Mike McDaniel had a pretty damn good first year as Miami Dolphins head coach, but for all his play-calling brilliance, his fatal flaw showed up in the worst possible spot.
Multiple instances of getting play calls in late to seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson caused the Fins to burn all their timeouts and cost them an extra possession in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 34-31 loss to the Bills. Although Buffalo gifted Miami three Josh Allen turnovers, the visitors really were in position to pull an inconceivable upset as a two-touchdown underdog. You have to wonder how McDaniel and Co. might've fared with Tua Tagovailoa under center.
While McDaniel did call an exceptional game overall and schemed players open on multiple occasions for downfield shots that wide receivers either dropped, or Thompson missed the mark by a hair. Such as this one:
But it was the little things that derailed McDaniel and his upstart team. The worst of it was this...
About as bad as you can situationally get in the biggest moment of your life.
I'm not sure that McDaniel's explanation of the situation casts him in a better light, either.
The Kyle Shanahan system that McDaniel has adopted and known for his whole NFL coaching career is notorious for verbose, longwinded, frankly stupidly fucking long play calls. Asking a player as inexperienced as Thompson to spit all that shit out in one of the most unfriendly opposing stadiums in all of sports is a tall order. So, IDK man, maybe uh…simplify? Or if you're going to make Thompson recite your fancy-ass 35-word excerpts from that call sheet, GET IT TO HIM FASTER.
Truly among the most frustrating things I think I've ever watched as a football purist.
Again I love me some Mike McDaniel. He's still young for a head coach and should learn from this in a profound way. Alas, this isn't the first time he's had this issue all season, as NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe alludes to in the first tweet I plugged into this blog. McDaniel still deserves a lot of credit for even having the Dolphins competitive in this one. Everybody expected a blowout. He was hyper-aggressive and played to win the game in a way that would've made Herm Edwards proud, and Miami defensive coordinator kept sending the house at Josh Allen, consequences be damned.
Might be hard for the Fins to shake this one off, even under such adverse circumstances and whilst deploying their third-string QB. McDaniel needs to figure out how to quicken his whole operation. Otherwise, he'll put a ceiling on his seemingly limitless potential as a head coach. Feel like Miami probably shouldn't fire him, as was idiotically suggested not many moons ago.
Keep doing you and being a vape gawd, Mike MacDaddy. Just get the friggin' plays in with more expediency.