Around Southlake, he just goes by Chase, and around the NFL he goes by Mr. Chase Daniel: The Greatest, Wealthiest Quarterback Who Never Plays.
Chase Daniel is 32, and he’s still in the NFL.
This was the quarterback who desperately wanted to go fulfill his dream of playing at Texas, but was not offered a scholarship until the 11th and 59th minute hour because UT-bound Ryan Perrilloux changed his mind to attend LSU.
Today, Chase Daniel is the model of doing just about everything right, and the envy of guys like Perrilloux, Vince Young and so many others who would convert to whatever religion to be where he is.
We all know what happened to Chase. Most have no clue what happened to Perriloux, who was the heir to VY and Mack Brown’s ticket to another title.
Chase was a star at Missouri, wasn’t drafted, won a Super Bowl ring, and has made nearly $30 million in 10 NFL seasons having thrown a total of 154 regular-season passes.
“I wanted to go to Texas but they had made other choices and when I committed to Missouri, that was it. It was a commitment,” Daniel said in a phone interview. “I didn’t blink when Texas offered me. And it all worked out in the end. They had Colt McCoy and we both are in the NFL.”
Chase Daniel and Colt McCoy are both in the NFL whereas so many others who were drafted, and “ranked” well ahead of both at various times are not.
Perrilloux stayed, and barely played, at LSU for two seasons before he was kicked out. He transferred to Jacksonville State where he was a good player. He was a member of the New York Giants practice squad in 2011, and although he was never activated he still has a Super Bowl ring from that team.
He was most recently coaching at the high school level in his native Louisiana.
Daniel is hosting a charity golf tournament for the Mizzou Alumni Chapter on Friday at the Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club in Keller; this is the fifth year for the event that raises scholarship money with Southlake residents Trevor Mitchell and Mark Bauer.
THE MISCONCEPTION OF BEING THE BACKUP
Daniel, who is now entering his second year with the Chicago Bears, hears how he has The Life; he never has to play, make himself vulnerable to a life-altering hit, and has made millions holding a clipboard.
Few make it in this role. With few exceptions, here is the little truth about backup quarterbacks: They are dying to play.
“There is no question about it but at the same time Mitch Trubisky is the starter and my job is to support him and him get ready however that is,” Daniel said. “The second I lose that fire in me that wants to play, that’s the day I should probably quit. But that fire burns brighter than ever.
“When I did play (last season in starts against the Lions and Giants), it really stoked that fire. It gave me all the confidence in the world. My body feels the best it ever has. I’m only 32.”
Daniel is the ideal NFL backup. He’s a good guy. He’s a pro who doesn’t complain. He’s a good guy. He knows his role and excels in it. He’s a good guy. He’s also good enough to start for a lot of teams, and should The Guy go down, he’s smart enough to run an offense well enough to win a game.
And, he’s a good guy. In that role, being a good guy can’t be overstated.
The question is can he do it as the starter? Unlike McCoy, who has been given that chance, Daniel never has. He’s always been The Backup.
He’s happy in Chicago, but he would also love to start. He wants to play.
ABOUT THAT CHASE DANIEL VIDEO
When the Chicago Bears PR staff approached Daniel about participating in a video/practical joke, they had to know not just any pro football player would be OK this one. He was “lukewarm” to the concept.
Last season at training camp, the Bears staff put Daniel in a Bears jersey, a pair of sunglasses, a bucket hat and had him stand among fans and approach his teammates looking for autographs. Even though he is an NFL quarterback, because he’s 6-foot-tall (maybe), he can blend in among us regulars.
He executed it beautifully. None of his teammates had any idea they were signing an autograph for a guy they shared a locker room.
“I was not sure how I could do it, or if I should do it. Or if it would be funny,” Daniel said. “They kept after me about it. It wouldn’t work this year but last year was the perfect storm because I was new and I decided to do it. I was able to hide in that outfit a little bit, and it was funny. It was sort of surprising how many people I was able to get.”
The video went viral, and generated over 1 million views in 24 hours.
“I’ve lived my life and if you can’t laugh at yourself you are not living right,” Daniel said. “I don’t think I’m better or worse than anyone. I’m not trying to fit in. I don’t know if I would have said that in my second year; I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. Just be yourself.”
That’s the beautiful part of Chase Daniel: He’s comfortable in his own skin.
From his days at Southlake to Missouri to his first shot in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, he believed he could play.
More than 10 years later into one of the more unique careers going in the NFL, he still believes he can. And he’s dying for a shot to prove it beyond his current role as the Break Glass in Case of Emergency Guy.
Until that day comes, Chase Daniel is The Best Quarterback Who Never Plays.