Miami Dolphins Mike McDaniel has an ego, just not that kind of ego

Mike McDaniel (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Mike McDaniel (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

When the Miami Dolphins hired Mike McDaniel it brought a lot of excitement to the fanbase but no one really knew what they were getting. Now they do.

Oh, there are those fans on social media that will tell you they wanted McDaniel from the start, that they know he will be great for this team, the next Don Shula, or whoever. They also said the same things about Adam Gase and Brian Flores and if McDaniel fails, the next HC will also have many of those same people making excuses, placing blame, and then saying the next “new” HC is exactly what this team needs.

Admittedly, like many Dolphins fans refuse to do, I wasn’t all that knowledgeable about McDaniel. I mean, I didn’t dislike him by any means but I saw a guy that wasn’t offered an interview by the other teams needing a head coach. I saw and to an extent still see, a raw coach who has a lot of potential at this level.

It is hard not to like McDaniel, not that I have tried to dislike him. He has an energy about him and the players absolutely congregate around him. They take everything he says as if it is spoken from above. A big hurdle for any new HC is earning the respect of the players he is leading. McDaniel has done that already. It’s impressive.

Still, there is an ego about McDaniel. It’s almost refreshing if it works. Adam Gase had an ego and at the time, it seemed necessary. Brian Flores had a Bill Belichick type ego and again, at the time that seemed needed. For Gase, his ego was worthless. Had he stepped back off of it, he may still be a head coach in the NFL instead of coaching high school football in Ypsilanti, Michigan, or so it has been reported. Flores? His ego took him to file a lawsuit and now serves as a defensive coach for the Steelers.

Mike McDaniel
Mike McDaniel Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

So what is the “McDaniel Ego”? Well, it’s playful to start. He doesn’t consider himself to be the smartest man on the team. His ego tends to fall more towards, and this is a compliment, a kid who gets to hang out with pro athletes. I can almost picture him running home and telling his parents “I got to run with Tyreek Hill today!”

McDaniel doesn’t come across as goofy or hardened but instead as someone who just wants to be one of the guys. A new era type of HC that seems to be permeating the NFL coaching ranks lately. He seems to be far more into teaching than he is into directing and that could work.

Time, of course, will tell if he has staying ability. How well he teaches will be as tested as to how well he coaches and makes decisions on the field. His ego? Well, that depends on whether or not success floods his head or if failure teaches him humility. For now, he seems very humble. He is a coach that wants to hang out with his players, get to know them, and learn about their lives and what drives them to succeed and that is a pretty good ego to have because, in the end, it may not be an ego at all.