Oops: Dolphins talking defense
By Steven Wine
DAVIE, Fla. ó Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue, or subterfuge scripted by Bill Parcells.
Or maybe Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland inadvertently tipped his hand regarding the teamís plan with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
At a news conference Thursday, Ireland said he wouldnít talk about the Dolphinsí draft strategy, and he didnít discuss specific players. But one comment he made was surprisingly specific.
iOf course I want guys that have great upside,î he said. iThis is the first pick in the draft. This guy is going to be ó you hope that heís a pillar of your defense for a long time.î
Defense? That would be news.
As Ireland continued, the room broke out in laughter.
iWhat did I say?î he asked.
iYou said, ëpillar of your defense,í î someone replied.
Irelandís face began to turn red.
iPillar of your defense, or offense, or team,î he said to more laughter. iThatís a Freudian slip.î
Or perhaps a smoke screen, someone suggested.
iIíll let you guys decide,î Ireland said.
Parcells would be the sort to devise that type of misdirection. It counters speculation the Dolphins want to sign Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long as their top pick before the draft starts April 26.
If the Dolphins have instead decided to pick a defensive player, the likely choice will be Virginia defensive end Chris Long, Ohio State linebacker Vernon Gholston or Louisiana State defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.