Mike Daniels, 'your typical underdog,' outworks opponents
Mike Daniels. Image by Green Bay Packers/TODAY'S TMJ4
"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." - Vince Lombardi
His height isn't big. His pedigree isn't big.
But Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels' work ethic is.
"I've always been your typical underdog," said Daniels on "The Mike McCarthy Show," which airs on TODAY'S TMJ4 and NBC26. "I just work. I just outwork the guy in front of me."
"I was not the most athletic or talented by the least on my high school team, midget league teams, so I always had to out-work people."
He is, to the point where Coach Mike McCarthy is not just rewarding him with playing time, but rewards for dominant performances like what he did in a win over Washington in Week 2.
"Mike is the first recipient of the 'Big Dog Award' which goes out to the offensive or defensive lineman with the finest performance. He's off to a great start," said McCarthy.
"Mike has clearly stated his case as a contributor to our football team. He's an excellent example of a young player making a big jump from year one to year two. He was here all off-season."
Such off-season work is what makes good players great, and great players into All-Pro's. Daniels is not there yet, but he's got a work ethic and motor to match the best.
"I actually had an off-season," said Daniels, who didn't have a true off-season to work hard after surgery in January 2012.
"I spent all of my off-season working off scar tissue, getting the range of motion back in my arm. I couldn't really watch a lot of film. I got a little fat, so this off-season I made it my duty. 'I'm going to stay in Green Bay, get with (strength and conditioning coach Mike) Lovat, watch a lot of tape, make sure I do everything I can to get an advantage for this season.' Even though I made a couple plays last year, I felt I could have made a better contribution."
He definitely has, with more and more playing time and accolades as the reward.