He left college to come to the Falcons. Bobby Petrino looked forward to great things. Then, the star QB got arrested, the team turned on him, and the fans and media turned on him. Amusingly, one of he had a QB controversy, and one of the signal callers was Joey Harrington.
A college came calling, and he said no and assured the owner he wasn't leaving.
MIAMI (Ticker) -- Olindo Mare booted a pair of second-half field goals and the tandem of running backs Karim Abdul-Jabbar and rookie John Avery burned almost seven minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter as the Miami Dolphins turned back the Buffalo Bills, 13-7.
Mare's 34-yard field goal with 3:29 to play in the third quarter gave the Dolphins (2-0) a 10-7 lead. He added a 27-yarder 2:31 into the fourth quarter for Miami, which recorded eight sacks against a Bills' offensive line that appeared fatigued by the heat and humidity.
"We cannot blame one player, and we can't blame the offensive line," said Bills coach Wade Phillips about the eight sacks. "We have to learn to do the right thing in these situations and simulate them in the practice."
Dan Marino completed 14-of-26 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown for Miami, which is off to a 2-0 start for the fifth straight season. Abdul-Jabbar and Avery helped the Dolphins kill 6:39 off the clock in the fourth quarter as Miami was able to push the Bills' defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage.
Miami improved to 25-4 in home openers since 1970, the best mark in the NFL.
Buffalo (0-2), which did not get the ball back for its final possession until 1:53 remained, only reached its own 38 on the final drive. Quarterback Rob Johnson, who was forced to leave last week's game due to a concussion, was only 10-of-18 for 134 yards.
"I felt whoever ran the ball the best in the second half would win the game, and that turned out to be the case," said Phillips. "We're immature offensively, we're just not there yet. We have a young quarterback who is learning on the job."
The teams waged a defensive war for nearly the entire first half and neither team crossed midfield until Buffalo's only scoring drive. The Bills got to the Miami 41 before Johnson found Eric Moulds for a 13-yard gain on 3rd-and-14.
On 4th-and-1, Johnson ran a play-action pass, rolled to his right and fired a strike on the run to Moulds in the end zone.
"Our touchdown was a broken play, we had to improvise," said Johnson. "I was supposed to hit the fullback, but they tackled him. I waived Moulds deep and hit him in the corner of the end zone."
Marino and the Dolphins stormed right back, marching 80 yards in nine plays. Marino had a pair of crucial third-down passes to keep the drive alive, firing a 19-yarder to O.J. McDuffie and an 18-yarder to Lamar Thomas.
"He (Thomas) has been playing very well," said Johnson about Thomas. "Lamar made a couple of critical catches last week and he is doing some good things for us."
After a 22-yard completion to Oronde Gadsden moved the ball to the Buffalo 25, Marino and McDuffie hooked up for an eight-yard gain with 1:06 to play. Marino then found Thomas on a slant-in from right to left, and Thomas outraced defensive back Raymond Jackson to the end zone.
"It's just a clear out to one side and run a crossing route," said Marino about the touchdown play. "It's a very simple pattern, it worked for a touchdown the first time because they were backing off and I didn't think their man coverage was able to weed through all the people coming down the field."
Abdul-Jabbar and Avery combined for 65 yards on an 80-yard drive. Abdul-Jabbar found a seam on the left side and raced 26 yards to the Miami 41, and three plays later, Avery scooted around the left corner for 21 yards to the Buffalo 19. But the drive stalled, leading to Mare's 33-yard field goal.
Rookie defensive back Patrick Surtain intercepted a pass intended for Moulds at the Buffalo 31. Moulds was hit with an unnecessary roughness penalty, moving the ball to the 16. Three plays netted six yards before Mare converted from 27 yards.
On the Bills' next possession, Thurman Thomas had 19 yards as Buffalo reached the Miami 41. But he had a nine-yard run negated by a holding penalty on tight end Lonnie Johnson and the drive stalled.
The Dolphins started their next possession on their own 19 and ran off 15 plays before punting. Abdul-Jabbar had seven carries for 21 yards, while Avery netted eight yards on two rushes. The drive could have been even longer, but a holding penalty on tight end Ed Perry negated a two-yard gain by Abdul-Jabbar that would have provided a first down at the Buffalo 34.
"Contrary to one article this week, Karim Abdul-Jabbar can run the ball in the second half," joked Johnson. "We had 12 yards rushing at the half, and when everyone in the stadium knew that we were going to run the ball, we ran the ball in the second half."
Jabbar finished with 75 yards on 18 carries, while Avery added 41 on nine attempts. Johnson was Buffalo's leading rusher with 42 yards, while Thomas and Antowain Smith had 34 yards apiece.
Against Buffalo, it was the first return by Ginn, jr. He was running, and he took his eye off the ball, and looked up the field to see where the defender was. The ball came in and he let it slip through his hands, and it bounced off of his thigh.
That is often what is referred to as a "rookie mistake."
...that or maybe his cousin Jim bumped into him while blocking and knocked the ball free.
Players are lobbying for Lemon because he has more experience. That experience includes: holding a clipboard for 46 games, attending lots of meetings, and ocassionally running the scout team, and 2 more starts than Beck.
Does that give him any sort of an edge? I doubt it.
