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McDaniel Discusses Coaching Staff Moves

Mike McDaniel explained the decision to make a change with his offensive line coach but retain special teams coordinator Danny Crossman after a tough year in the kicking game.

INDIANAPOLIS — The hiring of Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator has been the big move of the offseason so far for the Miami Dolphins, but it’s been far from the only news involving the coaching staff.

One item involved the switching of offensive line coaches (from Matt Applebaum to Butch Barry) and another involved the escision to retain Danny Crossman as special teams coordinator after a difficult 2022 season in the kicking game — with the idea element that Crossman is a coach who was retained from Brian Flores’ staff.

The decision to retain Crossman raised eyebrows in part because McDaniel made the move to replace Josh Boyer as defensive coordinator and Boyer also was a holdover from Flores’ staff.

But McDaniel said Wednesday the idea of removing Crossman never really crossed his mind.

“That just comes as a result of daily evaluations of all coaching involved in the building,” McDaniel said. “I think that the Miami Dolphins fan base, the players and Danny and myself would all agree that the desired results, we have more to achieve, but if I would have determined that that was solely his … if I thought that we couldn’t get to where we need to get to go with Danny Crossman, I would have made a move. I definitely didn’t feel that way. And that just comes as a result of daily investment into the coaching staff and what he brings to the table.”

As we have suggested before, Smith was heavily involved with coaching the offensive line last season after Applebaum was hired out of Boston College. McDaniel said that needed to change and the implication clearly was that Applebaum was ready to be a full-time NFL offensive line coach.

“Realistically, from the way the staff was orchestrated the previous year, I really needed to get more offensive coordinator work out of Frank Smith and he was devoted a little too much to the offensive line,” McDaniel said. “And I needed more selfishly to alleviate some stuff off my plate. And so that was the motivating factor to make that move was to facilitate Frank Smith being able to appropriate his time more as a coordinator and less in the offensive line room.”


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CLASH Endurance Miami 2023: Start time, preview and how to follow live

On Friday, some of the best middle distance athletes in the sport will head to Florida to chase those all important PTO points and a slice of the $50,000 prize purse at CLASH Endurance Miami.

The race will also contribute towards the Challenge Family World Bonus and results will count towards qualification for the Challenge Family The Championship.

Below are details on the start times of the races, information on how to watch, and a preview of the elite men and women that are looking to kick their season off in style in the Sunshine State.

We should stress though that the start lists are very much subject to change, with a number of big names – such as Vincent Luis, Joe Skipper and Jackie Hering – initially announced but now not taking part. And there looks to be bad news on the coverage front this year, with no live pictures but instead a post-race production…

Start time and how to follow
The elite race at CLASH Endurance Miami takes place on Friday March 10th, 2023.

The start times are as follows:

Elite Women – 0830 local time / 1330 UK / 1430 CET
Elite Men – 1200 local time / 1700 UK / 1800 CET
Past editions of the event have been streamed live – and for free – on the CLASH Endurance Facebook and YouTube channels.

But this week the following message was posted about current plans: “If you know CLASH Endurance, you know we’re always trying new things. There will be no live coverage, however a post-race show will be released after the event.”

So if you haven’t got it already, then adding the CLASH Endurance app to your phone / mobile device is recommended for racing splits and results. It’s pretty much identical to the layout and structure of the IRONMAN app – which given that has proven itself over many years, is a good thing.

Event history and course
In 2021 the event was held under the ‘Challenge Miami’ banner, prior the rebranding of the Challenge Family North American events to ‘CLASH’. In 2022, CLASH provided some of the most thrilling races on American soil, in both Miami and Daytona.

In Miami, the race venue is the Homestead Miami Speedway, a self-enclosed motor racing circuit event. As with the Daytona International Speedway, a very convenient lake sits nicely within the centre of the circuit, primed and ready for swimmers.

Unlike the racing at Daytona however, CLASH Miami utilises the roads within the racing oval, and so is far more technical than the pure straight-line speed efforts that are the focus there.

The event will be raced over the following distances:

Swim: 1.7km / 1.05-mile (2 laps)
Bike: 62.7km / 39-miles (17 laps of 2.2 miles + one part lap to start)
Run: 16.9km / 10.5 miles (7 laps of 1.5 miles)
Pro Women
Last year, Ashleigh Gentle dominated, with the Australian winning by almost eight minutes in a performance that really set the tone for what was in store throughout the rest of the season for the PTO World #1.

