Mike McDaniel can see it clearly now, the ways alcohol has interfered over and over during his promising young NFL coaching career.
He overslept a couple of times before Gary Kubiak let him go in Houston. Mike Pettine found bottles of cheap vodka under his desk in Cleveland. Even when he wasn’t getting in trouble for drinking, McDaniel was having trouble with drinking, no matter how many excuses he made to himself about its effects on his creativity and personality.
“Everyone’s always said the same thing about me: how talented I am, how smart I am – but,” McDaniel has said while referencing the inevitable hang-up that always seemed to follow. “And I wanted to figure out why I kept sabotaging myself and what I was missing.”
Fast Forward McDaniel facing his demons…
McDaniel stepped to the podium that first time and without prodding, he spoke about weakness. His own weakness, to be specific: alcoholism.
And with it, McDaniel sounded strong. Stronger than he ever has in such a setting. Because it was in his ability to bring up this subject before all the microphones and cameras, in a setting where it’s possible his message could be misconstrued, McDaniel in essence told us he’s as committed as ever to continue living his life by saying no to the bottle.
And today, it is a great lesson from Mike McDaniel, one that aspiring young athletes and coaches can all take into account. No matter how tough life can get, there is always time to turn things around for the better, and McDaniel will look to continue to be a great example of that in his second year at the helm of the Miami Dolphins.