Cameron pledges team concept
Previously San Diego's offensive coordinator, the coach replaces Nick Saban.
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Cam Cameron will try to succeed where Nick Saban failed -- with the Miami Dolphins.
Miami concluded a two-week coaching search Friday, hiring Cameron, the San Diego Chargers' offensive coordinator the past five seasons.
"It's not going to be about any individual," Cameron said at news conference. "We're going to build a team here. You're going to see a football team."
Cameron signed a four-year contract to replace Saban, who left for Alabama after a 6-10 season. Saban missed the playoffs in both years with Miami, whose roster needs an overhaul to fix an aging defense and a feeble offense.
"We're going to do everything we can to bring the people of South Florida a championship," Cameron said.
Cameron went 18-37 as a head coach at Indiana, then directed a high-powered attack in San Diego.
Led by the NFL's most valuable player, LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers ranked fourth in the league in offense this season and finished 14-2, best in the NFL.
"Good for Cam," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I think he'll be a very fine, winning NFL coach. He has done a terrific job for us, obviously. We're excited that he has been given this opportunity. I know that there's a lot of work for him to do, but he'll measure up to the task."
Cameron will be the Dolphins' fourth coach in nine seasons. It has been a frustrating a stretch of instability for a franchise that had the same coach -- Don Shula -- for 26 years.
The Dolphins interviewed at least 12 other candidates in their most extensive coaching search since the franchise's first season in 1966.
Among those still being considered midweek were Miami defensive coordinator Dom Capers, former Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora, Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey and former Alabama coach Mike Shula, son of ex-Dolphins coach Don Shula.
"It's amazing how many e-mails and letters we received from all around the country," owner Wayne Huizenga said of the public's interest in the coaching search.
Cameron, 45, inherits one of the NFL's largest coaching staffs and general manager Randy Mueller, who might be given more responsibility under the new regime.
He also might inherit defensive coordinator Capers, who was offered a new three-year contract in that role last week but had yet to sign the deal believed to be worth at least 8.1 million.
"There's a lot of good things in place here, and that became very clear to me early on," Cameron said.
Cameron first interviewed with the Dolphins shortly after Saban quit and became available when the Chargers were eliminated from the playoffs last Sunday. At midday Friday, he returned to the team complex accompanied by Mueller, then met with management for more than four hours before the deal was announced.
An offensive-minded coach appealed to the Dolphins, who averaged 16.3 points per game in 2006, their lowest figure since 1967.
Cameron also interviewed this month for head coaching jobs with the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons. Arizona hired Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, and Atlanta hired Louisville coach Bobby Petrino.
Before joining the Chargers in 2002, Cameron was head coach at his alma mater, Indiana, from 1997 to 2001. He never finished a season above .500 but coached All-American quarterback Antwaan Randle El, and in 2000 the Hoosiers ranked seventh in the nation in rushing.
Cameron played basketball at Indiana for Bobby Knight and football for Lee Corso and Sam Wyche.
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