By Sid Rosenberg
7:54 AM AKDT, March 21, 2012
The more I talked about the Peyton Manning sweepstakes on my show, the more it became evident that Denver was the most logical choice. Even when ESPN's Adam Schefter tried to convince me last week that Tennessee had become the leader, I remained steadfast in my Bronco prediction. And truth be told with all the factors that were being discussed, it was really just two words that made Mile High the obvious choice. Those two words? John Elway.
Doesn't it make sense that the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback would relate most to the recent Hall-of-Fame quarterback? So, in the Peyton Manning case, I'm willing to give Steve Ross and Jeff Ireland a "get out of jail free" card. But when I look at the complete body of work and the countless players and coaches that didn't (and don't) want to come here, I can't help but blame this regime.
And if John Elway can have that type of impact in Denver, why couldn't the greatest defensive player in Miami Dolphins history have the same success here. Of course I'm assuming that Jason Taylor would welcome the challenge and gladly accept the position if it ever became a reality. Dan Marino didn't want to fill that role after his playing days ended and hasn't expressed an interest since, but maybe Taylor will.
I'm often asked what Ross' infatuation with Jeff Ireland is? Where it was born and why it seemingly still exists? My answer always goes back to the faith and confidence Steve Ross had in Bill Parcells. Even though Parcells, like the Italian captain, jumped off the boat before it sank there seems to be some residual respect. Parcells is a legendary figure, an eventual Hall of Famer, that only failed in one place. And that was here in Miami. And along with the 3 consecutive losing seasons, Jeff Ireland is a constant reminder of that failure.
On my Tuesday show, former New York Giant wide receiver Amani Toomer stopped by to talk about Jeremy Shockey, Manning and the out-of-town perception of the Miami Dolphins. I asked Toomer what he knew or heard about Ireland. He admitted he didn't know anything about Ireland's philosophies, daily practices, or football acumen. But he was quick to recite the story about Ireland asking Dez Bryant if his mother was, in fact, a prostitute. That little ditty, according to Toomer, is something people will always remember Ireland for and he deems that more embarrassing than any subsequent Dez Bryant answer.
Former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder has become a very good friend of mine since he announced his retirement on my show last year. He describes Ireland as cold with very little to no people skills. And without outing every current and/or former Dolphins player I can tell you his opinion of Ireland represents the majority. I can't wait to hear what Yeremiah Bell says next.
If you're wondering what the media thinks of Ireland, it's not a heck of a lot different than his players. Omar Kelly and Ben Volin try to point out positives about Ireland, and all it does is make me and my listeners angrier.
Jeff Ireland has been part of the chain of command for three years and yet the only Ireland that ever called my show was his wife defending her husband. If there was a plan for the Miami Dolphins moving forward, why not give WQAM's listeners a chance to hear it?
Instead Ireland adopted Bill's old philosophy and hides behind the closed office doors in Davie as his football team loses and fan base dwindles.
CBS analyst Phil Simms said on my show Tuesday that Dolphin fans need to be patient during this rebuilding process. I reminded Phil this "process" is now a decade old. It's not fair to ask any fan to be that patient, especially in a town where the home team was as rich in tradition and as proud as any franchise in NFL history. My fear is that's all gone now.
So while Jeff Ireland speaks to the contrary, it's clear that big time players and coaches don't want to be here. Jim Harbaugh, Jeff Fisher, Peyton Manning, and Matt Flynn are just a few examples. And while our other franchises are generating enthusiasm and excitement, the Miami Dolphins are dying a slow and painful death. And at the forefront of this dismal disaster is Jeff Ireland.
Between 1997 and 2007, then again in 2009 and 2011, Jason Taylor amassed all but 8 1/2 of his astounding 139 1/2 sacks in his eventual Hall of Fame career here with the Miami Dolphins. I can only assume that would make him a great ambassador for the team. Much like Elway, who threw for over 51,000 yards and 300 scores in his 16 years for the Broncos. Maybe Taylor will never assume a front-office position with the Dolphins. Maybe he doesn't even want it. Either way, it's clear he certainly would restore respectability to this once-proud franchise.
Listen "The Sid Rosenberg Show" weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on WQAM (560-AM) or at WQAM.com. Follow him onTwitter @sidrosenberg and online at SidRosenbergShow.com