Mike McDaniel talks tuna, nicknames UDFA he’s impressed with

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In the last open session of OTAs, new Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel spoke to the South Florida media Tuesday.

He went into detail regarding everything from on-field play, injury updates and his favorite foods/condiments.

Like many, McDaniel started his conference with an appetizer of his favorite sushi. “Spicy tuna roll,” he told reporters. To no shock, the tuna was just part of the scheme. “It’s really just a medium for wasabi. I don’t eat fish, but I eat sushi. Makes no sense.”

In football and fish, a true enigma.

And, for the curious out there, the condiment of choice, “Red gravy is my favorite condiment, which is all hot sauce,” McDaniel clarified.

Moving into the main course of the presser, McDaniel was asked about the current undrafted free agents on the roster. The coach spoke like he had a message to the full 2022 class.

“I say it to the rookies all the time – the undertaking they have where they’re transitioning from a different game, and these are grown men that have been earning a paycheck and you’re trying to get reps from them and perform at a high level, so certain positions I think are more akin to show fast and furious,” he said.

The running-game guru added, “typically running backs, you get a little more opportunity because it’s a little more natural to what you’ve done in the past – hey, don’t get tackled…”

It’s no secret that general manager Chris Grier has had recent success in that area, and McDaniel is already looking for potential roster fits. In another non-shocker, a running back has caught his eye.

“I’ve been very impressed with, I call him ‘Dr. White’ [ZaQuandre White],” McDaniel said.  “But there’s plenty of guys – I know my NFL experience has afforded me to know this much to not make too early of a judgment.”

Dr. White has his work cut out for him, as there’s already a crowded backfield for Miami with new additions Raheem Mostert, Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel to add to Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Gerrid Doaks fighting for roster spots.

McDaniel detailed the process.

“What you’re trying to do is really establish ‘should these guys, should they have a ticket to the party?’” he asked. “And, really our whole undrafted class, there’s not anybody that stands out whether that’s from an athletic perspective or just what it takes to be a professional football player.”

“That’s a credit to Chris (Grier) and his entire staff, where they brought some young men that are hungry and meet the bar from an athletic standpoint so it’ll be an exciting late summer, early fall,” the first-year head coach said of his general manager.

Whether it’s “Dr. White” or other undrafted students across the landscape of McDaniel’s inaugural class, training camp in July will be full of battles across all phases for the final roster spots and, of course, practice squad roles – roles that could lead to eventual graduation to the show.

List

4 UDFAs with best chances of making Dolphins' 2022 roster