The Mike McDaniel “gold mine” discovery of Tua Tagovailoa ability

Tua Tagovailoa Mike McDaniel Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa Mike McDaniel Miami Dolphins /

The Miami Dolphins may get raked over the coals consistently for drafting Tua Tagoavailoa but Mike McDaniel isn’t letting his gold mine leave anytime soon.

McDaniel spoke with Mike Silver at the owner’s meetings and the hour-long “sesh” has provided Dolphins fans with more than enough reasons to love the guy over and over again. McDaniel’s personality is on full display from the moment the interview starts but it is the segment regarding his discovery of Tua that really makes the interview come alive and put Tua fans at ease about his future.

If there were any lingering questions about the mental health of Tua Tagovailoa following the Brian Flores years, there shouldn’t be. McDaniel recognized that Tua was down on himself and there was a confidence issue. Was it a big one? Not big enough that McDaniel couldn’t get in there and obliterate it.

We learn this through pieces of the Silver interview but the epiphany that kept McDaniel awake all night a year ago in March may have been the catalyst to Tua becoming the Alabama quarterback we saw in college, in the NFL.

McDaniel said that he watched the tape over and over again in an effort to find enough reasons to convince his scouts and Chris Grier that what Tua needed was playmakers and not necessarily just offensive line help. McDaniel said he started watching the tape and suddenly saw Tua making quick decisions “out-break” throws that other QBs tend to hesitate on. It was this that drove him to stay in the office until 1:00 am. Calling PR Director, Ann Noland to write down the date, and calling Chris Grier at midnight to tell him what he found.

It was on this night that McDaniel, who couldn’t sleep when he returned home at 1:00 am, went back to the office to compile more film edits at 3 am and called a full staff meeting for 8 am.

The meeting worked and Miami transitioned to finding skilled playmakers who could get yards after the catch. That could make big moves after getting the ball.

  • The Tua Tagovailoa part of this interview begins at the 25:00 minute mark.

Later, McDaniel showed the tape to Tua and said that it was an “extreme case of a person not being able to take a compliment”. McDaniel went on to say that he could see that Tua was only used to getting “overly constructive negativity”.

We know that at Alabama Tua was the star but Brian Flores had to have ripped his soul out while in Miami. From the Herbert to Jordan Love rumors, to the pursuit of Deshaun Watson, and finally the breaking of the Tom Brady story that brought Miami more negative light, Tua was at the center of it all.

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Last season, Tua’s concussions ruled the news and this off-season it has been clear that Tua still remains the hot-topic surrounding the Miami Dolphins. Internally, however, it is becoming clear why the coaching staff believes so highly in him.

Later, McDaniel would show the same tape to newly acquired WR, Tyreek Hill. Hill would storm the social media and media outlets saying that Tua is the most accurate quarterback in the NFL. Apparently, he was convinced.

McDaniel takes similar approaches with all of his players. His desire? He wants to maximize the ability and talents of the players that he coaches. It is a cliche around professional sports but McDaniel doesn’t seem to view it as such. It is his approach to coaching.

There is no guarantees that McDaniel will be a successful head coach in the NFL but McDaniel made it clear that this has been his lifelong dream. He walked into his second interview for the job in Miami, his first and only head coaching interview ever, and knew that Miami is where he was meant to be, wanted to be.

From reports inside the building, from Barry Jackson’s knowledge of the situation, there is a completely different atmosphere in Miami than has been there in more than a decade. Jackson says that McDaniel and Stephen Ross genuinely get along and have a great relationship. McDaniel and Chris Grier clearly have a relationship that works, you can see the smiles when the two are doing interviews together.

It is something that hasn’t been around in a long time and now, players are starting to talk. Already have talked. Miami is once again a destination in the NFL where players don’t want to leave and players want to go to.

It’s refreshing and maybe, if Miami Dolphins fans are lucky enough, the real gold mine isn’t Tua Tagovailoa. It’s Mike McDaniel.