Mike McDaniel Jokes Ahead of Matchup vs. Kyle Shanahan

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated

The two coaches will face off for the first time on Sunday.

When the Dolphins and 49ers play on Sunday, it will be the first time that Mike McDaniel and Kyle Shanahan face off as head coaches. McDaniel, who is in his first season as the Dolphins’ head coach, spent 16 seasons on the same coaching staff as Shanahan.

While McDaniel downplayed that there will be extra motivation between the two to win this week, he joked that he will be keeping the physicality to the players.

“I will not be undertaking any Oklahoma drills as well this week on the field with him,” he said, via Tom Dierberger of NBC Sports Bay Area .

In all seriousness, McDaniel credits Shanahan for a lot of his success in the NFL. The two first worked together with the Texans in 2006, then McDaniel followed Shanahan to Washington, Cleveland, Atlanta and San Francisco before getting his own head coach position.

“I owe a lot to him in general,” he said. “I will be forever grateful, and I think he's always been one of the best, if not the best, offensive coaches and head coaches that I've ever had experience being around.”

The matchup is one of the best of the weekend, as both teams currently sit in first place in their respective divisions. The winner will take another step toward winning its division, while the loser may fall to second place before the end of the weekend.

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