The Miami Dolphins are heading into a Week 10 bye after a shameful loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany as part of the NFL’s International Series. Head coach Mike McDaniel spoke to media on Tuesday during the team’s only practice occurring during this bye week.
Miami Dolphins HC Speaks to Media
A handful of questions asked by members of the media today surrounded injury updates, how the team was handling the loss, and how they were recovering from the long plane ride from Frankfurt back to Miami. The Dolphins head into the Bye week in first place in the AFC East, one of the toughest divisions across the NFL. However, people are feeling that they are very lucky to be sitting in that top spot, especially since they can’t seem to beat teams with a winning record.
The only teams that the Dolphins have been able to win against this year are teams with losing records, and are 0-3 against teams that hold/held winning records. It shouldn’t be an issue for Miami to go into these matchups against good teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and Kansas City Chiefs, but with a mess that needs to be cleaned up in their defense and just calls on the field that ultimately hurt them in the end, it’s made it difficult to truly live up to the first place spot.
McDaniel was asked about what he’s learned and what he’s going to take as they head into the second half of the season. Coach said that he’s learned a lot this year about the players, and the commitment to the team.
“You learn the most when people really put themselves out there by committing themselves to the process and seeing what happens as a result,” McDaniel said. “I’ve learned that this team has grown from last year. I’ve learned that this team, one of the huge things that you have to do in any major league sports season, is you have to be able to invest, deal with things that maybe you come up short from and not blink and press forward, putting more in and human nature is the tap. That’s not this team.”
McDaniel also talked about how this team has gotten better winning and losing, comparing this year’s team to the 1972 undefeated team, how you’re going to have highs and lows no matter what the circumstance.
“It’s the daily input. You’re going to have highs and lows. You’re going to have successes and failures. It’s learning how to take those and move forward for the eventual, inevitable elimination games. Those will always occur, whether you’re playing yourself into the playoffs or in the playoffs…So you have to take every opportunity to learn. And I think our team is doing that.”
Things McDaniel Needs to Focus On
McDaniel has the roster that’s capable of winning big games and potentially going all the way, but utilizing the appropriate players in the appropriate situations and allowing players to play at their fullest potential is what’s holding the team back.
If they want to be this lethal, powerful offense that has shown that they can run the ball and pass with great accuracy, something needs to change. You can’t have that one game everyone talks about and then you go against teams like the Chiefs and look like that 70 point game was some kind of joke.
They struggled to put out a performance like that against the Chiefs on Sunday; Tua Tagovailoa didn’t pass 200 passing yards for the first time this season, only throwing for 193 yards on 34 attempts, and even one of the best wide receivers in the game, Tyreek Hill, was held to 62 yards on 10 targets.
This Dolphins team is capable of achieving something great, but the mess needs to be cleaned up before it becomes their downfall.