Dolphins GM speaks on Ricky, QBs and more

August, 31, 2008
8/31/08
6:28
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland held a rare news conference Sunday afternoon to discuss myriad roster decisions.

Ireland was asked about the club's decision to keep sophomore QB John Beck over veteran Josh McCown and RB Ricky Williams' one-year contract extension among other topics.

Here are some of the highlights:.

Why did the Dolphins decide to extend Williams?

Ireland: You guys see it out there. We see it out there. He's done an excellent job in the weight room, in the meeting rooms. He's jumped out at us on tape. He looks good in the preseason. Everything we've seen since we got here -- and [the scoreboard] was zero-zero when we got here; [head coach] Tony [Sparano] said that in the first press conference -- he's done everything we've asked him to do. He's a player that's shown he can play. So we didn't want him to make the free agent market.

How is Williams' level of commitment different than in the past?

Ireland: I wasn't here in the past, so I don't really know how he had a lack of dedication in the past. I know what I read and what circulates in NFL circles. When we sat down coming here, we said that we're going to give this guy every benefit of the doubt, and he's got to show us that he is dedicated. He's done everything that we've asked him to do. We feel really good about our decision to extend him.

Why did the Dolphins keep Beck and trade McCown to the Carolina Panthers?

Ireland: What it came down to is, obviously, we didn't know that [Chad] Pennington was going to be out there. Things changed pretty quickly when we were able to pick up that thing that fell out of the tree there. That was obviously a good move for us when we did pick up Chad. Tony was right on when he said we might keep four quarterbacks. We decided that we weren't going to keep four. We decided who probably has the best upside. We felt like John was still a young player, and he's done a great job here in the last week and a half. That was the player that we felt like had more upside and more future to him and more developmental possibilities. So John was the guy we went with.

Was there any truth to the reports the Dolphins were shopping Beck?

Ireland: I'm not going to confirm that we tried to trade or anything like that about John Beck. We traded Josh McCown.

What's the comfort level with having a rookie backup and a second-year third-stringer behind Pennington?

Ireland: We feel pretty good about it. We feel pretty good about where Chad Henne and John Beck are. Chad Henne is a guy that we feel very good about. Obviously, he's our No. 2 right now. I feel pretty good about it, as a matter of fact.

Why did the Dolphins release former Dallas Cowboys special-teams captain and S Keith Davis?

Ireland: We did not know much about Yeremiah Bell when we first got here. We knew he was coming off an Achilles injury and coming off three seasons where he hadn't finished the season on the active roster. We knew Renaldo [Hill] was coming off a knee injury, and we didn't have [Chris] Crocker at the time, and we knew a little about Jason [Allen], but it hadn't all been positive at the time when we found out. The more we learned about all three of them, we learned that those are four players that we felt pretty strongly about as we are going through this process. So Keith really just didn't fit in the long-term plans as some of these other guys did.

Are the Dolphins done tinkering with their 53-man roster?

Ireland: We have been here for six or seven months now, and it's never stopped. So I don't think that it's going to stop now. The one thing that has been constant is change around here. Yes, I can see ourselves being active. There are several more waves of player availability, and so I would say that we'd be active in just about all of them if the player and the need fit.

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