Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa: 'I've Never Been Around a Coach' Like Mike McDaniel

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 2, 2022

DAVIE, FL - JUNE 01: Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel talks with Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) during the first mandatory  minicamp at the Baptist Health Training Complex on June 1, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has appreciated new head coach Mike McDaniel's coaching philosophy amid the team's minicamp.

"I've never been around a coach like this," Tagovailoa told reporters Thursday. "My dad was hard on me. My high school coach was hard on me. Coach Saban was hard on me. All the coaches I've had have been hard on me. But he takes a different alleyway on teaching and learning."

Tagovailoa is heading into his third season in the NFL after playing the last two years under Brian Flores. After starring for Nick Saban at Alabama, the quarterback has struggled to live up to expectations as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

McDaniel, meanwhile, is in his first stint as a head coach after spending last season as the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator.

The 39-year-old only had one season as an offensive coordinator before getting the Dolphins job, spending the previous four years as the 49ers' run game coordinator. He also has experience as a positions coach and offensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Washington Commanders and Houston Texans.

Throughout his time in the NFL, McDaniel has developed a reputation as a players' coach.

"He is able to connect and talk with guys," former Dolphins running back Matt Breida said in February, per Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post. "He's not yelling in your face. He talks to you like a grown man or your son. He's got a lot of guys out there who want to do well and do well for him."

Former 49ers running back Raheem Mostert also followed McDaniel to Miami while signing as a free agent this offseason.

The only question is whether this approach can lead to success on the field, turning around a franchise that hasn't reached the playoffs in five years.

Miami made major upgrades in the offseason, trading for Tyreek Hill while signing Chase Edmonds, Terron Armstead and others. It will be up to McDaniel and Tagovailoa to get the most out of the roster.