Mike McDaniel, 49ers Run Game Coordinator
McDaniel has been coaching in the NFL for 13 years, but is serving just his second season as the 49ers’ run game coordinator. In the two years that McDaniel has been in charge of San Francisco’s rushing attack, the unit has exploded into one of the NFL’s elite.
With a running back committee featuring Tevin Coleman and three undrafted players in Matt Breida, Jeff Wilson, and Raheem Mostert, the 49ers’ run game has flourished. Through the team’s first eight games, the 49ers have put together the second-best rushing offense in the NFL, behind only the Baltimore Ravens.
Despite having a four-player committee at running back, the 49ers have two players on pace for over 600 yards rushing and one player in Breida on pace for over 1,000. McDaniel and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan have built a successful offense that ranks third in points per game by designing a creative run scheme and developing a run-heavy mentality.
Should he come to Tennessee, an innovative coordinator like McDaniel might be able to maximize the potential of both Titans running backs.
The Titans have a talented running back in Derrick Henry that has shown elite potential in his time in two-toned blue but has been stuck in a stagnant offense for his entire professional career.
Mike McDaniel would be coming in from an offensive scheme that has had a lot of success running the ball with running backs less talented than Henry. If he comes in to coordinate the Titans’ offense next year, McDaniel might be able to scheme up ways to get Henry consistently living up to his potential.
Given his reputation in finding success with lower regarded players, there might even be reason to believe that McDaniel could find ways to get Dion Lewis involved in the Titans offense. I know most Titans fans would like to see Lewis off the team entirely, but if Lewis is used in the right scheme he has the potential to give Tennessee the pass-catching, change of pace running back that could take the Titans running game from good to great.
McDaniel and the 49ers operate a run-focused offense, but they do so in an innovative way that has been able to take advantage of just about every defense they’ve faced. Letting McDaniel run that offense in Tennessee might mean having an offense that finally feels up-to-date with the rest of the league and takes advantage of the Titans’ talented skill group.