No one can know if Mike McDaniel is going to succeed as the Miami Dolphins head coach or even come close to being better or worse than the last six. What we do know is that he is a breath of fresh air that Dolphins have never really experienced before.
I’m not talking about his coaching staff. Hiring Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison and Wes Welker are fun to talk about but I have no idea if they are really good coaches on the NFL level or not. I don’t know if Frank Smith can coach an offense and implement a game plan any more than any other coach on McDaniel’s staff. But you can’t deny the man’s personality.
The first coach I ever talked to as a member of this site was Cam Cameron. He was personable but also didn’t have many answers. He seemed more aloof than anything. Nice guy? Yes. Head coach material? Not even close.
Tony Sparano was fun to talk to but he was rough. He could have easily been mistaken for a made guy in the mafia. You liked him, it was easy but he was business.
Joe Philbin was very nice and talking to him was like meeting your wife’s grandfather for the first time. He was boring in a lot of ways, monotone, and didn’t really inspire you. You were almost waiting for war stories that never came.
Adam Gase? Gase was egotistical. He never spoke to the contingent of web sites that came to Miami for an annual event that was hosted by the team. My only encounter with him was outside of the practice bubble. I said “hi coach”, he nodded. Later that night, I saw him at the team hotel, I said, again, “Hi coach”, he didn’t look up.
Gase was supposed to be a genius and he was far from it but his press conferences have become long running jokes and memes.
Brian Flores? All business. He was imposing but likable. I met him twice after games at the post game press conferences. He was polite when asked a question for the most part but was short. While he didn’t seem put off by the questions, he wasn’t really someone who you could tell wanted to be around the media.
Now there is Mike McDaniel. And he is so much different. He actually seems like he wants to talk to the media. He seems to enjoy it. The attention, the opportunity to give his two cents. By now many Dolphins fans have seen his at times emotional and at other times giddy introductory press conference. Many Miami fans who were on the fence immediately jumped over to his side.
He is enthusiastic and relatable. He spoke with Rich Eisen who challenged him to do something at his next press conference. Not only does it sound like he is accepting the challenge, he is going all in.
It is becoming increasingly hard to not like what McDaniel is selling but for most fans, this is a road we have been driving down for a very long time and we have passed by the Shula, Johnson, Wannstedt, Saban, Cameron, and the other exits named after coaches only to find the gas prices too high or out.
I’m not buying into McDaniel as a head coach. Not yet. I’ve been duped before by liking someone. I do however, like him. I like his energy and the small amount of ego that coaches need to have. I like the moxie that he struts with but he hasn’t won anything at all yet. Nothing. I will wait before I dive into that pool.
One thing can be said about McDaniel. His hiring and his press conferences has really quieted the social media arguments. Fans seem much more united about what he might bring to the team. Oh, they still argue about Tua Tagovailoa but who knows, maybe McDaniel will eventually silent them as well.