Mike McDaniel The “MAD Scientist”?


Schad: In Mike McDaniel, Dolphins clearly hired a unique person and coach

When you look at Miami Dolphins new head coach Mike McDaniel you see a guy that does not look like your typical head coach and we have had former so called “genius” as head coaches before, but this guy is truly very cerebral when just listen to him speak. 

He is credited with helping form the Shannahan system while working alongside Both Mike & Kyle Shanahan over the years in fact it was considered a huge loss for Kyle as his right-hand man and longtime assistant has come to Miami. 

Here are some points from a resent article entitled How Kyle Shanahan trusted Mike McDaniel more than any offensive assistant  

Kyle Shanahan is now without his most trusted assistant, a man he’s worked with for well over a decade. 

The challenge replacing McDaniel 

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote a piece that highlighted the duties McDaniel had leading up to the game: 

McDaniel was the only one he took to work under him at all five of his NFL stops as a coordinator or head coach (Texans, Washington, Browns, Falcons, 49ers). And in each of those places, Shanahan had no issue delegating to McDaniel, which is a good a sign of his trust in a guy he first got to know as a ball boy for his dad’s Broncos teams. 

In San Francisco over the last few years, Shanahan would spend Mondays and Tuesdays almost exclusively on the passing game, going to work with top lieutenants like former pass-game coordinator Mike LaFleur, while McDaniel was left to draw up the team’s run game for the week. 

By the time Wednesday rolled around, what McDaniel would draw up could be so inventive that it’d take a couple of days for the other guys on the staff to wrap their heads around what he was thinking. But Shanahan had so much trust in McDaniel that he gave him great latitude to roll with those sorts of ideas—and they paid off with one of the NFL’s best run games. 

The offense is Shanahan’s baby. So, for him to give McDaniel the keys to the running game, the staple of the 49er’s offense, and walk away, knowing McDaniel would get the job done, speaks volumes to the caliber of coach McDaniel is. 

Of course, that trust has been earned through a decade-plus of working with each other. Shanahan has his work cut out for him. We will see what Anthony Lynn brings to the table. I’m curious if Shanahan will take on a bigger role in offensive meetings and preparation now that McDaniel is gone. 

Time will tell. We will also have a better idea based on which coaches Shanahan decides to hire. There has not been an announcement about a press conference for Shanahan or John Lynch. When asked about the potential of replacing McDaniel last Monday during their exit interviews, both Shanahan and Lynch ignored the question. 

As you can see McDaniel has spent over a decade with Kyle Shanahan and he earned his trust to be given the run game duties while he worked on the passing game and did you get the point made By the time Wednesday rolled around, what McDaniel would draw up could be so inventive that it’d take a couple of days for the other guys on the staff to wrap their heads around what he was thinking. 

This is exactly what the Dolphins were missing under Brian Flores and hopefully he will implement a running game that will complement not only Tua but our aggressive defense and together we will need just 2 more wins during the season to be playoffs bound! 

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