Rex Ryan says Mike McDaniel got ‘badly’ outcoached by Brandon Staley during Dolphins-Chargers game

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After the Miami Dolphins lost to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night, one former NFL head coach bluntly stated that Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was “badly” outcoached in the matchup.

ESPN’s Rex Ryan, who previously served as head coach of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, indicated that McDaniel missed the opportunity to exploit the Chargers’ weak run defense in the 23-17 loss.

“I never thought I would say this in a million years,” Ryan said. “But [Chargers coach] Brandon Staley outcoached this Dolphins team so badly in this game it’s amazing. How about you run it down the Chargers throat like every other team has?”

McDaniel is in his first season as an NFL head coach and has largely enjoyed success over the course of the 2022 campaign.

Ryan’s main complaint about Miami’s failure to run the ball often does have some merit. Against the Chargers, the Dolphins only ran the ball 19 times, gaining 4.8 yards per carry for a total of 92 rushing yards on the evening.

The Chargers entered that game with six losses, with opponents in five of those defeats making heavy use of their respective running games. In each of those five losses, foes of the Chargers ran the ball at least 30 times and gained at least 150 rushing yards.

One of the Dolphins’ major success stories on offense this season has been the smooth integration of offseason acquisition Tyreek Hill into the starting lineup. Another is the continued development of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who has been thriving under McDaniel’s leadership.

Despite the Dolphins’ 8-5 record, McDaniel is now on the receiving end of criticism after the team dropped its second consecutive game. Such heat is to be expected when a team loses back-to-back contests during an important time of the season and something the rookie head coach no doubt expects.

Rex Ryan’s track record

The fact that Ryan is the person offering such criticism stands out. His record over eight NFL seasons from 2009 to 2016 was a mediocre 61-66.

During Ryan’s first two seasons as head coach of the Jets in 2009 and 2010, the team reached the postseason and AFC Championship twice.

However, Ryan’s final four years with the Jets resulted in the team finishing with a combined record of 26-38 and no playoff appearances. After being hired by the Bills in 2015, he went 15-16 in two seasons, with Ryan being fired before the team’s final game in the 2016 season.

McDaniel is likely too focused on Saturday night’s road matchup against the Bills to comment on Ryan’s withering assessment. The Dolphins badly need a win to stay in a playoff spot in the AFC, with a victory likely to stem criticism from Ryan and others.

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Brad is a freelance writer for and has been around long enough to remember the 1972 perfect season, and even when Don Shula was coaching the Colts. He still follows the Dolphins and other happenings in the NFL, so he can offer a little perspective when it comes to the ups and downs of each season. Some of his opinions may end up differing from the people who read them, but that's par for the course when it comes to life in South Florida.