Dolphins send entire staff to combine

Dolphins send entire staff to combine
February 21, 2013, 2:45 pm
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INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Last season Miami finished 7-9. It was the team's seventh losing season in the last nine years.

General Manager Jeff Ireland said Thursday the Dolphins are going all in this offseason. Miami has more than $40 million available in cap space and nine picks to cash at the 2013 draft.

Consequently, nobody is home at Miami Gardens right now. All 55 members of the team's staff -- including every coach, coordinator, and assistant -- are here in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting extravaganza.

"We've got eyes on every single player at the combine," Ireland said.

Does that make this a make-or-break offseason for Miami?

"I'd probably say [no]," he said. "I'd say it's a very, very important time period for this offseason. We put a lot into getting into this position. We're obviously in this position by design. We plan to use some of our money and plan to, obviously, draft the best players available if we can, and address some of the needs that we have on our football team."

The GM did admit his club must make changes to dethrone New England in the division.

"There's a gap, certainly; they've won the division quite a bit. We've got to close that gap. Say it's a five game gap right now with wins and losses, so that's where the gap is."

The Patriots beat Miami at home on December 2, 2012. The win earned them their 10th AFC East championship in 12 years.

Ireland wants that stranglehold loosened. This offseason could help the Dolphins do it.

"We've got to close that gap," he repeated. "And we're planning to do our best job and put our best foot forward in getting that done this offseason. Can we completely close [it]? We've got to get on the field and close the gap on the field."