Since becoming the 14th head coach in the history of the Miami Dolphins, Mike McDaniel has won people over with his personality, willingness to open up — and even take selfies during a press conference.
McDaniel joined The Dan Lebatard Show with Stugotz for Wednesday’s “Local Hour” and it's an interview that is worth catching. McDaniel spoke about his love for shoes, if listening to an audiobook counts as reading, and even joked that he shared Tua Tagovailoa’s “underthrow” of Tyreek Hill on social media because he was bored.
Speaking of Hill, and McDaniel’s authenticity, the rookie coach shared his perspective after learning that the six-time Pro Bowler may be available in a trade.
“Every couple moments I am checking in [with general manager Chris Grier],” McDaniel said. “[He says] ‘it’s not looking good,’ and then it was ‘hey, it’s looking great.’
“There was a point in the process where [I was told I may] have to win Tyreek over to accept the trade. There were a couple of teams interested, so I was getting my mind right to recruit — explain to him why this would be the best decision for both us and him.”
McDaniel continued the story, mentioning that he went into a “black cloud” and didn’t respond to his wife’s texts because he was busy watching the film of Hill.
“I’m lost in Tyreek tape, watching film,” McDaniel said. “Chris Grier is at a pro day at Ohio State when I get on the phone with Tyreek and immediately go into recruit mode like hyper speed. I’m going HAM, shooting every shot I have deep into it. Twenty-to-thirty seconds of me not giving him an iota of time to speak and all of a sudden it’s ‘coach, I’m coming — it’s already done.’
“I freaked out, I think I yelled — it was the only time I yelled in the office. It was a cool time.”
It’s safe to say that McDaniel’s response to landing a franchise-altering player like Hill is reasonable, but it’s also refreshing to hear the genuine, bona fide story behind Miami’s biggest move of the offseason.
McDaniel has won people over with his authenticity, but the next question is a cruicial one — will it translate to wins on the football field?
The Dolphins host the Raiders in Week 2 of the preseason on Saturday night. The team will then welcome the Eagles to Hard Rock Stadium on Aug. 27 for the final preseason game, before the season-opener against the New England Patriots on Sept. 11.