As we head into the 2022-2023 NFL season, Dolphin fans worldwide are more excited than ever to see what’s in store for this new chapter of our franchise. Like a breath of fresh air, the confidence and hopefulness of this newly built team are strong. Could this really be what Dolphin nation has genuinely been hoping for? One thing is for sure – this is THE most highly anticipated Miami Dolphins season in recent history.
Many moves in the off-season made ripples around the league – the two most significant being the firing of Brian Flores/hiring of Mike McDaniel and Tyreek Hill deciding to take his talents to Miami. Some more under-the-radar moves included the additions of Terron Armstead, Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, Raheem Mostert, and Connor Williams. This, of course, comes in addition to Tua now having an abundant amount of weapons on each end with a coaching staff that wholeheartedly believes in him… a possible Tua 2.0.
We know we have a special squad with a head coach that has fire in his heart and soul. But who are these men – off the field – that we faithfully cheer on weekly? How did they end up where they are at? What do they believe and stand for? Who are they behind the helmets and press conferences?
In this week’s article, we dive deeper into our new Head Coach, Mike McDaniel. He’s currently a 0-win head coach, but everyone seems to love him! Is this 39-year-old Yale graduate the missing piece to what the Dolphins franchise has longed for in a head coach since the Shula ages?
Undoubtedly and initially, McDaniel wasn’t on the minds of many Dolphins fans when thoughts of who will replace Brian Flores were circling in January. More familiar names, like Coach Pederson and Harbaugh, were more predominant in the talks. However, Stephen Ross and crew saw something special and unique in this Offensive Coordinator from the 49ers and landed him his first head coaching position with the Dolphins.
One thing’s for sure, McDaniel does come with experience from around the league with a career resume that includes the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, and most recently – San Francisco 49ers, who did make it to the 2022 NFC Championship game. Idolizing the game as a Broncos fan growing up and wanting to play for the team one day, McDaniel’s young dreams ended up taking a slightly different path that led him to the coaching world, which undoubtedly has brought him an abundance of success and possibly, surpassing even his wildest childhood dreams! Matt Maiocco with NBC Sports is quoted as saying, “as a youth football player in Colorado; Mike McDaniel wrote a self-fulfilling prophecy — I will be in the NFL — inside his helmet.”
Words like unique, strong work ethic, comfortable, confident, funny, professional, intelligent, innovative, and respected have been the commonality of descriptive adjectives thrown around the name of Mike McDaniel. And although none of those words necessarily equate to a championship, it is indeed ingredients needed for success – the kind of success the Dolphins franchise is ready for. More specifically, McDaniel is often credited for some of the prosperity of Deebo Samuel’s stand-out season last year as he has a keen eye and sharp mind for creating offensive masterpieces. He’s known for getting the most out of his players, not only with his knowledge of the game but the trust he builds with them. The Dolphins arguably have two of the fastest WR duos in league with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and one thing is for sure: McDaniel knows this, too, and he is in the works to make sure that this duo offensively will be a problem for many NFL teams to contain. Let’s not forget the Dolphins backfield with tons of talent that the rest of the league is sleeping on – Edmonds, Michel, Gaskin, and Mostert.
Mike McDaniel’s personal life off the field has been more on the quiet side. McDaniel is very open about his race and experience and is quoted as saying he’s extremely proud to identify as biracial. McDaniel wasted no time getting accumulated to great South Florida sporting events the last few months! He was spotted having a great time at a Florida Panthers game and The Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix with some of the current Miami Dolphin players. He indeed has been busy during the off-season grounding the foundation of his new program. We also know that McDaniel is a hip-hop guy and appreciates good music. The whole Miami Dolphins franchise is excited to welcome Coach McDaniel, his wife Katie, and daughter Ayla June to the Dolphins family. And one thing is for sure, NFL, can you please mic up Coach McDaniel every game? For his humor, knowledge, authenticity, and personality alone, this guy makes us long for what will come out of his mouth on game day!