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Ireland: 'Fins want QB who can 'put his team on his shoulders'

  • By NFL.com
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Reports surfaced Monday that the Miami Dolphins might be interested in acquiring Indianapolis Colts star Peyton Manning, indicating they're serious about upgrading at quarterback. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland reinforced that idea Tuesday, clarifying what the team would look for in a "franchise quarterback."

Ireland told the Dolphins' official website that it would be "a player that can consistently lead you to the playoffs."

"He's your bread and butter, he's your clutch player, he shows it over and over and over again, and he's got the ability to put his team on his shoulders and lead you to the playoffs on a consistent basis," Ireland added, citing Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton and Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers as examples.

"There's just a handful of (franchise quarterbacks) ... but everybody's looking for them," Ireland said, "and until you find one, it's tough to be a consistent winner in this league without having one of those type of guys. Certainly everybody's looking for them, including us."

At the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Ireland told The Miami Herald that he wants a signal-caller who "can lead us over the hump."

Since Ireland arrived in Miami in 2008, the Dolphins have run through a series of quarterbacks, including Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen, J.P. Losman and, most recently, Matt Moore.

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The Dolphins were 6-6 in Moore's 12 starts this season, with the fourth-year pro completing 210 of 347 passes for 2,497 yards and 16 touchdowns with nine interceptions. Thanks to Moore, the Dolphins' passing offense recorded more touchdowns than interceptions for the first time since 2008, when Pennington threw for 3,653 yards and 19 touchdowns with seven picks en route to an 11-5 finish.

Newly hired coach Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator for a Green Bay Packers team that has long thrived behind top-tier quarterbacks. This season, for example, Rodgers and Matt Flynn combined to pass for 5,161 yards and 51 touchdowns with just eight interceptions.

In addition to the possibility of acquiring Manning, the Dolphins could try to sign Flynn, who's set to become a free agent, but Ireland didn't mention the Packers backup.

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