The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack


It was only last Sunday that I predicted that “this coming week the Dolphins’ sack leader will definitely be Parcells!” The very next day Parcells sacked Mueller and two key members of the scouting department. Three days thereafter he sacked Cameron and most of the assistants, too. Although the prediction was right on, it really wasn’t much of a prediction. These firings were not only appropriate, but they were also inescapable necessities that would not be overlooked by The Tuna.

While (now Ex) Coach No Cam Do will not be coaching the Fins from this point forward, the reality is that he really wasn’t coaching the Fins during the last year, either. And he had to really deserve to be fired to get fired; no team wants an endless series of coaching changes and this team has had too many since Huizenga squeezed out Don Shula over a decade ago. Since than we’ve had Jimmie, Dave, Satan and No Cam Do. Now we’ll have another to add to the list. But Cameron had really not been coaching the Fins since his hiring. He had to be fired; there was simply no choice for Parcells.

Cameron was asleep at the switch when he had to make many game management decisions. And Cameron did things that real coaches don’t do. He also failed to do other things that real coaches do. His failings started from the beginning when by all accounts he did not establish a relationship with established team leaders. Perhaps this failing culminated in the reported showdown last week when Joey Porter told him that the team did not respect him and that if he wanted to know why they were 1-14 at that point, Cameron should look in the mirror.

What was No Cam Do thinking during training camp when he played with Ronnie Brown’s head by publicly telling him that he wasn’t a clear starter? What was No Cam Do thinking when he exposed Ronnie Brown to injury returning kicks in pre-season games? What was he thinking when he held Lorenzo Booker inactive for September, October and November? What was he thinking when he chose to start Cleo Lemon after Trent went down and then went back to him in the last few games? Didn’t he realize that Lemon was not even going to be on the roster next season and he needed to learn as much as possible about John Beck before the 2008 NFL Draft?

It seemed that No Cam Do was too busy trying to save his own job (while disregarding the Fins’ future) that he wasn’t doing his job (i.e. coaching the team in a manner consistent with its record). This was yet another reason which justified the decision to fire a first-year coach who had been given a very poor team to work with which was thereafter decimated by injuries. The reason why his firing was justified had nothing to do with the squad he inherited or the injuries which crippled that team even further. He was fired because he didn’t work with what he had, he didn’t manage what he had and he didn’t work towards the future. In short, he really did not coach this team. And now he won’t have the opportunity to do so in the future.

The Fins now have a new GM and will soon have a new head coach. The new GM is a neophyte, 37-year old Jeff Ireland, whom Parcells knew from his days with the Cowboys. Not surprisingly, Parcells selected someone who had never been a GM before and someone with whom he was acquainted. It was clear once Parcells was hired that this would pretty much foreclose the selection of any established GM or head coach, because such persons would want to have total control which would not be possible as long as The Tuna was the new czar in town. And so it will be with the head coach to be selected in the coming days as well. He will also be a neophyte, someone who is young and in the Parcells’ mold.

Don’t feel sorry for No Cam Do. He may have earned his firing, but he will land on his feet. No doubt he will be picked up by another team, but it will be in a position of comfort, as an offensive coordinator once again.

As for Randy Mueller, his dismissal was earned too, although he may have a tougher time finding work. His dismissal was justified by some bad roster mistakes. He let key members of the defensive line rotation go last off-season without obtaining good replacements, he failed to do anything to upgrade the defensive backfield which was horrible in 2006 and he mishandled the 2007 NFL Draft. For all his promise as a kick returner and his speed as an unpolished receiver, the most that can be said of Tedd Ginn, Jr., is that he was a classic first-round reach. And the play of John Beck, when No Cam Do finally put him on the field, was not likely to silence last April’s chants of “Brady, Brady, Brady” which are still reverberating at Dolphins’ training camp.

So the Fins now have a new GM and will soon have a new head coach. One thing is guaranteed–the new coach The Tuna selects will be someone who will actually coach the Dolphins. Hopefully, this won’t be the only difference from No Cam Do who never really coached the Dolphins. Meanwhile, for the time being, the Dolphins remain Coachless in Davie.

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