Jeff Ireland

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Jeff Ireland
Jeff Ireland.jpg
Ireland with the Dolphins in 2011
Personal information
Place of birth Abilene, Texas
Alma mater Baylor University
Team(s) as a player
1988–1991 Baylor
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1992–93

1994–1996

1997–2000

2001–2004

2005–2007

2008–2013

2014
University of North Texas
Special Teams
NFL Scouting Combine
Scout
Kansas City Chiefs
Scout
Dallas Cowboys
National Scout
Dallas Cowboys
V.P. of College & Pro Scouting
Miami Dolphins
General Manager
Seattle Seahawks
Draft Consultant

Jeff Ireland is an American professional football executive. In the National Football League (NFL), he was the Miami Dolphins' General Manager from 2008 to January 2014; a Dallas Cowboys executive prior to that; and, a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs before that. Before his career as a football executive, Ireland was an assistant football coach at the University of North Texas, and a player at Baylor University. Ireland was also a childhood ball boy for the Chicago Bears.

High school and college career[edit]

Ireland was a placekicker and soccer forward for Cooper High School in the 1980s, and then for the Baylor Bears from 1988 to 1991. Upon the conclusion of his playing career, he served as special teams coach for the North Texas Mean Green from 1992 to 1993.

At Baylor, Ireland was known for making difficult kicks but missing the easy ones. Against Rice University in 1991, for example, he made a 58-yard field goal, then missed field goals of 43, 45, and 27 yards. Baylor, a 20.5 point favorite, lost the game by three points. Baylor was ranked 8th in the Associated Press poll at that time.[1]

Ireland is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

Professional career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Ireland began his professional career as a scout for the NFL Scouting Combine from 1994 to 1996. He was a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1997 to 2000.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Ireland was a national talent-scout for the Dallas Cowboys from 2001 to 2005. During this period, the team drafted four future-Pro Bowl selections: safety Roy Williams; offensive lineman Andre Gurode; cornerback Terence Newman; and tight end Jason Witten. In 2005, Ireland was promoted to Vice President of College and Pro Scouting.

In what would be Ireland's final season with the Cowboys (in 2007), the Cowboys went 13-3 and won the NFC East Division Championship. At the time of his departure in January 2008, 38 of the team's 53 players were acquired over the past three years, including 12 of 22 starters.

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On January 2, 2008, Ireland was officially hired by then-Executive Vice President of Football Operations Bill Parcells as General Manager of the Miami Dolphins. Ireland and Parcells had worked together previously, when Parcells was the Head Coach and football operations boss at the Dallas Cowboys (2003-2006).

On December 28, 2008, the Miami Dolphins defeated the New York Jets 24-17, securing the AFC East title and becoming the first team in NFL history to reach the playoffs after having won only one game during the previous season. In reaction to the victory and title, Ireland granted a rare interview to ESPN's Tim Graham, saying, "It's a remarkable feeling. I'm so proud of these coaches, these players. Coach always asked us and the players right there in training camp, 'Why not us?' Well, Why not us? I'm just so proud of the coaches and what they've done." [2]

In April 2010, Ireland asked NFL prospect Dez Bryant during a formal interview whether Bryant's mother was a prostitute. According to two unnamed NFL sources, Bryant allegedly told Ireland that his dad was a pimp and that his mother worked for his father.[3] Bryant denies ever telling Ireland that his father was a pimp. Ireland later apologized to Bryant for asking the question.[4]

On September 7, 2010, Ireland assumed full command of operations on a day to day basis. Bill Parcells became a daily consultant for the Miami Dolphins, a position he has since left.

Ireland's tenure with the Dolphins became controversial as the club's on-field successes declined after 2008. Public efforts to recruit free agent players such as Peyton Manning, and Alex Smith were unsuccessful, as was the effort to recruit former Titans coach Jeff Fisher. Ireland's handling of his Dez Bryant interview was cited as an example of poor leadership on Ireland's part and a perception that Ireland was not honest in dealings with players.[5]

In 2011, some fans pitched in to have a plane fly over Sun Life Stadium reading: "MR ROSS: SAVE OUR DOLPHINS. FIRE IRELAND."[6]

At a home game in 2012, Ireland was seen speaking to and taking pictures with fans. One fan told him to "fire yourself" stating that Ireland has made the Miami Dolphins the laughing stock of the NFL since he's been GM. Ireland responded to that fan by calling him an "Asshole".[7]

In 2013, Ireland came under further scrutiny when the off-field interactions between offensive guard Richie Incognito and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin were brought to light by the latter. He reacted to allegations of a culture of bullying on the part of Incognito by suggesting that Martin "punch" him.[8] A second airplane banner was flown over Sun Life Stadium on November 17, during warmups for the Dolphins' Week 11 game against the San Diego Chargers, reading "MR ROSS: WE TOLD YOU SO 2 YEARS AGO #FIREIRELAND".[9]

On January 7, 2014 the Dolphins announced that they had mutually parted ways with Ireland.[10]

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

On April 26, 2014 the Seattle Seahawks announced they had hired Jeff Ireland to work as a consultant for the 2014 NFL Draft, the Seahawks also announced that a possible long term deal would be negotiated after the draft.[11] Ireland's tenure with the Seattle Seahawks, however, was short-lived as the team decided to move on without him after only one month.[12]

Personal[edit]

Ireland is the stepson of College Football Hall of Famer E. J. Holub, who played center and linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Texans. Ireland is also the grandson of Jim Parmer, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and was a personnel executive for the Chicago Bears. Jeff and his wife, Rachel, have four children.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE TOP 25; Baylor Is Surprised by Rice". The New York Times. 1991-10-13. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Jim Trotter (April 30, 2010). "Ireland's logical follow-up question to Bryant not worthy of outrage". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  4. ^ "Bryant's mom wants apology from Miami". ESPN.com. May 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  5. ^ "Criticism of Ireland from Warren Sapp and Joey Porter". Profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  6. ^ Campbell, Janie (January 2, 2012). "Fans Fly Airplane Banner Over Dolphins-Jets Game, Calling For Jeff Ireland To Be Fired". HuffintonPost.com. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  7. ^ Greenberg, Chris (September 18, 2012). "Jeff Ireland Calls Dolphins Fan 'Asshole:' Unpopular Miami GM Admits Regret Over Incident". HuffintonPost.com. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  8. ^ "Report: Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland suggested Martin 'punch' Incognito". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  9. ^ "‘Fire Ireland’ flies over Dolphins’ stadium before Sunday’s game against Chargers". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  10. ^ Katzowitz, Josh. "Dolphins, GM Jeff Ireland 'mutually agree' to part ways". CBS Sports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ Smith, Michael. "Seahawks hire Jeff Ireland as draft consultant". ProFootballTalk.com. NBC Sports Group. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ Dybas, Todd. "Seahawks don't retain Ireland". The News Tribune. Retrieved 28 May 2014.