Dolphins fire Cameron, most of staff
Cam Cameron is one and done.
The Miami Dolphins fired their head coach and all but two members of their coaching staff on Thursday following a 1-15 season that was the worst in franchise history.
“This is a difficult decision, and I want to thank Cam and the rest of his staff for their work this past season,” new Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland said in a statement. “By making this decision now, it gives all of the coaches the greatest chance to pursue other opportunities.”
The list of coaching candidates to replace Cameron is expected to include Dallas Cowboys assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tony Sparano.
Special teams assistant coach Steve Hoffman and linebackers coach George Edwards were the only two assistants who were not part of the purge on Thursday.
The rest of the assistants, including defensive coordinator Dom Capers, offensive line coach Hudson Houck, tight ends coach Mike Mularkey, running backs coach Bobby Jackson and secondary coach Mel Phillips -- who just finished his 23rd season in Miami -- were granted permission to seek other employment.
There is a chance, when a new coach is hired, that he will talk to some of those assistants about coming back.
Cameron, the seventh head coach in Miami history, did not even complete a full year on the job. He signed a four-year contract on Jan. 19, 2007.
A former offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, Cameron came in with a reputation as one of the top quarterback tutors in the NFL. However, once veteran Trent Green was lost for the season in week five with a concussion, Cleo Lemon and rookie John Beck both struggled.
Miami's offense ranked 28th in the NFL in 2007, its worst showing since 2004 when it was 29th.
Defensively, the Dolphins were 23rd — last against the run. A year ago, Miami was 20th in offense and fourth in defense.
Among Cameron’s sins in a disastrous season were questionable personnel moves, poor clock management and a poor relationship with veterans on the team.
He also didn’t make headway with Dolphins fans my making curious statements throughout the season. For instance, when the team passed on franchise quarterback Brady Quinn to draft return man/wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with the No. 9 overall pick, Cameron told fans the Dolphins had drafted “the entire Ted Ginn Jr. family.”
Needless to say, Mama and Papa Ginn never played a down.
While the likelihood of Cameron’s firing grew as the losses mounted this season, it was considered a foregone conclusion when the Dolphins hired Bill Parcells as the team’s new executive vice president of football operations on Dec. 20.
Parcells’ first move was to fire general manager Randy Mueller Monday along with Assistant Director of Player Personnel Mike Baugh and College Scouting Coordinator Rick Thompson.
It would have been easy to fire Cameron then, too, but it would have made it tougher for Parcells to hire Ireland as his new general manager in time to prepare for April’s NFL Draft.
Ireland, the former vice president of college and pro scouting for the Dallas Cowboys, was allowed to come to Miami immediately because he received a promotion that included control of personnel.
His hiring was announced Wednesday afternoon. Cameron was fired Thursday morning.
Looks like it didn’t take him too long to make up his mind.
Sparano, who is reportedly under consideration for the Atlanta Falcons coaching vacancy, is familiar to both Ireland and Parcells. In fact, it was Parcells who hired Sparano in 2003 when he was still the coach of the Cowboys.
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