Ireland And Dee Update Season Ticket Members

Posted Mar 27, 2013

Dolphins GM and CEO conduct conference call on all topics.

Season Ticket Members got another chance to go straight to the sources and learn more about the happenings going on with the Miami Dolphins on a conference call tonight with General Manager Jeff Ireland and CEO Mike Dee.

There really is no more exciting time to be a fan of the team than right now, between all of the moves Ireland has made in free agency and the buzz going on off the field. The 2013 NFL Draft is a month away and the vote on Super Bowls 50 and 51 is eight weeks away, so a combined 30 minutes to pick the brains of these two important men probably isn’t long enough to cover everything.

About an hour before the call began Miami announced the signing of free agent offensive lineman Lance Louis, so that confirmed what Ireland confessed last week in Arizona at the league meetings that he was not finished adding pieces to the roster. Louis is the sixth outside free agent to join the Dolphins – wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, tight end Dustin Keller and linebackers Danell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler are the other five – and ninth free agent signing overall, so Ireland was asked first about what that whole process is like.

“That’s a great question,” he said. “Obviously, getting the player to come here on a visit is important to us. We have a lot of confidence in our coaching staff and in our organization as a whole to try to sell the player. If you get a player to come on a visit, you’ve got interest in him and he’s got interest in you and sometimes at that point it comes down to dollars, but also it comes down to organizational structure.”

Ireland went on to explain how he fields questions from the player about ownership to the players in the locker room and who the position coach is. He also revealed that he lets the player to talk to the people he will be directly dealing with like the equipment manager and the trainer, while Miami’s medical staff begins to create a medical profile so that Ireland and his staff have a feel for his future.

Another caller asked Ireland how he feels about the offensive line now that he added Louis and also brought back Nate Garner and he stressed how important depth is at that position. He did not fall into the trap of revealing his draft strategy but did share his excitement over having 11 picks and five in the first three rounds among the top 82 overall.

For Dee, this was his chance to update the season ticket members on the progress of the team’s bid to strike a private/public partnership with Miami-Dade County on a 22-plan stadium modernization project for Sun Life Stadium. Negotiations continue moving forward towards a possible public referendum on the plans that could help in the bid for one of those two Super Bowls, preferably the 50th, but Dee also addressed the hype over the team’s new logo, confirming that the version leaked last week is indeed the official logo.

“You’re going to see a lot of the logo around town over the next three or four weeks leading up to the April 25th announcement,” Dee said. “I think you saw that start today with Jared Odrick out in the community at a community appearance at Baptist Children’s Hospital wearing the new T-shirt. We have lots of player requests and we’re definitely going to blow through the budget of player gear here because the players are all over this and want to wear it and get it out.

“You’ll see it around in many different places leading up to the 25th and on the 25th we’ll have the draft party at the stadium and as part of that this year a special component will be to unveil the new uniforms. We’ll have many great Dolphins legends in attendance saluting those uniforms that have been worn over the last 47 years. Each era will be represented and then we’ll have some current players present here to unveil the new aqua and orange that we’ll see here at Sun Life Stadium in 2013.”

One of the pressing questions for Dee had to with when fans will be able to purchase gear with the new logo. He confirmed that jerseys will hit the racks the week before the draft and shirts and hats will be rolling in over the next 30 days but they won’t be available to purchase at the official team store until after the official unveil.

So with the new logo, the stadium modernizations, the additions of Wallace, Gibson, Keller, Ellerbe, Wheeler and Louis and the re-signings of quarterback Matt Moore, wide receiver Brian Hartline and safety Chris Clemons, there isn’t much else left for the season ticket members to be curious about.
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