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How Much do the 49ers Miss Mike McDaniel?

Was he crucial to their success on offense?
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Something is missing from the 49ers offense.

Through three games, it's terrible despite having some of the best playmakers in the league, plus a supposed offensive guru in Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers rank 24th out of 32 teams in yards gained and 28th in points scored. Weird, considering last season they ranked 7th in yards and 13th in points.

Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins, whose first-year head coach is former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, have a good offense through three games. They rank 13th in yards and 8th in points. Keep in mind, he inherited an offense that ranked 25th in yards and 22nd in points a season ago.

Which makes you wonder: Do the 49ers miss McDaniel? Was he crucial to their success on offense?

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"Mike's been with me 18 out of these 20 years," Kyle Shanahan said before Week 1 in reference to his coaching history with McDaniel. "And only two of those years he was a position coach. So you see, in a week like this, always having him available, when guys are in there coaching I always had Mike making tapes. The two of us going through things to prepare for a meeting and stuff like that. So it’s been a lot more responsibility on some of the newer guys, younger guys, guys like [assistant quarterbacks coach] Klay Kubiak, [tight ends coach] Brian Fleury. Just helping prepare all that stuff for the players and helping me getting ready for my stuff.”

Translation: McDaniel was Shanahan's chief strategic advisor. McDaniel put together the clips of opponents' tendencies which Shanahan would use when making a game plan. It kind of sounds like Shanahan and McDaniel made the game plans together based mostly on McDaniel's homework.

Now McDaniel isn't around to do Shanahan's homework anymore. So Shanahan now must rely on novices such as Klay Kubiak and Brian Fleury to scout opponents and find weaknesses to exploit.

Good thing the 49ers still have a phenomenal defense.