We hear that Cam was "encouraged" to start Beck a few weeks ago and did so somewhat reluctantly. He wanted Beck to ride the pine for the entire season, and ultimately pulled him in a Wannstedtian manner (AJ Feeley anyone?).
And that leads me to mention that coaches often make decisions that they think wil best suit their coaching future. Sometimes a coach will go for a late field goal when their point total is 0; the idea being that they can say they weren't shut out.
In Cam's case, he started Beck because he thought it would be something he could look H in the eye and say "see? I'm committed to the future." Never mind that he likely thought it was a bad idea.
Now he's at a point where all that matters is one victory. If he goes 0-16, he'll always have that. That's infamous. Name one coach (other than JJ) who went 1-15. Its not memorable, is it? But 0-16? Everyone will remember. And it might make the difference between having his job and not. So, yeah, he's going to go with whoever makes him think a win is possible. That's Lemon.
One aside: there's a rumor that he is being considered for the Michigan job. I say "go for it." Why not? But then again, why would Michigan want him? He hasn't proven anything, yet.
I read a quote this morning from H Wayne, jr in which he thought daddy was supportive of Cam Cameron. Incicentally, jr is on the board of directors for the Dolphins and is not the son who had a scrape with the law involving drunkeness. In other words, I suspect jr was not drunk at the time. But, he did have this to say "We're just prayerful that we could get this turned around."
Be devout, that's fine. But, this is football and only actions matter here. You're acting as a representative of the club, so no need to mention that.
Also, Randy Meuller was on his blog saying that he and Cam have gotten a lot of support from H sr, and Bryan Weidemeir. I'm glad, but we're back to a problem with a structure of the team.
Actually, this is something Shed Dawg Mike mentioned. I lauded H for making a change and putting a football infrastructure in place. But, I neglected the fact that Cam and Randy are on equal footing in the organization. Typically, the GM has higher standing and has authority to hire and fire the head coach. Randy doesn't have that, which is okay in a general sense but not in a practical sense.
What if Cam does get fired. Does Randy go too? Does he get to help pick the new guy? Its all fairly confusing...
The NFL moved the Patriots-Dolphins game to 4:15. why? So they can showcase it! They figure it makes for good ratings when you have the (likely) 14-0 Patriots facing the (also likely) 0-14 Dolphins. Both will be chasing records of sorts, with the Patriots looking to best a Dolphins record.
So, I figure either one of two things happens:
* The Phins somehow beat Bellicheat, or
* The Patriots display their poor sportsmanship to the whole country. We all know the Dolphins aren't all that good. Will Billy boy rub the Phins noses in it? I would assume he will.
Miami punted after its first posession, and Roscoe Parrish took it to the house for the score. But, there was a flag way upfield for an illegal block, and there was a second flag for unsportsmanlike conduct on another player after the score. The ref said the unsportsmanlike was declined, but the holding would be enforced.
Then, on the next play, Lynch ran for 11 yards, and was brought down. The ball squirted out and Lance Shulters recovered it. As he was running off the field, he spiked the ball. The flag came out for spiking the ball. But, then, the Bills challenged the play, and the runner was ruled down by contact.
But, in this case, the penalty for spiking the ball was enforced anyway.
Now, how can that be? Under almost every scenario I can think of, this makes no sense. They're both dead ball fouls and occured after the play. Either they both should be enforced, or both declined.l
A friend of mine recently made a comment that H Wayne needs to go, and I just saw a comment to the same effect here...
Anyway, my friend called H a "carpetbagger," that is northerner who came south after the civil war to seek private gain under the reconstruction governments. Or more recently a "nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics." Its not what I'd call a pleasantry. I don't agree, but, he may have a point...
And I'd like to point out that Shed Dawg Mike and I talked about this on our show last week. Feel free to check it out in the archives at http://phinfeverradio.com
I have joined the bandwagon to ditch Cam Cameron. Nice guy, seemed to have the team around him until they went 0-10....but now here it is 0-13, and I think the he has lost the team ("I know they're in the locker room somewhere!")
But, its more than that. Its game planning. Its personnel management. Its coaching decisions. He just is not getting it done. Doesn't help that he hasn't had much luck, but its over.
I have to tell you that there were 3 decisions that turned the tide for me: (1) His handling of Beck in the this game. He had Beck throwing dinks and dunks and handing off. After only a couple of series, he brought in Lemon. And he had Lemon "open up" the playbook. What was the thinking? Are you trying to win a game, or get the most out of your young QB? Shouldn't he be learning from experience rather than being sent to the bench? Its not like his receivers or o-line were helping him, particularly.
(2) Why was Lorenzo Booker not on the field until the second half. The guy has talent. There are lots of injuries. Why not get him out there sooner? Like when the game actually mattered.
(3) Late in the game, he eschewed a 51 yard field goal and went for it on 4th and 8. Then, a few plays later, he faced another 4th down and he sent in the field goal unit. There's nothing quite like actually challenging your players to win, is there?
Ay yay yay. So, 0-16 is staring them down. And I'm respectfully asking H Wayne to call upon his background in waste management, and take out the garbage here. Go ahead. Cam should go, along with at least half of the coaching staff. I have no objection to doing it now.