BREAKING NEWS… NOT: Mike McDaniel prefers skill players over o-line

Mike McDaniel Miami Dolphins Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Mike McDaniel Miami Dolphins Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

In what I think is the least surprising thing Mike McDaniel has ever said, McDaniel says that during his first offseason, he basically had to overrule the scouts about where to allocate the money the Dolphins were going to use during free agency.

This excerpt from Mike McDaniel during the Bohemian Grove-style gathering of NFL coaches and GMs may rub some folks the wrong way and I get that.

For years, we all have watched Grier and the Dolphins try and build an offensive line only to continue to whiff and whiff hard. Then Mike McDaniel got here last year and the team went hard at getting guys who can take the ball and take it the distance something that greatly helps Tua. Actually, it’s the kind of thing that any QB would love to have.

Mike McDaniel’s plan of surrounding Tua with elite speed and playmaking ability like Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., and Cedrick Wilson(yes I know they didn’t hit on all these guys), worked well. It worked well when Tua was playing in all the games and not missing games due to injury.

I wonder if Mike McDaniel thinks he can get away with cheaper, less heralded offensive linemen or linemen from the draft? Or, he might think that they can make due with what they have like it appears he and the team is doing with Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg. Pretty sure I don’t enjoy that idea but hey he’s the head coach right?

You can make the argument that because not more focus was put on the offensive line that is the reason Tua kept getting concussed. I personally believe the fall he had against the Bills in Miami that started all this was bad luck and not about bad o-line play. The massive thrusting to the ground that Tua endured against the Bengals was completely on Tua. He had around a John Wick 4 runtime of time to get the ball away and he didn’t.

This offseason there has been an onus put on the defense. Dan Feeney is the only offensive lineman that the Dolphins signed that wasn’t on the squad last year while they brought back the entire running back room. I expect offensive players to come off the board with at least 2 out of the Dolphin’s first 3 draft picks this coming draft.

I did like how Mike McDaniel was a bit uncomfortable being “that guy” when telling everyone what he wanted Tua to have around him. I think that’s very on-brand for a guy that I at times comes off like the Dude, Jeff Lebowski. I think that’s on-brand for most people who live a relaxed life and don’t like to come across as a jerk. That isn’t to say that he isn’t capable of making tough decisions and being the guy who demands a lot out of his players.

I’d love to see the conversations that Mike McDaniel and Chris Grier had about player personnel. McDaniel acted like he was surprised when Grier told him they were trading for Hill so maybe it’s not exactly the most transparent thing of all time. Or, I’m way off on that and it is. Who knows?

Overall, I like the direction of what Mike McDaniel is trying to do for Tua and the entire offense. Another year in this system, I feel, will do wonders for the progression of Tua.

By the Way-Get ready for mock draft season. It’s upon us so buckle up to see who everyone has going where that will 99% be wildly inaccurate.

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