Dolphins’ Ireland likes the look of this draft class

INDIANAPOLIS – We take a look at the Dolphins through the words of general manager Jeff Ireland.

The Dolphins finished 7-9 last season and will have the 15th selection in the first round.

Miami had an interesting offseason, with Ireland and owner Stephen Ross talking and traveling to coaching candidates, and then giving incumbent Tony Sparano a contract extension.

Asked how his relationship is with Sparano and whether there is still some work to be done there, Ireland answered with a curt, “We have a great relationship.”

OK then. Moving on.

Here is Ireland on a few more topics, and using more than five words for answers.

On Cam Newton…


Obviously you like his size. You like his arm strength. You like his ability to win ballgames late. He did all those things this year, so he’s a great player. We’re going to look at him hard.”

On best groups of players here…

There’s a lot of good groups, obviously the defensive line group in particular is pretty strong group, that’s the one that jumps out at me.

On the Dolphins’ tight end position…

“I think we got some young players that can do those things as well. Speed at the tight end position is something we’re looking for. I like the young group we have on the team right now, so we got some good candidates to field that position as well.

On the offensive line…

Offensive line in general is something we’ve got to look at. We had some issues there this year. I feel we have to fine-tune some interior stuff.

On if there have been any talks with free agent Jeremy Shockey..

No talks at this point. Obviously, if you know me I’m going to look at every acorn that falls off the tree.

On new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll…


Brian’s track record for one was intriguing for us, his history with quarterbacks, his history being a defensive coach and offensive coach. Coach Sparano and myself were really impressed with the way he put a plan together for our offensive players on the football team. I wasn’t necessarily looking at what his production was with Cleveland.
I know there were some things there that were different, but we’ve got different personnel and the way he presented his play with us with our personnel was very impressive.

On if speed is a draft priority…

Speed in general on both sides of the football are very important to me. I think we have to get better on team speed overall. So that’s something we’re going to be looking for.

On QB depth…

Well, right now our starter is Chad Henne. Obviously, he’s been a player that’s on our football team. We don’t have a lot of depth right now. On one plan, we do and another plan we don’t. It depends how you look at the CBA stuff, but it’s obviously a position that we’re going to look hard at. No doubt about it.”

On hybrid pass rushers in this draft…

“I would say that there’s quite few guys that would fall into that group of hybrid outside linebacker or hybrid pass-rusher type. It’s a good group.”

On commitment to Chad Henne…

Right now, he’s the guy on our football team that we have to be committed to because he’s the only one we have right now. We’re committed to him right now, and that’s where we’re at.


On worrying about the AFC East…

“We’ve got to worry about the Miami Dolphins, but obviously the Patriots, the Jets and the Bills would say the same thing as the Dolphins: We’re obsessed with winning the division. We’re obsessed with finding out how to beat our opponents. So we pay attention to them. They pay attention to us. But it’s not going to dictate how we do business.”

On offensive linemen in the draft…

There are several players in this draft that are very good starters at the tackle position, good guys that could be guards. The depth of this offensive line group is pretty good. I like it.

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