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Former Dolphins running back Troy Stradford, the 1987 AFC Rookie of the Year, answers readers' questions in Sun-Sentinel.com's weekly Q&A sessions with former Dolphins. Below are Stradford's responses:
Q: Hey Troy, what would you do at the quarterback spot? Cleo Lemon has played pretty well, but isn't it time to get John Beck in there? Randy Metzger, Jersey City, NJ
A: "Randy, I would do exactly what Cam Cameron is doing at this time. I too am looking at a season that is all but over and would like to see a glimpse at the future in John Beck. However, Cleo Lemon deserves the opportunity to lead this team at this point. I'm sure the approach to getting Beck ready (sooner) is in progress after the injury to Trent Green and I'm expecting to see Beck around midseason."
Q: Why don't you complain about the Dolphins' sorry secondary one of your broadcasts. Maybe someone will start looking at it and do something about it? It's just pitiful. Jow Bush, Fort Lauderdale, FL
A: "Good question, Jow. The secondary has been a major weakness on this team, but we knew that going into the season. What we did not know was the guys up front would play so poorly, so they have garnered most of the attention and discussion. The secondary is on the list of things to discuss this coming weekend."
Q: Is it just me, or is Ted Ginn the slowest "fast" guy you've ever seen? Daryl White, Miami, FL
A: "The slowest "fast" guy (LOL). Daryl, yes, I too have expected bigger things at this point in the season from Ted Ginn. There are times when you question where is the blazing speed that is attached to his name. We did see a glimpse of it on Sunday on a couple of returns, and hopefully those returns will build his confidence in allowing him to trust his speed at all times . . . After all there are too many other lower draft picks and guys who are not as fast as Ginn taking it to the house on a weekly basis."
Q: Troy, if the Dolphins finish 1-15, even if it is Cam Cameron's first season, doesn't Wayne Huizenga owe it to the fans to at least call Bill Cowher and ask him if he'd like to get back into coaching? Bryan, Boardman, OH
A: "Bryan, if the Dolphins were to go 1-15, I think, every position on the team, including the GM and head coach should be reevaluated. I had Bill Cowher on my show this past Sunday and he was tight lipped about returning to coaching next year. But if he was to throw his name back into the mix, Wayne Huizenga and the Dolphins certainly owe it to themselves to make that call if they are not sold on Cam. Personally, if the Dolphins were to entertain bringing in another coach, my first call would be to Marty Schottenheimer. Marty is proven, and his coaching tree is very impressive, including Cowher, Tony Dungy, Al Saunders (Washington offensive coordinator), Howard Mudd (offensive line coach for Indy), Herman Edwards and a number of others. Don't forget his son, Brian, is the offensive coordinator for the NY Jets. Maybe there could be a package deal that would include grooming Brian as Marty's successor, bringing stability to the coaching position for the Dolphins."
Q: Why don't you guys hold Randy Mueller and Dom Capers more accountable for destroying one of the best defenses? The offseason personnel decisions have proven to be disastrous and the schemes haven't gotten better since week one. Where is the accountability? RR, LA, Ca
A: "RR, trust me, they do not get a free pass here. A number of personnel moves that were made during the offseason certainly left the brain-trust open for criticism. Joey Porter being the most notable one, and the loss of Kevin Carter being another. You can add lack of improvement in the secondary to the list as well (the slow development of Jason Allen and Travis Daniels has not helped). It has become clear that a number of moves have not panned out and at some point you have to place the blame on those who make the personnel decisions. Mueller, Cameron and Capers all having failing grades at this point."
Q: I'm so sick of seeing Cam Cameron give up on the run so soon. It seems like every time we get down by more than a touchdown -- even if it's still in the first half -- he all but abandons the running game. What gives? Victor
A: "Victor, one of the things that I loved about Bill Parcells was he stayed true to his game plan of running the football. Even when his team got down two scores or more, often his teams were still in the position to tie or win at the end of the game. Too often I feel the flow of the game is dictated to us instead of the other way around. With Ronnie Brown playing great football, he should be the go-to guy even when the Dolphins get down in a game. If time is a factor in the game, I understand. The Dolphins have been in games early in the second half and decided to go away from Ronnie. In too many games Ronnie has become a non-factor because of play selection, not because the opponent shut him down."
Q: Earlier this year I recall you saying some tough things about Ronnie Brown. What do you have to say now? Derek, Boca Raton, FL
A: "Derek, I call it like I see it and I'm seeing great things out of Ronnie Brown. I always said that I hoped he proved me wrong in my early criticism of him. Ronnie has clearly been the team's MVP and is on his way to a Pro-Bowl spot. Keep up the great work, Ronnie!"
Q: Will the team trade Zack Thomas and Jason Taylor? Let them go now so maybe we get some young bucks. Carl Rip Callison, Millbrae, CA
A: "Carl, not often do you see mid-season trades in the NFL. However, if the opportunity presented itself for the Dolphins to move J.T., I would do it. After all, Jason will always be known as a Dolphin but it would be nice to see him play on the big stage (i.e. playoffs, Super Bowl). As far as Zack, I don't believe there would be much interest in his services. Remember, he's coming off another concussion a couple of weeks ago and the mileage on his tires are up there."
Q: Troy, which opposing defensive player hit you the hardest during your playing days? Does one jarring hit stand out? Frank Wrentz, Melville, NY
A: "Frank, in all honesty I would have to go back to my Boston College (yes, No. 3 in the country right now) days. Opening kickoff vs. West Virginia, a big game for us at the time. I was knocked out cold by one of their linebackers who had a 50-yard free run before laying into me. The good thing was I didn't feel a thing because I was out cold. I can't recall (maybe because of too many hits) any one hit during my NFL days being any harder than the others that I encountered on any given Sunday. My shifty style of running prevented me from taking many "He got jacked up" type of hits."
Troy Stradford can be heard locally on 850 (AM) WFTL Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and on the Web at www.850wftl.com.