MIAMI — When he entered the interview room Tuesday after voluntary organized crew actions, Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel resembled extra of an advert for prime-finish athleisure than a soccer coach — a grey sweatshirt and matching sweatpants with yellow Yeezy sneakers offering the one coloration to his outfit.
As Miami enters Phase III of offseason exercises, McDaniel has grown standard on social media for his fashion sense and amongst his gamers for his potential to attach with them. He was employed in February as an offensive guru, however his acumen seems to increase past X’s and O’s.
“He’s a players’ coach,” stated receiver River Cracraft, who performed final season for the San Francisco 49ers, the place McDaniel was the offensive coordinator. “He gets along with players and he acts like he’s one of us in the sense that you can talk to him. He’s never going to big-time you or push you aside. … That’s what he’s doing with everybody here and that’s why I love playing for Mike, because you know what you’re going to get from him, just his honesty.”
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The Dolphins started their offseason exercise routine within the first week of April, with McDaniel and his workers laying the inspiration for his or her offensive system.
Miami made it a precedence so as to add playmakers this offseason, buying and selling for receiver Tyreek Hill (league-finest 20 touchdowns of fifty-plus yards since 2016). The Dolphins additionally signed receiver Cedrick Wilson, who confirmed huge-play potential with Dallas final season, and working backs Chase Edmonds (runs of 54 and 40 yards in 2021) and Raheem Mostert (high pace of twenty-two.73 mph on a 2020 play was the quickest by a ball service in three seasons, in accordance with NFL Next Gen stats).
The Dolphins additionally signed offensive linemen Terron Armstead and Connor Williams as they change to an assault that’s anticipated to function a number of zone blocking, stretch working performs and creativity.
Now that the crew has moved on from classroom and movie research and drill work, it might probably start to create a basis to construct on as soon as coaching camp begins in July, McDaniel stated.
“Realistically you want guys committed to getting better and you want to really establish how you’re going to go about business,” he stated. “We had two voluntary minicamps and … our second OTA, and what was important to me was you don’t skip steps in this business. So if we want to make strides and progress as an organization and as a football team, we have to position ourselves so that when we come back for training camp, we’re able to practice and operate at a high-caliber level that fits our goals.”
Miami missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season in 2021, ending with a 9-8 file. Coach Brian Flores was fired the day after the season ended on Jan. 10, with proprietor Stephen Ross citing communication points as one of many deciding components. McDaniel, who comes from an modern teaching tree that has produced head coaches Kyle Shanahan (49ers), Sean McVay (Rams) and Matt LaFleur (Packers), was employed to repair an offense that ranked twenty fifth within the NFL final season and to impress the locker room.
So far, his gamers have raved about his work in each areas. McDaniel has saved issues gentle however centered at apply, holding a placing contest throughout conditioning drills this offseason and implementing a “practice player of the day” award, with perks that embrace donning an orange jersey and having full management over the subsequent apply’s music playlist.
“He’s doing a great job of just bringing us all together,” cornerback Nik Needham stated. “In team meetings he’ll say some jokes or just funny stuff, show stuff on film … I think all that stuff is building the camaraderie on the team.”
Of course, camaraderie can solely take a crew up to now with no correct system in place.
There will not be tangible proof of the effectiveness of McDaniel’s schemes till the preseason begins, however the offensive gamers are excited in regards to the revamped method.
“I mean it’s a completely different offense, as you guys can probably tell from watching San Fran’s film,” second-yr offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg stated. “It’s just different. New coaches, new style, new scheme. [I’m] trying to improve every day, trying to learn the offense the best that I can.”
Said Needham: “We all feel the energy in here, and it just feels like a different vibe this year for sure. You never know what happens, but we just want to keep it going. I love what he’s doing here for sure.”