Jeff Ireland is under siege.
He knows this. He knew this before there were a bunch of strangers outside his office calling for his head on a silver platter.
That doesn't mean he has to agree with critics -- Channing Crowder, Ryan Clark and Joey Porter among them -- who believe he's the reason Miami can't seem to land a high-profile coach or quarterback. With his popularity at an all-time low, the Dolphins general manager went proactive Tuesday by contacting several local news outlets to tell his side of the story.
"I absolutely think players and coaches want to be here," Ireland said, according to The Miami Herald. "When we talk to people about the Dolphins, they still think highly of this franchise, its history, its direction. They have no problem coming here. And sometimes they don't. Sometimes they make other decisions. But it's a two-way street. We make our decisions also."
One decision Ireland made, according to the Herald, was to not give Matt Flynn a blank check to sign with Miami. A four-year backup who made just two (admittedly excellent) starts with the Packers, Flynn took a more lucrative offer in signing with the Seattle Seahawks.
Ireland refused to specifically discuss the Flynn chase, instead offering that Miami "would not be reckless" on the market.
Ireland said he's "happy" with the team's QB situation -- surely in a relative sense -- and shot down the notion that the Dolphins have a false sense of their well-being.
"I'm not naive to the fact we need more pieces," he said. "People think we're blind to that but we're not. We need to have another solid draft. But we're not where we're going to be in August."
It will be interesting to see how much rope Ireland gets at this point. He's long since lost the benefit of the doubt from the fan base, and the team has been an also-ran for three years and counting. The clock could be ticking.