Philadelphia Eagles: What can we expect from Chase Daniel?

Aug 15, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel (10) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason NFL football game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel (10) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason NFL football game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier in the offseason the Philadelphia Eagles signed Chase Daniel to a three-year 21 million dollar deal, but why?

Seven million dollars per year is an exorbitant sum to pay a backup quarterback. Seven million per year for a backup quarterback with one career touchdown pass is a true head scratcher. The circumstances surrounding this move and the fact that Carson Wentz will be inactive for at least the first week of the season has left some Philadelphia Eagles fans pondering, why did Doug Pederson make this move?

I’ll take a crack at understanding the rookie coach’s thought process and offer three reasons why he felt that this move was necessary for the Philadelphia Eagles to be successful in 2016.

Chase Daniel has a complete grasp of Doug Pederson‘s playbook.

A backup quarterback should be part film room warrior and part sideline coach and that’s one thing that Daniel has done well over his career. During his time with the Saints and Chiefs, he was able to develop a strong football IQ and that could help the Eagles as a whole. The first place where he can make a difference is in running the scout team that will impersonate the next opponent that the Philadelphia Eagles will face.

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It may not be something that people can see but a well-prepared scout team is the backbone of a well-prepared team on game day. If the scout team is good they will have thrown everything at the defense that they may see so that they will be prepared to deal with it on the field.

Having someone with Daniel’s ability and playbook knowledge will go a long way to making sure that the team is properly prepared. Daniel can also help coach sam Bradford and Wentz through the intricacies of Pederson’s offense which is a very valuable skill to have with coaching time being a limited resource.


Generally, you want your quarterback of the future to learn from someone who’s seen it all in the game but the Philadelphia Eagles don’t have that luxury. Because of that, the next best person to mentor a rookie is a professional that goes about the game in the right way.

Chase Daniel was able to learn from two class acts in Drew Brees and Alex Smith. The same Alex Smith that was benched after returning from a concussion in a career year in favor of Colin Kaepernick. Since Chase Daniel soaks up information like a sponge, it’s highly likely that he could pass down some of the wisdom of those two elder statesmen to the Philadelphia Eagles rookie.

Since he (hopefully) won’t have the added responsibilities of playing in games, Chase Daniel can act as Carson Wentz’s personal guide to life in the NFL. For a quarterback that didn’t play division one football in college that can be invaluable to helping him have a smooth transition into the league for the 2017-18 season when he should take the reigns full time.

Doug Pederson views him as good enough to step in in a pinch

Now we get to the tangible role of a backup quarterback. While you hope that they never see the field, you have to plan as if they may at some point. While Chase Daniel may not have stats that the average fan can see, if anyone knows his capabilities it’s someone who’s been his offensive coordinator for the past two seasons.

It would be easy for Pederson to develop a game plan around Daniel’s strengths that would give the Philadelphia Eagles the best chance to win on any given Sunday especially if Bradford goes down mid-game causing the Eagles to adjust on the fly.

It’s always easier to develop a plan for someone when you know their biggest strengths and weaknesses than it is for a random backup quarterback that’s signed for one season. Given Sam Bradford‘s injury history that’s an insurance policy worth having for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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In his last start on December 29th, 2013 against the San Diego Chargers Daniel filled in well in a pinch for the Chiefs. He finished the game having completed 21 of 30 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. While that’s not spectacular it’s more than adequate from a backup quarterback who’s only real job is to not screw up.

While it’s a strange move at first glance, when you dig into the deal for Chase Daniel the more sense it makes for both sides.