Robert Saleh, NY Jets, Head Coach
Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Getty Images

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.

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.

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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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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Jim G
Jim G
10 months ago

I suspect Dolphin’s owner Stephen Ross will fire McDaniel only if he can get “star power” talent like the rumored “Tom Brady/Sean Payton” team. In that case Mr. Ross will look at the situation as an opportunity to take his team to the next level. I also suspect that whether the Dolphins win or lose, the result will be the same: if he can get Brady & Payton, McDaniel is gone; if he can’t get Brady/Payton, McDaniel will remain.

verge tibbs
verge tibbs
10 months ago

When jets hired saleh i hoped mcdaniel would be the oc choice. Admittedly, following comedian Dan Soder was why. They grew up best friends, are both pretty hilarious, and easy to root for. Good enough reasoning for me since its impossible from the outside to tell which one would be better from their sf days. Plus, is lafleur even friends with any famous comics at all? I dont think so. Its funny how he says “talent” but thats about all. Id certainly be more entertained with mcdaniel pressers than lafleur but not sure the jets would take my comedic leanings into account. Figuring a way to have both as they grow into things? Might be ideal. Kind of ridiculous that miami owner would leak that theyre considering firing him, imo, that dude shouldnt be an owner anyway, but whatever, just my opinion. Obviously a light hearted jokey comment.

10 months ago

MacDaniel seems to me the better of the two offensive minds (compared to MLF). I’d be very surprised to see him come here if available. MLF was exposed this year. Overall this staff needs some good veteran voices.

10 months ago
Reply to  Psi

I agree, I think they can start with QB coach/Associate HC offense, and McDaniel would be a perfect choice. I’ve been calling for Gary Kubiak for a while, Cimini mentioned him today in an article. If Houston overhauls, Pep Hamilton would be a nice choice. I don’t know if there are enough ties but if there are, someone like Jim Caldwell brings a ton of experience. Clearly they need someone to help LaFleur AND develop a QB.

If Gus Bradley is available, he’s a must get as well. Ulbrich did a nice job early in the year but that defense fizzled. They need some juice, and by that I mean an experience coach who can add something to the game plan. There were too many games late in the year it seems the D wasn’t ready. This pattern of giving up and early TD then holding them to few points but allowing opponents to control field position because the D couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down assisted in crushing the offense. I’ve seen what I need from Ulbrich, a good coach with limitations. He needs help.

It may be just me but this doesn’t seem to have been talked about much but Miles Austin’s suspension for gambling should cost him his job. The WR’s were not very good to begin with, and none of them developed. They need a new WR coach.