When the Miami Dolphins have the ball, fans expect them to score touchdowns. When that doesn't happen, the fingers come out and point to a missed block, a false start or a hold, a dropped pass, or even a bad throw. Rarely do they blame the plays themselves.
Last year Dolphins fans were quick to point out McDaniel's problem with continuing to run the ball when it was working and immediately jumping into the big play and that was a concern last year but surely McDaniel has grown a bit with a full year under his proverbial belt. Right?
So far through camp, especially against the Falcons in joint practices, we are seeing what is hopefully nothing more than a vanilla offense designed to just run plays and develop timing.
I know, right about now you are saying, "Of course it isn't the full playbook you fool!" I agree but how many more crossing routes and 20-yard passes do we need to see? Where is the creative McDaniel playbook that would emphasize shorter routes with bigger opportunities for moving the chains.
This week, I wouldn't look to see anything more than just vanilla plays against the Falcons in preseason game one and I'm hoping that there is a depth to the book that we haven't seen. One of those deeper dives that are reserved for fan-less practices with strict rules for the media.
The Dolphins need to grow and McDaniel needs to realize that there is more talent on the roster than Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Despite McDaniel's use of TEs he needs them to be involved as more than blockers. They can catch too and if you are spreading out the defense, the TEs can become major stars in this offense with match-ups that you can't fathom.
Of course there is also the running backs and that is where McDaniel needs to shine. The deep play action can be more successful with a pounding run game and when that part of the offense is working there is no reason to suddenly stop it to pad stats.
Is the offense too predictable? If what we have seen so far, the plays that make the fans ooh and aah then yes, yes it is and eventually, sooner than later, defenses will figure it out and once that happens, McDaniel will need to be far more creative and that is when his future with the team may suddenly become a question.
For now, his job is more than secure. His offense, however, needs to adapt and grow. That is on McDaniel and I would venture to guess with his team healthy and clicking, what we are seeing on the field so far is exactly nothing more than timing routes and simple looks. Or at least we should all hope that is the case.