The Miami Dolphin "What If's"

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse opportunities.  They’re just two words to describe the Miami Dolphins in the off-season the last 5 years.  The Dolphins are still feeling the effects from trading a second round draft pick to the Minnesota Vikings for belly up quarterback Daunte Culpepper over Super Bowl champion Drew Brees, or worse picking QB Chad Henne over Matt Ryan in the 2008 NFL draft.  It’s now the second round of the playoffs and I’m eagerly watching the Pittsburgh Steelers defend their home turf against divisional rivals the Baltimore Ravens, still as a Dolphins fan.  One can’t help to wonder what if the Dolphins had signed Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin over Ravens offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron in 2007?

After a 2005 coaching search, the Dolphins signed Nick Saban to replace him only one season later with Cameron.  That off-season, in 2007, the Dolphins settled on two finalists for their head coaching position.  The Dolphins interviewed Tomlin days before Pittsburgh and it was predicted that he would accept an offer if Miami had offered one.  They, of course, passed on Tomlin and hired Cameron instead on January 20th, 2007.  This makes sense considering Cameron is a more conservative play caller, while Tomlin, who is rather aggressive, fit perfectly only days later with the Pittsburgh organization.

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Tags: Cam Cameron Miami Dolphins Mike Tomlin Nick Saban

  • Phintastic

    Yes, the Cam Cameron hiring (and season) was a debacle, but to me the passing of Matt Ryan was worse (no pun intended). In fact, to me, picking Ted Ginn’s family over Patrick Willis was worse too…. Then again if we would have hired Tomlin instead I’m sure he wouldn’t have passed up Willis.

    Good God, I’m depressed!

  • Dashall

    I just had a nice, long response rejected for the use of a state name (2nd largest state). Here is my 2nd attempt.

    No offense, but I am sick of the Miami Dolphin “what if” game. You can play it forever but you always end up right back where you started. We have “what if’d” the Dolphins to death. So what if we had drafted Ryan? He would be the second coming of David Carr by now with no Jake Long (3xAll Pro). What if we had never drafted that kid out of the Big Ten named Bob Griese, 6’1″ 190? Too small and bad eyesight. Big Ten QBs can’t play in the NFL. We all know that. So what if we had signed Tomlin? He still would have had the talent deficit team that was 2007. He probably would have been run out of town like Cameron. What if we had not grabbed Chad P. in 2008? We probably would have run Tuna and Co. out after we lost every game in 2008 with John Beck as QB.

    See how unproductive the “what if” game really is? Being a fan gives you the right to second guess your team. However, at some point people just have to let it go. I teach history for a living. Students are always asking me “what if” in different areas of history. I can speculate but none of that speculation will be on any tests.

    Again, this post should not be considered a slam. I respect your opinion and it is a good article. We cannot change the past. Our team is our team and that is the way it is. Let’s put the “what if” game on the shelf next to the Monopoly and Pictionary games.



    • Phintastic

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

      • Dashall

        I think George Santayana would give us his blessing and tell us to move on. If all someone does is dwell on the past they end up like the crazy lady in “Great Expectations.” Recognize the mistakes of the past but to constantly dwell on them does no good. There seems to be a few on this forum that are one step away from putting the wedding dress on and locking themselves away from the world.

        I think we have second guessed every coaching and player decision for the past decade ad naseum. We didn’t get Tomlin. I wish him well in the playoffs with the Steelers.

      • imawriterrobj

        I had the same problem typing the word Te*as!!!!! Weird.
        I agree totally, though playing What if gives us martyred Fins some sort of soothing balm for our pain. LOL
        As regards this… “or worse picking QB Chad Henne over Matt Ryan in the 2008 NFL draft.”…MY response…
        We picked Long over Ryan, not Henne, though theoretically Brian was correct. Henne just happened to be, in Ahi’s mind, the best of the rest. NO SO, unfortunately.

        What gets me is don’t they have accuracy drills at the combine?
        How did Henne’s lack of downfield accuracy escape the so called eagle eyes of our so called brain-trust?

        Also, how did Ronnie brown suddenly get .3 SLOWER than his 40 yard combine speed AFTER he became a Fin?
        Maybe they should measure these guys 40 yarder in full uni.
        Sorry for the OT.

  • Shula knows

    The 2007 dolphin team was not a 1-15 team talent wise. They lost many very close games and were not so bad. They were probably more like a 7-9 team that was so poorly coached to go 1-15.

    Tomlin would have gone 7-9 and not 1-15 with the 2007 team.

    • Dashall

      How many of those players from that year are still in Miami? I know we only have 5 pre 2008 draft picks on the team. In 07 we didn’t have a QB (Green, Lemon, Beck), RB blew his knee out, and we were signing street FAs to play in the D backfield while our 2006 #1 rode the bench. We were shut out 3-0 in Pittsburgh. We didn’t have enough talent to score 3 points in that muddy game. 9 of our opponents scored 37 points or more that year. Our last 4 losses were by 13 or more points. We were Tampa Bay 1976 bad that year. I don’t know if the combined ghosts of Lombardi, Landry, and Bill Walsh could have eeked 7 wins out of that team. Sorry, Shula knows, we were just that bad that year. Maybe 4 or 5 wins at best with a different coach. Hard to say but I am so glad that we are head and shoulders above that team.

  • Brian Miller

    Hmmmm, Tomlin got a Super Bowl team when he got the job in Pitt. I think everyone expects that team to do well. Had he come to Miami, he would have been gone by now…Randy Mueller would have still been calling the shots.

    • imawriterrobj

      My problem with hiring a coach from an underachieving team (Sparano from the ‘boys) is that the team he came from had UNDER ACHIEVING PLAYERS. Again, meaning the GM had bad info on players work habits, desire to be great, and to some extent talent.

      So again, we get a GM with no discernible ability to find the “diamond in the ruff”…as NE, and MOST teams find EVERY year. I’m not talking about the #1 or #2…it;’s the 4th thru FA pickups. Our problem is , not only do you generally miss on our #1 and #2, we have not scored real well on the other picks, Bess and Wake being exceptions. But look at our overall lack of expertise the last 10 years. WHO were the GM’s. Pretty much nobodies, or no talents like Randy Mueller, Speilman (who got a bit lucky in Minnesota) and now Ireland.
      If we had gotten Tomlin, perhaps Mueller would have been gone, and a promising young Steeler player personnel might have been brought in, though I’m not sure H Wayne would have been strong enough to can Mueller as he should have.
      I’m not sure if i have chronology absolutely correct here, but I hope you catch my drift here.
      We’ve been dead from the neck up for nearly a decade.

    • imawriterrobj

      Just saw Charlie Connerly (former Giants and texans GM) do his analysis before the Jets/Pats game.
      If i were Miami, i’d lose Ireland and offer Connerly ANYTHING he wants to be GM for us.

  • dodgeguy

    it don’t matter who the h.c. is. with this fan base, and i know we’re loyal to the bone but we won’t give anybody a fair shake.we’d have complained wit’ tomlin or anybody else for that matter.we find more ways to be negative than positive.look at all the loser teams in the n.f.l. and they’re fan bases are identical.look at all the winners and they’re fan bases are basically the same.the twelved man really does matter! even on the blogs.all the fans knoe we’re not that close,but no coach gets more than 2 seasons and we’re callin’ for his head.all i’m sayin’ is if we’re 5 years away then we need to give someone 5 yaers to see were we are?no?