Calling himself "Sean," the fan claims he approached Ireland at Sun Life Stadium during halftime of Miami's win over the Raiders and voiced his displeasure with the state of the organization. Sean, a longtime season ticket holder, rattled off some of Ireland's roster moves he didn't agree with and then suggested, "We need you to fire yourself."
Sean told the station that Ireland then patted him on the back. "Good one," Ireland reportedly told the fan, before mouthing an expletive as he walked away. Armando Salguero of The Herald spoke to multiple eye-witnesses, including team officials, who said Ireland used the word "a--hole" either "directed at the fan or loud enough" for him to hear.
Ireland later released this statement about the incident:
"It did happen at halftime. I was going back to my booth after seeing my wife and I did talk to several fans that were very nice. But as I'm walking back this person introduced himself to me and made a comment to me.
"It caught me off guard. I just turned and walked away, but I did say something I regret. I thought I was saying it to myself under my breath, but I must have said it loud enough that he could hear it. At the time I felt I handled the situation privately, but I probably spoke a little too loud. I regret that I said anything."
Ireland's ride in Miami has been a bumpy one, and we won't pile on. We saw a hard-working personnel man on HBO's "Hard Knocks," but figuring out how to build a winner has been a puzzle for Ireland. Winning over the fan base, meanwhile, has been an flat-out enigma.