Saturday, October 1, 2022

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel showed Allen Iverson film to coach wide receivers

Mike McDaniel is in his first season as the Miami Dolphins head coach, and he has already made a splash with his impressive offense. One of his former players, ex-NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, is not surprised by McDaniel’s early success.

Hawkins joined ‘The Rich Eisen Show’ and was asked about his experience under McDaniel with the Cleveland Browns in 2014. At the time, McDaniel was the receivers coach for the team, and he made a major impression on Hawkins.

“Mike McDaniel, he has a very quirky personality,” Hawkins said. “I don’t know if you know that about him. He is a football savant. There are people who are mad scientists. There are offensive gurus. He is a Yale graduate. He is the kind of person who should probably be a scientist, but he just loves the game of football.”

Pressed for an example, Hawkins said that McDaniel taught the receivers to use just three different releases on the line of scrimmage. Hawkins said McDaniel figured out that defensive backs would really only press in a couple of different ways, so the receivers could just focus on a few different types of releases to counter that.

Hawkins also said that McDaniel had a unique way of teaching those releases. While with the Browns, McDaniel showed footage of Allen Iverson crossing over defenders to get his point across.

“How he broke it down, he wouldn’t show us film of football releases,” Hawkins said. “He would show us Allen Iverson film. The reason why a basketball crossover is so effective is because they have to show you every part of their body moving in one direction before they cross over. There’s no rush to it. We’d be at practice, and we’d be doing crossovers. If you’ve ever seen the clip of Stefon Diggs doing his releases, and he’s faking like he has a basketball in a football game, that’s where that comes from.”

In that season with McDaniel as his position coach, Hawkins posted career highs in receptions (63) and yards (824).

Through his first two games in Miami, McDaniel owns a 2-0 record, and the Dolphins are second in the NFL in yards per game (427.0). Their most recent win was a thrilling 21-point comeback over the Baltimore Ravens in which receivers Tyreek Hill (11 catches, 190 yards, two touchdowns) and Jaylen Waddle (11 catches, 171 yards, two touchdowns) both put up monster numbers.

The Dolphins’ next game will be a big test for McDaniel’s offense as it faces an elite Buffalo Bills defense on Sunday, Sept. 25.

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