For those of you (like myself) concerned about how long it would take, and how well young Head Coach Mike McDaniel would fill out his staff, the answer is one week, and I believe he did remarkably well. I have to say that I have more confidence in Mike McDaniel than any other hire of a Head Coach we’ve made solely based on the quality level of staff he assembled. Good people were eager to come here to work with McDaniel, and that says a lot. Let’s look at the staff . . .
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR – Frank Smith
QB’s Coach/Pass Game Coordinator – Darrell Bevell
Running Backs/Associate Head Coach – Eric Studesville
Wide Receivers Coach – Wes Welker
Offensive Line Coach – Matt Applebaum
Tight Ends Coach/ Assistant Head Coach – Jon Embree
Assistant QB’s Coach – Chandler Henry
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR – Josh Boyer
Defensive Line Coach – Austin Clark
Linebackers Coach – Anthony Campanile
Outside Linebackers Coach – Tyrone McKenzie
Defensive Backs Coach – Sam Madison
Cornerbacks Coach – Charles Burks
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR – Danny Crossman
As you can see, the entire staff is filled out, and there’s plenty of experience there beefing up the offensive side of the ball. Frank Smith, our new OC was previously the run game coordinator and Assistant O-Line Coach for the Chargers. Darrell Bevel has plenty of experience as an Offensive Coordinator for the Vikings, Seahawks and Jaguars as well as short stints as Head Coach for both the ‘Hawks and Jags. Once again, I stress experience. Jon Embree TE’s Coach is partly responsible for molding TE George Kittle into one of the best, and likely most well rounded Tight End in the NFL. Travis Kelce may be a better receiver, but it’s close there because of Kittle’s run after catch ability. Kittle is an able and willing blocker at the LOS, as well as downfield. Eric Studesville, half of our Co-Co tandem returns as Running Backs Coach. WR Wes Welker returns to Miami to be our Wide Receivers Coach. Great to have a guy who relied on technique and smarts his entire career to be coaching our guys. Matt Applebaum, former Boston College and Towson Unviersity Offensive Line Coach. He may have the toughest job of all, but other guys on our staff have experience working with the O-line so I believe that will help Applebaum.
On the defensive side of the ball, Josh Boyer returns as DC, despite all the controversy between he and former Coach Brian Flores. Also returning is Defensive Line Coach Austin Clark. Newcomers are Anthony Campanile as Linebackers Coach and Tyrone McKenzie as OLB Coach. Miami welcomes back our own Sam Madison, former All Pro Cornerback as our Defensive Backs Coach. Love the 2 nods to former Dolphins players! Charles Burks rounds out the defense as the Cornerbacks Coach. Danny Crossman returns to the team as Special Teams Coordinator.
McDaniel wasted no time building his staff, and once again, he did it with lots of quality people, people rich in experience at high level positions, former HC’s and former coordinators, people who have experience at multiple positions. There seemed to be no shortage of people willing to work for/with McDaniel which speaks volumes of how he is perceived in NFL circles. Not to beat a dead horse, but the fact Flores was unable to do the same, and couldn’t even keep the ones he personally brought here speaks volumes to how he is perceived in NFL circles as well.
I think the Dolphins were very careful from the get go to portray this hire of Mike McDaniel as a positive move, not just finding a guy to replace the guy they unceremoniously booted out. Call me a sucker, but I loved the phone call to Tua. I believe that McDaniel is wanting to come in here and wring out the best Tua can be, although many don’t share my enthusiasm for Tua, I think he’s a LOT better than what he gets credit for. If he can stay healthy, I think he will prove just how good he is when he has a staff that is truly behind him. Of Course Chris Grier has his work cut out to fnd the players to help Tua succeed. There are obvious needs and they must be addressed.
Offensive Line to me is the biggest issue. That doesn’t mean we have to bring in 5 new players, to the contrary, I think 2 players, and a draftee would do it. You guys know I’d love to bring in former 49ers OG Laken Tomlinson. He’d be an anchor for our line, a plug and play guy who plays every game and knows his responsibilities. Guys like that make the guys next to him better, they just do. It’s why I think it’s way too premature to give up on the guys we have in house. Sorry to bore you avid readers but I still believe that Austin Jackson, and Liam Eichenberg are potential NFL tackles. I think Austin can retake his LT position and I believe Eichenberg might be our future RT, as early as 2022. I think we need another interior lineman, a Center who could also play OG. Ted Karras who was here in 2020, is one possible answer. Ethan Pocic, 2nd RD pock of the ‘Hawks has played both C and OG for the Seahawks. If we go whole hog so to speak, maybe we bring in former Washington Redskins stalwart Brandon Scherrf. I hate to spend top dollar my friends, but if there’s a place worthy of the investment, it’s on the O-line. I also feel like it would be foolish to give up on OG Solomon Kindley. We’ll see how how the new offensive regime feels. We’ll also find out in the draft which follows Free Agency as to what importance they feel of upgrading the RB position. We’ve longed for better RB’s, but all signs seem to point to a RB by committee approach. We’ll have to wait and see, but we won’t have to wait long as NFL Free Agency begins March 16th, less than a month away.
Welcome Back Stanger!!!