I'm going to be honest with you. Over the season, my position changes more often than Mitt Romney's (supposedly, politics is not my forte). I'm vehement, i'm inflexible, i'm downright stubborn... until I have an epiphany of sorts.
I've had one of these said epiphanies recently (within the last hour of writing this) and I'd like to share it with ThePhinsider community, even though I normally don't write fanposts (for good reason, writing is my weakness - if you believe standardized tests lol).
I've held the position that we cannot be successful with Jeff Ireland as our GM. Now, I am of a different opinion.
Let me explain:
I've taken a look at the players we've drafted or brought in via trade/ free agency while Jeff Ireland has been our GM. For the sake of discussion, I will include the players brought in by Parcells. Why? Because Ireland was the GM, believe it or not, and because Ireland employs the same philosophy as his former boss.
The mistake I've been guilty of with Ireland is looking at the whole picture when I should have looked at the offensive and defensive acquisitions seperately.
Now, I'm not a professional analyst, or a statistician, so I simply ranked the major free agent/trade acquisitions and draft picks on a completely arbitrary 1-10 scale, 1 being a complete and utter failure, and 10 being a perfect hit.
You can view my grades here.
Long story short:
The average player rating (out of a possible 10) for offensive players was 3.64 while the average player rating for defensive players was 5.00.
Now those numbers may seem low, but they include low round draft picks which have high bust rates.
I believe that defenses haven't changed nearly as much as offenses, so the Parcell model still has decent success.
The REASON I think Ireland can turn this trend around stems from the two major additions this year: Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman.
These are two men with winning experience and have been a part of some of the most explosive offenses in NFL history. They know what kind of players are successful in their offense. Henning's offense was outdated and Daboll/Sparano were inexperienced. Now, Jeff Ireland has two men in his war room who might finally be able to help acquire the balance of talent needed on both sides of the ball. That, combined with the promising new coaching staff has led me to believe in Jeff Ireland once more.
My ratings/analysis/conclusions aren't meant to be perfect, they are simply meant to illustrate my thought process for my change in opinion.
Most of you have probably considered this subliminally or even expressed it outright. I've bought into this theory and chosen to be optimistic going forward.
I've been a part of the backlash aimed at Jeff Ireland. I'd like to put the jokes aside and maybe see Ireland in a new light and give him another chance. Can I man who said this really be such a bad guy after all?
I can't express it in the proper words other than to say this is a tremendous honor to have this chance. I was born to do this. This is my love. This is my passion. I eat, sleep and drink football, personnel, acquisitions, the player procurement process, all of it. This is what I'm all about. This will get done under my watch. I can promise you the effort and the passion will be there. I won't sleep until it gets done
Thanks for reading, I apologize in advance for any mistakes.