When the Miami Dolphins decided to hire Mike McDaniel to become the team’s new head coach, two things became clear very quickly.
The first thing was that the team was going to shift from a defensive-minded team to an offensive-minded one. The other was that there was going to be a major culture shift. In truth, there were some pretty troubling rumors about the culture that former head coach Brian Flores had fostered with the team.
One person who has already recognized the culture shift is defensive back Nik Needham. He recently spoke about the differences he’s seen thus far.
“In team meetings he’ll say some jokes or just funny stuff, show stuff on film,” he said. “Like activities for conditioning, we did a putting contest to run one time. I think all that stuff is building the camaraderie on the team. We all feel the energy in here and it just feels like a different vibe this year for sure. I love what he’s doing here. He’s a great coach.”
Of course, there is nothing wrong with having some fun while preparing for the season. Truthfully, some Dolphins players are probably pretty happy with the change. However, none of the fun and games will matter much if McDaniel doesn’t succeed when it matters most.
Overall, the Dolphins are seen as a team that has the talent necessary to compete for a playoff spot in the AFC. McDaniel will be judged by how many steps back or forward the Dolphins take in the 2022 season compared to last year.
If he can use his lighthearted approach to build a roster with strong morale and a sense of dedication, then the sky is the limit for the talented Dolphins squad.