The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack


The Dolphins drove the ball for a field goal on the game’s opening drive against the Bills and that score held up for 3 quarters. Unfortunately, there are 4 quarters in the game of football. Someone should have clued in the defense (that had played well up until the fourth quarter).

Let’s get the positives out of the way first. The offensive line opened up holes for Jesse Chatman who had a career day with 124 yards on 27 carries. He added another 21 yards on 3 receptions. The defense held the Bills’ Marshawn Lynch to 61 yards on 19 carries (a pedestrian 3.2-yard average) and J.P. Losman to 12 of 23 passing for 157 yards with 1 INT and no touchdowns. OK, enough for the positives.

Ted Ginn had an 86 yard TD return and Lorenzo Booker had his first reception . . . or did they? Both were called back on penalties. Speaking of penalties, the Fins got flagged 7 times, but none was more costly than the one which nullified Ginn’s great return that wasn’t. Had it stood up, it likely would have deflated the Bills who had just tied the score at 10 with a 2-point conversion.

Special teams’ blunders were costly on the coverage team as well, which has been a recurring theme this season. Cameron has so little faith in his coverage team that he consistently had Feely kick short, which was kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy because it gave the Bills good field position throughout the day. In the fourth quarter, Brandon Fields punted deep into Bills’ territory, but former Cane Roscoe Parrish ran a punt back to the 50 yard line, putting the Bills in excellent position for the game winning field goal which came with 00:46 remaining.

Cleo was Cleo on Sunday except that he did not turn the ball over. However, his 16 of 29 for 131-yard performance was anything but stellar. With the running game working as well as it did, he should have been able to muster more than a 5.2-yard average per attempt. But Cleo was Cleo, so he had great difficulty getting the ball down field. Of course, there were some drops which proved costly, too. Usually sure-handed Marty Booker had more than his share.

As if it wasn’t painfully obvious before Sunday, Cleo is not one of the answers for this downtrodden team. Unfortunately, Coach Cam is not giving John Beck an opportunity to show if he may be. A lot has been written in the last several weeks about this subject, but the question coming into focus now is what did Cameron see in Beck last April that he does not see in him now? He didn’t swap Chris Chambers for a future draft pick because he thought this season was still in play. If the season isn’t still in play, then why isn’t John Beck playing?

The only reason not to play 26-year old John Beck is if it is clear that he is not the future of this team. How bad could Cam’s draft day decision have been that Cam now knows that Beck is not the future of this team without seeing him take a single regular season snap? And if so, what does this say about Cam’s ability to judge talent?

An important aspect of a head coach’s job is as a talent evaluator. This is where this head coach seems most deficient. Think of his decision to let go several key members of the last season’s defensive line rotation to save money that would in turn be paid to Joey Porter. Think of his training camp attitude towards Ronnie Brown when he treated him like an undrafted free agent.

Cameron’s line is that Beck is simply not yet ready. But just what is he not yet ready for? Is he not ready to learn under fire? Is the psyche of this older rookie (whose maturity was cited by Coach Cam as a reason for drafting him in the f

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