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Around the AFC East, Week 2: Miami Dolphins

In this next Around the AFC East, I chat with Matty I, head writer at The Phinsider :

In Week 1 of Around the AFC, you talked about Parcells "cleaning house".  One of the victims of this inevitable clean sweep was Cam Cameron.  The captain of the ship is usually to blame or blamed as the case may be, but was it really Cam?  Was he a poor coach or a simply a poor manager, incapable of making some tough decisions?

The Phinsider : First and foremost, let me just throw out this little nugget.  Cam Cameron was the kind of guy you wanted to root for.  He was genuinely a nice person.  I had the chance to informally meet him and he really is a mild-mannered individual.  He was entertaining and funny and insightful.  But I don't think he'll ever cut if as an NFL head coach.

For most of the season, I was in the "pro-Cam" corner, which was certainly among the minority.  Most fans were calling for his head by week 11 or 12.  But what really sealed the deal for me turning over to the "dark side" and looking for Cam to be axed was when he seemed to have lost the locker room.  When that happens, you're almost always doomed.  And in this particular case, I don't think there was really any way for Cam to win back that locker room.

But as I sit here now and think back to the era that will forever be known as the Cam-Cam era, these are my final thoughts.  Cameron is a brilliant offensive mind, despite what many Dolphin fans will tell you.  The reason the Dolphins' offense never clicked was because of the lack of talent and, of course, the numerous injuries.  However, as an offensive coordinator, Cameron will be successful once again in this league.  But as a head coach, I just don't see it.  He came off as a guy who thought he was smarter than he really was.  He didn't really handle the media very well, using typical clichés rather than being straight-forward.  And, of course, there was his "fail forward fast" philosophy that he kicked around to the media during training camp that just really made no sense and is almost laughable now as we look back on it.

So was Cam entirely to blame?  Of course not.  But I didn't really see how he would have been able to return to Miami after that disaster.

I think Matty I is right on with his analysis.  Head coaches have to have big ones and put themselves out there as the boss, both to the media and the players.  If they see you blink, they will lose confidence.  You can have the biggest football brain in the universe, but if you can't carry yourself with authority, forget about it.  Someone had to go and the captain of the ship is ALWAYS to blame, whether justified or unjustified.

Parcells made the right move for the Dolphins.  Assistant Head Coach with the Cowboys, Tony Sparano hasn't commanded the ship by himself, but what he has is a long relationship with Parcells and The Tuna needs people he can trust right now, go to people who can turn this ship around.