A Greatest Hits blog about the force of nature that was Mike McDaniel at Miami Dolphins training camp

McDaniel is a master of the spoken word. A cunning blacksmith. Oratorical genius. He’s also one hell of a schemer when it comes to attacking football. He’s as hilarious as he is insightful, and even when the tough questions come up, he has a knack for adding levity to the situation, or deploying a one-liner at just the right time to dance into giving the answer in full.

I was fast forwarding one of the many media availability videos I dove deep into to get out of that boring “PRESS CONFERENCE WILL START SOON” graphic, and the literal first word I hear from the coach Miami Dolphins head Mike McDaniel? “BAND.” And here is the result of this snapshot, while other beat writers have teased it for a long time Sentinel of the Sun journalist Omar Kelly for having an extremely outdated smartphone/with a small camera:

In case you didn’t know, McDaniel has spent his coaching career at the same pace as Kyle Shanahan. He is widely acclaimed for his abilities to design game concepts on the run and to connect genuinely with players. His reputation precedes him when it comes to game design and game planning, so if he lives up to the hype in that department and is it still entertaining when he has to hold court in front of the press, I feel like the sky is the limit for McDaniel’s widespread popularity.

Personally, I don’t care about Mike McDaniel’s record as a head coach. He could be a lame one-year hire before the Dolphins try to execute their 3D chess plan of acquiring Sean Payton and Tom Brady in 2023. So what? This guy is going to rock, and he will be missed by all Miami reporters if he shows up after one season.

To start, I’ll compare and contrast an example of a coach who sucked, failed spectacularly, and how much cooler McDaniel is already. The best part? This dunce of a man I bring up to illustrate a striking juxtaposition happens to be back in the Dolphins division, coaching the offense for the first time in his career after fail rising through the ranks as a so-called defensive mastermind.

Ladies and gentlemen, how NOT to call a local reporter, presented by alleged Patriots Offensive Coordinator Matt Patricia!!

What a smug asshole.

Now let’s see Mike McDaniel, berating Barry Jackson from Miami Herald hilariously:

But it’s not just about the playful way McDaniel trades barbs with the media. He actually provides detailed and thoughtful answers. Kidding aside, you can truly tell he genuinely cares about his players and the interpersonal relationships that are so vital to football. At least initially, it seems McDaniel is determined to create camaraderie no matter what the forces on the “business side” of the league might threaten to sabotage.

When was the last time, for example, that you heard a coach be so honest and specific in his praise of a quarterback who has a very precarious future?

McDaniel is allergic to the language of coaches. He feels compelled to put those around him at ease and clearly recognizes the importance of the quarterback position. And how vital it is, no matter what, to have that player’s back, to be on the same page with him and to build his confidence.

The Dolphins have failed at every turn of Tua in his previous two seasons. Built him a shitty offensive line, brought in a hand-picked caller for his rookie year that specifically catered to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s strengths, and did some weird bullshit with several offensive coordinators in 2021.

Stop all this bullshit. McDaniel is now in charge, and based on this tidbit about Tagovailoa trying to outsmart safety Jevon Holland, it looks like Miami is in great shape in a few key positions:

Sometimes you have to put out fires as an NFL head coach. Some controversies may arise as a result of your own players speaking up. Whether it’s tactfully defusing any contention over Preston Williams’ frustration at not having enough practice reps at wide receiver, or being less trivial when Tyreek Hill says shit like him and Jaylen Waddle are the fastest receiving duo of all time, McDaniel is as prepared for the podium as they say he is for game day.

I don’t know why the tweet above is “sensitive content”, but basically HC McD is saying, “I I agree that I am excited to see them prove one way or another let it be!”

