I still remember that terrifying thought running through my mind that season. A thought that I hoped I would never have to face the reality of. My beloved Miami Dolphins, whom I have shared difficult and great times throughout my years, were on the verge of going the unprecedented 0-16 with only two games remaining.
With injuries piling up and IR moves on the rise as the season progressed, could this team muster up the energy and will power to finally win a game?
To understand this terrible ending of a season that was supposed to be great, you have to look back at the 2006 off season moves that set the stage for the following year.
The Miami Dolphins owner at the time, Wayne Huizenga, changes up his coaching staff for the better…or so he thought. Not only did he feel some staff needed to be changed, but his brand new head football coach resigned to coach at the college level..again.
Now in the market for another new Head Coach, Huizenga called upon an experienced offensive coordinator with the San Diego Chargers. His hopes of improving on a 6-10 season laid in the hands if Cam Cameron. He spent five years with the Chargers and almost all of those years his team was atop the league in offensive production.
Cam Cameron had a terrible first draft in my opinion, hell in ALL Dolphins fans opinions, which slated the Dolphins for the 1-15 2007 season. With Brady Quinn on the board it was a no brainer. Grab your franchise quarterback and don’t look back.
“With the ninth pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select: Ted Ginn Jr, out of Ohio State.” Wow. Did this just happen? A Wide Receiver. This helps the offense of the Mighty Phins out very nicely! A huge up-roar ensued by Dolphins fans all over, but everyone still had hope for this Offensive genius. He has to know what he is doing, right?
In the second Round he went ahead and picked John Beck. A long armed QB who no one really heard of really. He did excellent at BYU, but scouts didn’t know how he’d pan out.
After a couple of trades/signings/retirements blah blah blah…the season was upon us. To 2007...A fresh new year with a fresh new coach and a fresh new started Quarterba…wait I mean a fresh new Wide Recie...wait he didn’t even start. What the hell is going on here? Oh and who is the Quarterback of this team you may ask. Well that would be John Beck, Trent Green, Cleo Lemon, and Casey Bramlet. The rookie John Beck did not get the nod for starting QB.
Instead, the old man Trent Green held those reigns. Green was knocked out with a knee in game five and was subsequently put on the IR list and was declared out for season. Cleo Lemon and John Beck battled vigorously all season long trying to pull this doomed team out of the pit. Neither never showed any good, above average or even average performances. Sure the injuries did not help matters, or even the defense. But they kept fighting and fighting. Alas, it was all for nothing..
With 0-16 hanging over my head I gotta tell you, I don’t think I could do it. That many people rooting for you to fail has got to kill a man. The rookie will be a man and step it up right? Wrong. The nobody, Cleo Lemon, stood up and took on the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens were already having a tough season, but a win over the Dolphins looked immanent. That was until the game went to overtime with the score of 16-16.
As the OT started up the Dolphins were just looking to get down the field and try to get in field goal range. A tough feat for anyone to do in the NFL. With an abysmal offense all season long (and some flat out stupid games. Six losses in 2007 with the margin of three points or less), that’s got to be down right impossible.
As Cleo Lemon took the first snap he looked inside to Greg Camarillo who shed a tackled and ran all the way down to for a touchdown sealing their first and only win of the 2007 season.
Now it is 2009 and I can not be more happy with this team. With the hirings of Tony Sporano and Bill Parcells on staff, I’m looking forward to hopefully some more 11-5, AFC East Champions, seasons. Two years later...I won’t say that terrible season still hurts, but I will say it is damn sure going away. I love the Miami Dolphins and hope for the best in this upcoming 2009 NFL season.
Do us proud Phins.
Rylo, VSN Writer