That is what Cam Cameron needs from the Miami Dolphins. It is the one thing most fans will not give him, most fans want to see wins, most fans want to see something, anything. Most fans, most fans, most fans. I have a fan, it’s in my bedroom on the ceiling and sometimes, it seems to blow hot air as well.
It is not easy by any stretch. Especially while we watch not only the record in futility in our grasps, but we also see our record for perfection slip away as well. We have to, however, put aside the losses as much as it kills me to say it. We must put aside the play on the field and we must, somehow, find a way to look beyond the problems that are on this team and concentrate on the simpler things that can fix it.
O.k. yesterday, I was as upset as everyone else, maybe more-so because week in and week out, I stand here and defend the head coach. I wrote this long reason why Cameron should not be fired, some of you may have read it before in my anger I deleted it, yes it was actually up on the site for awhile. Yet, after the same thing that Cameron is not afforded passed, I felt the exact same way I did two days ago. Cam Cameron needs time.
The fans that are crying for his head are not wrong, it is their feelings, their opinions, their emotions. What they see on the field and translate into “Fire Cameron” is a matter of perception based on this horrendous record. It is justified and I, a Cameron supporter, will not tell them they are wrong…entirely. They are entitled to their opinions and it makes them no less a fan than I or anyone else who supports this coach.
Some may want facts, so here are some glaring facts that can not be overlooked when it comes to coaching.
Tom Landry – Hall of Fame – 0-11-1 in his first year with the Cowboys. That’s right. Winless. In years 2, 3, and 4, Tom Landry could not get more than 5 wins in any one season.
Bill Walsh – Hall of Fame – In his first year with SF, Bill managed to win a whooping 2 games in his first year, and did not have a winning record until 1981 which was Montana’s’ second season.
Chuck Noll – Hall of Fame – 1 and 13 in his first season as a Pittsburgh head coach.
Jimmy Johnson – 3 Super Bowl wins – 1-15 in his first year as an NFL head coach.
Bill Parcells – The same guy that many want to come to Miami and “fix” us…a wonderful 3-12-1 in his first year…and he benched Phil Simms.
Bill Belichic – Ran out of Cleveland because the team wouldn’t “buy” into his program, bet they wish they had a mulligan on that one.
For every one of those coaches there are a hundred more who failed, there are the Art Shells and the Denny Greens. This is the NFL, and if there is one thing that is learned in the NFL, it is that change for the sake of change never changes anything except that change.
There are media persons out there that have managed to convince the fans that the veterans of this team are on the verge of a coup against the head coach. Let us assume that the comments of Will Allen “Why should I be worried about him (Cameron)? I’m worried about myself”, are all true.
The veterans on this team are supposed to be the leaders of this team, yet if they are not “buying” into the Cam Cameron system, then perhaps they should re-evaluate themselves and why they are bothering to play football on any level, let alone the NFL. These are grown men, they do not need to have the coaches dim the locker-room lights and blare REO’s “Riding the Storm Out” to pump energy into them. It should be enough to know they are taking the field against the Jets, it should be enough to know they are winless, it should be enough to know they are taking the field at all.
Instead, when the game starts to wane in the 2nd half, the veterans sulk on the sideline. What message does that send to the younger members of this team? The guys who are inexperienced and learning on the ropes? It sends a message that losing is all this team is capable of. That is a sorry state of affairs. Do you not believe me? Here is a prime example from the Miami Dolphins team captain.
Three years ago, the Dolphins hired Nick Saban to coach the Dolphins. Jason Taylor had a fit and publicly made it known that not only did he not know if he should return, but openly said he did not like the idea of moving to a “Jack” linebacker position. It took Saban talking with him to convince him it would work. After 2 years in the system, Jason Taylor was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. But that is not enough. That is not my point. Upon the exit of Nick Saban, JT publicly stated that he loved what Nick brought to the team, and he said, “Had 52 other players bought into this system, we would have won more games.” That is the point. If they had bought into it. Ladies and gentleman, if these professional athletes would just buy into what is being taught, then maybe, they would have won a game by now.
I will not bore any of you or pretend that even one of you is stupid so I will not rehash for the 2 millionth time about this teams draft history, I will not sit here and tell you that this team is comprised of cheap castoffs from other teams because of salary cap issues that lingered until one new HC and one newly acting GM decided to cut the overpaid under productive players on this team to set this team up for future years. I won’t tell you that unlike in years past, as in the last 4, this off season the Dolphins will not have to cut salary to get underneath the cap. I won’t say that.
Nor will I point out the fact that this team has had it’s starting QB, RB, S, S, S, LB, 2nd string RB, 3rd string RB, and a slew of other defensive players line up on the injured reserve list or the injury report in general. Yet Cam Cameron is supposed to take a team comprised of in-season free agent cast offs and win with them. That again starts with the veterans who should be more poised to win one game than questioning the ability of a first year head coach.
Still, there is one thing that above all else is glaring enough to warrant Cam Cameron being retained beyond this year, regardless of the seasons outcome, and that includes 0-16. That is continuity.
There has never been a team in the history of the NFL that has ever won a championship without some degree of continuity. The last coach to be afforded that luxury was Dave Wannsted and his 5 seasons.
Consider that since the 2003 season, the Miami Dolphins have changed offensive coordinators and offensive systems. Consider that in that same time frame, the Dolphins have gone through as many head coaches as it has since its existence. Consider that in that time frame, the Dolphins have had more starting QB’s unrelated to injury than it had since Dan Marino was drafted in 1983. That is not continuity. That is what Cam Cameron is trying to rebuild.
Another change in the HC spot will put Miami back another 2 years. Cameron may not be the right guy to lead this team, he may not ever become anything more than a good OC for someone else, what he can do, is infuse a little continuity in a team that has had zero in 5 years. He can teach the young guys how to play at this level. It may not have the desired result, but any coach coming in after Cameron leaves will at least have 2, 3, and 4 year veterans to work with instead of an influx of NFL castaways. In all likelihood, they will have all of their draft picks as well.
These are very hard times, from the fans, to the players, to the coaches, their families, the owner, everyone. All of them. It will not get better anytime soon. Unfortunately, that is just the way things are. Changing coaches yet again is not going to solve this problem.
It has been reported that Bill Parcells wants to be a GM, not a coach. How does that help Cameron in terms of what Cameron does on the field? Nothing. What it does is possibly add friction to an already hot situation. Dan Marino told a Miami radio show that he has spoken with Bill Cowher who has said that he is not up for coaching again, so there shoots that idea. Do we ask Wayne to throw more money to a coach that doesn’t want to be here? Anywhere? No, that only gets us another Saban situation in the making.
There is only one answer, like it or not. Cam Cameron must be given another year to right this ship. Some of the mistakes are his, but many are not. Firing Cameron now will set this team back yet again and that is something that this franchise just can not afford. Even in the face of a rather unwanting historical season.