The Miami Dolphins are just days away from facing the Buffalo Bills in a divisional bout. Saturday night will mark the second time these teams play and the weather is a top storyline.
There is a Lake Effect Snow Warning from 7 p.m. Friday night until 1 p.m. on Sunday, with 10 to 18 inches of snow are expected during that time. At kickoff, the temperature is expected to be around 26 degrees with a 50 percent chance of snow during the game, which is projected to be less than one inch.
While there is no telling when the snow will hit the hardest, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel does have some experience playing in the cold. McDaniel was the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers last season when they defeated the Green Bay Packers 13-10 at Lambeau Field on Jan. 22.
Miami’s first-year coach was asked about the characteristics of the 49ers team that won in Green Bay last season.
“Early in the week, that team decided that it wasn’t going to be an issue,” McDaniel said of the weather. “And I think that’s something that I’ve learned in the course of my career, that if you decide something is going to be something, the power of the mind is stronger than people realize. It’s something that can be embraced when you kind of realize that everybody is going through it as well. All of your teammates are. I think that strong-minded will is a characteristic that I’ve seen in this team. It’s gone through some stuff already as a young team.
“It went through stuff early in the season and we’re going through some stuff now. I think that can be healthy if you have the will and the spirit. I see a lot of guys that are capable of that and that’s my hope moving forward on Saturday.”
McDaniel was also seen wearing an “I wish it were colder” t-shirt at practice this week.
Mike McDaniel strutting around with his pants rolled up wearing a “i wish it were colder” t-shirt is priceless pic.twitter.com/McFeUT7NDf— Smoke (@nickysmokess) December 14, 2022
“That was not intended to be anything but something that is just kind of a mentality for the team. I honestly forgot I had it on when I was out there with your guys’ cameras,” McDaniel said. “I think an experience, whether it was fate or whatever, I’ve only spent one year on a cold-weather team in terms of coaching for one, which was Cleveland. Every other team, I’ve kind of been a warm-weather coach. In all of those circumstances, you inevitably have to play cold games. Philosophically, I think it’s important to acknowledge before the day of the game what it is.
“But at the same time, it’s a football game where the elements are the same for both people. I think that’s a way of emphasizing something but not obsessing about something, was my objective. You guys have seen the shirts that I had for (the heat). The point being is we have a football game to play. I think it is the job of every player involved to get their mind right to have their best performance. The bottom line is I don’t see weather as something that you can lean on for x, y or z when you’re competing at a game that you guys do professionally. I think if a team allows it to be a thing, then it’s a thing. That’s our attempt to acknowledge the obvious and move on as fast as possible.”
Whether it’s Week 15 in Buffalo or a game on the road in the first round of the playoffs, the Dolphins will need to prove they can win a game in the elements. The week’s bout with weather didn’t start off great for Miami, whose team used heaters on the sideline last week in Los Angeles, when game temps were in the 50s.