Read the transcript from Head Coach Mike McDaniel's press conference on Wednesday, November 2, 2022.
(What was your reaction when you hear you're bringing in a player like LB Bradley Chubb?) – "It was restrained excitement because I was – it was a multitasking day. You're trying to get prepared for an opponent and then you're also having – it's hard to get quality players like that. It comes at a cost, and you have to say bye to a guy that you've invested in and invested with. But overall, this is something that I've been hoping might happen for a while, just in my own brain and hoping that my wishes would come into existence. It was exciting but tempered, because we're preparing for an opponent and there's stuff to worry about. But we got a lot of hugs from people, so that was cool."
(If I could follow up, will these two guys, LB Bradley Chubb and RB Jeff Wilson Jr., be ready for this weekend?) – "(Those) would be aggressive, aggressive moves for some more sideline get-back coaches. So they'll play. Now how much? That's to be determined. I was considering playing Jeff (Wilson Jr.) on offense and Bradley (Chubb) on defense, but outside of that, we'll be working through it for this week, and it'll be fun. (laughter) I'm excited for the team because both of those individuals are excited to be a part of this team. We're very happy with the direction we're going and hopefully that will help push forward and continue in that direction."
(General Manager Chris Grier wouldn't do it, but he deserves a lot of credit, obviously, for the team he's put together.) – "Yeah, let's knock it out for Chris (Grier). (knocks on the podium) That's what I do in team meetings, we're knocking it up."
(Just the impact he's had on the roster over the last…) – "I mean, it directly impacts coaches. From the minute I got here, what I was so impressed with, you see on paper – I just know from firsthand experience what losing streaks are like and I know how tough it is to start an NFL season on the heavy side of the loss column. So coming in here on paper, I was intrigued because to start 1-7 and then to win football games is a tough task for a locker room. You see a lot of locker rooms divide and then implode, but it started to make sense when I got here. There's very talented players across the roster. But more than anything, you have these good human beings that have the right intent and that are focused on, above all things else, winning. And that is unique. I think a ton of credit should go to Chris (Grier) and his staff, because there are a lot of quality players and people. It gets lost in all the mix, but that's what ends up winning in this league, are people coming together as a team. It's been awesome, and that was just more of the same from my experience with him yesterday."
(A couple weeks ago, you had said that the edge position was your favorite position. Now that you have LB Bradley Chubb in the fold, can you kind of give a scouting report on what sticks out to you?) – "What sticks out to me is you know where to find me during individual – just hanging out, watching edges. (laughter) I think it's an important piece to the team. When you talk about a team defense and when you really look at really good defenses, the common denominator is there's 11 guys going to the ball and if one guy is off an assignment, everybody ends up being impacted by that. So team defense and what another edge rusher, especially of his quality, can add to the defense, it can make our team that much better. It can make people at the position group he plays, the defensive front, it can help corners and safeties – it's all collective. So that's what I'm most excited for. It's not anything individually with him. It's more of how it will help our defense do what it's trying to do."
(Can you talk about the energy that it can give you as a team? I know you were in San Francisco in 2019 when they added WR Emmanuel Sanders, you guys ended up going to the Super Bowl that year. Kind of the boost that you can get, knowing that you're all in and just feeling like you've got the front office's, not that you didn't know that, but adding now to make that big push?) – "I think what it is because – people say all in. People in the NFL are also very aware of the not for long. So I would generally say that for the most part, people are generally all in, because you know you don't have time and it's people's careers at stake. But what you're referring to, I totally agree with and I do see – I think some symmetry in that there's a common denominator where you have a team that is having a season that they're very much in the mix of everything, that's winning football games more than they're losing, and then you add a quality NFL player or players, and if they're the right type of people, if they're the right type of personality, it can really breathe some added life, not new life, but really added life into the monotony of the season, because you are going about your Mondays very much the same, your Tuesdays very much the same, your Wednesdays – Sundays are always fun, that's why we do it. But bringing that juice in, also, players have different experiences themselves. I think it rejuvenates them in the middle of the season when you're getting through all that and when you're building your callus, that happens every single season. So there is an energy that's positive because you get a sense of team and people are thinking about what we – it's a new individual to them, all these players in the locker room. It's new individuals to them, so it forces you to think about team, because you're excited about it, because of team. We're moving forward, trying to win one game at a time, fully focused on Chicago. Hopefully, these new additions will be able to contribute, just like all the other players are hoping they will as well."
(When did you and Chris Grier start talking about trading for LB Bradley Chubb? He said it was a couple of weeks ago, he started talking to the Broncos, when did you and him start talking about that?) – "In my interview. (laughter) No. To be honest, I know it's Wednesday, because it is a press conference. I know that every other day, I have a press conference, so this is the middle one. Outside of that, I don't even know. I can't even tell you. I know we talk a lot about all sorts of different players and teams. Our business is football. So we talk about players to a great extent throughout the season. I'm not sure really when he came up, specifically. Then there's a time where teams start discussing that option and quite honestly, I couldn't even tell you when that was. But it's something that as you guys know, I have an affinity for the edge players. It's my specific position of choice. Having practiced against him back in 2019 and also in game stuff, he's been on my radar as one of those guys that you can really dictate the terms for what you're able to do offensively, which is why it's cool to have him here."
