Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels has developed into one of the better players at his position in the NFL. He says he’s the best and he credits yoga for helping to raise his game to another level.
Complex did a story on Daniels, but it pretty much exclusively focused on yoga. Probably not what you’d expect from one of the biggest men in the league.
“I say I’m the strongest in the NFL, but the yoga has helped me to a point where I can’t be moved off the line,” Daniels says, “because I know how to get rooted in the ground and use the energy around me.”
Daniels has been doing yoga since before training camp in 2016. He further cites a play in the NFC Championship game that he says he couldn’t have done without yoga.
“I got a hit on Matt Ryan where I beat one guy, flipped my hip one way, then instantly flipped my hip the other way, made a beeline to the quarterback and got a nice hit on him,” says Daniels. “I know I wouldn’t have been able to do that [without yoga] because I haven’t done something like that before.”
This will be an interesting season for Daniels.
After signing a big-money contract extension toward the end of the 2015 season, Daniels’ production dipped in 2016.
After putting up 49 tackles, four sacks and an interception in 2015, his total tackles dipped to 33 in 2016. The number of sacks remained the same, 2.5 off his career high of 6.5 in 2013.
Of course, Daniels was also a focal point for opposing offenses in 2016. He was double-teamed relentlessly.
It would be great for the Packers’ defense if Daniels could get back to being a regular playmaker in 2017.