Jeff Ireland

New Orleans assistant general manager Jeff Ireland accepts Inside the League's award for the team with the best 2017 draft. (Joel A. Erickson/The Advocate)

INDIANAPOLIS — Jeff Ireland didn't hesitate when asked if he again wants to be the general manager of a team one day.

"Absolutely, why wouldn't it be?" the Saints assistant general manager said. "I'm not in a hurry. I told myself when I got to New Orleans I was going to help this team build. I'd really have to think twice about leaving the New Orleans Saints before we won a Super Bowl."

Ireland's last shot to be a general manager came in Miami where he worked from 2008-2013. He was let go after the team posted a 46-50 record under his stewardship.

The assistant general manager has since re-established himself as one of the league's top talent evaluators during his time with the Saints. While accepting an award from industry publication "Inside the League," which helps merge the agent and scouting communities, for having the best draft in the NFL last season, he noted the team had acquired more than a dozen players through the draft and free agency who played prominent roles last season.

He also noted that he learned countless lessons from his time in Miami and that he has grown from it.

"A million things. I know when I focus on one thing or a couple things that's what I'm really good at," Ireland said. "If I ever get the opportunity to be that again, I'm going to do a better job of delegating other things to other people, so I know where my focus is on a couple of different things I know I'm good at."

But the goal, for now, is to remain with the Saints and to accomplish what he's set out to accomplish. At the same time, Ireland is a realist and knows that he might have to make a hard decision if he continues to have success the way he has in the draft.

"Sometimes those jobs come and you can't turn them down," Ireland said. "I want to win more than anything else. I've been in this business 23 years, and I've never been to a Super Bowl."

Are the Saints close?

"Who knows," Ireland. "We're closer, for sure. Obviously, we were 10 seconds away from advancing to the NFC Championship game."

A couple of good draft picks could turn the tides.

Follow Nick Underhill on Twitter, @nick_underhill.​