the GM back in 2008. Every GM has some moves that people second guess and say "what are you thinking"...some pan out, some do not. Ozzie Newsome, considered one of the best GM's in the NFL drafted Jimmy Smith first round and Sergio Kindle Second Rd. Draft time, everyone thought those were great picks and praised him, but both haven't worked out YET. Point is Ozzie hit some serious home runs but also failed on some picks, all GM's do. Bellicheck, hit on his Tight Ends, seems to hit on Chandler Jones ...but missed on guys like Spikes, Vereen and several others. So lets not focus on the mistakes and focus on the positive moves Ireland has made.
First off, I think one great move that people don't speak of enough is signing Davone Bess as an undrafted Free Agent. We all know the production and skill he has had.
Secondly, doubling down on WR and drafting Hartline in the 4th after Turner in the 3rd (who was a fail)...Hartline shows great fundamentals and clearly is excelling so far.
Signing Randy Starks as a free Agent...his production speaks for himself and has made the pro bowl.
Not giving up on Paul Soliai who has also made the pro bowl and is also a large reason for our league leading run defense along with Starks and Wake.
Overpaying what the competition would for Cam Wake who is currently rated the best 4-3 DE in the NFL through 4 weeks. CFL standout who had no track record in the NFL.
Drafting Mike Pouncey who everyone considered a "safe" pick and should've went for a flashy position, well Pouncey is right now graded as the best Center in the NFL through 4 weeks by PFF
5th round Pick Reshad Jones...Graded as one of the top 5 Safety's through 4 weeks...i think this is more to do with Kevin Coyle but Reshad had talent and Jeff traded up in the draft to select him and so far he is playing well.
Getting Anthony Fasano and Jason Ferguson from the Cowboys for late round draft picks...both were very servicable starters for us and Fasano is a rare tight end who can block and catch at an above average level.
Trade Vontae Davis for a 2nd and a 6th...say what you want but QBs throwing against Vontae this year have a rating of above 150....he is clearly losing his focus and is on the decline and Jeff was smart enough to abort ship before it sunk, not to mention getting great compensation for him.
Cutting Channing Crowder and signing Kevin Burnett...Crowder was awful covering tight ends and although Miami still has issues doing so, Burnett is rated top 10 by PFF for his production so far this year
Taking Icognito and turning him into a good LG on this team...we have one of the top running games in the NFL and Ireland signed Richie when no one else wanted him, got him to change his attitude and now is a major reason the team is running effectively
Trading a 6th round pick for Reggie Bush- everyone laughed at Ireland thinking we can make Reggie a 3 down back...and giving him 10 mi over 2 years...i dont care if reggie doesn't play another down as a phin (of course i wnt him to)..but Ireland made the right call and Reggie has been worth every penny we gave up, not to mention the player we added in that trade is now back on our team (jon amaya)
Passing up and Kyle Orton, Vince Young, and Matt Flynn...say what you want, but we ALL bashed Ireland for signing Matt Moore instead of Orton, he stuck to his guns, against all pressure and training camp chants, got Matt Moore who was a great back up for us last year and went 6-3 (last 9 games) and saved a ton of cap space as opposed to going after Flynn who is now on the bench behind a rookie who isn't playing well at all
Drafting Tannehill...we all wanted luck, then griffin, but knowing and seeing what you see now, would you trade everything Washington did and have RG3, or keep all the picks and have Tannehill...i personally think Tannehill is further in his development as a QB then RG3 is and i see a lot of Cam in him...great arm, great athleticism, but bad mental aspect...Tannehill is mentally there and isn't too far behind in athleticism and has a great arm of his own with an even quicker release...
Again, these are his hits....yes we are 1-3 and yes we didnt make the playoffs, but thats on injuries, and Sparano as well....I agree with Ross for keeping Ireland because his talent recognition to me was never the issue. Yes, he had issues with his social ability but I think he's gotten better at that and it showed the way he handled the vontae situation on hard knocks and with cutting other players. Last years team was talented regardless of what anyone says...but without the right QB it wasn't going anywhere, and i personally believe Sparano lacked the football intelligence to make the second half adjustments during games. I like Philbin's style a lot more and the type of people he wants on his team. Ireland's job was to bring in talent and he did that with Marshall...but Marshall didn't fit Philbin's mold of the player he wanted to coach...getting 2 3rds for a guy no other team wanted to me is a success, and giving 2 2nds for a pro bowl wr is not over paying...it just wasn't the right fit with the new regime.