The point you keep swinging and missing on is that if the GM is in charge of the football operation, as Ireland is, switching him out could have a significant impact on everyone under him which includes the head coach. If you are hiring a GM and forcing a head coach on him, you are going to greatly limit the candidate pool. So you probably are not making a real great hire if he is just an owner yes man being told what to do. If the idea is to fire Ireland and get a better GM in place, you are going to give him the power to make decisions. If this new GM is not a Philbin fan and wants his own guy, they will make a change. Simple.
I don't think Ross is connecting Ireland to Philbin too much.
Just like he kept Ireland and fired Sparano, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he insisted on keeping Philbin and getting rid of Ireland. The new GM would have to agree to deal with Philbin for at least a season to evaluate Philbin and his staff.
It all depends on if the product on the field crashes and burns or if it just stays mediocre. Keep in mind, if it stays medicore this year (6-10, 7-9, 8-8), Ireland is safe. Only if the season turns into a 1-15 debacle will Ross even consider firing Ireland next season.
When I die I want to hire the Miami Dolphin's to be my pallbearers so they can let me down one last time.
Hey now that the Browns might be sold and Holmgren will be canned we can hire him to fix this mess!