They talk about scheme and philosophy. They presumably talk about things like family and music, too. But once practice starts, it's on.
"I generally do not know what they're doing on offense," Boyer said before Monday's training camp practice. "They're calling it and we're reacting."
Ideally, this is an iron-sharpens-iron scenario. A battle of wits.
McDaniel comes from San Francisco with the reputation as some sort of a genius, mastermind, offensive wunderkind.
Boyer has never met a piece of football film he hasn't wanted to watch 37 times. In that way, McDaniel and Boyer are similar.
But McDaniel has always come across as incredibly relaxed. And Boyer has always come across as remarkably intense.
Dolphins defensive back Eric Rowe has played for Boyer in Miami and New England for the past six years. He noted Monday that Boyer has actually unwound just a bit.
"Personality-wise, coach used to be real strict on like, fine, fine technique, but now he's kind of like, loosened up just a bit," Rowe said. "Because different guys play different techniques. And, you know, obviously, it's worked out for him because he's what we've got today and now he's drawn up defenses. So I mean, he's, he's grown. He's grown a lot."
Boyer has seemed a bit more at ease in press conferences this season. Some of that must have to do with the departure of Brian Flores, who strongly suggested players and coaches share and say very little in conversation.
It's Boyer's show now. He's going to run a base defense that Flores and Boyer each learned in New England. But with tweaks. Because Miami brings back so many defensive players and coaches, Boyer noted those tweaks can be installed much faster.
This is Josh Boyer's defense
And it really does seem as though Boyer is intent to make his own imprint.
"There's gonna be some things that are wholesale change," Boyer said, adding, "there's gonna be some things that are just minor tweaks."
The notion that there may be any wholesale changes is fascinating.
So too is watching Dolphins practice these days. Almost all of the attention has been on Miami's new zone blocking offensive scheme and speedster Tyreek Hill.
This allows defensive coaches and players to fly a bit under the radar, although pressure would mount quickly if the group fails early to live up to Top 10 expectations.
McDaniel will call all the plays this season for the first time in his coaching career. Having his offense tested by an experienced and stout group each day is invaluable.
Did Tyreek Hill just make a 65-yard touchdown catch? Well, yes, but was he being covered by Xavien Howard? This Dolphins roster is deep and talented.
How Dolphins D views the offense
As for Boyer, he's really benefitting from practicing against this 49ers-style offense. And, yes, he's been really impressed by the concepts and philosophies.
"They're gonna test your edges, you've got to do a good job of setting and setting your edges," Boyer said of McDaniel's plan. "And then once you do that, if they can get you moving laterally, that puts creases in the defense. And then obviously, they do a great job of marrying the play action with the run. So again, You're trying to stay square, you're not trying to run lateral, and then all of a sudden, it's a pass, you got to get back to your drop. So it puts a lot of stress on a lot of players."
The thoroughness of Boyer's explanations has really increased this offseason. Boyer loves to study football and he loves to talk about football.
Yes, he wants to be aggressive with pressure, just as he was last season. He will patiently break down things like run-pass conflict, shading and leverage.
And even though they're all on the same team, there's no doubt Boyer is challenging his players to step up in practice against this much-ballyhooed Dolphins offense.
Iron sharpens iron. That's the idea.
The Dolphins believe they have really talented offensive and defensive play-callers in place. They're said to be diligent and organized and there's certainly hope they'll be innovative and creative this season, too.
"The variable are astronomical," Boyer said Monday, "when you think about, okay, what can we do? And what are they doing to us?"
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Miami Dolphins play-callers Mike McDaniel, Josh Boyer push each other