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Thursday, October 16, 2008
Ex-Fins coach appreciates the questions


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

In poker parlance, Cam Cameron has a glaring tell.

Those who regularly covered Cameron's lone season as head coach of the 1-15 Miami Dolphins knew exactly when he heard a question he didn't like. Cameron would smile and tell the reporter how much he appreciated such a great question.

 
 AP Photo/Alan Diaz
 Former Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron takes "full responsibility" for Miami's 1-15 record last year.

With that in mind, here are excerpts from Cameron's news conference, in which the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator talks about his first return to Dolphin Stadium one day after his head coach, John Harbaugh, inflamed the Dolphins' locker room by suggesting Cameron didn't have much to work with.

The quotes are courtesy of www.BaltimoreRavens.com.

What are his thoughts on Harbaugh's supportive comments about his job last year, and the responses about that from several current Dolphins players?

Cameron: What I would say to that is really pretty simple. I take full responsibility for what took place down there, and I've never put it anywhere else. I put it square on my own shoulders, and with that being said, I think things happen for a reason, and I'm thrilled to be here in Baltimore.

Really, that's the way I've been brought up in this profession. It's a tough business, and if you're in this business long enough, you're going to be on more than one team as a coach or as a player. I think the more times that you can look in the mirror and say, 'Could I have done a better job?' [and you] take accountability, take responsibility, you can continue to grow no matter what the circumstances hold. It's a tough business, but if you can be responsible for your actions and what you do, you can go and still do great things. And that's my view on it.

I take full responsibility for what happened there, end of story. Now this game is about this team, and for me personally it's about this offense getting better. We could be playing this game in Nome, Alaska. We could be playing any team, any of the other 31 teams. We've got some things we have to improve on, some things we've got to do a better job of. There are things that all of us can do better. That's our focus, and I know this: I'm not going to let our focus go anywhere but there.

Does he feel cheated he didn't get to coach a second year at Miami?

Cameron: I appreciate that question. I do. But we've got some work that we've got to do offensively. That's what we're charged with. We've got to try to find a way to help this team win.

We have got to find a way to get on track offensively and continue to improve. We had a couple of guys go down, and now it's time for Chris Chester to step up, Willie Anderson, to build on what he did last week. I just don't know any other way.

Yesterday is gone, and I think more often than not you can survive in this business if you can focus. Learn from the past and focus on today, because that's what we're going to demand of our players. I'm going to tell you, if I'm not doing that, then how in the world can I demand that our guys do that? I think one thing they'll see consistently, is we're going to learn from any experience we have, whether that's the Colt game or the past. But we're going to learn from it and move on, and we're going to focus. Because if you don't in this business you can make it a lot harder on yourself than it needs to be, and our focus is going to be on winning this game and getting better on offense.

What did he learn from being a head coach?

Cameron: I think that's another great question, but I just don't think necessarily now because our focus, for us and our players, is getting those guys zeroed in.

Is he going to address his experience in Miami any further?

Cameron: I really appreciate those questions, and I think it's pretty clear where my focus is. I think you guys understand that. Maybe there is a time and a place for that, but in our situation right now, in terms of what we're trying to do as a team and an organization. It's about us.

Did he know this game was coming when he joined the Ravens, that he would have to go down to Miami?

Cameron: Sure, but at the same time, if you are in this league long enough and you have happened to have gone to a team or two, those things come up. And that's what makes this league great.

It's tough. Coaches move and change. Players move and change. You go back, you play teams you coached with. A lot of these guys go back and play teams that they've played [with]. Some of them do it. They're on one team one week then on another team the next week, and then they're playing that team. It's just what we do. And that's what professional football is all about. As pros, as coaches and players, we've got to focus on the job we're being asked to do, and you can bet that that's what I'm going to do.

Does he enjoy being a coordinator more because of what he went through last year?

Cameron: I think all of us in this business would agree [that we] enjoy the challenge, just the challenge of each week because we all have something to prove. The great thing about this business is the longer you're in it, the tougher you get, the more competitive you get. And we're all competitors from the start, so you can imagine.

Does he want to be a head coach again?

Cameron: I've always approached that with a sole focus of what I'm being asked to do. I've really never taken any [focus] away during the season. I just hope that you would respect that. I'm going to do the best job that I can as a Baltimore Raven and help the Baltimore Ravens win a championship, if not more. That is my focus. With this being said, I understand now more than ever why so many guys have left here and gone on to be head coaches because of the experience that they're afforded here with our owner, our general manager and the people in this organization. It prepares guys to be head coaches like no place I've been. So you can look at that however you'd like, but I'm a guy that's going to be learning from everything that's being done here. At the same time, I know why I'm here. I've got a great friend that I'm working for. I'm going to do everything I can to help this man and this organization win a championship.

Does he expect to be more emotional this weekend?

Cameron: I think that would just make sense. I think that would make sense for all of us. But let me tell you, there isn't any game you can go into in this business and not have some emotion to you and think you're going to have a chance to win. It was emotional. All our games are emotional to a degree. But again, those competitive juices get flowing. I would say there's something to that.