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News » Cameron the focus in Ravens-Dolphins rematch

Cameron the focus in Ravens-Dolphins rematch

Cameron the focus in Ravens-Dolphins rematch
MIAMI (AP) - Now that Cam Cameron has switched sides, the Baltimore Ravens figure he can help them beat the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins believe the change helps their chances of winning, too.

A year ago, Cameron was the Dolphins' head coach when they started 0-13 before earning their only victory by beating Baltimore in overtime. Fired after a single sorry season in Miami, he returns to town Sunday as offensive coordinator of the Ravens.

The matchup revived the debate regarding whether bad coaching or bad players were the primary culprit for the Dolphins' 1-15 fiasco.

"I take full responsibility for what happened there," Cameron said. "End of story."

Actually, Sunday serves as an epilogue.

"I'm sure Cam is fired up about this game," Dolphins defensive end Vonnie Holliday said. "I'm sure he certainly has a bad taste in his mouth for the Dolphins and for Miami."

With a new regime led by Bill Parcells and coach Tony Sparano, Miami (2-3) has already doubled last year's win total, while Baltimore (2-3) has done little to bolster Cameron's flagging reputation as an offensive wizard.

The Ravens totaled 33 points in the past three games, all losses.

"We obviously have to go out there and do a better job than we have been doing," quarterback Joe Flacco said.

Cameron helped develop young quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, but he has been unable to coax any consistency out of Flacco. The rookie has seven interceptions and 10 sacks to go with only one touchdown pass.

The running game has sputtered, too, and Baltimore is averaging only 3.7 yards per carry. Yet new coach John Harbaugh raves about his offensive coordinator.

"Cam is going to be a great match as a coach for every situation," Harbaugh said. "He can coach. He has done it everywhere he has been. Our guys love being around him. He's such a smart guy, and he does such a great job of painting the picture."

The picture for the Ravens this season is pretty black-and-white: They want to win with a defense that has allowed the fewest yards passing and rushing in the NFL.

As a result, Cameron's play-calling has been conservative.

"You'll see these guys in second-and-17 and they still want to run the ball, because that's their identity," Holliday said. "Offensively they don't want to mess the game up. They don't want to give you the game."

The Ravens gave away last year's game at Miami. The Dolphins were three losses from becoming the first team to go 0-16, but Baltimore blew a lead and lost in overtime, 22-16.

In the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Ravens coach Brian Billick decided against trying for the winning touchdown on fourth down at the half-yard line and settled for a field goal that forced overtime. On the first possession of the extra period, Baltimore's Matt Stover missed a 44-yard field goal. Greg Camarillo then turned a short completion into a 64-yard touchdown for Cameron's only victory as an NFL head coach.

"That win was huge," Holliday said. "For the rest of my life, I don't have guys coming up to me talking about being the worst team in the history of football."

The Ravens said they bear no grudge against the Dolphins.

"Last year was last year," receiver Derrick Mason said. "It's very hard to go 0-16, just like it's hard to go 16-0. They deserved to win last year by the way they played."

Ironically, that game helped cost Billick his job, and the change in coaching staffs created a vacancy for Cameron. He coached Harbaugh's brother, Jim, at Michigan in the 1980s.

John Harbaugh rankled several Dolphins this week when he said Cameron did a great job in Miami "with what he had to work with."

"I guess we did a good job with what we had to work with, too," Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder said.

Cameron declined to dwell on 2007.

"Yesterday is gone," he said. "More often than not you can survive if you focus, learn from the past, focus on today."

Today, Miami is a better team thanks to offseason personnel moves that turned over more than half the roster. Newcomers Chad Pennington, Jason Ferguson and top overall draft pick Jake Long have provided significant upgrades.

And with Sparano as coach, Holliday said, there's a firmer sense of the direction the organization wants to go.

"Two very different styles of coaching," Holliday said. "Sparano has been a better coach for us."

So it seems. But on Sunday, Cameron gets one more chance to win in Miami.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 17, 2008

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