This year, however, looks set to be a much more competitive race, with the absence of the defending champion from the start list really opening up the competition to a whole host of contenders.

Last season’s runner up, Brazil’s Pamela Oliveira, is an athlete who knows what it takes to get on the podium in Miami, but will face stiff competition if she has any hopes of going one better than last season.

The 35-year-old, who won IRONMAN Brasil as well as Challenge Brazil in 2022, will rely heavily on her endurance in Miami, and will have to hope her strong swim-bike combination will be enough to keep her away from some of the lightning quick runners in the field.

Sara Perez Sala (ESP) and Haley Chura (USA) are also likely to be to the fore from the outset.

Perez Sala, who won the Challenge Championship in 2022, before also finishing second at CLASH Daytona behind Angelica Olmo, will be hoping to build an insurmountable lead over the swim and the bike this Friday, with athletes such as Chura and Sif Bendix Madsen (DEN) the likely candidates to contribute to an early break.


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Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta 2023

After a one-hour postponement ashore waiting for breeze, followed by a general recall, race 1 got under way at 1320 hrs in a light 7-9 knots southerly. The breeze increased at the first windward mark to 10 knots, before easing to remain between 7-9 knots for the rest of the 8nm race.

Impressive form from Denmark’s Jørgen Schönherr/Markus Koy, who found the formula to convert their position outside the top ten at the first mark to nail a decisive opening win.

We are feeling great”, smiled Koy. “I mean winning a race is always like, it couldn’t be better.”

“We feel confident, because we won the last two Bacardi Cup Races”, added Schönherr, in reference to winning the final race of the 2022 Bacardi Cup and today’s opening race.

Leading off the start and upwind were two big name teams in the Star, defending Bacardi Cup champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada and Austria’s Hans Spitzauer/Christian Nehammer. Between them they have more Olympic history than fits on two hands, counting thirteen appearances in total. Add to that multiple World and Continental Championships appearances and podium finishes across different classes and we have serious talent. The last time the two teams faced each other was at the 2021 Star Worlds, where it was advantage to Spitzauer/Nehammer who secured bronze, with Kusznierewicz/Prada in fifth.

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Taking a look back at the Dolphins trade of Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers

With the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Since being selected, he has been a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and he led the league in interceptions last season. Fitzpatrick has been a star since joining the NFL and he is continuing to ascend.

The only problem is, he is doing it for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After appearing in 16 games with 11 starts as a rookie for Miami, Fitzpatrick appeared set to be the next Dolphins’ defensive star. He was a jack-of-all-trades type of player, able to work deep as a free safety, in the box as a strong safety, out wide as a cornerback, or even as a coverage linebacker. Two games into the 2019 season, Miami sent Fitzpatrick to the Steelers and the safety has continued to fulfill the potential that had the Dolphins select him 11th overall.

Dave Schofield from Behind the Steel Curtain recently took a look back at the trade of Fitzpatrick, and clearly the Steelers came out ahead in the move. We will take a look at some of his thoughts on the trade, as well as review it from the Dolphins perspective.

The Trade Details
Steelers received:

Minkah Fitzpatrick
2020 4th-round pick
2021 7th-round pick

Dolphins received:

2020 1st-round pick
2020 5th-round pick
2021 6th-round pick

Minkah Fitzpatrick vs. 2020 1st-round pick (18th – Austin Jackson, OT)
Schofield broke down his analysis by comparing each of the picks traded, including Fitzpatrick against the first-round pick sent to Miami. Excerpts from his analysis of this comparison are:

Since joining the Steelers, Minkah Fitzpatrick has been selected as an All-Pro in three of his four seasons. Additionally, the Steelers have locked up Fitzpatrick through the 2026 NFL season…

In his rookie season, Jackson appeared in 13 games with 12 starts but missed part of the season after suffering a foot injury in Week 4 and was placed on the Reserve/Injured List (IR). In 2021, Jackson started 16 of 17 games. In 2022, Jackson unfortunately suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 where we was placed on IR. After returning and appearing in one more game, Jackson went back on IR to finish the season. At this time, it is not expected for the Dolphins to pick up Jackson’s fifth-year option.

Jackson has potential and could be a solid offensive lineman for the Dolphins for a long time. He is a right tackle, but with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, that is the blidside for the Dolphins’ offense, which means Miami may have added the key piece to their offensive line with the pick. That all said, Jackson is still a “potential” player while Fitzpatrick is an elite player in his prime. Clearly the Steelers are ahead on the trade here.

