Doug Pederson: ‘Chase Daniel Is the No. 2’
Before Doug Pederson even opened up his press conference for questions, he wanted to make one thing clear: Chase Daniel is joining the Eagles as their backup quarterback.
Then, after the first question, Pederson re-emphasized his point.
“Sam Bradford is the No. 1 [quarterback on the depth chart], Chase Daniel is the No. 2, and we’re working on the No. 3,” he said.
It already appeared likely the Eagles would cut Mark Sanchez to save $3.5 million against the 2016 cap if they can’t trade him, but Pederson’s comments cemented that idea further. The head coach also explained why he wanted to address his quarterback situation before he was even asked about it.
“With the opportunity that (Bradford) has in front of him and what he did last year and where he is currently on our roster as the No. 1, I felt that was the best going forward by saying that, and it eliminates any distraction going forward,” Pederson said.
Pederson added that the quarterback depth chart is “clearly defined” and the Eagles are “not entertaining any [trade] offers” for Bradford. He also elaborated on his “iron sharpens iron” motto and said his desire to create competition at every position includes quarterback.
Pederson, who previously said at the NFL Combine that he viewed Daniel as a starting-caliber quarterback, further explained that thought.
“I see the leadership ability that he has on and off the football field. I see how well he interacts with the players. I’ve seen what he’s done not only in practice, but in limited game situations,” Pederson said. “I just think that he’s at a position in his career, where given the opportunity and his work ethic, puts him in a position to be a starter.”
Pederson reiterated that he sees himself in Daniel because he was also a long-time backup quarterback in the NFL, and that his confidence in Daniel couldn’t be any higher.
“If for whatever reason he has an opportunity to go into a football game, then we know that he can act and play just like a starter because that’s where he is in my mind. It’s a good confidence to have. In this league, it’s a comfort to have two solid quarterbacks,” Pederson said.
“I don’t think there’s necessarily a drop-off, as much as there is what Sam has proven here over the course of last season and what he’s done with this football team. There isn’t a drop-off. The one thing that Chase has maybe over Sam is his understanding of the terminology and the offense that I’m bringing to Philadelphia.”