Success is a weird thing in football. Certain players always seem to get the lion’s share of the credit when things are good, while others are either overlooked in those moments or are criticized when things go south. In the case of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, there is apparently a thought out there that his success this season is largely due to Mike McDaniel’s system.
When asked about that thought, McDaniel gave a passionate response that was largely in defense of his quarterback. His response also offered insight to the message the Dolphins coach is conveying to his team amid a 5-1 start.
“I’m about to push this podium over,” McDaniel said when a reporter suggested that scores of quarterbacks would have similar success in his system. “My answer to that would be who the F cares, because it is a team, we’re working together, and I know one thing. I’ve coached a long time, I haven’t seen people do what our guys do. … To their credit, to their ability and their commitment to their craft.
“As a teammate, we’re all dependent on each other. I’m not in any hurry to prove myself without those guys, because those are part of who we are. To say it’s this person or that person is kind of missing the point. It is a team working together, people working together. Myself, Tyreek Hill, Tua, cool, but what if no one’s blocking anyone? You know what I mean? We’re all connected in that way. That’s why, I think, a lot of the guys … Tua’s success in their success, Tyreek’s success, Waddle’s, Raheem’s etc.
“We’re all tied together,” McDaniels continued. “It’s a journey that we’re experiencing together. Somebody will get the statistics from it, but none of those statistics are worth anything if you don’t have a full support from your players across the board, all 11, and then it goes down to the organization and all those things combined. But I know this, our players run a lot of plays that I have a lot of history with, and it looks different, and that’s because of hard work and unbelievable abilities.
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“Don’t try me on other players. I’m not trying to prove that.”
As you can see, McDaniel is not trying to prove anything to anyone on the outside. The 40-year-old coach is instead focused on helping the Dolphins — both collectively and as a whole — be the best version of themselves.
As far as his quarterback is concerned, it’s clear that McDaniel believes that Tagovailoa’s talent is a big reason for Miami’s success so far, and it will continue to be moving forward.
While a lot of the focus can be on individuals, McDaniel reiterated the fact that football is the ultimate team sport. And while numbers are nice, championships last forever. Just ask the 1984 Dolphins, who set a lot of records but ultimately fell short in the Super Bowl. Conversely, the 1972 Dolphins made history by winning games as a team and by any means necessary.