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

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As Dave Canales becomes the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers, a book he co-wrote with his wife Lizzy is making headlines for detailing his porn addiction and past binge drinking.

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

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


Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales poses with quarterback Baker Maye before a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Raymond James Stadium on August 11, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. Talk to the field. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“No matter how hard I tried to go to church, read the Bible, and pray, I always had a secret dark place that was just me.”

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

Canales, who no longer drinks or relies on pornography, said they wrote the book together to help couples going through similar struggles.

Panthers hire Dave Canales as head coach

“We want others to understand that they are not alone and to ease their journey towards a vibrant marriage,” the couple wrote in the book’s foreword, according to the Charlotte Observer. I wanted you to start with all your heart in mind,” he wrote.

The book also details Canales’ infidelity, in which he admits to having affairs with his wife multiple times, including one month before they married.

“A major reason for my lack of intimacy with Lizzie was my addiction to pornography,” Canales writes in the book. “It was like a gateway drug for me, creating a pathway in my brain that allowed me to ruthlessly exploit sex for my own benefit. It was a secret, quiet thing I had been carrying for years before I got married. It was a great battle.”

“From the beginning of our relationship, I would binge drink and go out with friends without Lizzie,” Canales added. “Even before I cheated on her, I already had it in my heart. A combination of bad habits and addictions made it hard to resist temptation. That was before we even started dating. It was a pattern I was familiar with.”

Dave Canales talks with Baker Mayfield

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

Canales confided in her parents and stepparents, and her stepmother responded.

“I never fully trusted you,” she said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I told Lizzie about it, and now I know why.”

Canales, who describes himself as a “recovering narcissist,” said he “completely quit alcohol” because he felt it would help him avoid other bad choices he had made in the past.

The couple knew that the book would reveal their private lives, but it could also interfere with Canales’ career in the NFL. But that wasn’t the case.

Canales was praised for his ability to make Baker Mayfield’s Bucs’ offense work after Tom Brady announced he would retire in 2022. The Panthers are expected to go outside the box with this hire, as there were more experienced candidates on the market.

But Canales has the full support of Carolina, and his personal life couldn’t be better today.

Dave Canales vs Vikings

Dave Canales (David Berding/Getty Images)


“For some, it may be incredibly unpleasant and perhaps even incriminating,” the book says. “For others, it’s like a breath of fresh air and an invitation to dig deeper into their own relationships.”