doesnít take a rocket scientist or a hard core fan to understand why the Miami
Dolphins keep ending up on the wrong side of the playoff cut line.
the offense, stupid.
did Cam Cameron get the Dolphin job? Because he knows how to ring the bell
against high caliber NFL defenses, thatís why.
time a Dolphin head coach personally the called the plays? Never.
thing, because Cameronís success as Boss Dolphin will depend on his ability to
put points on the board.
defensive genius Dom Capers helping to mind the store, the offense is most of
what Cameron needs to worry about. But first heís got a heck of a mess to clean
now Cameron is trying to complete his offensive coaching staff while educating
himself on the talent he currently has. Thereís been no word yet as to whether
or not Cameron will ditch the current playbook/terminology and start over with
his own. This is no small matter given the learning curve required of a new
doubt Cameron has already come to terms with the enormity of work that is
needed to make the Dolphin offense Super Bowl ready.
and foremost is the quarterback question, the 10,000lb gorilla thatís been on
the Dolphinsí back since You-Know-Who retired. Between now and April 28, Cameron
must decide what to do with this gorilla.
gets the sense that this situation is not as cut-and-dry as some think. By this
I mean that a healthy Daunte Culpepper is not a sure bet to enter camp as the
the disappointment of 2006, itís unlikely that Cameron and GM Randy Mueller will
wait to find out if Culpepper can fully recover. For now, Cameron appears to be
non-committal though itís probable that Culpepper will at least be in the mix
when training camp begins. How could he not be, given the investment the
Dolphins made in trading for him?
about Joey Harrington, the starter for most of 2006? His situation will be an
interesting one. Harrington likes Miami
and wants to stay. Perhaps Cameron likes Harrington. But the Dolphins arenít
likely to pay him per his current deal. Something must give here.
thereís Cleo Lemon, who some believe has a legitimate shot at winning the
starting job. Iím not sure I agree, though Cameron did go out of his way to
laud Lemonís work habits at his introductory press conference. That and a
dollar will buy you a cup of coffee.
comes the offensive line and nothing works on offense without a decent offensive
Brees, Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Antonio Gates made Cameron look
brilliant. But Marcus McNeill and Nick Hardwick, both Pro Bowlers, helped make those
skill guys look brilliant.
knows it, too. Thatís why heís thanking his lucky stars that Hudson Houck is
with him in Miami.
After all, it was Houck that established the foundation for the excellent line
play that the Chargers have enjoyed these past four seasons.
my untrained eye at work here, of course, but it looks like only RT Vernon
Carey is a no-brainer lock to keep his job in 2007. Everyone else is a question
mark, and no other unit has more of them than this bunch does.
praised the work that L.J. Shelton, a converted tackle, did at right guard. But
have an honest desire to return to a job he didnít sign on to do? And if he
doesnít, are Cameron and Houck of the opinion that Shelton is the answer at LT? Does Shelton even get a say,
provided the Dolphins honor his contract?
Jeno James worth keeping at his salary? With Seth McKinney returning from
injured reserve, will Rex Hadnot be able to hold his job at center? Will McKinney even make the
team? Can Joe Toledo play? Is Anthony Alabi really on the rise?
wild card in all this may very well be LT Damion McIntosh. He wasnít
overpowering but he can play. And he might have been better at LT than Shelton was.
things considered, is replacing McIntosh in 2007 as truly an urgent need as
some have suggested? Just keep in mind that the pool of quality left tackle talent that will be available is likely to be
there are the non-QB skill positions to be considered. Today, only running back
is truly Super Bowl ready.
wide receiver, there is a critical need for a true #1 playmaker. If OhioStateís
Ted Ginn slides to the 9th overall selection, where the Dolphins are
currently slotted to pick, there is a good chance that he could be tapped. This
presumes, of course, that Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn will not slide to the
Dolphins as draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. recently predicted.
demands that Chris Chambersí run as the #1 WR is over. Over and done. He isnít
it a red flag if Cameron thinks otherwise.
for Randy McMichael. If Cameron is looking for a talent to do an Antonio Gates
encore, he needs to go shopping.
itís not out of the realm of possibility that Chambers and McMichael could end
up as trade bait before this is all said and done. Both men occupy too much
salary cap space relative to their contributions to date. Thatís a fact.
6-10 record and a five year playoff drought means that Cameron doesnít owe a
shred of loyalty to a single guy on the current roster not named Jason Taylor
or Zach Thomas. The Miami Dolphins have been wrong for far too long now, too
long to justify sacred cows. And nowhere does this apply more directly than to
the Dolphin offense.
many recent seasons have been less than they should have for want of an
effective offense? Too many. Thatís why Miamiís
road to Super Bowl XLII must begin with the re-emergence of their offense. Itís
Cameronís first, and most important, job.