fresh breeze blew into Davie
last night, forcing out the foul, stale air that had lingered since Benedict
Saban soiled himself on his way out of town.
Miami Dolphins have a new coach, a solid choice in Malcom “Cam”
Cameron. They have a new, more balanced power structure with GM Randy Mueller
gaining a real voice in the direction of the team. They have a new spirit of
cooperation, not just between Head Coach and GM, but among all the people in
the organization who truly make a difference in winning.
Dolphins have a new beginning, a renewed commitment to winning. That’s the
beauty of the changes, they bring hope for better days.
his inaugural press conference, Cameron repeatedly preached the “team” concept
to reporters. His emphasis of this remedial message was a sad reminder that the
situation behind Saban’s “one voice” façade was not as aligned nor as
harmonious as it should have been.
most surprising revelation in this regard was that Saban had foolishly minimized
Mueller’s role in personnel evaluation and decision-making. Wasn’t it Saban that
had correctly touted the need for a solid personnel man when hiring Mueller as
GM in 2005, on the heels of Rick Spielman’s departure?
the simple reason why Saban’s teams were so inconsistent was because their
coach was inconsistent, too.
arrival signals the thankful end of Saban’s failed reign and grants us the
opportunity to look forward to a bright future, to return to postseason glories.
For sure, Cameron’s arrival is like no other in team history.
the first time, the Dolphins have hired a head coach whose expertise and
reputation is primarily on the offensive side of the ball where it is so badly
needed. Heck, Cameron will even be calling the plays.
Cameron, formerly offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers, ''The
ability to manage the game and control the game, that's one of the things I do
enough. Cameron’s reputation across the league as one of the game’s best
offensive minds is a huge reason why he got the Dolphin job.
hope springs eternal. Maybe Cameron is the guy to finally deliver the goods. Aren’t
you sick of watching boring offense? Isn’t it time to put the “O” back in
guaranteed, of course. It’s fair to observe that most coaches would look smart
with guys like Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Antonio Gates to work
again, it takes real coaching talent
to be 2nd in the NFL in rushing when you only run the ball 40% of the time. Smart
coaches know when to catch the defense with their pants down, know how to put
their best playmaker (in this case, Tomlinson) in a position to do maximum
playcallers (coaches) aren’t made, they’re born. It’s an art, grounded in feel
and instinct. Cameron has proven he has it.
all the instinct in the world won’t amount to much if Cameron doesn’t have the
horses to work with.
Mueller, a guy with an impressive track record for finding and acquiring
personnel, especially QB talent. Working in a peer relationship with Cameron,
the Dolphins will employ a division of power approach in a more meaningful way
than they ever had before.
knows better than anyone that he must find the talent to rejuvenate the sorry
Dolphin offense. The first, and most important, question is at the quarterback
position. Should they stick with Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington, and Cleo
Lemon? Or, will the go shopping for a new face?
priorities abound, namely #1 wide receiver and offensive line.
Randy, wouldn’t Ohio State WR Ted Ginn look just superb in Dolphin colors?
overly worry about the defense. Despite the buzzing about their overall age, they
figure to stay pretty good in 2007 especially with Dom Capers at the helm. And,
if people will look closely, there is solid young talent in the pipeline to
Vickerson, Fred Evans, Travis Daniels, Rodrique Wright, Jason Allen, Derrick
Pope, Channing Crowder, and Matt Roth are all young talents with good upside.
Throw in Manny Wright if the guy can get his head on straight.
knows that one solid off-season could vault the Dolphins back into the
playoffs. One. We see it with at a
least one team every year. It’s not that big a gap for these Dolphins to
bridge, especially with a top 10 draft pick and good flexibility to chase
attractive free agents. With Saban off his back, Mueller can now do the job he
was hired for.
Cameron’s practical approach to reenergizing Miami’s moribund offense is simple, yet
exactly what’s been needed for oh-so-long.
a coach it's my job to make this personnel work and find a way to score”, said
Cameron. “You don’t have to have everything on offense to score. The philosophy
would be (to) maximize every guy that you have, and ask every guy, starting
with each guy individually, what does this guy do best? Ask him to do what he
bottom line is, you got to take what you have and make the most of it. If you
have the ability as of today to run the ball better, run the ball. If you can't
run the football, you better try to throw it.”
find ways to use all your most talented guys”.
You find ways
to use all your most talented guys.
often Saban’s offensive coaches missed that critical point!
wasn’t missed in yesterday’s introduction of Cameron was the pomp and
circumstance, and empty promises, which accompanied his pre-determined
predecessors. We’ve had enough of that. It was enough to hear plain talk and a
pragmatic view of the job at hand, together with an explicit commitment to the
team and to the community.
and the Dolphins, appear to have started off 2007 on the right foot.