On key fourth down, Mike McDaniel gathered info, made calm and reasoned decision

NFL: SEP 11 Patriots at Dolphins
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Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel earned a reputation for having a quiet calm and cool before he even coached a regular-season game — starting his career against of all teams the Patriots and of all coaches Bill Belichick.

McDaniel spoke to PFT by phone after his career-launching win. He said he was relaxed in advance of the game. He explained that it was the least nervous he’d been before a game in years.

He kept his wits about him in the biggest moments of the game. Perhaps the biggest came when Miami faced fourth and seven from the New England 42, with 24 seconds to go until halftime.

“Danny Crossman, our special teams coordinator said, ‘I don’t really like kicking a field goal here,'” McDaniel said. “He was like, ’I think it’s right on the fringe of Jason [Sanders’s] range,’ and there was enough time for them to flip and score. Then it became. Could we try to draw them offside or do we go for it? There’s a couple plays that I was prepared for it, and it’s what we call a gotta-have-it situation where you kind of prepare for what you think defenses would be and whether or not you like your players executing the plan.”

Once McDaniel processed the information, he made the choice to go for it.

“Once we decided on that, it was a pretty easy decision,” McDaniel said. “I think it’s important not to get caught up, and as I’ve witnessed Kyle Shanahan do, you know, an unbelievable job. He’s at his best when he’s just cold and calculated, so I try to kind of capture that.”

McDaniel said he was confident after watching the defensive backs react to motion from Cedrick Wilson that the play would result in a first down. And then it went for a touchdown. McDaniel explained that they preach YAC, yards after catch. And Jaylen Waddle made the catch and took it to the end zone.

“I gave him a hard time about in the offseason that he couldn’t even average 10 yards a catch,” McDaniel said of Waddle. (He averaged 9.8 yards per reception as a rookie.) “He’s been really working on that. You can see on that play, he caught the ball and then his mindset was to score. . . . I was really pumped that these good players didn’t make me look stupid.”

They made him look very smart. He made himself look very smart. And he got to 1-0 by beating one of the greatest coaches of all time.

17 responses to “On key fourth down, Mike McDaniel gathered info, made calm and reasoned decision

  1. He just realised my Pats are garbage now and attacked them. Every team in this league can do this to them now.

  2. uknepatsfan says:
    September 12, 2022 at 12:18 pm
    He just realised my Pats are garbage now and attacked them. Every team in this league can do this to them now.

    30Rate This


    Simply isn’t true. Dugger needed a better angle there. A better angle and it’s a FG for Miami instead of a TD. NE was in the game at the start of the 4th.

    3 turnovers on the road will lose you the game every time. Stop handing out gifts and you win ballgames. Don’t turn it over, NE wins. Hill was contained, as was Waddle as predicted. Nice job by NE’s secondary overall. Gesecki was shut out. Cedric Wilson also did nothing. Their RBs were contained as well, without any big plays. No big runs or plays in the passing game from Mostert or Edumunds. That’s all we heard all week is how those two are so explosive.

    The offense just needs to improve, settle in and get some confidence. Their starting point is 3 turnovers and shooting itself in the foot, and who know is the call is made on Xavien Howard in the end zone on the first drive, and NE is up 7-0 as opposed to down 3-0.

    I sometimes question if people watch the game.

    Miami won their home opener. Good for them.

  3. I sometimes question if people watch the game.

    Accept your loss like a man, and don’t make excuses. The Patriots were thoroughly beaten.

  4. Touchback6 you are making an awful lot of excuses, it’s a football game and plays happen both ways. You mean to tell me that Howard against Parker in the EZ was the only penalty NOT called??
    Miami is the better team this season plain and simple.
    Making excuses would be if Jason Sanders kicked last season like he did the previous season Miami would of had 11 wins easily. But guess what? He didn’t and plays happen.
    Accept the loss and accept Miami is a better football team

  5. I think pretty much every losing team can say “if we didn’t have turnovers, a bad call & we played better, we would have won.”

  6. When he talks about Kyle Shanahan’s decisions making I hope he remembers that Kyle’s decisions cost the falcons and 49ers a ring.

  7. If if if. If the ball is thrown 3 inches higher, Dwight Clark doesn’t make that catch. If Norwood hits a chip fg, the bills beat the giants. It can go on forever.

  8. y’know i’m getting tired of McDonald spending exhaustive amounts of times weighing decisions making the decision, and then saying afterwards it was a no brainer or an easy decision.

    Could someone explain to him what a no-brainer means? this is becoming annoying

  9. He made a good decision, but let’s not canonize the process.

    I mean, isn’t every play a “gotta have it” play?

    My god, that kind of overthink doesn’t work just as often as it does. Ultimately, it’s about the execution.

    McDaniel will soon learn that he can’t control outcomes, he can only do his best to ensure that his guys achieve the outcomes they all want.

  10. Mike McDaniel showed he has confidence in Tua that is a big boost to his confidence. Now if only they can build a compentent offensive line.

  11. Lack of practice and preseason reps for the whole league on the OL was made painfully obvious for nearly every team. If Miami’s OL was in sync, it would have been an annihilation.

  12. This guy is going to be a good head coach, unlike the Nathaniel Hacketts and Kliff Kingsburys of the world.

  13. Players for sure like this type of coach. This outcome by no means predicts future results. This is a 63 yr old, long-suffering Fin Fan saying, “Calm Down”. It was nice, now onto Baltimore. It entertainment Folks, nothing more.

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