Head Coach Mike McDaniel met with the media prior to today's OTA. Check out the top quotes from his media availability.
(On the offseason program ending later this week)
"This is a cool, cool opportunity that's unchartered thus far, and I talk to these guys a lot and have put a lot of thought into this. We've had an offseason that we've been fully committed. We've learned a lot. We've gotten better. I think that the coaches have done a great job and the players have really attacked this offseason, which I guess I would equate to the first quarter of a game. I'm comfortable to say the way they've worked – I feel like we have a lead in the first quarter. What does that mean? Nothing. How many games are you winning in the first quarter that you lose and vice versa. So we've positioned ourselves to compete at a standard that we've said from the beginning that we want to compete at."
(On his positivity as a coach)
"I'd say I'm just a positive person only because the way I see the world is you're about the things you can affect moving forward and about being present. I wouldn't say that I was really approaching it like, 'hey, I want to be the positive coach' because I don't necessarily think that I am. I know that's how people take it from afar, but really I just want players' sole focus to be getting better at their craft and being the best player they can be. So I feel as though if you're able to be yourself, that's one less thing you're thinking about that's not getting better and perfecting your craft. So that opportunity cost is something that's important to me, so I want players to feel like they can be themselves. I also think that a concerted effort in a group forum – hence team sports, just that collective venture – is fun. The grind is fun, although in the present sometimes it doesn't feel like it is. But more than any of that, I know and I think the players would attest that the most important thing is that they feel like they have an honest coach because I can't help them if I can't give them honest critiques; and don't get it twisted, there are plenty of times in my own way that I'm very, very direct because that's what players are depending on. But it's not really about the positive. It's more about whatever the elixir is to try to maximize a given player's ability to perform which is a coach's job."
(On his coaching style)
"My style – I think I've learned a great deal from every situation. I think that's kind of the onus on the learner when you're in a situation. You're not necessarily mimicking your behavior towards a person. You notice what happens when A happens or B happens. For me, I just want there to be no question from any player what my intent, objective and where my motivation is coming from. So you don't really pattern yourself after anyone. You get used to that when you grow up as an only child with a single mom. I didn't really have an example on like, how to be a dude or whatever that is and that's kind of manifested itself in my professional life where you take things from each and every walk of life that you have. I would say that's probably different just because I've never really patterned myself after anybody. I just kind of – I'm honest with very deliberate intent and a genuine purpose to help players get better and I think you create a culture, not because this guy acts a certain way, but because you're really a group of people and the people that you employ and the people that you work with, if allowed, they dictate the terms of what the culture is. And that's what I think you're seeing on a day-in, day-out basis. I'm not like, 'Hey guys, have fun.' It's more like, 'Hey, this is your guys' team. Understand that now, own it and how far do you want to take it?' And the results are a collection of young hungry individuals that it's June, so we haven't played a game. But for where we're at right now and the way they're coming together, I'm very pleased at this part of the process."
(On where the offense is at near the end of the offseason program)
"This being the sixth different team that I've been in the same offense my whole career and we've just evolved it – this being the sixth different stop, you gain a little wisdom in that. There are compounding variables that you try to weigh. How good is the existing defense? Is everyone starting from the same starting point? Are they taking calculus courses while we're learning algebra? This is an extreme case relative to the other stops in my career because the defense was very, very productive and returning a lot of talented players. We also had an inordinate amount of additions, so it was a bunch of people learning to play together. With all of those circumstances that my career has afforded me, I feel extremely happy and confident where we're at. We have just enough taste of what we're good at and what we need to work on. We have a lot of deliberate pros that when guys are all in it and are thinking about it over the break and spending their summer getting away and recharging, but at the same time, revisiting all of the stuff that they've learned, there is a huge leap in those first couple of days of (training camp). Realistically, if I go play by play, player by player, I'm not looking for touchdowns or how many negative plays. I'm looking at how people are progressing and getting better each day against a defense that's refining their skills. I'm very happy with where we're at right now, which means absolutely nothing. There are a couple of plays I wish we would make here or there, but overall as an offense, I'm very comfortable and confident going into summer with what we've had an opportunity to do and who we're going against. It's a tremendous challenge and on both sides of the ball, I think we've gotten better this offseason because guys come to work and challenge each other, are talented, high expectations, competitive and try to win the day."