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Saints hoping Jeff Ireland's return to his roots will pay off

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints hoping Jeff Ireland will benefit from return to his roots - New Orleans Saints Blog - ESPN As a general manager, Jeff Ireland was largely a bust with the Miami Dolphins, managing only one playoff berth in 2008 before ...

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Old 02-02-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
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Saints hoping Jeff Ireland's return to his roots will pay off

Saints hoping Jeff Ireland will benefit from return to his roots - New Orleans Saints Blog - ESPN

As a general manager, Jeff Ireland was largely a bust with the Miami Dolphins, managing only one playoff berth in 2008 before five straight non-winning seasons from 2009-13.

But Ireland is getting back to his roots now that he's returning to the NFL as the New Orleans Saints' lead college scout.

That's the role Ireland had when he made his mark with the Dallas Cowboys, climbing the ranks from 2001-07 as Bill Parcells' protégé and inspiring Parcells to later hire Ireland in Miami.

And that's arguably the area where Ireland was most successful with the Dolphins -- though his drafts were more solid than spectacular and ended with perhaps the worst pick of his career in 2013, when he traded up for pass-rusher Dion Jordan.

Highlights:

Signing Cameron Wake from the CFL. Parcells reportedly convinced the pass-rusher to sign from the Canadian Football League in 2009, when other teams were also interested. But Ireland had scouted Wake, who has since been selected to four Pro Bowls.

A solid run of first-round picks. Long (2008), Davis (2009) and Pouncey (2011) all became Pro Bowlers, though Davis' first Pro Bowl came after he was traded to Indianapolis. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (2012) hasn't been a superstar, but he has been solid; he threw for 4,045 yards, 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2014. Defensive tackle Jared Odrick (2010) hasn't thrived, but he's still a starter five years later. Jordan (2013) was the first real bust of the bunch, though he still has time to turn things around.

Mid- to late-round gems. DE Olivier Vernon (Round 3) notched 11.5 sacks in his second season. From Round 4, WR Brian Hartline has two 1,000-yard seasons and RB Lamar Miller has one. Also among the best: LB Jelani Jenkins (Round 4); S Chris Clemons, S Reshad Jones (Round 5); TE Charles Clay (Round 6); S Jimmy Wilson (Round 7); WR Davone Bess and DE Derrick Shelby (undrafted).

Lowlights:

Trading up for Jordan. Ireland was all-in on Jordan, saying he coveted the athletic pass-rusher for two years. And he traded up from No. 12 to No. 3 to get him. But Jordan has been hampered by injuries, suspensions and inconsistency. On the plus side, the price of the trade was relatively cheap, only costing the Dolphins a second-round pick to swap places with the Oakland Raiders.

Round 2 whiffs. The most infamous was drafting mobile quarterback Pat White in the second round in 2009, when the Dolphins were at the forefront of the NFL's "Wildcat" movement, though Parcells, Ireland and Sparano probably all deserve blame for that. Other second-round misses include DE Phillip Merling (2008), QB Chad Henne (2008), RB Daniel Thomas (2011) and OT Jonathan Martin (2012).

No franchise quarterbacks. Sure, landing one is easier said than done, but it's also the most important asset a GM can acquire for his team. Ireland never pulled it off, even missing out on the Manning sweepstakes in 2012. Long was a great pick at No. 1 overall in 2008, being voted to four Pro Bowls before leaving for St. Louis as a free agent, but Matt Ryan -- or even Joe Flacco -- would have been better for the franchise. Instead, the Dolphins went with Henne in Round 2 that year. Former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema recently claimed that he tried to convince Miami to draft Russell Wilson in 2012, but they didn't seem interested and targeted Tannehill instead. The Dolphins, of course, weren't the only team that whiffed on Wilson.

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:55 AM   #2
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Re: Saints hoping Jeff Ireland's return to his roots will pay off

Well that explains why he's here....he's a Parcells good ol' boy. Jesus. I hope this pans out and doesn't end up as another buddy Sean wants to have around. Guess we will know something around draft time and at seasons end.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:32 AM   #3
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Re: Saints hoping Jeff Ireland's return to his roots will pay off

Gary Gibbs was Payton's "buddy". And he fired him.

Maybe a season too late, but to his credit he made the call.

What people don't seem to take into account is just how many assistants Payton has LOST over the years to higher positions.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:33 AM   #4
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Re: Saints hoping Jeff Ireland's return to his roots will pay off

I think bringing Ireland back as a scout is a good move.

As long as someone else is writing the interview questions....
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: Saints hoping Jeff Ireland's return to his roots will pay off

I understand that he has an eye for defensive talent. Fingers crossed.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:51 PM   #6
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Re: Saints hoping Jeff Ireland's return to his roots will pay off

Wonder if Ireland still plans on questioning potential draft picks about their lineage and what their mothers due to make a living?!?

We maybe should've been vetting Junior BEFORE that premature contract extension...

Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland Sorry for Dez Bryant Mom-Hooker Question - CBS News
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