|Dolphins coach Cam Cameron not thinking about job security|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 23 November 2007 08:39|
Still, the first-year - and winless - coach of the Miami Dolphins isn't concerned about his job.
With Miami at 0-10, there's inevitable questions in South Florida about the Dolphins' immediate future. But Cameron insists he's not thinking about anything other than finding ways to make the team better.
``I think my approach has always been focusing on what I control. And what I control is how our team prepares, how hard we play, working with (general manager) Randy Mueller and working with our staff,'' Cameron said. ``That'll be my approach, keeping this organization, this team, focused on getting better.''
Publicly, Cameron has remained even-keeled throughout the season, despite all the losses and disappointments.
Privately, though, Cameron said he's been known to let his frustrations out.
``Well, we all have our moments. And you guys aren't in every meeting. And I think they've seen all sides of me at this point and time,'' Cameron said. ``This kind of season will do that. ... It doesn't happen overnight. And you just stay the course. You continually develop the players that you have.''
OLD GUYS: Vinny Testaverde (44 years and five days) and Christian Fauria (36 years and 57 days) became the oldest touchdown pass combination in NFL history when the Carolina teammates connected at Green Bay on a 3-yard pass last week.
``My cousin was at the game and he said, 'You know what, that might be the oldest combination,''' Fauria said. ``I said, 'You know, he threw one to Troy Brown last year, so I don't think that's the case.'
``Then I'm like, 'Wait a second. He was younger last year. Troy was younger. I think I'm the same age as Troy, so yeah.'''
It was another old-man record for Testaverde, who last month at Arizona became the oldest starting quarterback to win a game. He and 38-year-old Brett Favre became the oldest starting quarterback duo last week.
Testaverde also holds the NFL record for throwing a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive seasons. And with David Carr struggling, Testaverde has become Carolina's No. 1 QB.
``You know he knows what he's talking about,'' Fauria said. ``You mind what he's saying, whether it's a team meeting or in the huddle.''
CHARITABLE RAVENS: The Baltimore Ravens lead the NFL in a very significant category: charitable contributions.
According to Game Day Communications, a sports and entertainment public relations firm, the Ravens are the most charitable of the 32 NFL teams. The study analyzed each active NFL player, team and their charitable efforts, with the Ravens coming out on top with a team foundation as well as 15 player foundations.
``It starts with the type of quality player you bring into your organization, and then you provide the conduit to the community need,'' says Kevin Byrne, Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations. ``We do try to get each player involved with making the community better. But, in the end, it's the player saying yes and making the financial and time commitments.''
Ravens with their own foundations were Kyle Boller, Mark Clayton, Devard Darling, Matt Katula, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason, Chris McAlister, Steve McNair, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed, Samari Rolle, Bart Scott, Matt Stover, Daniel Wilcox, and coach Brian Billick.
Behind the Ravens were the Kansas City Chiefs with a team foundation and 10 player foundations, followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 10 player foundations, and the Chicago Bears with a team foundation and nine player foundations. The Oakland Raiders were at the bottom of the pack without a team foundation or player foundation.
OFFICIATING HELP: The new All-American Football League will partner with the NFL's officiating department, with NFL officiating chief Mike Pereira overseeing the program.
The AAFL will hold its first training camp in February, where NFL officiating crews will hold training sessions with all AAFL coaches. The NFL also will provide officiating crews for all 30 AAFL regular-season games, two playoff games and one championship game.
``We are very pleased to work with the AAFL in the development of a top-notch officiating staff,'' Pereira said. ``The crews will be comprised of our top candidates, with a mixture of current NFL officials at the key positions. Our intent is to train and evaluate just as we do in our current NFL officiating program.''
AAFL franchies will be located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas. The AAFL's six teams begin play April 12, 2008, and the first championship game will be on July 3, 2008.
DECISION TIME FOR PERRY: The Bengals have to decide next week whether to activate running back Chris Perry, who has gone from first-round pick to afterthought.
Perry, the 26th overall selection in the 2004 draft, broke his lower right leg during a game at Cleveland last Nov. 26. He needed two operations for the injury, which occurred just above the ankle.
He opened the season on the physically unable to perform list and has worked out with the Bengals for the last three weeks. They must decide next week whether to activate him or put him on an injury list for the rest of the season.
Although coach Marvin Lewis won't drop any hints, it appears Perry isn't ready yet.
``I feel like I'm coming back pretty well,'' Perry said. ``I don't feel I'm back to where I need to be.
``It's not as simple as going through a week of practice. It's going through a practice, running real hard, then coming back the next day and being able to do the same thing over and over again. That's something I'm still trying to do.''
Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski noticed the same thing.
``You can tell he's missed a good year of football,'' Bratkowski said. ``He's coming along slowly. He's only had a three-week window (to practice). Usually guys have training camp and all spring to prepare themselves.''
Injuries have limited Perry's playing time. He missed most of his rookie season with a hamstring injury and a hernia. He played in 14 games in 2005, then broke his leg last year.
Even if he can make a full comeback, his role on the team isn't secure. The Bengals drafted running back Kenny Irons in the second round last April. Irons tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the preseason, leaving his status unclear as well.
SHIANCOE'S DEVELOPMENT: Visanthe Shiancoe is a good friend of Michael Strahan's, close enough to be invited to the Giants star's birthday party earlier this week.
Yes, Shiancoe was even able to attend, taking advantage of a light day of work on Monday and the regular day off on Tuesday to fly to New York for the festivities.
Back in Minnesota on Wednesday, the Vikings tight end was asked if he expected trash talk between him, Strahan and the rest of Shiancoe's ex-teammates in New York.
``Of course, man. Of course,'' Shiancoe said, smiling. ``Those are my boys. It's fun trash, though. It's all game, but when we go against each other nobody's going to let up.''
After four nondescript seasons playing behind Pro Bowler Jeremy Shockey, Shiancoe hit the free-agent market and signed a five-year contract with Minnesota worth up to $18.5 million, with $7 million guaranteed.
League observers were surprised at the size of the deal, and Shiancoe's production - 19 catches for 272 yards and one touchdown - hardly supports it so far.
He's doing more than receiving, however, and the Vikings' league-leading average of 177.9 yards rushing per game has required more than just the five offensive linemen to block. Tight end Jim Kleinsasser has long been one of the league's best blockers on the corner, but Shiancoe has contributed there, too.
``I'm doing a little bit of everything here, man,'' he said.
Coach Brad Childress gave a measured response when asked about Shiancoe and his performance.
``I just still think he is a work in progress. He has some of those explosive components that he has flashed from time to time. It's just a matter of continuing to look for him and find ways to get him the football. And even though you try to do that, nothing says they are not going to legislate against him. He is doing OK, and he is doing a nice job on the line of scrimmage.''
AP Football Writer Barry Wilner and Sports Writers Steven Wine in Miami, Joe Kay in Cincinnati, Dave Campbell in Minneapolis and Mike Cranston in Charlotte contributed to this story.