The Miami Dolphins have officially hired a new head coach, former 49ers Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel will be the new leader in the building. McDaniel agreed to a 4 year contract according to Adam Schefter, and Dolphins players have already shared their excitement for the hire on social media. The former 49ers run game guru is highly acclaimed across the league, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh who worked with McDaniel on the 49ers staff from 2017-2020 stated:
"“Mike is phenomenal… His mindset, the way he creates things, the outside-the-box thinking, his ability to communicate with people, he’s as good as they get.”"
49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk who has been a key piece in the 49ers offensive success said this when asked about McDaniel being hied by the Dolphins:
"“Mike [McDaniel] has been instrumental to our success on offense the past 5 years. His creativity, ingenuity and ability to connect with players is unmatched. We would not be the offense we are today without him.”"
Followed up by saying that the entire 49ers team is “happy for his opportunity to lead a team as a head coach but he will be sorely missed by all of us.”
McDaniel has been Kyle Shanahan’s right hand man ever since 2011, where he was the offensive assistant and eventually wide receivers coach.
McDaniel was a part in the Atlanta Falcons path to the Super Bowl in 2016 when the Falcons were ranked #1 in rushing. and a critical part of the 49ers Super Bowl run in 2019 as well, where they also ranked #1 in rushing.
Some Dolphins fans across the internet have been lamenting at how bad McDaniel would be as a coach solely based off the way he looks, “But is he a leader of men?” and “players won’t listen to that guy” have been constant comments made by what I call “Twitter GMs.”
Here is the facts: to be any type of coach in the NFL you have to be a leader of men. McDaniel is not only highly appraised of doing that by players, coaches, and members around the league.
He is regarded as someone who relates to their players and coaching staff, and also someone who tries to maximize each individuals potential based off their strengths.
Having good reputation and relationships around the league is crucial for any first time HC. The Denver Post recently released an article in which they stated that “according to a league source” one of McDaniel’s top targets for the DC position is former Denver Broncos HC Vic Fangio.
However Peter Schrager reported that “McDaniel won’t necessarily hire a new DC. Josh Boyer will very much be in consideration.”
Schrager makes a good point by bringing up how Sean McVay from the Rams, and Matt LaFleur from the Packers kept their old DC when inheriting their team. They all come from the same Kyle Shanahan coaching tree.
If you follow me on Twitter you’ve seen how high I’ve been on McDaniel since he was brought up as a candidate, the last main link out of the original Kyle Shanahan coaching tree.
So what should you expect the Miami Dolphins to look like under Mike McDaniel?
If you think that Mike McDaniel is going to come here and turn the Dolphins into the 49ers then you’re mistaken. One of McDaniel’s biggest strengths is working with his players and coaches to maximize their strengths.
The run game is going to be a big factor in this new offense no doubt, but it might not look the same as what the 49ers do. McDaniel’s focus will be to maximize his players under the Dolphins offensive strengths, not the 49ers strengths.
The Miami Dolphins already saw how bad things can go by trying to copy and paste another culture here, as good as Brian Flores was he was never able to get his staff right and relationships had a big factor on that.
Dolphins fans should expect McDaniel to build a good staff, work towards maximizing his player’s strengths, and build one hell of a run game.
Don’t believe me? Here is an excerpt from a Mike McDaniel interview when asked about “the importance of finding players who truly love football in building culture/having success.”
A lot of Dolphins players haven’t been unlocked to their full potential, or been guided in the right path to get better due to poor coaching. Dolphins fans and Dolphins players don’t know the full potential of this team’s ability.
The truth is nobody knows what the 2022 Miami Dolphins will look like under Mike McDaniel. However Dolphins fans can expect this offense to look drastically different, and probably see many players who were thought of as underwhelming before perform at a much higher caliber.