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Why did Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel show Allen Iverson footage to his previous WRs?

With a 2-0 record, the Dolphins are sitting pretty, but even more interesting are the methods that their new coach uses.

Why did Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel show Allen Iverson footage to his previous WRs?
Rob CarrAFP

When someone can call you a “savant,” you must be doing something right and that’s exactly what one of the Dolphins coach’s former players believes.

Mike McDaniel’s Dolphins have made a splash

If you didn’t know, the Miami Dolphins and their new coach Mike McDaniel, have been turning heads this season. After two games in charge, McDaniel is sitting on a 2-0 record, and the Dolphins are second in the NFL in yards per game (427.0). Their most recent win was a more than impressive 21-point comeback against the Baltimore Ravens. On that night, wideout Tyreek Hill registered 11 catches, 190 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow receiver Jaylen Waddle hauled in 11 catches, 171 yards and two touchdowns. There’s not really much else to say.

Yet, as sensational as Miami’s offense has been, one of McDaniel’s former players isn’t surprised at all. Speaking recently on ‘The Rich Eisen Show,’ former NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins weighed in on the Dolphins’ recent performances. A member of the Cleveland Browns in 2014, Hawkins was asked directly about his time under McDaniel who was the team’s receivers coach at the time and in his response, it was clear that an impression had been made. “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.

Allen Iverson was the example Mike McDaniel used with his WRs

When questioned directly about McDaniel’s methods, Hawkins revealed the lessons he and other receivers learned about varying releases from the line of scrimmage. As he explained it, Hawkins and others were taught that CBs would only press in a handful of ways and as such, they should focus on a select group of counters. To that end, McDaniel - according to Hawkins - went to the level of showing them all footage of former NBA star Allen Iverson.

“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 case you’re wondering, Hawkins would go on to post 63 receptions to the tune of 824 yards during that season under McDaniel. As for the Dolphins, their next game will be a stern test when they take on Bill Belichick’s Buffalo Bills this Sunday.


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