Chase Daniel has a Super Bowl ring, continues to make a six-figure living to play football, and now all he needs is the chance to actually play. The former Southlake Carroll Dragon and Missouri Tiger QB is the backup to Drew Brees with the Saints.
"To backup a future Hall of Famer and to learn as much as possible from him is something quarterbacks dream of," Daniel told me in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Daniel, 26, had a great career at Missouri, but he was a loooooong shot coming into the NFL. Regardless, he has continued to improve and now has a relatively secure gig making good money as a QB. The only thing he lacks is the chance to start.
The Big Mac Blog: How do you walk the line between being grateful for having this gig and wanting more?
Chase Daniel: You hit the nail on the head - I feel like I can be a starter in this league. Not only from my time in the preseason but my time around Drew and how I play in practice and I how I prepare. I think I can do it. But I understand my role on this team, which is to prepare and be ready.
The Big Mac Blog: What advice would you give a guy who wants to come into the league and get paid to play football?
Chase Daniel: Always compete to be a starter. If you are in the NFL just to be a backup you aren't going to be in this league for a long time. I'm always competing.
The Big Mac Blog: The way you were groomed as a kid and then at Southlake, what was it about your training and coaching that maybe gave you a leg up at Missouri and even now?
Chase Daniel: With Southlake and coach Todd Dodge he taught me how to eat, live and breathe like a quarterback. Not only the physical part of the game but the mental part. That's why I was able to compete with Brad Smith at Missouri when I was a freshman. I prepared myself for that.
The Big Mac Blog: Do you still fight the 'He's too small' rap?
Chase Daniel: I don't think so at all. I haven't played a long during the regular season but I have been here for four years so this team has confidence in me. There are a lot of guys around the league now, like Russell Wilson in Seattle, that are "short" who are getting it done.
The Big Mac Blog: My perception about being a backup QB in the NFL and maintaining that job is that you need to get along with everybody and be a good employee; do you feel that's vital to your security?
Chase Daniel: No doubt about it. That's the case for anybody on an NFL team. I've based a lot of my life on relationships, with coaches, front office people. It's something that's very important, especially here in New Orleans.
The Big Mac Blog: What's the adjustment like to live in New Orleans?
Chase Daniel: It's awesome. It's all about the Saints, 24/7 whether we are 16-0 or 0-16. They love the Saints here. We give them hope.
The Big Mac Blog: How has the city changed in the post-Katrina life?
Chase Daniel: It's awesome. There are still somethings to do but Katrina is in our past. We are looking forward for the city and the excited about the opportunity to build this great city.
The Big Mac Blog: How often do you get back to Southlake?
Chase Daniel: Not very often. I just bought a home in Dallas and that's where I will spend my offseason. I love the area.
The Big Mac Blog: What do you want to do in your post career?
Chase Daniel: I've started an apparel company - 10 Star - I oversee that on a day to day basis. It's been a good thing. It's custom corporate apparel.
The Big Mac Blog: The Bounty Gate ordeal had to take a toll on the Saints this year, didn't it?
Chase Daniel: It did a little bit but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That's what we are in the process of trying to do is move forward and put that behind us and I think we have done that.
The Big Mac Blog: A Mizzou question - they didn't have a great year, what will it take to get back to the 9 or 10 win seasons the Tigers had when you were there?
Chase Daniel: I love it, but I know they had a tough year in the SEC. They had a lot of injuries. We played the nation's toughest schedule. You are going to have growing pains. But I think with the recruiting and the changes we've made we can do well in that league. It's going to take some time.
The Big Mac Blog: Best place to eat in Columbia?
Chase Daniel: When you think of Columbia is Shakespeare's Pizza.
The Big Mac Blog: How many tickets did you have to get for the Saints/Cowboys game this week?
Chase Daniel: Uh, probably eight.
The Big Mac Blog: Thanks for your time & best of luck.
Chase Daniel: Alright man, I appreciate it.
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