The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack


Two years ago, upon the hiring of Nick Saban the town was abuzz with talk of the Saban era. Two years later, we realized it was in reality the Saban error! Now, with the hiring of Cam Cameron, it seems that the Dolphins are intent upon punctuating the end to the Saban error.

Unlike the Fictator, Cameron did not march into town as the new deity with the right to do as he pleases regardless of how it might affect others. He didn’t tell the media “I’m the new sheriff in this town,” just before banning them from the streets. He didn’t preach about his “process.” He didn’t tell the GM it is my way or the highway. He didn’t muzzle his assistants, either.

This new coach came into town humble and thankful. He appeared genuinely interested in creating an atmosphere where it will be the team that is of utmost importance. He gave deference to his coaching staff. (Heck, he inherited what figures to be most of his coaching staff.) He spoke to the media in a way that signaled he would actually let them in. He made it clear that he was the head coach and that the general manager was (how novel?) the general manager and that they would be “joined at the hip,” working toward the same goal. He made it clear that his focus would be on creating a team made up of players, coaches, front-office staff, fans and the media, with the goal of producing a winning team and restoring the “Shula” tradition.

As the old saying goes, outside of the improvement, no one could tell the difference!

This does not mean that the Fins are suddenly headed toward blue skies. We don’t know if Daunte’s knee will fully heal, if the secondary will get healed, if a new receiver can be drafted and if new offensive linemen can be signed. This does not mean that the end result will be different. Of course, all Dolfans hope that the difference translates to more wins and a return to Fins’ football into the month of January.

As for the ability of Cam Cameron as a football coach we know that he has had significant offensive success with the Chargers. Of course, LaDainian Tomlinson can go a long way to making any offensive coach look good. The bottom line is we do not know how he will do in Miami with the players that are currently on the roster or who will be on the roster come next September’s season opener.

We do know that the Fins wanted (and obviously needed) an offensive minded head coach. The decision to go in that direction was sealed when they made Dom Capers the NFL’s highest paid assistant coach as a means of enticing him to keep him coloring his “x’s and o’s” in aqua and orange. It made sense, too, seeing that the offense was unquestionably behind the defense in recent years. Why not bring in someone who has had success driving an NFL offense? But the Fins’ brass wanted more. They wanted someone who wasn’t the Fictator. That’s why the hiring of this coach occurred only after a lengthy process of interviewing 13 candidates and then only after Cameron’s multiple-day final interview which lead to the announcement of his hiring Friday evening. They wanted someone different; they wanted a decided change. They believe they have it, and it looks like it, too. The early returns make it looks like with the hiring of Cameron, the Saban error is over.

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