Among all the moves Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland made this off-season, you'd think he might consider the team's greatest accomplishment to be signing wide receiver Mike Wallace, the top free agent on the market, or trading up to No. 3 to draft defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan. Those are not even close. The greatest accomplishment, Ireland said, was turning the Dolphins into a desired destination. "I felt like we've addressed some of the things we needed to address, and we got players we wanted," Ireland said Friday. "What's great to hear is that the players wanted us, too. I think that's the most important aspect of what we've accomplished this year. "We kind of opened ourselves up last year with "Hard Knocks," and I think what people realized is this is a place players want to play. That has been the resounding spirit in the locker room over and over and over again, that this is the place people wanted to come play." Ireland spoke at Turnberry Isle, at the annual Miami Dolphins Golf Tournament. The charity golf tournament is part of FinsWeekend. The idea that the Dolphins were undesirable surfaced last July, when Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark said on Twitter that "no one wants to go to the Dolphins!" When Clark tweeted there's "not a good guy making decisions," it seemed to be a shot at Ireland. Perhaps that perception changed when the Dolphins were featured on the HBO show "Hard Knocks," which showed first-year coach Joe Philbin, Ireland and the coaching staff extensively during training camp last summer. Whatever the case, the Dolphins signed several talented free agents — wide receiver Brandon Gibson, tight end Dustin Keller, right tackle Tyson Clabo, cornerback Brent Grimes, and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler among them — and all of the players, new and returning, are excited. In fact, "excited" seems to be a buzzword. Ireland thinks the fervor will reach yet another level when Jordan and rookie left tackle Dallas Thomas, the third-round pick from Tennessee, recover from shoulder surgeries and participate in training camp.
Dolphins proud they've become a desired NFL address
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | May 18