GM says Dolphins all ears when it comes to No. 1 draft pick

Updated: January 24, 2008, 12:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MOBILE, Ala. -- Let the bidding for the No. 1 pick begin.

"We're open for business," new Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, on hand to watch practices for the Senior Bowl, told the NFL Network on Wednesday.

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Ireland, whose quote appeared in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, has been working at a breakneck pace since Bill Parcells hired him away from the Cowboys three weeks ago.

In the time after Ireland became GM, the Dolphins fired Cam Cameron and most of his staff, hired Tony Sparano as coach and started to assemble a staff of assistant coaches.

"Have I been able to breathe yet? Uh, a little bit," Ireland said Wednesday after watching a Senior Bowl workout. "I'm just glad to be watching some football players."

Then there's the matter of whether the Dolphins plan to keep the top selection in April's draft or trade it. Based on its just-completed 1-15 season, Miami has a plethora of needs.

"Rome wasn't built in a day, and this won't be built in a day either," Ireland said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "The No. 1 pick is no different from the 22nd pick. You've got to make the right selection. You just can't miss on it.

"We're going to do everything in our power to make the right choices, whether it be to take the pick or move down. We'll listen to all offers."

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN.com's NFL draft expert, is not alone in forecasting LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey as the top pick to the Dolphins. Ireland declined to discuss specific players or positions of special interest to the Dolphins, but he said he and Parcells, who last month became executive vice president of football operations, have reviewed their observations from the Senior Bowl workouts about 30 minutes each day. Parcells watched the workouts on cable TV.

Sparano also didn't make the trip to Mobile, instead remaining in South Florida to focus on hiring a coaching staff. Ireland said he's comfortable with the way he'll divide responsibility with Sparano and Parcells.

"The situation that we're in is that Bill does oversee everything," Ireland said. "But yet I am the GM and we have a head coach, so there is going to be a triangle of communication involved here.

"I can't say that Bill will have the final say on everything, because we communicate so well. That's why Tony's in the position that he's in and that's why Bill brought me here [to Mobile] -- because we'll communicate and make decisions together."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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