As the New Orleans Saints were stretching before a morning practice this week, Chase Daniel was doing his exercises a few yards behind Drew Brees. That’s the pecking order at quarterback for the Saints. With Brees signed to a long-term deal, his position as leader of the team appears set for the foreseeable future.
But Daniel is working as hard as he can to change the situation.
“We’re competitors,” Daniel said. “We’re always competing for his job.”
Brees understands the situation.
“I think he’s got a good mindset,” Brees said. “I was told this … very early on in my career, no matter where you are in the depth chart, if you don’t visualize yourself as a starter, forget about it. If you are not competing against the guys in front of you to take their job and to get the best out of yourself, then you don’t belong here. That prevents any kind of complacency. There is always something to prove. Chase and I talk about it, joke about it, but we are competing against each other. I tell him that if you are not thinking about taking my job, then you are thinking the wrong thing.”
The Saints signed Daniel in 2009 after he was waived by the Washington Redskins, who had signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri. He spent half the season on the practice squad and half on the active roster but didn’t play in a game.
In the last two seasons, he was the Saints’ holder and seldom-used, back-up quarterback. Daniel has thrown eight NFL passes, completing six, including a completion last season on a fake field goal against the New York Giants.