Danny Crossman is still the right man for the job, says Mike McDaniel

Crossman did a lousy job as special teams coach and saw his assistant get booted, while he retained his job. McDaniel took time out on Tuesday to explain why.

Danny Crossman was a leftover from the Brian Flores staff and has not made any marked improvement in four seasons. Why he still has a job is beyond words, but Mike McDaniel did his best Tuesday to explain his decision to keep him.
Danny Crossman was a leftover from the Brian Flores staff and has not made any marked improvement in four seasons. Why he still has a job is beyond words, but Mike McDaniel did his best Tuesday to explain his decision to keep him. / Mark Brown/GettyImages
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Speaking at the Indiana Convention Center on Tuesday, where other coaches and general managers give the state of their team address and face the national media throng, Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel defended his decision not to terminate Danny Crossman, the beleaguered special teams coach who is the sole remaining member from the previous regime under Brian Flores.

McDaniel said it was a "layered" decision, but did admit that the Dolphins' performances on special teams have been anything but special.

"“Results are very important, and I think Coach Crossman would agree with the statement that the results aren’t where we want them to be,” McDaniel said. “However, so much of my job is determining the compounding variables and the whys to things, and ultimately, I think that the bottom line is, picturing us moving forward and how to get that phase of the football team to find the improvement necessary for us to take the steps in our game as a team, he was the appropriate guy to lead us to fix the things that haven’t been up to the standard.”"

Mike McDaniel, Dolphins Head Coach

McDaniel said that Crossman's communication skills are very attractive to him and that he gets players to respond to his coaching style. While the results might not have been there in the four years that Crossman has been on staff, McDaniel is optimistic that things will get better.

"“Ultimately, how is a coach able to communicate to a player to get him better?” McDaniel said. “Although the results haven’t been there, what I’ve seen is players responding in the appropriate way to things that Danny has to offer. Does that mean we’re not taking a hard look at everything with regard to scheme, to players? Absolutely not. Everything’s on the table. What has been established, the communicator, the leader and the guy devoted to getting it right, Danny Crossman, felt like held the most merit to coach this unit moving forward. If players didn’t respond to him, it’d be a different conversation. But we’ll all collectively work together to right something that we know that we can improve upon. That’s very tangible, and I’m excited to do that.”"

Mike McDaniel, Dolphins Head Coach

Miami's special teams were putrid last season. They allowed an average of 30 plus years per kickoff returned, while punter Jake Bailey was 30th in the league in punting with a 45.7 gross punting average. Remember, there are 32 teams, that is not so good.

Jake Bailey
Jake Bailey will go down as one of the worst punters in Miami Dolphins' history. His line drive kicks rarely afforded his coverage team to get down to cover a punt and he gave up massive returns. / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

Bailey and the punt coverage team also allowed long returns against Baltimore and Buffalo that sealed the Dolphins' fate in both games. In particular, the punt return against Buffalo in Week 17 was a dagger to the hearts of Dolphins fans and will live there for a long time. Had Miami stopped the Bills on that drive it is entirely possible that the tides would not have turned and the Dolphins would have kept the momentum and won the game, the division, and the right to host a home playoff game.