MIAMI DOLPHINS, Fla. — Mike McDaniel was introduced Thursday as the newest head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
The first-year head coach has spent the previous five seasons as an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers.
McDaniel becomes the 11th full-time head coach (14th including interim head coaches) in franchise history and the 12th head coach since the late Don Shula retired after the 1995 season.
He replaces Brian Flores, who was fired last month after a 24-25 record and back-to-back winning seasons.
Here are five takeaways from McDaniel's introductory news conference.
His bosses really like him
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross spoke before McDaniel took the stage, saying the team was in search of someone who exhibited "leadership, intelligence, innovation" and who had an "understanding of what it takes to win in the long run."
Ross said McDaniel, 38, is "innovative and he's thinking outside the box."
Throughout the search, Ross said, he spoke with coaches in McDaniel's former division who told him how great of a coach McDaniel was and why he'd make a great hire.
During one such conversation with a coach, Ross asked why he was so forthcoming about McDaniel.
"Really, to get him out of the division," Ross said the coach told him.
Ross said McDaniel will report to Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, who then reports to Ross.
Grier said Ross was adamant about being patient throughout the coaching search, even when Grier was "ready to get going."
"When we got through the process, you know, it was Mike McDaniel," Grier said.
He really likes that his bosses really like him
McDaniel stood in front of the podium at the team facility in Miami Gardens and called it "an honor and privilege" to be the Dolphins head coach.
He said being in the position that he's in would be considered a great accomplishment for most.
"But that's not why you get into coaching," he said. "It's standing at this podium. You get into coaching because you love to coach football. You love to teach and you love to make people better, and that's exactly who I am, who I have been and who I'll be as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins."
McDaniel went on to express how enamored he was after he came to South Florida to interview for the job.
"I quickly realized that this was my dream job and I had to go get it," he said.
McDaniel applauded the interest that the Dolphins showed in him.
"They looked at me for me, and that really galvanized my interest in this organization," he said.
McDaniel also praised his bosses.
"It didn't take me long to realize this was the place that I was meant to be, so I'd better not screw this interview up," he said.
He also beamed about the facilities and the team's home at Hard Rock Stadium.
"I feel like I'm at an SEC school," McDaniel said. "It's incredible."
McDaniel said he wants to "create a brand of football here that is known as Miami football."
He said that style of football incorporates "passion, energy" and playing for one another.
"You should be able to turn on the TV and know who the team is, even if the color's distorted," he said.
McDaniel then described one of the reasons he believes the game of football is so "magical."
WATCH: Mike McDaniel introduced as Dolphins head coach
"The whole reason I've devoted my professional life to it is you have all these people with different interests, focused on one common goal, OK," he said. "That one common goal of winning, winning often, winning playoff games and winning Super Bowls."
McDaniel said his 15 years of coaching experience with seven other organizations -- most recently as offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers -- has prepared him for this moment.
"When you're hired and fired that many times and bouncing around the NFL, you get a glimpse at a lot of things and you know when something has the ability to be great, and that's all I feel walking in and out of these hallways," McDaniel said.
'Absolutely no red flags'
McDaniel, who is biracial, said there were "absolutely no red flags" when choosing Miami, despite his predecessor's lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in the NFL's hiring process. The Dolphins and Ross were named in the suit.
The longtime NFL assistant said Ross doesn't get enough credit as an NFL owner and that Miami fans are "lucky" to have him.
"Right, wrong or indifferent, all he cares about is winning, and as a coach, that's all you're literally looking for. That's all," McDaniel said. "So, red flags? No, there's no red flags for me."
McDaniel said his father is Black and his mother is white, but he identifies himself as a human being.
Team over Tua
When asked if McDaniel believed in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, McDaniel said he believes that the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 draft is a football player who is trying to get better.
"It's really about the team collectively getting better, and there's a responsibility of the quarterback to do so," McDaniel said.
But, McDaniel added, he's not necessarily concerned with how good of a player Tagovailoa can become. Rather, he's more concerned about how the totality of the team can improve.
"Because that's what wins football games," McDaniel said. "I haven't seen a quarterback win a football game by himself, ever, really. He has to have somebody to throw to. He'd better not be getting tackled before he throws, so somebody better block, and the defense better not allow them to score."
McDaniel said he wants Tagovailoa to work to become better every day, and he's "very confident that he will."
When asked what makes him think he's ready to be a head coach, McDaniel said there's a first time for everyone.
"Every head coach in the history of football has never been a head coach until they're a head coach," he said.
From Broncos fan to Dolphins coach and other Xs and Os
McDaniel intends on calling his own plays when the Dolphins are on offense.
"I plan on calling plays myself," McDaniel said. "But one thing I've noticed in my journey is that successful play callers don't isolate themselves. They utilize the people around them."
However, McDaniel admitted that if a head coach is going to call plays, he'd "better be reliant and feel good about the people on your offensive staff."
The Colorado native said he grew up as an only child in a town without much to do, so he was "just obsessed with the Denver Broncos" and would wake up early, ride his bicycle to the team facility in the morning and stay there all day trying to get players' autographs.
McDaniel played college football at Yale, where he earned a degree in history, but he never played in the NFL.
Now a husband and father, the Ivy League graduate shared the story of how he wrote in his little league helmet that he'd be in the NFL someday.
"I didn't say I'd play in it," he added.