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Dolphins fire Cameron

1-15 finish dooms first-year coach

After a 1-15 finish in his first season, Cam Cameron won't get another chance to revive the once-proud Miami organization. After a 1-15 finish in his first season, Cam Cameron won't get another chance to revive the once-proud Miami organization. (Steve Mitchell/Associated Press)
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Associated Press / January 4, 2008

Cam Cameron was fired as the Miami Dolphins' coach yesterday by new boss Bill Parcells after plunging to an 0-13 start in his first year on the job and finishing with just one victory.

The dismissal comes three days after Parcells ousted general manager Randy Mueller and means the reeling franchise will have its fifth coach in five seasons. Parcells began work Dec. 27 as executive vice president of football operations and quickly concluded the Dolphins need another fresh start.

It has been 37 years since the Dolphins fired a coach. But they never finished 1-15 before.

All but two members of Cameron's coaching staff were also fired, although some might be rehired by the new head coach, the Dolphins said. Retained were assistant special teams coach Steve Hoffman and linebackers coach George Edwards.

Parcells made the decision to fire Cameron in consultation with new general manager Jeff Ireland, hired Wednesday after seven years in player personnel with the Dallas Cowboys.

"We just felt in order to move forward and not look back, we needed someone in place who shared the same philosophical compatibilities we shared," Ireland said. "We didn't really know the guy that well. We were going to try to get someone that does share those things, and we weren't completely sold that he did."

The early front-runner to replace Cameron is another Cowboys employee, assistant head coach Tony Sparano. He's scheduled to interview today for the head coaching vacancy in Atlanta.

Cameron was on the job 11 months before he earned his first victory as an NFL head coach. Until Miami beat Baltimore in overtime Dec. 16, he was in danger of becoming the first coach to go 0-16. Miami has missed the playoffs six consecutive seasons, a franchise record.

Sapp: 'I'M DONE'

Warren Sapp announced his retirement, ending the career of one of the best defensive tackles to play in the NFL.

Sapp posted a two-word message on his website, www.qbkilla.com, announcing his intention: "I'M DONE!" He had told teammates and coaches his plans after the Raiders' season finale Sunday against San Diego.

Sapp, 35, was the quintessential "three technique" tackle during his 13-year career, lining up between the guard and tackle and splitting that gap. Few did it better than Sapp, who made seven Pro Bowls, won the AP Defensive Player of the Year award in 1999, and was a key cog in Tampa Bay's Super Bowl-winning defense in the 2002 season.

"Every defensive tackle that's drafted in the top five is supposed to be the next [me]," Sapp said. "I've played the game pretty well, so if I'm the standard by which [they'll] be judged, that's tough, because I'd like to relive that guy, too. He's a bad boy. He's dead now. I give you flashes of him every now and then but, nah, that guy was sick."

After having 10 sacks in 2006, Sapp had just two this season. He finished his career with 96 1/2 sacks, the 28th most since the NFL began keeping track of the statistic in 1982.

Ravens eye Chudzinski

Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who turned Cleveland's offense into one of the NFL's most potent attacks, will interview for the Baltimore Ravens coaching vacancy. Browns general manager Phil Savage confirmed late last night that the Browns had granted the Ravens' interview request . . . The Detroit Lions promoted Jim Colletto to offensive coordinator, replacing Mike Martz. Colletto was Detroit's offensive line coach in 2007 . . . Cowboys safety Roy Williams is going to the Pro Bowl after all, for the fifth consecutive season. Williams took the roster spot of the late Sean Taylor, the Washington strong safety voted in as a starter. The addition of Williams to the NFC roster gave the Cowboys a league-record 12 Pro Bowl selections . . . Tony Elliott, the New Orleans Saints nose tackle in the 1980s who was later paralyzed in a shooting, died at his home in Bridgeport, Conn. He was 48. He had 13 sacks in seven years with the Saints (Obituary, B10) . . . The NFL set a regular-season attendance mark for the fifth year in a row, drawing 17,341,012 fans and averaging more than 67,000 at its 256 games for the second consecutive year.

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