clearn.png
Monday August 8th, 2022 9:05PM

McDaniel's path to Dolphins started with a lost hat as a fan

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Having fans at training camp is not an annoyance to Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel.

It’s part of his story, a tale that involves how a lost hat led to him coaching in front of Dolphins fans for the first time Saturday at training camp.

The year was 1993, and the Denver Broncos were holding training camp in Greeley, Colorado. McDaniel was 10 years old, Greeley was home at the time and he was obsessed with the Broncos.

One day while jostling for an autograph from a player named Robert Delpino, McDaniel's Charlotte Hornets hat got knocked away, never to be found again.

Broncos video coordinator Gary McCune went to a nearby mall and purchased a new hat to bring to the highly distraught boy the next day. McCune met McDaniel’s mother. They got married, a heartwarming story that made headlines in Denver.

McDaniel’s obsession with football only kept growing. He eventually became a Broncos ballboy. The rest, as they say, is history.

“I love having fans at practice,” McDaniel said. “It’s kind of true to my heart. Because that’s literally full circle. Training camp practice in Greeley, Colorado, for the Denver Broncos is where this whole thing for me started. There is a connection that I think you can have with the fans.”

Like all teams, the Dolphins will make a handful of practices open to fans during training camp. In the super-secretive world of the NFL, prying eyes are rarely a good thing, which is why teams err on the side of caution on public days and tend to keep things relatively basic.

“For all opponents watching, nothing that you see today will ever run again,” McDaniel said. “It is a challenge. You have to think about it. And you just have to be very mindful of it. Listen, people are going to have an idea of what you are and how you play. And a lot of people do similar things in the National Football League with regard to scheme. But if there’s certain things that you have lined up for certain opponents, you have to plan around that.

"The good thing is when you’re not going to be able to control what gets out into the interwebs. So, you do adjust, to a degree.”

That said, the Dolphins were happy to put on a show.

They might be about a half-century removed from their last championship — plans were unveiled Saturday for the anniversary celebration of the 1972 perfect season — but the support never seems to be lacking. Season tickets will sell out for the first time in team history in the next few days, and the Dolphins will soon have their first-ever waiting list for tickets.

McDaniel has made sure players are aware of the support, noting that they shouldn't feel entitled to have it automatically.

“Our fans always just come with the energy, no matter what we’re doing on the field,” linebacker Jerome Baker said. “I always appreciate that the fans, the community and the organization, they’re all just behind us as a whole.”

The Dolphins did their part to feed into the energy for the first open session Saturday. When the team emerged from the indoor facility and came out for stretching, they greeted by a standing ovation from fans who started arriving more than 2 hours earlier for seats in the bleachers. It didn’t take long for wide receiver Tyreek Hill to rile the fans up with a backflip and a short speech.

“Get your popcorn ready,” Hill said.

Offensive lineman Blaise Andries then smashed a couple cans of beverages into his head, and practice was off and running. Fans cheered stretching, cheered Tua Tagovailoa completing short passes, completing 30-yard passes. They cheered just about anything.

“It’s a competitive advantage,” McDaniel said. “It’s kind of why you do what you do. ... It’s just another reason for us to go about our daily process with a fine-tooth comb, to make sure that we pay them back for their investment in us.”

And maybe there was a 10-year-old kid in the stands who, 29 years from now, will be coaching in the NFL.

“That’s why I didn’t allow any ambitious children to practice,” McDaniel said.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ticket bought in Illinois wins $1.337B Mega Millions jackpot
A ticket bought in a Chicago suburb has beaten the odds and won a $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot
4:23PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Biden tests positive for COVID-19, returns to isolation
The White House says President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 again Saturday, slightly more than three days after he was cleared to exit coronavirus isolation
4:06PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Some Appalachia residents begin cleanup after deadly floods
Some residents of Appalachia are returning to flood-ravaged homes as Kentucky’s governor said search and rescue operations were ongoing in the region swamped by torrential rains days earlier
4:03PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Rossi ends 49-race losing streak with win on IMS road course
Alexander Rossi snapped a 49-race losing streak that dated all the way back to the 2019 IndyCar season by winning at one of his favorite tracks
3:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
Liverpool beats Man City 3-1 for Community Shield
Darwin Nunez has shaded Erling Haaland in their first matchup by scoring Liverpool’s final goal as it beat Manchester City 3-1 in the Community Shield
2:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
Kyle Busch open to racing 'for under my market value' in '23
Kyle Busch is getting antsy about not having a contract next season
1:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Pac-12's Kliavkoff jabs Big 12, touts future after USC, UCLA
Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff says his conference is far from finished, despite the defections of Southern California and UCLA
7:34PM ( 20 hours ago )
Column: Heady times for the NFL's bottom feeders
These are giddy times in Atlanta and Houston
6:02PM ( 22 hours ago )
Metchie addresses Texans in wake of leukemia diagnosis
Houston Texans rookie receiver John Metchie III, who announced Sunday that he’d likely miss the season after being diagnosed with leukemia, addressed the team in a video before it started preparations for the season
4:26PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
Commanders owner Dan Snyder testifies before House committee
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder testified for more than 10 hours Thursday before a congressional committee investigating the NFL team's history of workplace misconduct
7:52PM ( 1 day ago )
QB Ryan challenges Colts to keep up with quick-paced tempo
Matt Ryan has seen and done just about everything other than winning a Super Bowl in his 14-year NFL career
6:14PM ( 1 day ago )
Mariota, Ridder dominating QB snaps at Falcons training camp
There’s no shortage of snaps for Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder at the Atlanta Falcons’ training camp
3:34PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Ticket bought in Illinois wins $1.337B Mega Millions jackpot
A ticket bought in a Chicago suburb has beaten the odds and won a $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot
4:23PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Biden tests positive for COVID-19, returns to isolation
The White House says President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 again Saturday, slightly more than three days after he was cleared to exit coronavirus isolation
4:06PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Some Appalachia residents begin cleanup after deadly floods
Some residents of Appalachia are returning to flood-ravaged homes as Kentucky’s governor said search and rescue operations were ongoing in the region swamped by torrential rains days earlier
4:03PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Arrest of prominent Guatemalan journalist draws condemnation
Guatemalan officials have arrested a prominent newspaper editor who has overseen investigations into corruption
3:44PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Red Cross struggles to see prison where Ukrainian POWS died
The International Committee of the Red Cross asked for access to a prison where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in a rocket attack
3:33PM ( 55 minutes ago )