When you’re Bill Parcells, people notice – or in this case, the Miami Dolphins notice. According to Steven Wine of the Associated Press, his presence was felt; Dolphins defensive Vonnie Holliday validated that, adding, “When he walked out, everybody noticed. There was a whisper here and there.” As a coach, Parcells took over reclamation projects at New York (Giants and Jets), New England and Dallas and made them into winners; he won five division titles in 19 seasons and led the Giants to 2 Super Bowl championships.
His work should be more challenging as vice president of football operations for the Dolphins. He takes over a franchise that is 1-14 and have missed the playoffs for a 6th consecutive year, a franchise record. At his news conference, Parcells said at a news conference where he addressed the media for the first time since being hired, “I have quite frankly been in this situation before. I’m just trying to be a good team member and help use my experience to put a structure in place that will serve the Dolphins well now and in the future, hopefully for the long term.”
Probably the first major decision that Parcells will have to make is whether to retain general manager Randy Mueller and/or head coach Cam Cameron. Parcells said that he doesn’t want either job (who can blame him?); to Parcells’ credit he did state, “I have to evaluate all the things that are here first of all, and attempt to do that as expeditiously as possible, and see where we go from there. I don’t know where that’s going to take us. … Once the season is over and Cam has had time to do his year-end stuff with the team, the next day or two we’ll sit down and have a good long discussion.”
Parcells did get to speak to Cameron briefly during the team’s practice, but it was nothing out of the ordinary, except to remind Cameron about their meeting after their game against Cincinnati and after Cameron does his end-of-season” work. Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga attended the news conference but had nothing to say. He was thisclose to selling the team, but immdiately took the team off the market upon the Parcells hiring. Parcells didn’t offer a timetable for the team’s turnaround, but according to linebacker Joey Porter, Parcells’ presence at practice made an impact.
While I think the hiring of Parcells was a smart thing to do, Parcells will have his hands full in turning this club around. Does he retain Mueller and Cameron? My money says that Mueller stays, but Cameron is a goner. Mueller has a track record of success, going back to his days as GM of the New Orleans Saints. On the other hand, Cameron’s resume is as a former head coach at Indiana University, as a quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins and as an offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers. His win-loss record, including college? 19-51. I think all indicators point towards Cameron being canned after this season.