Chase Daniel: Two TDs and a Missing Mouthpiece
Chase Daniel's first NFL snap was a near disaster. He wears the sort of old-school plastic mouthguard that you boil right down on the field, and he was wearing it in the bottom of his mouth, so that his teammates could understand him in the huddle. His chinstrap was buttoned up tight, and he was ready to go.
"Mid-cadence, I'm saying 'Green 80,' my mouthpiece falls out, and I catch it, right above the center's butt," Daniel said. "I'm going, 'Oh my God, I can't stop with it,' so I throw it behind me about 10 feet. And 'Green 80', get the snap, get the handoff. So I don't have a mouthpiece for those three series. Pretty bad."
Teammates were laughing on the sideline, speculating that Daniel--who also wears hologram wristbands for extra balance--was too nervous to keep his mouthguard in his mouth. But things pretty much worked out for the rookie quarterback from Missouri. His first drive ended with a three-yard touchdown pass to Marko Mitchell. His third possession lasted all of one play, an 18-yard touchdown pass to Fred Davis. He's the only Redskins quarterback to engineer a touchdown drive this preseason.
"Chase had a wonderful night," Coach Jim Zorn said. "I was excited for a guy not getting a lot of reps to perform with some poise. Just like every second group out there, they want to do well, and they certainly did."
Or, as Davis put it, "he was slinging the rock. Looked like he knew what he was doing."
Indeed, Daniel--fourth on the depth chart--finished with a fine line completing six of eight passes for 58 yards and scrambling for 22 yards on a third-and-11.
"That's a dream," starter Jason Campbell said. "You all come out of college and the first thing you dream about is your first NFL game, and he came out and got two touchdowns, so a job well done."
"He did a great job man," Colt Brennan said. "He made that first completion, you could see him start to gain his confidence and everything, and then all of a sudden he hit a couple more completions and he found some rhythm and he was rolling. And then by the time we got that turnover, he was just pounding it in there, so it was a good thing for Chase. For his first game, that's a great feeling. I remember that from last year, it was a great feeling."
"It was fun," Daniel said in a postgame interview with Comcast SportsNet. "Once I got hit, I felt great. I like getting hit, I like getting dirty, and after that first hit that I had--I don't know what it was on, I think I threw the ball away--I was ready to go. So it was fun out there, it was a blast."
Daniel didn't play at all in the preseason opener, and he's had limited chances in camp, but he said he hasn't been down at all.
"I haven't been getting many reps in practice, but making my reps count, and that's all you can do," he said. "You've got to just keep digging deep and making those reps count as much as you can, and hopefully some good stuff will happen for you."
As for Brennan, the former practitioner of third-string QB magic? He now has two preseason interceptions, after throwing one at the goal line against the Steelers, but he's still the same old gunslinger.
"Preseason, you try to take chances, you try to punch it in when you drive down there and I kind of shot myself in the foot," he said. "I had a good little drive, and unfortunately, dude, I just [needed] one play back....When it left [my hand] I was like, 'Oh, we got this...oh...no.' It was kind of one of those things where I thought I had it and I tried to squeeze it in there....Just bummed I threw another pick."
(Oh, and Daniel closed his night with this Tweet: "Thanks for all the support! Great feeling to play well, but most importantly we WON! HTTR"
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