Training camp is finally here and for the Eagles, it’s the start of what promises to be an intense, yet exciting few weeks. While most of the headlines will be focused around Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford, it’s the oft forgotten quarterback on the Eagles roster who has a very important yet somewhat underrated role.
Amidst the chaos, the rumors and the pressure..backup quarterback Chase Daniel until this point has almost been the glue between the Eagles quarterbacks. That role will be more important than ever in a Training camp environment that could easily cause separation in the group.
Carson Wentz is well aware of how he’s likely going to be starting his rookie season.
Wentz on potential redshirt year: "“It’s totally out of my control. … I can guarantee whenever my number’s called, I’ll be ready.”
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) July 25, 2016
But that hasn’t stopped him from impressing the media and coaches in the first practice of Training Camp. Wentz was aggressive in his throws today, constantly looking downfield for his receivers and reportedly throwing an even tighter spiral than in OTA’s.
The plan is for Pederson to focus on development until the latter stages of Pre-season..and who could blame him? With 27 rookies on the roster, it’s important that their development is at the forefront of Training camp..considering how important depth across the roster is going to be this season.
This also means that Carson Wentz is going to see a lot of action in the opening games of pre-season. With that in mind, Pederson wants the development of Wentz to be a focal point when it comes to the quarterbacks.
The Eagles Head Coach told Philly.com
“we’re just going to get Carson as many reps as we can, get him caught up. Get him to where he needs to be. I’m very comfortable and excited with where Sam left OTAs and where he’s coming in now. Chase is a solid two. “
So with Wentz becoming a priority and Bradford focusing on keeping his long-term NFL future alive, Chase Daniel appears to be in the middle of the road..keeping an equilibrium between the starter and a hungry rookie.
The Eagles are paying $12M guaranteed to Chase Daniel..but for good reason. One of the most attractive traits Daniel has is that he isn’t a “star”. You never see him on TMZ or in any kind of controversy. You never hear rumors or reports of a backup gone awol..his head is in the right place. He’s calm, concise, approachable and better yet knows Pederson’s Offense like the back of his hand.
Being the number two overall pick in the Draft is one thing. Playing in Philadelphia is another entirely. Finding out you’ll start the year on the sidelines as QB3 and still finding that attacking mentality in such a tough environment is tougher yet. Daniel is there to help Wentz through the process.
Alex Smith for instance who has been the Chiefs bonafide throughout Daniel’s stint with the Chiefs somewhat relied upon Daniel more than you might imagine.
“…I do think it’s very, very important that that comes back, that your backup is watching film with you. Because as soon as I’m stepping off the field here, you know, I’m asking, ‘Hey, what did you guys see on this, what did you guys see on that?’ I’m constantly bouncing things off of those guys, and it can’t always be coaches (helping me).”
“For me, it’s nice to have the perspective of another guy, a guy that’s played quarterback and knows what it’s like. It’s crucial sometimes to have that, and I really did have it with Chase the last few years. He’s a guy whose opinion I really trusted and think a lot of.”
The Eagles aren’t just paying Chase to be an insurance policy if Sam goes down. Nor are they paying him to just be the long-term backup behind Wentz when the time comes. They’re paying him to help develop the mind of the NDSU star. To build a trusting QB relationship that could have easily been turbulent in the locker room without his presence.
Chase Daniel never played Division one Football in College..and it’s one of the biggest concerns many had after the Eagles announced the pick. The knowledge that Daniel has soaked up from the likes of Drew Brees, Alex Smith and of course Doug Pederson is going to be invaluable to the NDSU product.
Training camp is going to be an intense experience for Wentz. With competition at every position on the roster, tempers are likely going to flare and it’s easy to get lost in the moment. Daniel’s presence will not only keep the rookie firmly grounded..but help him navigate through the somewhat chaotic trials and tribulations that Training camp can bring.
When the pads go on for the first time on Saturday, we could well see a learning curve for Wentz..and it’s a curve Daniel will be helping him through every step of the way. Whether it’s reading Defenses, picking up coverages or simply fundamentals..the long-term backup is more than just “a guy on the sidelines in case Bradford goes down”..and he’s more than just a mentor for Wentz. He’s the neutralizer. The man who brings a sense of serenity to a position shrouded in media pressure, sensationalized headlines and intensity from a starter who’s playing for the longevity of his career.
The quarterback is the most important position on the football field. The Eagles have a short-term plan, they have a long-term plan..and they have a man in the middle who brings balance to the position. A quarterback who in the most competitive part of the offseason will be able to guide both Wentz and Bradford through the Offense and help prepare them for what’s set to be a truly testing season.
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