(You've been committed to QB Tua Tagovailoa since you got here. But us as media, we see this trade, we see you guys giving up a first-round pick for 2023, and we see that as sort of doubling down as we talk about being all-in on QB Tua Tagovailoa as your quarterback. Are we thinking about this trade in the correct way of what it means, as it relates to Tua?) – "Good question. We all agree with that? We all feel that way? (laughter) Well, yeah, I would say you're right on all fronts, that from the get go, I've fully seen Tua as our quarterback for this team and this franchise. I think he's an unbelievable talent. So I guess in a roundabout way, I think that implication, I think that's fair. But it's not something that we all of a sudden rethought after he had a good game. This is something that since I've been here, we've kind of known and we've been able to operate with that in mind with all the things that we've done."
(With RB Jeff Wilson Jr., what did you like about his game, him as a player, him as a person with your time with him San Francisco?) – "So Jeff – it's a cool story because when he was an undrafted – actually when he was coming out of college, I actually flew down on a vacation day and worked him out at North Texas. I was like in denim covering him on wide receiver routes. And let's just say I didn't cover him well, which isn't saying much. But I got to learn a lot about him that day. Much of which, with the support of the scouting department there, we targeted him as an undrafted player, and I've seen him really grow into a professional. He's a guy that is magnetic. He's very focused on football, has a nature of playing football that I think help or affects his teammates in a positive manner. He's a physical guy that you can count on to bring that physicality and tone sets in that regard. Great teammate. And he's a guy that doesn't – you always really gravitate towards people that expect nothing given to them and enjoy the process of earning stuff, and that's the way he's always been. He's always been very – he's been around very competitive backfields and he's always rooted for his teammates, and is one of the locker room's favorite players, while also trying to do his best and whatever he can to help the team. So I couldn't be happier with the person that we're bringing to Dolphins."
(On the other side of that, trading away RB Chase Edmonds. What do you think really didn't click here for him?) – "I talked to Chase. It wasn't really that. It wasn't not clicking. There's no doubt in my mind that you guys would have started to see a lot of the Chase that we've seen in practices and there's a couple opportunities that didn't really go his way and then the way we were playing, Raheem (Mostert) playing well minimized the opportunity. So this was not moving on for that reason. This was something to help really facilitate a different roster need, that we felt fortunate to be able to compensate from his loss with the ability to go get Jeff. So it was a matter of time. I think, myself, I was very confident. I think a lot of his teammates were confident that the ball was going to start bouncing his way and he was going to start making the plays that he's accustomed to making. But it was just a short period of time – the NFL season – and with the contributing factors, it just didn't work out. But I wish him the best and the way he's really attacked being a Miami Dolphin, he's a Dolphin to me as I know him. I'll be proud of what he does in Denver. I know he's going to do well."
(How in sync are you and General Manager Chris Grier? Considering the LB Bradley Chubb trade and the WR Tyreek Hill trade, this is like the second time he's made your dream come true.) – "I feel extremely fortunate to work with a GM such as Chris. I feel very fortunate to be in the organization in general. All of those things, like I said, it was one of the overwhelming things when I was interviewing for this place is I could piece it together pretty fast that there's a lot a lot of parts of this organization that a lot of head coaches aren't afforded. So it is awesome. We take it very serious, the direction of the Miami Dolphins organization, and every decision that is made with that in mind. So there is no such thing as over-communication and we wouldn't allow it to be any other way except for being 100 percent on the same page about anything that we're doing."
(You said there's no such thing as over-communication. How frequently do you and General Manager Chris Grier talk?) – "He's talking to me an earpiece right now. He's telling me not to answer that. (laughter) No, we share office walls. It's really hard to do anything without knowing what each other are doing. I'm sure he's getting pretty sick of hearing late 90s, early 2000s rap. But he's going to have to deal with it. We take pride in that. We've been fortunate enough to be in the NFL for a good amount of time, each of us collectively, and we realize how important it is to the entire organization, that the organization is depending on us to be working together in a forthright manner. So we do not take that lightly."
(I want to ask another QB Tua Tagovailoa big-picture question. Now that you have an answer at quarterback going forward, how freeing is that as an organization to know that the most important questions have been answered for you guys?) – "I mean, yeah, in those conversations, and I've been on both sides of them, but you're firmly on one side of the fence or the other. And it does change how you're able to big-picture operate. I think it influences it. It doesn't like dictate it, but you still – teams win, individuals don't. But when you're in the search, it's a difficult place to be in and there is some clarity with regard to being very, very confident in your starting quarterback."