I feel a few personnel/coaching changes could shake this team up next season. Why am I talking about next season already? Well, because I’m always focused on this team’s progression, I’ve made some midseason observations that I feel could make this team better. Now, while I say they could “shake this team,” some of them are really small but could still cause a ripple effect, and others could make a splash.
Moving Jaylen Waddle to slot receiver
Some people may already be shaking their heads at this one, but hear me out. Jaylen Waddle is a gifted receiver but lacks the premier pass-catching ability. The Miami Dolphins have been starving for a WR3 in this offense, but if the Miami Dolphins draft a Wide Receiver in the draft like I’m convinced they will, we may have the opportunity to have a WR2A and WR2B. Drafting an outside receiver with size and more reliable hands could bolster up this already explosive offense and imagine teams having to account for Jaylen Waddle in the slot. There would be mismatches waiting to happen. The opposing CB3 matched up against an arguably WR1 on some teams, which wouldn’t fare well for the defense, but it would add another element to the offense and end the Miami Dolphins’ search for a reliable number 3.
Andrew Van Ginkel is your Mike Linebacker
Now, this is obviously with the hope that AVG re-signs with Miami, but Vic Fangio could persuade him to return but with an even bigger role next season. With the expectation that this is Jerome Baker’s last season with the team, there could be an opportunity for AVG to be this team’s new Mike Linebacker. “Gink” plays with amazing instincts and athleticism and has the intelligence to wear the green dot. Not to mention that Van Ginkel is a “Fangio type of guy.” Pairing him with David Long Jr. and/or maybe a potential draftee would strengthen an already transcending defense next season.
Channing Tindall to play the EDGE?
Many fans have been disappointed with the level of production from the former 3rd round pick out of Georgia and his lack of playing time. Allegedly it has been Tindall’s lack of ability to grasp the playbook that has held him back from seeing the field. He’s been designated to special teams, but maybe there’s another path that he could see snaps on defense. Channing Tindall may be struggling with the mental aspect of the game, but he isn’t short on athleticism. Maybe Miami should find a way to use that athleticism and do something that may be a bit more simple: “GO GET THE QUARTERBACK.” Of course, this won’t get him a starting role unless injury plays a factor, but you could never have enough edge rushers. This would require Tindall to pack on some more muscle to handle the trenches, but at 230 lbs, 15 more pounds wouldn’t hurt. This is a move that could benefit both the Dolphins and Tindall.
Chase Claypool playing a bigger role?
This is another move that is dependent on the player resigning from the team, but re-signing Claypool would be cheap and could have a high reward. Mike McDaniel has been experimenting with turning big Wide Receivers into hybrid Tight Ends, and with Claypool looking to revitalize his career, this could be a match made in heaven. This would add another dynamic weapon to the offense, and we could finally get some production in the passing game from the Tight End position. While Claypool hasn’t done much since he arrived in Miami after being traded from the Chicago Bears for a 6th-round pick, he has obviously bought into the team, and having a full training camp with the team under this coaching staff could really benefit him.
Jalen Ramsey to Safety
This is a move that was brought up when the Miami Dolphins acquired Defensive back Jalen Ramsey this off-season and was quickly shut down by Mike McDaniel. But it could be something that they revisit next off-season. Xavien Howard could be headed out of the “305” after this season, and it could be another opportunity for Fangio to bring in “his guys” at the cornerback position. I fully expect Miami to do some work to acquire more draft picks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Miami take another corner in this draft class or bring a young corner in from free agency. If Cam Smith could gain the trust of Vic Fangio and Deshon Elliot doesn’t re-sign in Miami, we could see the star-studded pairing of Jevon Holland and Jalen Ramsey at the safety positions, creating possibly the best safety duo in the NFL. While Ramsey is still in his prime, it could benefit his body to make the transition now before there is wear and tear. But the move wouldn’t just benefit his self-preservation; with Ramsey’s ball skills, high IQ, and ability to cover ground, he’d be the perfect safety next to Holland.
Danny Crossman out
Firing Danny Crossman, the Miami Dolphins’ current Special Teams coordinator is hopefully on the top of the list of personnel changes to be made after this season is over. Special teams are the weakest link on this team, and it doesn’t help that our Kicker and Punter are both liabilities. We’re not getting much production from the special teams, and somewhere throughout the season, it’s going to really hurt this team. Hiring someone who could help improve the special team would do wonders for this team and would make it complete.
Mike McDaniel handing over play-calling duties
Mike McDaniel is the epitome of a player’s coach, not to mention that he’s a genius. He is a big reason for the turnaround, not only for Tua Tagovailoa’s career but also for the 180 of this Miami Dolphins organization. However, under the bright lights, he hasn’t been the best offensive play-caller and maybe he brings someone in that he trusts to call the plays. It’s quite possible that McDaniel is too emotionally tied to call games efficiently in key moments. This doesn’t diminish him as the head coach, but it allows him to focus on other aspects of the game. Of course, this is only Mike McDaniel’s 2nd NFL season as a head coach in this league so it could be growing pains but his growing pains are hurting a very talented team and I’m sure he doesn’t want to be the reason this team is held back. While Frank Smith is the current Offensive Coordinator, rumor has it that he could be considered for a Heading coaching job elsewhere next season. This would mean Miami would have to find someone to fill the role, and maybe that individual could be considered for taking over play-calling duties. It would still be Mike McDaniel’s genius plays but maybe just someone else to call them.