His wristwatch is a reminder of his comittment to the players, to winning, to the franchise. An expensive show of faith in himself but Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel has a glaring flaw.
Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post pointed out this flaw on social media and honestly, I was shocked when I realized it was in fact, true.
As Schad pointed out, the Miami Dolphins are dead last in the NFL in third down conversions of one-yard or less. How is that even remotely possible given the Dolphins rushing attack?
On 3rd and one, the Dolphins were able to pick up a first down only, wait for it, 10 times on 23 attempts. That is an incredibly bad statistic and it doesn't matter if the Dolphins made the 4th down attempt or not, not being able to convert 3rd downs is a huge problem for Miami, especially when that 1st down conversion is only a yard away.
Miami fans watch quarterbacks like Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts bulldoze their way for two or three yards. Other QBs will dive over the top, split the guard and tackle and lunge for a yard. In Miami, the Dolphins don't use Tua Tagovailoa that way.
What are team's doing to stop Miami or are they that predictable that opposing teams have figured them out? Miami can run the ball with great success but then fail on 3rd and 1? Is that an offensive line issue? What about throwing on 3rd and 1? Are we to believe the Dolphins can't throw a simple one yard pass to convert?
32nd is a horrible number in this category and it is worse when it comes for a team with the number one rushing offense in the league. One of the top offenses this year ranked dead last in 3rd and 1 conversions.
Maybe it isn't Tua Tagovailoa or the running game that is failing in this area. Maybe it is Mike McDaniel. McDaniel as we have seen tends to get cute with his play calling on 3rd down leaving fans shaking their heads and wondering what in the heck he was thinking...or overthinking.
The Dolphins have to improve in this area if they are going to be successful. As Schad points out, the 49ers are the best team on 3rd and 1 which surprises me as well as I would have guessed the Eagles and the "Tush-Push."
Mike McDaniel is not on the hotseat and he won't enter the 2024 season worried about his job but at some point, his play calling, which is already unders scrutiny by fans, will be under the microscope and when that happens, the seat will get warm. Issues like 3rd and 1 conversions can be drive killers and when they happen late in a game, they can be game killers. McDaniel needs to figure out why this is an issue and fix it.