Drew Brees has been the Saints’ No. 1 quarterback every day since the day he arrived in 2006, but he’s not right now, because as an unsigned free agent he doesn’t even play for the Saints right now at all. And that means when the Saints begin their organized team activities next week, Chase Daniel will be running the first-string offense.
Daniel sounds ambivalent about that, knowing it’s a good experience for him while also knowing that this team needs Brees.
“First and foremost, we miss Drew,” Daniel told the Associated Press. “This whole team, the community, the fans, everybody misses Drew, but we also realize right now we have to move on without him,” Daniel said. “Is a deal going to get done? Yes, I have faith. But right now it’s a great opportunity for myself to go in, show the type of skills I’ve [developed] and really earn the trust of the guys. I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, Drew runs the ship. I’m just here to get ready.”
Daniel has spent the last three seasons with the Saints but has only seen the field in garbage time, throwing eight passes. After three years as Brees’ understudy, he says Brees is behind him now.
“He just says, ‘Steer the ship,’” Daniel said of his conversations with Brees. “It hurts him not to be there. It really does. We’re like family to him and he’s family to us and we miss him . . . but he also realizes that this is a business and he has to get a deal done first.”
And until that deal gets done, Chase Daniel is the starting quarterback of the New Orleans Saints.