Oct. 22, 2023 – McDaniel had been open about his story in the past. When the Falcons were playing in Super Bowl 51 against the Patriots, he spoke to Tom Pelissero — then with USA TODAY — about his battle and detailed how members of the Atlanta coaching staff, including Dan Quinn, got him the help he needed to get sober.

He also explained as a part of that story that he showed up to work on Saturdays “smelling like booze.” And when he was in Cleveland, head coach Mike Pettine found empty bottles of cheap vodka under his desk.

Indeed, McDaniel has been an open book about his addiction, and his vulnerability has served as an inspiration to his players, colleagues, contemporaries and fans. Here’s what he has said about his journey to sobriety over the years.

Looking back, McDaniel realizes that his first brush with addiction came during the early stages of his career with the Texans.

McDaniel worked as part of Gary Kubiak’s staff in Houston from 2006 through 2008. He explained that Kubiak was “very regimented” and that he would call McDaniel — then an offensive assistant — every morning on his office phone at 6 a.m.