Now that Mike McDaniel is officially the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, people obviously wonder which coaches he’ll try and take with him. In today’s Oh, Hey There! podcast, Javier Vega and Leo Luna wondered whether free agent to be Raheem Mostert will follow McDaniel across the country next year - and if he does, how will the team respond?
Losing Mostert at the start of the year was a big deal for the team. His vision and incredible home run speed were a big loss for the ground game. Fortunately for the 49ers, Elijah Mitchell emerged, and Deebo Samuel mutated into a wrecking ball in a jetpack just in time to carry the offense. Given that success, it is fair to wonder what kind of resources Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch will want to devote to a 29-year-old running back coming off a knee surgery.
Enter Mike McDaniel, architect of the 49ers’ creative rushing attack and new head coach in Miami. With money to spend and a need a running back, the Dolphins may not be as hesitant to sign Mostert as the 49ers would be. Raheem is clearly a McDaniel guy and seems like a natural fit to help germinate that system throughout the Dolphins’ locker room.
Fortunately, according to Leo and Javi, the 49ers are in a position to withstand this loss, thanks to two things. First, the hiring of Anthony Lynn, and second, the presence of Mitchell and Trey Sermon.
“There is where Anthony Lynn comes in and helps out,” Vega said, “I trust him enough to understand the nuance of the run game and his ability to add to Kyle Shanahan’s outside zone with Trey Sermon...and of course, Elijah Mitchell is here. I think Lynn is going to be able to maximize this running game.”
Clearly, Anthony Lynn knows how to get the most out of ground attack. Leo also pointed out that Sermon may be more effective with a mobile quarterback under center and the threat that poses to a defense.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting for Trey Sermon. He’s going to fit an Anthony Lynn run system better. Look who Trey Sermon has played with in college. He’s played with Kyler Murray. He’s played with Justin Fields, he’s played with those style quarterbacks. Now it’s Trey Lance’s time, and that means it’s Trey Sermon’s time.”
Kyle Shanahan himself has said the team needs to be careful about overdoing it with Deebo Samuel as a running back next year. Getting Sermon more touches can definitely help lighten the load in that area if Mostert is out of the picture. Plus, if the 49ers do begin to incorporate more of Lynn’s power run game next season, that could also help make it a little easier for last year’s second-round pick Aaron Banks to get on the field.
Clearly, the 49ers are in a state of transition right now, as most teams are once they enter the offseason. Even if some household names do move on, however, the team could be uniquely positioned to adapt and evolve into something new in 2022.