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Dolphins hire Cameron as new head coach

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AhtSk.fAxZXR.SawpqbGekU5nYcB?slug=ap-dolphinscoach&prov=ap&type=lgns">Associated Press</a>

    By Steve Wine

    <img width="233" height="244" align="left" alt="Cam Cameron" title="Cam Cameron" src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/cam01.jpg" />DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Cam Cameron will try to succeed where Nick Saban failed -- with the Miami Dolphins.

    Miami concluded a two-week coaching search Friday, hiring Cameron, the San Diego Chargers' offensive coordinator the past five seasons.

    Cameron signed a four-year contract to replace Saban, who left for Alabama after a 6-10 season. Saban missed the playoffs in both years with Miami, whose roster needs an overhaul to fix an aging defense and a feeble offense.

    Cameron went 18-37 as a head coach at Indiana, then directed a high-powered attack in San Diego. Led by the NFL's most valuable player, LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers ranked fourth in the league in offense this season and finished 14-2, best in the NFL.

    A news conference was scheduled for 7 p.m. EST Friday.

    "Good for Cam," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I think he'll be a very fine, winning NFL coach. He has done a terrific job for us, obviously. We're excited that he has been given this opportunity. I know that there's a lot of work for him to do, but he'll measure up to the task."

    Cameron will be the Dolphins' fourth coach in nine seasons. It has been a frustrating a stretch of instability for a franchise that had the same coach -- Don Shula -- for 26 years.

    The Dolphins interviewed at least 12 other candidates in their most extensive coaching search since the franchise's first season in 1966. Among those still being considered midweek were Miami defensive coordinator Dom Capers, former Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora, Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey and former Alabama coach Mike Shula, son of ex-Dolphins coach Don Shula.

    Cameron, 45, inherits one of the NFL's largest coaching staffs and general manager Randy Mueller, who might be given more responsibility under the new regime. He also might inherit defensive coordinator Capers, who was offered a new three-year contract in that role last week but had yet to sign the deal believed to be worth at least $8.1 million.

    Cameron first interviewed with the Dolphins shortly after Saban quit and became available when the Chargers were eliminated from the playoffs last Sunday. He has been in South Florida since Wednesday, when he began a second round of interviews. At midday Friday, he returned to the team complex accompanied by Mueller, then met with management for more than four hours before the deal was announced.

    An offensive-minded coach appealed to the Dolphins, who averaged 16.3 points per game in 2006, their lowest figure since 1967.

    Cameron also interviewed this month for head coaching jobs with the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons. Arizona hired Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, and Atlanta hired Louisville coach Bobby Petrino.

    Before joining the Chargers in 2002, Cameron was head coach at his alma mater, Indiana, from 1997 to 2001. He never finished a season above .500 but coached All-American quarterback Antwaan Randle El, and in 2000 the Hoosiers ranked seventh in the nation in rushing.

    Cameron played basketball at Indiana for Bobby Knight and football for Lee Corso and Sam Wyche.

    Saban left the Dolphins after denying for five weeks that he was interested in the Alabama job. His disappointing two-year tenure extended the Dolphins' playoff drought to five consecutive seasons, the longest stretch in franchise history.

    The Dolphins haven't reached the AFC championship game since Wayne Huizenga became majority owner in 1994, and they're coming off only their third losing year since 1969.

    With Daunte Culpepper still struggling to recover from reconstructive knee surgery in 2005, Miami remains unsettled at quarterback, a troublesome position since Dan Marino retired seven years ago. The team needs upgrades in almost every other area.

    Schottenheimer said he imagines Cameron will run the offense.

    "He's very, very good on game day," Schottenheimer said

    As for Cameron's replacement in San Diego, Schottenheimer said he'll take a few days and consider candidates, starting with members of the current staff. One who will be in the mix is receivers coach James Lofton, who interviewed earlier in the week for the Raiders' head coaching vacancy.

    AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this report.
     

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