Dolphins’ Raheem Mostert feels Mike McDaniel will ‘shock the world’ this season, likes Devon Achane draft pick
Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert knows Mike McDaniel just about as well as anyone in the NFL, and he sees the Dolphins coach making a huge leap in Year 2 leading a team.
“He’s totally locked in. He got his feet wet,” Mostert said Tuesday in a web conference call with reporters.
“Now that he’s settled down, I believe that he’s going to start making some moves in a way that’s going to shock the world. It’s not going to be shocking for me because I know what he can do. That’s why I’m along this journey with him. But yeah, a lot of people are going to be shocked about what he does.”
Mostert, a former journeyman return specialist before getting his first opportunities to carry the football from scrimmage with the 49ers while McDaniel was an assistant coach in San Francisco, goes all the way back to 2017 with Miami’s head man. As he flourished as a speedy tailback, McDaniel grew from run-game coordinator to offensive coordinator in 2021 and Dolphins coach beginning last year, also Mostert’s first in Miami.
Mostert understood that last season was also McDaniel’s first as an NFL team’s offensive play-caller.
The 31-year-old running back said it was expressed to him that McDaniel regretted not running the ball more in 2022. He had Mostert average 4.9 yards per carry and fellow tailback Jeff Wilson Jr., during the second half of the season he spent in Miami, run at a 4.7 clip, but as a team, the Dolphins were 25th in rushing yards, second-to-last in rushing attempts.
“I had a talk with him during the exit interviews at the end of the season,” said Mostert, who ran for a career-high 891 yards. “One thing that he was very apologetic about was the fact that we didn’t run enough and that he was going to do his best to change that for the upcoming year.
“When he talks like that, it just gets me fired up even more like, ‘Hey, I know I’m getting the ball a little bit more, the running back room is going to get the ball a little bit more in regards to touches.’ So yeah, I mean, it’s a thriller, man. I’m excited. I truly can’t wait for that opportunity when he calls out when we’re getting the ball.”
McDaniel has previously mentioned he was cautious not to overwork Mostert and Wilson as the combination, once together with the 49ers, was reunited at last season’s trade deadline. Both dealt with minor injuries before Mostert’s thumb ailment cost him the wild-card round playoff loss against the Buffalo Bills, and Mostert has had to come back from multiple major knee surgeries in his career.
The Dolphins added young legs to the running back room through the draft in Texas A&M speedster Devon Achane. His 4.32-second 40-yard-dash speed joins an offense that already has Mostert plus receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle out wide.
“We pretty much have a [4×100 track] team,” Mostert said. “It’s a great time to be a Dolphin, and I’m excited to help as much as I possibly can to get to where we need to get to.”
Mostert approved of the team’s third-round draft pick, even as it comes at his position, and he values the opportunity to lead a talented rookie, assisting him with an offense he’s familiar with.
Mostert is also happy that the entire unit from last year — with Wilson, Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin alongside him — returns in free agency.
“The chemistry is just unmatched in any other place that I’ve been a part of,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys in this room that really, really want to be great. There’s a lot of guys that want to go out there and put their best foot forward.”
It bugged Mostert that he couldn’t play in the postseason last season, but he said his thumb has now recovered.
“All’s well now, so I’m ready to rock.”
The Dolphins are in the midst of their offseason training program and start organized team activities later in May.