2020 4th-round pick (135th – Kevin Dotson, G) vs. 2020 5th-round pick (154th – Jason Strowbridge, DE)
About these two picks, Schofield wrote:

The Steelers selected Kevin Dotson who has starting 30 games for the Steelers in three seasons. Most importantly, Dotson started every game and played every snap of 2022 at left guard.

Strawbridge played in eight games for the Dolphins in 2020 where he saw 55 defensive snaps along with 12 snaps on special teams and three total tackles. Strawbridge did not make the Dolphin 53-man roster in 2021 but was originally signed to the practice squad. Unfortunately, Strawbridge was released before Week 1 of the 2021 season and has not landed on an NFL roster since.

Clearly, the Steelers maintain their lead here. Dotson is a starter for the Steelers, while Strowbridge had a cup of coffee before his NFL career came to an apparent end.

2021 7th-round pick (245th – Tre Norwood, S) vs. 2021 6th-round pick (Traded to Kansas City Chiefs)

Schofield explains:

The Steelers selected safety Tre Norwood who, in two seasons, has appeared in 32 games with six starts. Norwood has 61 tackles and an interception in his career, although he missed the final two games of the 2022 season due to injury.

The Miami Dolphins ultimately traded the Steelers sixth-round draft pick. The Dolphins traded the selection to the Kansas City Chiefs who then also traded the pick to the New York Jets…As for how things worked out for the Miami Dolphins with the additional trade, they received running back DeAndre Washington, who only appeared in three games in 2021 before being released, and received a seventh-round draft pick from the Kansas City Chiefs. That draft pick, along with former 2015 first-round draft pick of the New York Giants Ereck Flowers, was sent to the Washington Football Team. In return, the Dolphins received a higher seventh-round draft pick where they selected running back Gerrid Doaks who did not make the 53-man roster and has yet to appear in an NFL game.

The Steelers have a player who is making appearances and participating. The Dolphins used the pick to make a couple of moves, but ended up with Doaks who, worked as a practice squad running back for Miami in 2021, then was a practice squad player for the Houston Texans for much of 2022. He is signed to a futures contract with Houston for next year.

BTSC Community Member Comments
Several community members from Behind the Steel Curtain also commented on the trade:


The pick for player equation for this trade is clearly a home run, there’s no way that can be debated. The only doubt I had at the time was that stacking 2 1st rounders from 2018 would mess up the contract/cap cycle and lead to the Steelers losing a quality player when the cap space to keep them came a year too late. Since the players in question were Edmunds, Bush and Claypool it’s turned out about as well as possible.


Disagree with all of you as well as the author.

The Steelers were sucking bad that season with Ben out and relying on the tag-team of Mason and Duck at QB.

Without Fitz, we probably would have lost more games, which in turn would have pushed us higher in the draft order.

I personally would have loved to have the Steelers aggressively trade up to take Justin Herbert.

By trading for Fitz, Colbert was playing checkers rather than playing chess.

This Island Earth

Lots of people here were complaining about giving up a 1st. Many of those same people would probably have been screaming for a DB to be taken had we retained the pick. You can’t really do better than trading a 1st for a future HOFer who is early in his career.


It certainly turned out to be a blessed transaction for us.


I didn’t think that any discussion beyond “we got a Hall Of Fame caliber safety” was necessary but I guess we, somehow, did even better when you break it down further.


Take a bow Mr. Colbert. And thank you.


Dude I actually got scared and my heartbeat literally (not exaggrated metaphorical use of the word) changed for a few beats, because I thought for a moment that we traded away Minkah and all I thought was NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…………………………………………………………oh nevermind, it’s about the trade that brought him here.”

Nogle’s Final Thoughts
I feel like the comments from BTSC basically covers how this trade worked out for the Dolphins. The Steelers crushed it with this move. The Dolphins put themselves in a position to have to trade Fitzpatrick as the relationship between the player and the team, and specifically then-head coach Brian Flores, had reportedly deteriorated. Fitzpatrick did not want to be used as the Dolphins were planning to use him, and he had made his displeasure known. Flores did not seem to like players who had strong personalities when he arrive in Miami, and Fitzpatrick became expendable for some reason.

As Schofield wrote at the end of the article, from the Steelers’ side of this deal, “That’s how it’s done.”

The Dolphins have had amazing trades – especially when you look at the Flores-era trade of Laremy Tunsil that is still paying dividends to the team – but this one was clearly a loss for Miami.

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