Well, it might not be fun for some (like Cam or Randy), but the fact of the matter is that beginning right now Dolphin fans can put this lousy season behind them and look towards the future. This coming offseason is potentially the most important offseason this franchise will go through in a long time. So it will be closely monitored and, likely, scrutinized by all Dolphin fans. But before we begin looking at the future, let's quickly touch on Sunday's season finale against the Bengals.
THOUGHTS ON GAME
Well obviously, the one player that stands out from today's game is John Beck. Yes, he did fumble his first snap. What seemed to happen was John took his eyes off the ball for a second. He was likely too concerned with the blitz that was coming and looking to see where he should go with the ball. It was a bad first impression to give new boss Bill Parcells, that's for sure. But John settled down after that. He moved around the pocket well, was decisive, and displayed that quick release of his. His stat line from the game, 13/21 for 135 and a touchdown (with a rushing TD as well) looked good. But when you consider that 2 of his pass attempts were spikes to stop the clock, his line of 13/19 looks even better. That's a completion percentage of 68% and a YPA of 7.1. If you do the QB rating for his stat line, it's a 106.3. Quite impressive! I think his performance was a very good way to end the season for John and to give him some confidence to build on going into the offseason. I've been told that John looked quite good in practices these past few weeks as well. So now we'll just have to wait and see what Parcells thinks of him as we enter the offseason.
A couple of other quick hits about yesterday's game:
-Ted Ginn continues to show very good hands. With a reliable QB under center, he could really blossom in 2008.
-Jason Allen stinks in pass coverage. That's the bottom line. He looked lost on a few occasions in this past game.
-Lorenzo Booker continues to play well for this team, as he gained 87 more total yards. I can't wait to see what his role might be next year.
-This secondary desperately needs some upgrades. I'm really hoping the Dolphins can land Asante Samuel or Marcus Trufant in free agency. I don't care what the cost is. Landing one of them allows us to slide Will Allen down to the #2 corner, where he would excel as a compliment to a real shut-down corner.
THE FUTURES OF CAM AND RANDY
There are a lot of rumors flying around out there right now regarding the futures of both Cam Cameron and Randy Mueller. Regardless of their accuracy, this will likely be a busy early part of 2008 for this franchise, just as it was back in early 2007.
Here are the most recent rumors making rounds, just to get everyone updated. First, regarding Randy Mueller:
On Friday, there was a post on ProFootballTalk entitled, "Sweeping changes coming in Miami." Here's the gist of that post:
Coach Cam Cameron? Out. General Manager Randy Mueller? Out as soon as Monday, even though he's been doing research all year for free agency and the draft.
We're told that Parcells already has been working directly with the league office to obtain the appropriate permissions to hire Cowboys V.P. of college and pro scouting Jeff Ireland.
Then yesterday, PFT posted an article called, "No More Mueller." That article simply said, "A league source tells us that Dolphins G.M. Randy Mueller will definitely be fired by new football poobah Bill Parcells."
Around 2:30 on Sunday, even the Sun-Sentinel reported Randy is likely to be fired:
And as if to underscore that decision, new team decision-maker Bill Parcells sat at Sunday's game at Dolphin Stadium with good friend and retired Green Bay Packers General Manager Ron Wolf.
Coach Cam Cameron's fate isn't as clear, but the source said it would be "a big, big surprise" if he's kept.
Now, the absolute latest on Randy Mueller's future comes from PFT. They are reporting that Jeff Ireland, the Cowboys VP of scouting, will "definitely" be getting the Dolphins job:
Despite reports that the Cowboys might try to delay the move until after the 2008 draft, the reality is that, if Ireland is getting final say over personnel, the Dolphins can immediately hire him.
It would be very odd to see Randy fired before the draft, though. That's because he's been scouting the draft for the past 4 months or so. If he gets axed, then all his scouting research leaves with him. However, because Ireland's main job in Dallas is college and pro scouting, the thinking is that he would be able to step right in with his knowledge and put together a plan with Parcells to start building this franchise back up again.
So what about Cam? That situation seems as cloudy as ever. We've all heard the Romeo Crennel rumors by now. The last I heard about Crennel came on Friday, courtesy of PFT:
"Believe the talk that Bill Parcells is interested in bringing in Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel to coach the Dolphins," writes Bill Williamson of the Denver Post.
Crennel tried to dismiss the rumors on Wednesday, but never said unequivocally that he won't be the coach of the Dolphins in 2008.
However, ProFootballTalk is reporting quite a different story now. On Sunday around 9:15 pm EST, they posted a story that says the following:
So now we have to wonder if this is report is accurate or not. And if Cam did actually tell the team this, you'd have to start wondering when Cam was told he would be back. It couldn't have been during the game. And if it was in the day or two leading up to Sunday's game, you would have had to think this information would have leaked out prior to the game.
Then this last bit of info comes from an article by Armando Salguero. Here's what he says in his article:
Although no one has had the dignity to tell general manager Randy Mueller he is on the way out, the decision to fire him was made before the Dolphins lost their season finale 38-25 to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Some say that by Wednesday and likely no later than the end of this week, coach Cam Cameron will be fired as well. Parcells told Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga as much Sunday afternoon even as the Dolphins were playing every bit is badly as they have in any of their 15 losses this miserable season.
Parcells has been around the Dolphins less than a week. He has seen only two full practices, one walkthrough practice and one game in person. And he already knows Cameron is not the man he wants running his team.
Now this info is a bit different than what PFT reports in terms of Cam's future. If Parcells told Wayne this already, then why would Cam tell his players he would be back? It's very likely that PFT is "off" on their report. However, Mike Florio (PFT's writer) is usually pretty solid with his information.
Really, this whole situation is quite a mess. And I wouldn't expect the situation to clear up any until after the New Year's holiday. So for the next couple of days, we will likely be in limbo.