Mike McDaniel: I will do everything in my power to make facing 49ers just another game

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Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel spent 2017-2021 working for the 49ers and even longer alongside Kyle Shanahan at his previous stops in Atlanta, Cleveland, and Washington.

But now McDaniel will coach against Shanahan and San Francisco when Miami travels to the Bay Area for Sunday’s matchup between two first-place teams.

When asked about going against his former employer, McDaniel insisted that this upcoming matchup is not about him.

“I will do everything in my power to make it another game, because I think that should be the objective of any head coach is that you make it about the players,” McDaniel said in his Monday press conference. “I really stray away from making anything about me. I just don’t believe in it. I have a very high opinion of the 49ers franchise and players, coaches, staff members. I have a lot of love for anybody that I worked with, especially for that extended period of time. So those relationships and people will always matter to me.

“But in terms of this week, it will be odd for a second, for sure, to be in a different locker room, or pulling up on the bus in a weird area, or being on a different sideline for a second, I’m assuming — just odd as in abnormal. But after that, my obligation is to serve each and every player and coach and try to get the best out of them. Nowhere in that equation has anything to do with my past history and travels, so that’s why I don’t — when I say it’s not about me, I really, really mean it.”

As for facing Shanahan, McDaniel said — much like he did when the Dolphins played Bill Belichick and the Patriots — that he’s not going to be doing an Oklahoma drill against the 49ers’ head coach.

“I don’t really look across the sidelines that much at opposing coaches. So I don’t think, on the field, I will feel anything different than any other game in regard to him,” McDaniel said. “I owe a lot to him in general. I will be forever grateful, and I think he’s always been one of the best, if not the best, offensive coaches and head coaches that I’ve ever had experience being around.

“It’s a tough test, and that’s the bigger deal — No. 1 defense in the league, an offense that does a great job getting yards, getting it to all their unbelievable talented skill position players and a special teams [unit] that has definitely — Ray-Ray McCloud is an issue that you have to handle. So that’s the bigger thing is that we’ve been progressing week by week, and in the NFL, if you’re aspiring to do big things, you have to play big time football in December and January against big time teams. So that’s something that I think our team will be excited for, and I know the 49ers will be excited to play football like they always are each and every week.”

The Dolphins enter the game No. 3 in yards and No. 6 in points scored, having put up at least 30 points in their last four games. The 49ers are No. 1 in yards allowed and points allowed, surrendering 16 points or fewer in their last four games.

Something has got to give and based on the relationships between the coaching staffs, Sunday should be a fascinating chess match.

20 responses to “Mike McDaniel: I will do everything in my power to make facing 49ers just another game

  1. We’ll see what the niners look like vs a good team. They’ve played one solid team this year and got spanked vs chiefs. Their biggest wins are vs 2 teams that wouldn’t even be in the playoffs as of now, in the chargers and Seahawks.

  2. He should encourage some of his loud mouthed former 49ers players to adopt his same attitude.

  3. Great answer by a rising star rookie coach. As a Niner fan, I hope we win. But I just don’t see it happening. Wish we would’ve kept McDaniel and let Shanahan walk, if I’m honest. The dude is charismatic and ingenious. His players love him. I think he’s going to have a long, successful coaching career.

    This will be the game of the week.

  4. NFL = Not For Long. You will never know tomorrow, so always act with class. Head coaches sometime end up to be coordinator for each other. Raheem Mostert let the media to exploit his comments about the 49ers when he should have been silent and let his play speaks. Hope he will get matured because he might be “not for long” with the Dolphins.

  5. mastermathias19 says:
    November 29, 2022 at 12:33 pm
    The Dolphins should have traded for Laremy Tunsil.

    ————————————————–

    Might happen in the off-season.

    He’d need a new contract as the $18.5M salary in 2023 wouldn’t be doable for Miami. Dolphins can’t afford much actually so LT would definitely have to concede some cash in order to be a Dolphin again.

    In terms of teams that could offer more draft assets and money than Miami, Bears jump to mind immediately. Followed by the Bengals.

    Not many other teams out there have a franchise QB and cap space where this kid screams good fit.

    Obviously Houston doesn’t want to give him away after what it cost to get him, regardless of the position they are in now. He doesn’t turn 29 until August and he’s a physical specimen so you’d assume he has 3-4 really quality seasons left in him.

    The caveat with Miami is that he would be the LG and back up LT. I wouldn’t see a move to RT in the cards for someone used to playing on the left side.

    He started his career as a LG in Miami because of Branden Albert.

  6. He’s a great young coach and it’s obvious he is a perfect fit for what they are building in Miami. That said, this is an out-of-conference game for both teams sons more about bragging rights than anything else.

  7. bird2urmother says:
    November 29, 2022 at 12:44 pm
    We’ll see what the niners look like vs a good team. They’ve played one solid team this year and got spanked vs chiefs. Their biggest wins are vs 2 teams that wouldn’t even be in the playoffs as of now, in the chargers and Seahawks.

    The defending world champion Rams when they were healthier than they’ve been all year in week 5 wasn’t a good team? Mkay

  8. If it requires “everything in your power” to do that, then it’s already not just another game.

  9. As much as I’ve loved to see Tua dominate every week, I’m hoping this game will be Jeff Wilson vs CMC. I’m sure there’s no personal animosity between either teams or players but Wilson is the truth and it was a mistake to let him go for so little in return. Chris Grier and McDaniel capitalized on that and they’ve honestly constructed a fantastic team together. I hope CMC mixes into that 9ers offense as well as Wilson filled the biggest void in Miami’s, and I hope Sunday both teams bring their A game. On paper this is an exciting matchup.

  10. If the Dolphins hadn’t just lost two offensive tackles I’d feel confident going into this game.

    But, injuries happen, next man up. MIA has been stuffing RBs well last 5 games, but rolling over on mobile QBs. But the talent is in the SF backfield to worry about. On the flip side, I’m sure Mostert and Williams want to have a statement game, I’m not seeing that happen in this matchup. I think this will literally be a Tua Dink and Dunk game that he always gets accused of – simply because the MIA OL will be overwhelmed.

    As a fan, I’m excited to watch this one.

  11. “The defending world champion Rams when they were healthier than they’ve been all year in week 5 wasn’t a good team? Mkay”

    The Rams are 3-8….

  12. lasersepi says:
    November 29, 2022 at 1:30 pm
    We’ll see what the Fish Out of Water do against a good team on Sunday.
    ———————————————————————-
    Did the schedule get flipped and they are now playing Philly? Minnesota? Dallas? Last I heard the Dolphins were in Clara on Sunday.

  13. Miami has not won against a team with a winning record since September (Bills).

    This game will settle a lot of things.

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