Could the New York Jets lure in Mike McDaniel?
According to Armando Salguero of Outkick (who is also a former longtime Miami Herald beat reporter), Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross may consider firing head coach Mike McDaniel if they lose to the New York Jets on Sunday and miss the playoffs.
#BreakingNews per @ArmandoSalguero of @Outkick – Mike McDaniel, Chris Grier, and Josh Boyers jobs are at risk if the Miami Dolphins lose against the Jets and miss the Playoffs next Sunday 👀 #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/MiOT1bHHmm
— Fins Talk Sports Network (@FinsTalkNetwork) January 4, 2023
It’s nothing more than a rumor at this point, but it definitely adds an interesting twist to a game that has become meaningless for the Jets.
If the Jets win and Miami actually does go through with firing McDaniel, it opens an intriguing window of opportunity for New York.
Could the Jets proceed to hire McDaniel to their offensive coaching staff?
McDaniel has strong ties to the Jets’ staff. He spent four years in San Francisco working directly alongside Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and Jets offensive line coach John Benton. Of course, Jets head coach Robert Saleh was also in San Francisco over those four years.
McDaniel was San Francisco’s run game coordinator over that period, while LaFleur was the 49ers’ passing game coordinator. Benton served the same position he currently holds in New York (although his job security is questionable after a brutal season from the offensive line). Saleh was the 49ers’ defensive coordinator.
LaFleur and McDaniel go even further back than San Francisco. They first joined forces with the Cleveland Browns in 2014, where McDaniel was an offensive assistant and LaFleur was an offensive intern. The two Mikes then followed offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to Atlanta, where they each worked as an offensive assistant for the Falcons. After two years in Atlanta, Shanahan became the head coach in San Francisco, bringing LaFleur and McDaniel along with him.
In total, LaFleur and McDaniel worked together for seven consecutive seasons with three different teams.
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I’m sure most Jets fans would love to simply fire LaFleur and have McDaniel take his place. And, sure, that could be an option. But considering how close these two guys are, it would probably be awkward for McDaniel to take his friend’s position. And LaFleur’s presence would be the main draw for McDaniel to come to New York. Take out LaFleur and McDaniel’s connection with the Jets becomes much weaker.
So, my question is, could the Jets find some sort of arrangement to have LaFleur and McDaniel share the reigns of the offense? That could be an intriguing shake-up to an offensive coaching staff that certainly needs some changing after an ugly season.
For now, all of this is completely hypothetical. I, for one, highly doubt that Miami would fire McDaniel after one year. He seems to be greatly respected by his players and has done amazing work with Miami’s offense when Tua Tagovailoa is healthy. The main reasons for Miami’s collapse are Tagovailoa’s health and the brutal play of the defense, led by coordinator Josh Boyer. I’m not sure firing McDaniel fixes Miami’s problems.
And if McDaniel does get fired, it seems likely that he will quickly find another head coaching job elsewhere.
Still, the potential of McDaniel being fired adds an interesting layer to this week’s game. There may be a tiny chance that New York and Miami are competing for McDaniel’s services. If that’s the case, a Jets win on Sunday would be massive, as McDaniel would be a game-changing addition to the Jets’ coaching staff.
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