With the winless Dolphins off last week, there was plenty of
local lobbying in print and on talk shows for the promotion of
Beck. Marino joined the discussion Monday at a South Florida golf
"I think that they need to see him play to find out whether he
was worth a high draft pick and decide what they're going to do
with him," Marino said.
Beck was drafted in the second round -- the highest pick used by
the Dolphins on a quarterback since they acquired Marino in 1983.
Giving Beck a tryout would help Cameron decide whether he needs to
acquire a quarterback in 2008.
"To do it for that reason ... it's way too soon," Cameron
said. "This is our ninth game. We have half a season to go."
At 0-8, the Dolphins are desperate for a victory to end talk
they might become the first team to finish 0-16.
"You go into every game [asking], who gives us at this point in
time the best opportunity to win?" Cameron said. "And if you make
a change, has the person you put in earned that right?"
Cameron declined to say whether Beck will play at all this year.
"John is coming along," Cameron said. "It's just a matter of
when we think the opportunity is right -- if in fact that
Cameron is mindful of his experience as quarterbacks coach for
the Washington Redskins in 1994. First-round pick Heath Shuler
struggled that season when he started eight games as a rookie
quarterback, and four years later he was out of the NFL.
The 26-year-old Beck hasn't lobbied for playing time and said he
doesn't even know whether he's ready to start.
"I put my trust in the guys who have been doing this a lot
longer than me," Beck said. "That's the coaching staff."
Lemon's hold on the job is tenuous because he has three fumbles
and four interceptions in his three starts this season. He took
over when Trent Green was sidelined by a season-ending concussion.
Lemon also started one game at the end of 2006 -- part of Miami's
current 11-game losing streak, a franchise record.
Despite the repeated failures, Lemon said he had expected to be
chosen the starter this week.
"It's another opportunity to try to get a win," he said. "I'm
happy about that. I'm ready."
Cameron said only a few plays have prevented Lemon from
"His mobility is a huge plus," Cameron said. "His
decision-making has been very good. He has done a lot of good
Last week, Cameron signaled the job was up for grabs by
increasing Beck's share of the practice time to divide snaps about
50-50 with Lemon. They split work evenly again Monday, and Lemon
said that was fine with him.
"John is a draft pick," Lemon said. "He's a guy they're
trying to develop for the future, so why not give him reps to help
him along? But at the same time, I know I have a job to do."