When this Is come at breakneck speed between Hill and Jaylen Waddle — not to mention a blistering traffic jam in Raheem Mostert and the other Miami guns — McDaniel’s responses to questions like this were some of my favorite quotes from any camp. ‘coaching :

You’d think McDaniel would know that curveballs like bold predictions or insane Tua hype came from someone like Tyreek, who is a unique, ultra-confident, electrifying playmaker the likes of which the NFL rarely, if ever has. , seen throughout its history. That McDaniel and Hill are in a place where they can openly joke with each other bodes very well for the Fins’ fortunes in 2022:

It could easily have been a situation where Tyreek comes from Kansas City, accustomed to annual trips to the AFC Championship Game, with some idea of ​​how winning the NFL should go. Lots of McDaniel haters comment on how unimposing he is – aka not one Great physical presence – and that there’s no way anyone would respect him. Well… it seems he’s had no problems with that so far in his new gig, and hasn’t seemed to encounter any superficial appearance-based disrespect elsewhere.

Part of laying that foundation is establishing a good culture and basic principles to follow. In this regard, McDaniel keeps it simple but effective:

Cultivateed on the Dolphins franchise is something McDaniel is equally proud of – even at the cost of his own childhood rooting interests…

Let’s go a little beyond what McDaniel himself says and backtrack a bit before camp (I know, I’m breaking the general rules, but bear with me for a second). Take this anecdote from veteran linebacker Elandon Roberts as proof that his new head coach is more than just a class clown who was setting the tone even earlier in the offseason:

An even more detailed example of this comes from legendary wide receiver and current Dolphins coach Wes Welker, who explained how McDaniel, during their timeshare in San Francisco, taught him how to teach, via a great feature posted last week by Joe Shad. of The palm beach post:

Everyone who’s ever played for McDaniel seems to be talking about the “tapes”.

“You start looking at (Mike’s) tapes and you see everything, like it’s telling a story,” Welker said. “And you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s how it is, really cool.’ Like, I’ve never seen a coach do anything like that. And it was like that, it was very different to me.”

[…] “People can get attached to ideas when they’re in a linear story,” McDaniel explained. It blew Welker away how organizing and editing cutouts in a very unique and efficient way could change everything.

“I’ve been in the league for 12 years, I’ve been coaching for two years already,” Welker said. “No one had made tapes like that. And so it opened my eyes like, ‘Oh my God, like, yeah, you can, you can actually compose it for these guys.’ If your band is on point, and you talk the right way, and you’re given the right information, you know, you can really compose stuff.”

It must be reassuring to hear Dolphins fans that McDaniel isn’t just aiming for a backup career in improv comedy. Humorous as often as he does when speaking to the general public speaks to a certain comfort in his own skin that sets McDaniel apart from some of his more aloof and grumpy counterparts.

That’s not to say you can’t project the image of a miserable, almost joyless existence on that gigantic boulder hurtling through space and not be a legendary football manager. Bill Belichick has made an art form of it…and his pressers are a masterclass in minimalistic discourse. I wonder if he will change his tune if more frequent losses continue to occur in New England’s post-Tom Brady era.

Speaking of Brady, how about how cool McDaniel was under pressure when pressed about this supposed flirtation between TB12 and Miami:

And in case you were wondering how McDaniel’s imprint on this team translates so far, well, the Dolphins won their preseason opener 26-24 on Saturday in Tampa. McDaniel managed to ice the opposing kicker in the final seconds. Impressive. The highlight for me? He startled a Bucs player when he squared him on the sidelines:

Aaand oh yeah, call it vanilla patterns and whatever qualifier you want to put there…but seventh-round rookie pick Skylar Thompson completed 20 of 28 passes for 218 yards and a score. Thompson was not told he would be playing all night as McDaniel tested him with a very short-notice scenario. The Kansas State product responded with a great outing.

Whatever your thoughts on what an NFL head coach “should” look like or how he should behave, McDaniel seems to be breaking all traditional molds. Not like a deliberate, calculated maverick. On the contrary, McDaniel is a refreshing and entirely original personality which further proves that there is no better way to be a leader of men.

Inject the Mike McDaniel Miami Dolphins era straight into my fucking veins. As he said when he was first hired“Check your pulse if you’re not excited!”

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald and a bonus clip of Mike McDaniel as you exit…



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