Cameron a hot candidate

Sometimes, it's bad to be good. For example, the San Diego Chargers offense has been so good this season that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is a virtual certainty to be offered one of the open head coaching positions. For the Chargers, losing Cameron would be devastatingly bad.

Cameron is such a valuable asset because of his ability to create favorable match-ups for his star players. Opponents know the Chargers are going to force feed the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates yet are unable to slow the duo. In 2004, Gates set the single-season scoring record for a tight end. This season, Tomlinson broke the all-time single-season scoring mark.

Just look at how Cameron enabled those accomplishments. Gates tied the record after lining up at fullback and drifting out in the flat, resulting in a career-long 72-yard touchdown. He broke the record on a shovel pass at the goal line a week later.

Tomlinson had many impressive scores in his MVP season, including a 51-yard touchdown catch in which he was matched up with a defensive end.

"L.T. gives you the ability to put in new wrinkles each week. It is a coordinator's dream to have the type of player of LaDainian," Cameron said.

He can generate such match-ups because of his ability to keep defenses off balance. San Diego will throw the ball from its jumbo package and run the ball with four wide receivers on the field.

Also, one can never tell how Cameron will utilize his players. Vincent Jackson and Brandon Manumaleuna are two terrific run blockers who key the rushing attack, but they also rank second and third on the team in touchdown catches, respectively. Just when you think they will do one thing, they do another.

"Cameron does a great job of getting guys involved," fullback Lorenzo Neal explained.

When people question how a Marty Schottenheimer-led team is putting up more points than the Indianapolis Colts, the answer is Cameron.

"Our offensive staff and Cam Cameron in particular has an extensive background," Schottenheimer said. "He is one of the most creative stuff I have ever seen. To be honest, I have no idea how he comes up with some of that stuff.

"I don't know how many times in a game and I will say, ‘what do you got' and he will say, ‘If they do what I think they are going to do it is going to be a big one.' And a couple of times every game. It is remarkable. I don't know how he does it."

Give Cameron credit for being so aggressive despite playing with a first-time starter at quarterback and a rookie left tackle. He protected the duo early in the season, but has since taken the reins off and been rewarded for doing so.

Hopefully for the Chargers, Cameron will not be rewarded with a head coaching position, although he inarguably deserves such a promotion.

As for which team will land Cameron, how about the Dolphins? He could lead an offense featuring former Chargers Wes Welker, Damion McIntosh, Toniu Fonoti, Kendyl Jacox and Justin Peelle. Also, Ronnie Brown and Randy McMichael could excel running the plays currently designed for Tomlinson and Gates.

The Dolphins would certainly be lucky to have him. The Chargers will have to be even luckier to keep him.


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