Dolphins Disaster: Don't Blame Cam Cameron
I know, I know—you probably read the headline of this article and said to yourself, "What the hell is this guy thinking?"
But the truth is that Cam Cameron wasn't to blame for the horrible season the Dolphins just completed.
For starters, the team Cameron inherited had been in decline for several years. The defense wasn't getting any younger, and the offense was still recovering from the Daunte Culpepper debacle.
Cameron came in and replaced Culpepper with the very underrated Trent Green—and going into the season, things looked pretty good for the Fins.
With Green and Ronnie Brown in the backfield and a resurgent Chris Chambers coupled with rookie Ted Ginn Jr. on the flank, the offense looked solid. The aging D was still formidable, with Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, and the newly acquired Joey Porter as its anchors.
It looked like a playoff run wasn't out of the question.
Then it all came crashing down.
Green suffered a concussion in Week Five and didn't play the rest of the season. In came the tandem of 26 year-old rookie John Beck and journeyman Cleo Lemon.
And seriously—how much can you expect from a team with Cleo Lemon starting under center?
There was no hope of a Kurt Warner or Tom Brady story in Miami—Lemon and the Dolphins were doomed from the beginning.
Brown, meanwhile, blew his ACL in Week Seven. From there the running back situation got pretty ugly—so ugly that Ricky Williams (yes, THAT Ricky Williams) started on Monday Night Football against the Steelers.
Sorry, but Jesse Chatman, Samkon Gado, and Patrick Cobbs just aren't going to cut it at tailback, especially not when your passing game is mediocre at best.
And by the way: Chambers was traded at midseason. So there go your three best skill players.
The defense was hit with the injury bug too. Thomas, long the heart and soul of the unit, played in a grand total of six games due to health issues.
After all that, I'm SURPRISED the Dolphins didn't go 0-16. Instead, they won a game—and lost six others by three points or less, three against playoff squads.
There's only so much a coach can do to make a team better or worse. That's a major problem in sports: Too much credit is given to the coach, win or lose. In the end, the players are the ones who have to perform—and with the injury onslaught, Cameron didn't have the talent to compete.
My two cents: The man should have been given another shot.
The counter-argument is that Bill Parcells needs to bring in people with philosophies similar to his. But that makes me wonder—when was the last time Parcells actually WON a Super Bowl?
What is Super Bowl XXV, Alex?
And how about the fact that Parcells himself started his head coaching career with a dismal 3-12-1 season? I'm sure he wasn't too happy when rumors flew that he wasn't going to see a second season with the Giants.
I know in the end the Tuna turned out to be a great coach, but had New York execs decided to fire him after a tough start, there would have been no Hall-of-Fame career.
Instead of giving Cameron another shot like the Giants gave him after the 1983 season, Parcells opted to install his own puppet on the Dolphins sideline.
How quickly we forget.
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