Here at Undrafted we are all about sports for the everyman (it’ll be the trademarked phrase any day now). As such we were talking in the week in one of the roundabout ways we do. Anything goes at anytime with three or four different threads at once. During this I raised the following point:
Who wouldn’t want to earn close to $38m whilst producing the following career stat line: 1694 yards for 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. With 178 completions at the time of writing, this works out at approximately $213,000 per completion. Man I need this guy’s career…
For those of you with eyes you are already aware that this is the career to date of Chase Daniel, perennial backup and, by all accounts, lovely guy. The back-up Quarterback GOAT.
Who Is He?
Daniel was not drafted in 2009 coming out of Missouri, in spite of the fact he had thrown for 12,515 yards and 101 touchdowns. He was also nominated twice for the Heisman, finishing 4th in 2007. He wound up on the Redskins practice squad, thus started quite the journeyed career.
Daniel did not last long with the Redskins, he was released as part of the final roster cuts at the end of Training Camp. He was not to be without a team for long however. Seeing something in him, the Saints signed him to their practice squad the day after his release by the Redskins. He spent the first 4 years of his career with the Saints, and it was during this time that he was able to watch and learn from Drew Brees.
Whilst at the Saints, Daniel developed an extremely close bond with Brees. He was able to observe first hand, how one of the greatest to ever play the position worked. He saw the routine, the dedication, and most of all, how to treat those around you. Even in the years they were apart once Daniel had left the Saints they worked out in the summers.
“Exactly how he gets himself ready,” Daniel said. “I loved how it prepared me and how I felt on game day, so when I went to Kansas City, I took most of that, added some of my stuff, and even in Philly, stayed with it, from the film routine to the practice routine to the recovery routine, even some diet stuff. … When you can emulate a first-ballot Hall of Famer, you’re going to do it.”Chase Daniel – (Credit – nola.com)
Why Coaches Love Him
It is largely down to this attitude and respect Daniel has for his fellow players that he is so highly sought after. The role of a back-up may not sound important but I would argue he is the second most important player in the squad. If your starting QB goes down the back-up becomes THE guy.
Just look at how important Teddy Bridgewater was a couple of seasons ago for the Saints when Brees was out. Having a back-up who can go 5-0 is a huge bonus. Chase Daniel is not Patrick Mahomes but his experience means he can pick up schemes fairly quickly and can manage games to give his guys a chance.
The other aspect Daniel brings is the mentorship role that he can offer to younger guys. This is something he developed under Brees and he can be trusted to treat incoming younger QB’s with respect.
His adaptability means that he has played for 6 different teams in 11 years to date. That said he’s started no more than 2 games in any one season. He has appeared in 69 games and made 5 starts in this time. He’s been trusted to assist in the development of young QB’s such as Mitch Trubisky, Carson Wentz and as of this year another young hotshot. Please don’t judge The Undrafted GOAT by the careers of the two named before, I have no doubt he did all he could to salvage them.
There was a concern when I started this article that it may have come to late. Chase Daniel was without a team, homeless, at the end potentially….. of course I was wrong. I should have trusted the process. The day before I finished this the Chargers picked him up. This year he will earn another $1.4m as Herbert’s backup on a team that is only getting better. Alright for some hey?!
Undrafted Community, I want you to hold this man in reverence. He has achieved what every one of us would love to, a career doing what he loves, earning enough to set him up for life but with Sundays off! (Yes I know this isn’t really true but he hasn’t played a whole lot of professional football).
But still, tell me, who out there reading this wouldn’t want his life…
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