It Just Means More

Mike McDaniel motivates Tua Tagovailoa by calling Georgia the “best team in the SEC” in his ear piece, deserves coach of the year today

November 30, 2022

Mike McDaniel and Tua Tagovailoa are cooking. Not since the halcyon days of Don and Dan has South Beach seen a coach-QB combo in such lockstep. Muy simpatico, to use the local dialect. Barring injury, Tagovailoa hasn’t lost a game he’s started with Mike McDaniel under the headset, and the numbers back it up. Tua leads the NFL in total QBR while McDaniel has led the Dolphins to an 8-3 start, controlling their own destiny in a surprisingly lethal AFC East. The MVP talk is heating up. The Coach of the Year chatter is real. But how do they do it? What makes this duo so dynamic? Well, if this mic’d up moment from Sunday’s blowout of the Houston Texans is any indication, it all starts with some outside-of-the-box motivation tactics.

McDaniel is widely portrayed as an eccentric genius—a run-game savant who honed his craft under the tutelage of Kyle Shannahan—but when it comes to firing up his Heisman-winning Crimson Tide quarterback, he keeps it simple. No cover-two breakdowns. No Nietzsche quotes. He just tells Tua that Georgia owns the SEC. Job done.

Whether that’s enough to cement Miami as legitimate AFC contenders remains to be seen. The Fins now enter their toughest stretch of the season, facing the 49ers, Chargers, and Bills, all on the road, over the next three weeks. But with Alabama on the outside looking in the CFP rankings and the Dawgs leading the pack, McDaniel should have more than enough ammunition to keep Tua focused for the homestretch.