Jeff Ireland might be the luckiest man in the NFL. Even after the embarrassing Incognito affair, the general manager has reportedly been told by owner Stephen Ross that his job is safe. The news may come as the Dolphins remain firmly in the race for a wildcard spot in the playoffs, but has Ireland really proved he deserves to stay?
"According to an NFL source, he has received assurances from Ross that his job is safe," writes the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero. "And based on what we are seeing lately, that would be the right way for Ross to proceed."
Ireland has never been a favorite of Dolphins fans. #Fireland has basically become his nickname. We made the case that he should probably just the save the team some trouble and consider resigning after the Richie Incognito scandal. A trip to the playoffs may buy Ireland (and Ross) some time, but if the Fins do fall apart fans will almost certainly rev up the #Fireland brigade once again.
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Salguero believes Ireland's personal moves are finally paying off. Though, it's not completely uncommon for teams embarrassed by scandal and conflict to double down on the playing field. On the college level for example, just look to the way the USC Trojans and the FAU Owls turned their seasons around after the very public firings of their coaches. Is the Dolphins' recent success due to Ireland's master plan coming together or a team galvanized by scandal?