The Dolphins were able to add a franchise quarterback and some key pieces last offseason, but what takes place the next few months — in what should be a very active period — could affect the franchise’s long-term outlook just as much.
On Friday morning, Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland spoke to Dolphins broadcaster and WQAM host Joe Rose and gave an overview of what will go into the Dolphins’ offseason.
With five picks in the first three rounds of April’s draft and plenty of cap space, this offseason already has a bit of a different feel, Ireland said.
“We’ve been doing a lot of things to get to this point; we didn’t just fall into this,” Ireland said. “We’ve had to plan for a time in the future to have cap money. We’ve had to plan for a time where we’ve collected draft picks to make some hay in that regard. So now we have both. Again, we didn’t fall into it. It’s been a positioning plan that we’ve been planning for a while, so I would say it’s a very important time period for us.”
Part of the roster reshuffling, of course, will include retaining a few of the team’s free agents — a list that includes Jake Long, Brian Hartline, Sean Smith and others. That process can begin now and will certainly affect how the Dolphins act in March and beyond.
A recurring theme from Ireland and Co. this offseason: targeting players that can turn good plays into great ones. Ireland told Rose that he was pleased with the Dolphins’ catch production, including the running backs and tight ends, but he’s looking for ways to help the Dolphins get into the end zone more in 2013.
It isn’t necessarily a position-specific search, however; it could extend to both offense and defense. Ireland said he would use every avenue available — whether it be through the draft, free agency, trades, etc. — to add some “playmakers” to the fold.
“I would define playmaker as guys that disrupt the passer, guys that disrupt the timing of the receiver into the route, guys that catch interceptions, guys that knock down balls, guys that score touchdowns, guys that pick up chunk yardage, guys that can run after catch, guys that can create big plays on their ability alone,” Ireland said. “Whatever position that is, those are things that make plays and those are playmakers.”
While external expectations continue to be high, Ireland said he’s confident with the way things are unfolding.
“I have a lot of respect for the fan base out there that wants a winner. There’s no one in this world that wants a winner more than me,” Ireland said. “I’m driven to get that. Mr. Ross has been patient with the process of what we’re trying to get accomplished here. I feel very confident with Joe Philbin and his staff, my staff and the personnel staff, and what we have in front of us — that we’re going to make some moves and try do some things that help this football team get better moving forward.”
Ireland will participate in the Dan Marino Foundation’s WalkAbout Autism 2013 on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Sun Life Stadium. For more information on Saturday’s event, click here.
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