New backup QB Chase Daniel relishing chance to reconnect with Lions' Matthew Stafford
Allen Park — Like much of America, Chase Daniel is fighting boredom. Cooped up in his Delmar, California home, respecting the shelter in place order being observed across the state, the new Detroit Lions backup quarterback has been exploring ideas to help pass the days.
One idea he's been tinkering with is a podcast. No, wait, not a podcast. Everyone has a podcast and Daniel isn't trying to throw his hat into the ring. Instead, he envisions his project as a one-on-one video chats with some of the top names in sports, including Saints quarterback Drew Brees, soccer player Julie Ertz and new teammate, Matthew Stafford.
"I know a lot of people just because I've been on a lot of teams in a lot of different times, and right now people are wanting content," Daniel said in a conference call with Detroit media on Monday. "And so I've actually thrown around that idea and it's definitely going to happen. I already have a list of some pretty cool names, just catching up and telling me what you're doing during this quarantine, because I think everybody wants to know. 'Are you working out, or are you getting fat and eating your entire fridge just like I am right now?' Like, I can't stop eating during this quarantine. It's insane. Just something like that."
Daniel and Stafford actually go way back, growing up in the same area in Texas.
"He's from around the same part of Dallas as I am and I remember growing up, I think we're the same year in school, or maybe one year behind or one year ahead, but I remember really hearing about him for his baseball," Daniel said. He used to be a killer baseball player for Highland Park. They were 4A at the time and we were 5A at Southlake Carroll, so we never actually got to play each other except in baseball. We actually played each other at Texas Rangers Field, which is actually pretty cool."
Asked who won the game, Daniel was iffy on his memory of the details, but he believes his school emerged victorious in a 2003 matchup. It's possible Stafford may remember it differently.
The two crossed paths again in 2008 when they worked as counselors at the Elite 11 quarterback camp. That was shortly before both embarked on their NFL careers, and were also both a little on the chunky side.
"Yeah, thanks to Detroit for posting that picture by the way," Daniel said. "That was so long ago and probably 10 pounds heavier than I am. I mean, that's actually pretty funny."
Now, after 10-year pro careers, the two reconnect on the Lions roster, where Daniel will provide a veteran presence between Detroit's franchise quarterback. Unlike Stafford, who has spent his entire career with the Lions, Daniels has bounced around a bit, making his sixth stop in his 11th season.
"Matthew is one of the best players in the game," Daniel said. "It's going to be fun to work side-by-side with him and really just pick his brain. We've already talked quite a bit about the offense in general."
It's an offense Daniel is excited to play in after being impressed by how well Stafford performed last season, before a back injury prematurely ended his run. And Daniel knows a thing or two about playing in exciting offenses. He's spent his entire career playing under some of the game's greatest offensive minds and their proteges, from Sean Payton in New Orleans to Andy Reid in Kansas City to a pair of offshoots from Reid's coaching tree, Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy.
"I just remember watching the first three or four games last year of Detroit, really their offense, because I'm a big football fan in general and they were slinging it, man," Daniel said. "Matt was firing on all cylinders. Obviously, the back situation happened, really before our game (against Chicago). It was sad to see. One of the reasons I came to Detroit was to work with Bev (offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell)."