Watching Mike McDaniel at his press conferences, interviews, and even attending Tua’s foundation Hawaiian Luau has the entire fan base in love with him as a coach. After the firing of Brian Flores, it seems like there is hope in Miami after all. But why?
Initially, after the Brian Flores firing, many Miami Dolphins fans were divided on the move. Fans loved the defense; players seemed to have respect for Flores and came out publicly supporting him on social media after his firing. There was also the controversy of Flores being fired, although he had a winning record over the last two years. The team supposedly played hard for Flores winning games they shouldn’t have. Although the offense was anemic, the team always tried to find a way to win. There were positives associated with Flores being a good coach. And because of these positives, there’s a lot to question about the Flores firing.
Controversy surrounds this decision as speculation came about because of the few minority representatives as head coaches in the NFL. More fire was added to the flame when Flores filed a lawsuit noting race and bribes for tanking. And there was the Watson talk that hung over the locker room, causing a media disaster with Miami’s current young quarterback prospect in Tua Tagovailoa.
Was it Flores’s inability to develop draft picks? Were there bribes involved? Did Miami initially give up on Tua because of Watson’s availability? Did the negative PR become too much for Miami, and they needed a scapegoat?
Or maybe, there were just a lot of negatives that overwhelmed the positive. Draft picks were not developing to their potential. The anemic offense resulted from poor coaching, play-making decisions, and poor personnel choices. The Dolphins could not keep an offensive coaching staff year in and year out. The team developed a tendency to be unable to finish some games (notable games include Jacksonville and Atlanta, where leads were blown). The offense could not develop a consistent run game, and only near the end of the year were running on a semi-consistent basis. Then for a defensive coach, there were questions about an underperforming defense as the team gave up 29.25 points per game through the first eight games. Flores had questionable clock management and challenge management throughout the year, costing time, possessions, and timeouts that even some announcers questioned during games. Bad coaching decisions combined with all the PR disasters make it seem that maybe it was just a situation where it was a good coach in a bad fit.
Mike McDaniel hasn’t coached a game as an NFL head coach or a game for the Miami Dolphins yet, so the jury is still out. But there is this strange feeling of hope for Miami fans. There are a lot of players that Miami has signed that if Flores is head coach still, there’s an argument that Miami doesn’t make these moves. Mike McDaniel’s background revolves around developing complex and lethal run games and scheming for players to be open. It would surprise many fans if the offense were anemic as it was last year. McDaniel says all the right things. He openly supports his players. There’s no bad press due to quarterback controversy. And he speaks like he knows Miami is going to be the leagues’ problem for years to come. Until games are won, it’s still just talk. But Miami and McDaniel seem to be taking the right steps in the right direction. Maybe it’s a breath of fresh air with Miami not being in the spotlight of controversy. It could be that Miami needs a guy who can talk big and speak confidently. There have been no games played yet. And Miami has only won free agency. But it feels right.
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