New Panthers coach Dave Canales details 'secret life' of pornography addiction, binge drinking in book


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As Dave Canales takes over as the new Carolina Panthers head coach, a book he co-authored with his wife, Lizzy, is making rounds as it details his pornography addiction and binge drinking from the past. 

Canales and his wife wrote “This Marriage? The Question That Changed Everything,” a book that revealed his past addictions and how he overcame them. 

“I was living a secret life,” said Canales, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator, per the Charlotte Observer. 

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Dave Canales and Baker Mayfield

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales talks with quarterback Baker Mayfield before the preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Aug. 11, 2023, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“No matter how hard I tried by going to church, reading my Bible and praying … I always had a secret, dark place that was just mine.”

The book, which was published in September 2022, came out while he was with the Seattle Seahawks.

Canales, who no longer drinks and is not addicted to pornography, said they wrote the book together to help couples that may be going through similar struggles.

PANTHERS HIRE DAVE CANALES AS HEAD COACH

“We wanted other people to feel safe starting this journey toward a vibrant marriage by helping them see they are not alone,” the couple wrote in the book’s preface, per the Charlotte Observer. 

The book also details Canales’ infidelity, where he admits having multiple affairs, including one month before marrying his wife. 

“A huge part in the severed intimacy that I was experiencing with Lizzy was because I was addicted to pornography,” Canales wrote in the book. “It was like a gateway drug for me, creating pathways in my brain that allowed me to use sex coldly for my own benefit. It was a secret, silent struggle that I had years before I was married.”

“From the start of our relationship, I was binge drinking and going out with friends, without Lizzy,” Canales added. “Before I was ever unfaithful to her, I was already there in my mind. Bad habits combined with addiction made it hard for me to resist temptation. It was a pattern I knew well before we started dating.”

Dave Canales talks to Baker Mayfield

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales tells the play to quarterback Baker Mayfield during training camp on July 26, 2023. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Canales revealed his affairs to his parents and parents-in-law, to which his mother-in-law had a response. 

“I never trusted you fully,” she said, per the Charlotte Observer. “I’ve told Lizzy that, and now I know why.”

Canales, who described himself as a “recovering narcissist,” said that he “quit drinking alcohol altogether” as he felt it would aid in avoiding the other poor choices he’s made in his past.

The couple knew this book would be exposing their personal lives, but it also could’ve hindered Canales from getting a job in the NFL. However, that hasn’t been the case.

Canales was lauded for his ability to make a Baker Mayfield-led Bucs offense function well after Tom Brady called it quits in 2022. The Panthers are viewed as going outside the box with this hire, as more experienced candidates were in the market.

Canales has full support in Carolina, though, and his personal life couldn’t be better today as well. 

Dave Canales vs Vikings

Dave Canales (David Berding/Getty Images)

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“For some it is incredibly uncomfortable and maybe even convicting,” the book reads. “For others it is like a breath of fresh air and an invitation to go deeper into their own relationships.”



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