Tom Uhlman/Associated Press
Now in his ninth NFL season, defensive tackle Mike Daniels is hoping to play a big role in getting the Cincinnati Bengals back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
Daniels’ specialty is attacking opposing quarterbacks, but he’s played alongside two of the best in the NFL. The former Pro Bowler was a teammate of Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers from 2012-18 and spent last season with the Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford.
With the Bengals’ long-term hopes pinned on Joe Burrow, Daniels assessed the rookie quarterback’s game, talked playing with Rodgers, tackling Tom Brady and more in a B/R AMA.
The following is the full transcript from the AMA session.
@chloe_simm22: Which QB did you enjoy taking down the most?
Easy, Tom Brady. I played in the NFC for seven years, played the Patriots two times, and I sacked him in Green Bay and once in New England. Sacked the greatest of all time, twice.
@BayLegend: What was your favorite part about playing with Aaron Rodgers?
Whenever you get to play with a Hall of Famer, and I’ve played with several, all those other positions are amazing, they make you raise your level of play. But when it’s a QB, your level of play raises but in a different way…when you have Aaron Rodgers, you almost have that feeling of, I can’t mess up, I can’t mess up because not only is he a Hall of Famer, he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback. The team really runs as he runs, you have to almost try to play better than he plays. That’s what it’s like to have a hall of fame quarterback, it’s insane. When you play against the other guys, the Brees, Russell Wilson, Brady…playing against Aaron every day in practice, the mysticism against the other guys leaves. Playing with Aaron will make you the best you can be.
@Steve_Perrault: What’s your top takeaway from being around Joe Burrow so far?
He’s a pro. A pro’s pro and to be that at such a young age…that guy is gonna go really far in the NFL, there’s no doubt in my mind. He’s not afraid to be a leader and he understands his role, how important of a job that he has, and he’s willing to take that on. Nothing but respect for JB.
@GB12: How is no fans in the stands feel so far for you?
Felt like I’m in a backyard. You miss the fans, I definitely miss them, can’t wait for them to come back. We were in Cleveland, and although I wasn’t playing, there were 6,000 fans and it felt great to have them there. To have fans is amazing and adds another element to game day. Without them, you really see how much you love the game, because it feels like you’re out there at practice. If you’re a guy who practices extremely hard, you’ll have no problem. If not, you might get your wires crossed.
@dolphinfish: What running back is the hardest to bring down?
In his prime, marshawn lynch. He was the toughest runner to bring down. Adrian Peterson was very tough as well, but if you got him before he got going, you could get him. Marshawn anywhere, it’s like he was fighting with the football in his hand. Not necessarily the fastest or strongest, but he was so violent with how he ran. AP runs pissed off. Marshawn ran like he was actually in a fight.
@Terms_Of_Use: How do you feel about all these injuries in the NFL?
There was no offseason training, jumped right into camp, no preseason. If anyone is surprised, they don’t understand what it takes to play the game of football. I don’t feel as though there should be too many surprises. When you see more of the bigger names going down, that’s when I think people start to understand these guys didn’t have a chance to be with the team, with access to the facilities until 2 weeks before they opened up.
@natemiles: Who was your favorite NFL player growing up?
One of my favorites was John Randle, he played the game with an amazing fire. He just brought it, made OL not look forward to playing against him. And Ray Lewis, because he’s just…that’s Ray Lewis. I don’t know what else to say about him that hasn’t been said. He was the tone setter of the NFL, that’s saying a lot.
@joeytitius9: Best Kirk Ferentz story?
That’s my guy. He might be one of the funniest coaches I’ve ever had, and it’s interesting because whenever you see him talking to the media, he doesn’t give much away. He and Belichick kind of carry themselves in the same manner. But in meetings, he’s hilarious, and he does it with a straight face. He’s got that dry wit that makes everybody bust out laughing…I don’t have a singular story, but I always looked forward to the team meetings.
@BleedGreen_99: If you could play with one player, former or current, who would it be and why?
I’d have to say Larry Allen because to be able to go against him in practice, I know for a fact I won’t face another guard in the NFL like that. It’s iron sharpens iron, I want to compete against the best of all time so I can be more than ready.
@BayLegend: What was your “I made it” moment in the NFL?
I had an I made it moment when I got drafted and then it just fled my mind because that phrase is heavily associated with complacency and that’s very dangerous with being a professional…I’ll smell the roses when I’m done playing.
@al226: How was it playing in a playoff game in the frozen tundra?
Key word: frozen. I’ve never played a playoff game that wasn’t extremely frigid outside. Playoff games in Green Bay are dark and freezing and I love it, it was very fun.
@iamcocoapuff07: Do you have any tips for an 8th grader DT?
You’re probably 12, 13 or some kids are 14. You can actually start lifting weights. I would do a lot of my own research, I remember myself I’d go online and search how to lift weights, workout and train on my own. By the time I was in high school I was ready for the weight room. Get into the weight room as early as you can…get your body as physically ready as you possibly can. They’ll teach you how to play football. And I’d also say wrestle, go to the wrestling practices and wrestle with the heavyweights. The 200s, 189s, 190 classes. Wrestle with the bigger guys. It’ll teach you leverage, overall toughness and great hand work.
@kalebuhl: What brought you to Cincy Mike?
The coaches. The staff and the presentation of all the facts. They did an awesome job letting me know what they’re all about, what situation I’m getting myself into in terms of how they run their operation. And they’ve proven to be who they are. Coach Taylor was honest with what he said…the coaching staff definitely has a good relationship with the players.
@Whaler814: If you weren’t playing football what would your dream job be?
Mentoring the youth in any way, whether I’m coaching or a teacher of some sort at a HS, that’s what I would really love to do. Being young is hard because you think you know everything when you don’t know anything, and some people don’t grow out of that. That’s hard, and I know how important guidance is, specifically guidance from outside the home. Your parents can tell you the sky is blue, but because they’re your parents, you might not listen all the time.
@Gmoney20: What’s your favorite anime?
I’ll put it to you like this: watch the tv series Cowboy Bebop. But my favorite anime of all time is the whole Dragon Ball franchise, that’ll never change, I don’t care how great of an Anime comes up.
@whodey0044: Who does the locker room feel is more of a rival: Cleveland or Pittsburgh?
I asked around, the guys that have been around, and it varies. When Geno Atkins first got here in 2010, he said it was the Ravens, they were the top dog, and then the Steelers after that extremely crazy playoff game in the 2015 season, and the Browns are like the hometown battle for the state.
@Chickfilaisbetta: Chick-fil-A or Popeyes?
Why would you ask me that? The last thing I had was Chick-fil-A. But before that I had Popeyes…I’m on a diet up until the Philly game, you got me thinking about food I shouldn’t be thinking about.
@Jazzfan27: Favorite food?
I’m a big guy so I like to eat. I’d have to say the pork chop.
Coming out of high school, Daniels was rated as a 2-star prospect by 247Sports before arriving on campus at the University of Iowa. The New Jersey native played all 39 games for the Hawkeyes in three seasons from 2009-11.
The Packers selected Daniels in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has recorded 70 quarterback hits and 30 sacks in 112 career games between the Packers, Lions and Bengals.
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