A foregone conclusion

The end officially came Thursday morning for Cam Cameron, but that pretty much was a mere formality. The truth is Cameron was done the moment Bill Parcells was hired as executive vice president of football operations. Was it fair? That's an entirely different discussion.

Let's begin with the premise that Cameron had no chance to keep his job under Bill Parcells.

New GM Jeff Ireland addressed the media on Thursday and he indicated as much when he said that Cameron's 1-15 record would rank third as the reason for his dismissal. Ireland said the first reason was philosophical compatibility and number two was fact neither he nor Parcells was real familiar with Cameron.

It's been said from the time Parcells was hired that he would want to surround himself with people he knows and trusts, and the hiring of Ireland was one example. The next example will come when the new coach is hired, whether it be Tony Sparano or Todd Haley or Maurice Carthon.

Cameron hasn't made any public comments since being fired, but Ireland said Cameron handled the news with class. That shouldn't come as a surprise to those who observed Cameron during his one year with the Dolphins.

But does he have cause to feel he was wronged or betrayed?

Well, not really. That's, sadly, what a 1-15 record brings.

In case you're wondering, there have been seven other teams that finished with a 1-15 record. Of the seven coaches of those teams, only two survived to coach another season -- Jimmy Johnson in Dallas and Mike Riley in San Diego.

Two of the other five didn't even make it to the end of the 1-15 disaster -- Ron Meyer in Indianapolis in 1991 and Dick Nolan in New Orleans in 1980. The other three were Rich Kotite, Rod Rust and George Seifert, who was fired after his third season in Carolina.

It also didn't help Cameron's cause that his one season as head coach was filled with mistakes.

The list includes:

-- Shaky clock management, most evident late in the first half of the opener at Washington and in the game at New England.

-- The failure to get Ronnie Brown more than 11 carries in either of the first two games.

-- Keeping Lorenzo Booker on the inactive list for the first seven games, and then watching him make play after play for an anemic offense down the stretch.

-- Waiting so long to get John Beck into the game when the season was lost and the team already knew what it had in Cleo Lemon.

-- Using his veterans so sporadically in the preseason, then watching them run out of gas in the opener.

-- Losing the respect of some of the defensive veterans, particularly in light of the incident involving nose tackle Keith Traylor.

By all accounts, Cameron is a very good offensive coach, and clearly he showed more aggressiveness on offense than we've seen in Miami in recent years.

The likelihood is that Cameron will land a job somewhere else, probably as an offensive coordinator. Whether he gets another shot at being a head coach remains to be seen, but who's to say whether he could become a good one.

Just look back at that list of 1-15 coaches who got another shot and the name of Jimmy Johnson sticks out. Parcells was only 3-12-1 in his first season with the New York Giants in 1983 and he turned out pretty good.

The bottom line is it's too early to make a final judgment on Cameron as a head coach. But it's also clear he didn't show enough to convince Parcells he deserved another shot.

And that, combined with the fact he's not a Parcells partner, sealed his fate.


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