Disappointed Daniel Looks Forward
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Chase Daniel got to move over a couple feet to take over Sam Bradford’s old locker stall but the new digs didn’t come with the same gig.
That went to Carson Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft, who leapfrogged Daniel on the depth chart after the blockbuster deal that sent Bradford to Minnesota for a pair of draft picks, including a 2017 first-rounder.
“I think any competitor would be a little disappointed,” Daniel admitted on Monday after practice. “But believe me, it’s not going to get in the way of my preparation. It’s not going to hinder me in any way moving forward.”
Coach Doug Pederson had already expressed a similar sentiment regarding Daniel at his press conference an hour earlier.
“If I were Chase, I'd probably be a little disappointed,” Pederson admitted. “And I would hope so -- coming from a head coach -- because it just shows his emotion. It just shows the passion he has for the position, for this team and for playing.
“But, Chase is the ultimate team guy and he understands the decision. He understands where we're going, the direction, and he's going to do everything he can to not only get himself ready but to help the starter.”
Daniel proved Pederson prophetic by saying all the right things.
“It’s unfortunate for me personally, but that’s not what it’s about,” Daniel said. “It’s not about one person, it’s about the team. It’s about what gives us the best shot to win moving forward and obviously, some guys think that’s Carson. And that’s fine and we’re going to get behind that and roll with it. Like I said, my preparation is not going to change. If anything it helps me a little bit more to just get that fire going and to help the young buck come Sunday.”And that kind of attitude, as well as the knowledge Daniel has of Pederson’s system is why Chase was brought in as the highly-paid backup with a three-year, $21 million deal.
It was that kind of attitude, as well as the knowledge Daniel has of Pederson’s offensive system, that enabled Chase to snare a three-year, $21 million deal as the team's backup in the offseason.
“Chase was brought in here for a reason,” Pederson said. “Chase is a team guy. Chase is the guy that I wanted to be in this (backup) role (and) to be in this position.
“Chase has done everything I've asked him to do. He's an unselfish ballplayer. He leads by example on and off the football field. He's been a great mentor to Carson and even when Sam was here, as far as teaching this offense.”
That mentality was made abundantly clear to Daniel once the trade was made.
“That was the plan all along,” Daniel said. “Right when I heard Sam got traded, I was informed that Carson’s going to be the starter.”
So, it’s business as usual for Daniel but it’s anything but for Wentz, the face of the franchise who will be asked to produce immediately despite not throwing a meaningful pass in a month when he hits the field on Sunday against Cleveland.
“Knowing that Chase is the No. 2 gives you a lot of confidence, much like it was in Kansas City, being our No. 2 behind Alex (Kansas City QB Alex Smith),” Pederson said). “It's great to have another set of eyes on the field for Carson. I feel real comfortable with where we are with these two guys.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen