It's clear players want to play for Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel, but he views it as 'organizational triumph'
Published in Football
PHOENIX — The Miami Dolphins have been on a strong run of reeling in top-tier veteran talent over the past two offseasons.
In trades for star wide receiver Tyreek Hill and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, each indicated Miami was where they wanted to go among teams that could build the framework for a deal. They and edge rusher Bradley Chubb, acquired at last season’s trade deadline, all signed up for extensions with the Dolphins upon trades.
Terron Armstead, the top available left tackle in free agency last offseason, chose the Dolphins. Linebacker David Long Jr. and others probably could’ve made more money elsewhere but wanted to be part of what’s being built in Miami.
Sure, even in the last two decades of mostly irrelevance, the Dolphins have landed their share of big-name veterans: Brandon Marshall, Ndamukong Suh, Mike Wallace, Karlos Dansby, etc. But the past 13 months alone probably rival the past 13 years.
It shows it’s not just because of warm weather or tax benefits — those have always been in South Florida.
The idea of playing for coach Mike McDaniel has to mean something to these star players. McDaniel, however, the swaggy, stylish, personable football whiz that he is, humbly passes on taking the credit.
“I really appreciate that. I do see it as, really, an overall organizational triumph,” McDaniel told the South Florida Sun Sentinel at the NFL annual meeting in Phoenix this week. “Naturally, when I got the job, I’m like, ‘It’s awesome to be in Miami.’
“People like Miami. So, while that opens the door for you to have an opportunity to create an environment that, all things equal, players will choose to come and play for the Dolphins. And then maybe even situations where we’ll be able to build a team and maybe certain players will say, ‘Hey, we’ll all go for the experience.’ ”
McDaniel operates with a consciousness that any interaction with one player, whether positive or negative, could lead to word of mouth spreading regarding what he’s like to play for.
“That’s something that not everyone thinks about,” McDaniel said. “I know I certainly think about it just because it is a small circle. It is a fraternity, if you will, of a finite amount of people, and word travels fast.
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