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Mike McDaniel on pressure to lead Dolphins to a playoff win: ‘You don’t hire someone for moderate success’


Twenty-four years. That’s how long it’s been since the Miami Dolphins have won a playoff game, marking the longest current streak without a playoff win in the NFL. The Dolphins have lost their last six postseason games, including last year’s blowout loss to the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

As they enter the 2024 season, the goal among players and coaches is to snap that losing streak. Coach Mike McDaniel is making that goal clear in an unusual way. Miami will hold all meetings with coaches at a time ending in 24, a metaphor for the number of years since their last postseason victory. 

This year, the Dolphins know they need to continue their success beyond the regular season and no one has more of a spotlight on him than McDaniel, as he enters his third year.

The Dolphins fired their last two coaches after their third year with the team and McDaniel does not want to make it three. McDaniel has proven to be a coach who can lead his team to wins, but he knows the expectation is higher than what the team has done under his watch.

“When I got hired, I said it in my first team meeting — it was 22 years [without a playoff win] at the time,” McDaniel said. “You don’t hire someone for moderate success or failure or anything. You hire them to win. And I know we have to do that. So it’s the same, but nothing’s really changed.”

Despite what those on the outside may call it, McDaniel says he would not classify the playoff push as “pressure,” saying he feels “enough pressure having a job in general.”

“There’s not any more to it. You’re hired for a reason,” McDaniel said. “You understand that, and you’re trying to, you know, help be a part — facilitate and be a part of a team that can succeed in the failures of the previous 22 or 24 seasons.

“So I knew what I was signing up for with this job. And for me to not think that we need to win would be, ‘What, so I’m entitled to the job?’ That doesn’t make any sense to me,” he continued. “So no, it’s going about business, trying to maximize guys day in, day out, to get the team as good as they can, and, you know, lean into your teammates to go try to achieve something that will mean a lot to a lot of people.”

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Author: Shanna McCarriston
June 6, 2024 | 3:20 pm

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