Monday, February 26, 2007

Cameron as HC and OC: Cause for Concern?; Free Agent Updates

The Miami Herald reported this weekend, that when asked at the scouting combine if he felt he could handle the duties of both the Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, Cam Cameron said he could. The question has been raised since Cameron has yet to add an OC to his staff. He has already made it clear that he will be calling the offensive plays on game-day, but now he may also be handling the coordinator duties as well. Ten head coaches in the NFL call their own plays, but none of them does so without an OC on the team. Cameron would be the first. The question then must be asked: Is this the right thing for a first-time head coach to do?

Well, that's tough to say. There is no precedent to look back on and judge past successes or failures in this situation. Although Cameron has not declared that he will not hire an OC, in the event that he does not, I feel that the existing offensive coaching staff is large enough and experienced enough to collectively step up and fill the responsibilities of an OC. Realistically, the OC would not have many duties that the existing staff could not handle, since Cameron will be calling the plays. With guys like Mike Mularkey and Hudson Houck, Cameron can be sure that he will be getting useful feedback and support from his staff. While a dual HC/OC may seem dangerous, it is hardly that. It will simply require more work from the coaching staff. Cameron deserves this chance, and perhaps it could be the innovation that Miami's offense sorely needs.


The Dolphins are preparing to clear some cap space before free agency begins on March 2. The Sun-Sentinel reports that the release of QB Joey Harrington, G Seth McKinney, and G Bennie Anderson is due by the end of this week. That much was to be expected. However, DE Kevin Carter will also be released on Thursday if he can't agree on a restructured contract with the team. In a past report, Carter had said that he fully expected to return to the team next season. Carter would be a big loss for Miami's stout defense, but his release would give Matt Roth a chance to step into a starting role with the team. Hopefully, the two sides will be able to come to an agreement on a restructured deal.

In other news, LT Damion McIntosh's agent said he expects his client to test the free agent market. In a free agent pool lacking in offensive tackle quality, McIntosh will represent the best of the available talent and will likely be quickly snatched up by a team with more spending ability. Last season McIntosh was released by the team before free agency began but was not signed by anyone. I expect that situation to be different this year with the shallow pool of available players coupled with McIntosh's respectable performance this past season.

Although McIntosh is not a superstar, his departure would definitely hurt Miami. If they can't re-sign McIntosh now, I don't think they will have the ability to pursue other available free agents like Leonard Davis. The position will have to be filled either by L.J. Shelton who filled in adequately once converted to RG but failed as the team's LT last season or by 2005 fifth-round draft choice Anthony Alabi. Given those two options, I would rather see Alabi get a chance. Shelton proved to be serviceable at RG and should probably stay there. Alabi has potential, but at this point is still an unknown factor. If the team is not content with either option, it will have to look to the draft for help in the form of someone like Penn State's Levi Brown.

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