It was another blow out loss, another to a division rival, and when it seemed that the defense could force turnovers, the offense proved they couldn’t get it into the end zone. Now, 15 games into the season, the Miami Dolphins are officially on the clock.
March will bring free agency and an expected cap number that could fall somewhere between 20 and 30 million in spendable room…and that is before some players inevitably have their contracts terminated. The draft will follow a long month and a half later at the end of April. Peppered in between? Pro-days and the combine. Yet for all intent and purpose, the real changes start the day after Christmas when Bill Parcells reports for his first day on the job.
Speculation runs rampant as to whether head coach Cam Cameron and/or GM Randy Mueller will have a job a week later. Parcells is expected to examine the issues that he has to deal with. There is a lot more that will happen than just the preparation for the first pick in the 2008 draft. Player will be evaluated, film will be watched and a decision on the two men at top will be made.
In all fairness, I like Cam Cameron. I see a rookie coach who makes rookie mistakes. I see a rookie coach who was handed the worst possible personnel to work with in his first season. I see a rookie coach who has a system but no players talented enough to make it work even to a simple degree. A week after winning his first game, the real issues became evident and clear. Something needs to be changed.
The Dolphins lost. We all know that. To a better team. Still, the Dolphins had their shots. One touchdown was never going to be enough. Two failed opportunities within the 10 yard line was a 14 point difference. Sure the Patriots likely would have driven it down our throats, but with scoring comes confidence and with confidence anything can happen.
1st and goal with 1:17 left in the half and Cameron orders a spike to stop the clock. 3 plays later and with 17 seconds left the Patriots have the ball. This is not bad clock management from a rookie coach, this is just bad and all season long I have cared less. I do not care now simply because it was against the Patriots, I care now, because it really is inexcusable. Still, the argument can be made about the players that he has to work with. Is Cleo Lemon really a guy who can come up to the line in a situation like that and be able to execute 4 plays? In reality, it doesn’t matter. I have said from day 1, coach your system, if the players can’t execute it, then get the players that will. Cam Cameron was not coaching his system yesterday, in fact, I really am not sure what he was coaching.
4th and goal, 4th quarter. Lemon has an easy touchdown at the right front corner of the end-zone. A real QB would lower a shoulder and take the hit at the goal line, Cleo Lemon puts the ball in his outside hand and goes out of bounds at the pylon. This is the QB that Miami has, this is the talent they are surrounded by. This is what a rookie head coach has had to deal with all year, yet Cameron has not found a way to motivate that kind of talent. Is it even possible? Who knows, but it is the job of the HC to do it.
Cameron is not absolved of any responsibility, there is no such thing in the NFL. There are excuses, but we all know what excuses are….everyone has them. Cameron may or may not be fired by Parcells. His coaching direction will likely be at the center of the first few days of Parcells tenure. Bill will watch how he prepares the team, practices the team, talks to the team. Bill will then ask if his style was any different than last week or the week before. Bill will then decide Cameron’s’ future, if it hasn’t been already.
If Cameron stays, then changes must be made elsewhere. This is not a good football team and although youth is visible everywhere, like the coaching from top of the chain, little improvement is being made. Ted Ginn? Who knows, Dolphins QB’s have only thrown down field to him a few times. John Beck? Who knows, it was never the plan of Cameron to play him at all this year. So many questions, very few answers.
As the final week of the regular season and the Miami Dolphins season winds down, the Miami Dolphins may be looking for both a new Head Coach and a new General Manager. Then, Bill Parcells and whoever is staffed below him, can start working on what to do with that number 1 pick.