Monday, April 15, 2024

What’s the take on Dolphins hiring Weaver as ’24 DC

So the Dolphins have pulled the trigger and hired Anthony Weaver as their new defensive coordinator after a 10-day search.

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said of Weaver, “has a proven résumé of success, built on his personal investment in his players. Most importantly, he shares our belief that player development is the cornerstone to both team building and sustained excellence.”

Dolphins Weaver has limited experience

So first things first, I quite like the Weaver hire. My issues come from a team in win-now mode hiring a guy who, despite white Mike says, has little high-level experience.

Weaver has 1-year of defensive coordinator experience in 2020 with the Houston Texans that went less than well. The Texans ranked 27th for scoring defence, giving up 29 PPG. The year before, they ranked 19th, giving up 24.1 ppg.

Under Weaver they ranked 30th on total yards, 24th on pass yards, and 32nd on rushing yards. Clearly not great.

But that’s not the only delineation of success. He has received raves from his three years since then in Baltimore as defensive line coach, and the last two as assistant head coach.

Weaver himself is definitely in the new school, talking of multiples like a lot of the defensive coordinators around the league currently are.

“The scheme that we used in Baltimore is extremely multiple and flexible,” Weaver said. “The foundation that we’re going to do here will be from that. But the beauty in that is a lot of things that they’ve already done here, that they’ve had success in, were very similar there. So there will be a lot of crossover teaching.”

“There are multiple guys on every level of defense that you get excited about,” Weaver said. “The opportunity to come here, obviously, with a team and the success they’ve had. How do you pass on that? Mike and that offense — they’re going to put up points. That’s definitely going to happen. It’s our job to make sure that we give up less points than the other team. We plan on doing that every time we get out there.”

So the Dolphins clearly have someone who knows the game, but that really shouldn’t be in doubt. But there are two things that have me worried.

One is the culture the Dolphins are building. They say they want to have fun, but in the players you need that dog. That desperate need to win. It’s not a want, it’s not a by-product of having fun.

The Chiefs have that dog. They were poor most of the season, but when they got to the playoffs they NEEDED it. In Kansas City that day the Dolphins players didn’t look like they needed it, they look like they needed the beach.

McDaniel said “Through conversations with him and those who have worked with him, it became clear that we have aligned values in football philosophies and coaching.” That culture may not be a winning culture. That culture of nicey nicey was one of the reasons Vic Fangio was unpopular in Miami. That and a number of other issues in fairness.

But it’s something to keep an eye on. And it’s one of the keys for the Dolphins to go from fun team to watch to an actually competitive team that doesn’t go 1-6 against winning teams.

The second thing to take away from Mike McDaniels statement is this, “Most importantly, he shares our belief that player development is the cornerstone to both team building and sustained excellence.” i.e. Christian Wilkins isn’t coming back, Howard and Ogbah will be gone.

Weaver will need to do this with a lot of younger players with, potentially, less track record. Which could very well derail a team whose offence declined as they played better teams.

Let’s hope Weaver can figure it out.

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