According to several reports, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is all but ready to hand both general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin pink slips by the end of the season in the wake of the Richie Incognito controversy. The only hope the two have of keeping their jobs: somehow making the playoffs.
See also: Jeff Ireland Should Resign Immediately
There's a growing belief in league circles that both coach Joe Philbin and G.M. Jeff Ireland will lose their jobs. If, however, the team rallies and wins games and qualifies for the playoffs, what seems to be a done deal could become harder to do.
"Jeff Ireland, the general manager, and head coach, Joe Philbin, in league circles, are not expected to survive this," NFL.com's Mike Silver said yesterday on NFL GameDay Morning. "Jeff Ireland already has the reputation in league circles for being a guy who 'we can't believe he still has his job.' They're 4-4, but there's clearly a void here. Expect somebody to pay."
Many fans have been clamoring for Ireland's ouster for years. He's garnered the nickname "Fireland," and fans have flown banners over the stadium urging his firing before. We've already made the argument that he should just up and resign after the Incognito scandal. Under his leadership the team has gone from a once-proud franchise with a storied reputation both on and off the field to a mediocre sideshow.
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Of course, there is the possibility Ross will play it cool if the team makes the playoffs. They're currently 4-4, third in the division, and will hopefully pick up a Monday Night Football win tonight against the winless Bucs. A win there would put them in the driver's seat for the last wildcard spot in the AFC.