Cards Coaching Candidates Part 7: Cam Cameron

Since being named San Diego's offensive coordinator in 2002, the Cam Cameron has had considerable success. He has head coaching experience from his time at the University of Indiana. He's interviewing with the Cardinals during San Diego's playoff bye. Is he the man for the job? Or, better yet: If he's so qualified, why hasn't anyone hired him to be their coach yet? Pros and cons listed here.


The Chargers have scored 400 or more points in each of the past three seasons.  Cameron has accomplished this despite the luxury of the same starting quarterback in all three seasons, playing under the ever conservative Marty Schottenheimer, and lacking playmakers at the wide receiver position.

Cameron has been involved in the playoffs and has worked with teams that went from worst to first.  He understands the winning mentality.

Since Cameron took over play calling duties in 2002, LaDainian Tomlinson has been the most productive running back in the NFL.  Edgerrin James and the Cardinals would be happy with half the production that Tomlinson has seen in that time period.

He's a hot coaching candidate and is/has been in high demand.  He interviewed for the vacancies with the Texans and Rams last off season and has at least three teams interested in him this off season.

He has done an exceptional job in both insulating and challenging quarterback Philip Rivers in Rivers' first year under center.  Rivers is 14-2 as a starter this season and is among the top 10 in quarterback efficiency.


How much of his offensive brilliance has been getting Tomlinson, the league's most explosive offensive playmaker, as many touches as humanly possible throughout the course of the season?  Edge didn't have quite as many touches (375) as Tomlinson (404), but Tomlinson gained almost 1,000 more yards (2,323 to 1,376) and scored five times as many touchdowns (31-6).  If Mike Kruczek had Tomlinson in his backfield, he might be up for a number of head coaching positions as well.

Why didn't he get hired in Houston or St. Louis?  Gary Kubiak and Scott Leinhan may have interviewed better, been more qualified, or their systems might have aligned better with Houston and St. Louis' personnel.  Or, it could just be that those two teams thought Cameron wasn't worthy of a head coaching job.

Cameron's not used to having two good wide receivers, nonetheless three good wide receivers, two of which are Pro Bowl caliber players.  Does his scheme fit with the Cardinals' personnel?  Will he be able to utilize them?

The Chargers will likely be playing deep into January and possibly February.  Can the Cardinals wait that long?

Even if they can, Cameron is probably going to have a lot of interviews with better teams in better situations and more impressive track records with coaches.  If he gets more than one offer (unless the other one is from the Raiders), he's going to take the other team's offer over the Cardinals offer.


If the Cardinals are going to hire an offensive coordinator to be the head coach of their team, this is the guy they need to hire.  I personally think they should go with a defensive guy (Rivera or Singletary), or at least a tough offensive guy (Grimm).  But, if they want to hire an "offensive guru," Cameron's their guy.

He's worked wonders with young quarterbacks (before Rivers, he help resurrect Drew Brees' career and made Antwaan Randle-El one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in college football history).  He'll make Edge happy with the number of times he calls Edge's number.

He has the most experience of any of the offensive coordinators that the Cardinals are currently interested in.  In a surprise turn of events, he actually has experience as a head coach (granted, it was at the collegiate level, but at least it wasn't at the high school level).  He has several years of experience at the NFL level as a coordinator and assistant - but he's still fairly young.

The primary issues are that the Arizona opening is only slightly more attractive than the Oakland opening, Cameron will likely have his pick of every available opening, and he probably won't be available until after the Super Bowl (or at least after the AFC Championship Game).  If the Cardinals wait until that point to make an offer and it isn't accepted, they will need to either make an offer to someone else they interviewed (and everyone else they liked may have already accepted a job), or start the process over again.  Or, they'll need to outbid the other offer for Cameron's services (care to make a wager on whether or not the Bidwells would be willing to do that?  $100 says they don't).

In any of those eventualities, the Cardinals will look even dumber than they do now.  And it will be even harder to convince someone to coach in the Valley of the Sun.

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