September 6, 2009

Saints set week one practice squad featuring former Mizzou QB Chase Daniel

Chase Daniel was just supposed to be a camp arm in Washington this training camp. He succeeded in an effort to defeat incumbent Colt Brennan for the 3rd QB job with the Redskins.

In the end, the Redskins kept only two quarterbacks. Daniels didn't make the team but definitely made an impact.

Now, instead of returning to Washington on their practice squad, he's coming to New Orleans to run the scout team where the Saints have also decided to keep only two quarterbacks.

According to Jason La Canfora of NFL.com, Daniels chose the Saints over the Redskins.

Daniel and Redskins surprise WR Marko Mitchell emerged together, and his strong performance showed up and whipped Redskins QB Colt Brennan. Daniel led the Redskins to a last minute touchdown in the preseason finale, capped by a 4-yard touchdown to Mitchell (two plays after a four-yard touchdown to TE Todd Yoder was overruled on replay). Brennan was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

It capped a good preseason effort for Daniel, coming off two fine seasons at Missouri where he was deep in Heisman contention and two straight Big 12 title game appearances. Daniel went undrafted despite a productive college career because of some bad scouting reports: too short (6'0), only average arm strength. Sound familiar to any current Saints quarterback?

But Daniel's scouting reports went deeper than that. He is smart, has decent speed and was a winner, but he played in a QB-friendly offense that is far from pro style. His accuracy was called into question, despite once connecting 20 passes in a row. He was undrafted and went to Washington. Now, in New Orleans, he has a great opportunity to hone his craft behind an All-Pro quarterback and an excellent offensive coaching staff.

Payton and his staff haven't had a young quarterback project to work on since cutting Tyler Palko loose last preseason. Joey Harrington couldn't shake the same bad habits from his Detroit days (see an eight-sack performance in the preseason finale).

Now Daniel is be the Saints' new developmental hobby.

The rest of the Saints' initial 2009 practice squad are all familiar faces to Saints fans.

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