49ers vs. Dolphins: Mike McDaniel treats Week 13 as ‘any other game’

Head coach Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Head coach Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

7-4. 49ers -4. 4:05 p.m. ET. 8-3. Sunday, Dec. 4. Fox. 42. 59

The 49ers welcome back some familiar faces in Week 13 when they host the Dolphins, but Mike McDaniel isn’t so focused on the reunions.

If now-Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel circled and underlined his team’s Week 13 matchup against his former employer, the San Francisco 49ers, he’s not telling anyone about it.

In fact, McDaniel might be taking a completely opposite approach in comparison to his running back, Raheem Mostert, who recently fired some shots off against the Niners for how he viewed their handling of his season-ending knee injury suffered way back in Week 1 of the 2021 campaign.

“I have the opportunity to see them,” Mostert told Go Long’s Tyler Dunne in an interview that called out San Francisco for how it handled the veteran’s situation a year ago before the running back ultimately jumped ship to join McDaniel in Miami.

That created some ripples, of course, including generating a response from McDaniel’s former boss, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, who remarked on it by saying, “Just like there always is, there’s first opinions, second opinions. So yeah, there’s always different opinions on those things.”

What about McDaniel? Is he looking at Week 13’s contest at Levi’s Stadium as a grudge match?

Not exactly.

Mike McDaniel treats Week 13 vs. 49ers as ‘another game’

During his weekly press conference ahead of Week 13, McDaniel spoke to reporters at length about facing off against Shanahan and his former Niners team, with whom he spent the last five seasons as first a run-game coordinator and then offensive coordinator before accepting Miami’s head-coaching job entering 2022.

Sure, there may be some emotions, and McDaniel mentioned as much, via Pro Football Talk’s Myles Simmons:

"I will do everything in my power to make it another game, because I think that should be the objective of any head coach is that you make it about the players. I really stray away from making anything about me. I just don’t believe in it. I have a very high opinion of the 49ers franchise and players, coaches, staff members. I have a lot of love for anybody that I worked with, especially for that extended period of time. So those relationships and people will always matter to me.But in terms of this week, it will be odd for a second, for sure, to be in a different locker room, or pulling up on the bus in a weird area, or being on a different sideline for a second, I’m assuming — just odd as in abnormal. But after that, my obligation is to serve each and every player and coach and try to get the best out of them."

Read More: How much do 49ers miss Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel?

However, with the Dolphins locked in a battle within the hotly contested AFC East, sharing an 8-3 record with the Buffalo Bills, it’s probably smart to treat the otherwise cliche comments about this being “another game” and actually treat it as such without letting the emotions of facing off against Shanahan get in the way.

It seems as if McDaniel wants it that way, too, as he continued:

"I don’t really look across the sidelines that much at opposing coaches. So I don’t think, on the field, I will feel anything different than any other game in regard to [Shanahan]. I owe a lot to him in general."

Fans probably will feel differently, though, wondering whether or not the student will upend the teacher.

Or, at least from the Niners’ vantage point, the teacher shows the student who is still in charge.

San Francisco kicks off against Miami on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:05 p.m. from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

15 most-beloved fan favorites in 49ers history. dark. Next