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Daniel excited to tackle dual role as backup QB

Posted Mar 15, 2018

As the Bears' new backup quarterback, Chase Daniel knows that he'll be asked to perform when called upon and also help mentor promising young QB Mitchell Trubisky.

As the Bears' new No. 2 quarterback behind Mitchell Trubisky, veteran free-agent acquisition Chase Daniel knows that he'll have two primary responsibilities.

"One is to be able to play well when called upon and two is to help Mitch along," Daniel said Thursday at his introductory press conference at Halas Hall. "That's something that I definitely cherish and that I take seriously and that I'm looking forward to."

Daniel no doubt will be a valuable resource for Trubisky given that the career backup had Bears first-year head coach Matt Nagy as his position coach for three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013-15.

General manager Ryan Pace, who worked in the Saints personnel department when Daniel was a backup in New Orleans from 2010-12, called the veteran "a quarterback we believe in, but also someone that we feel is going to greatly help Mitch's continued development."

"He obviously has knowledge of the offense," Pace said. "That's huge, that's only going to help. And he's played with Alex Smith. He's played with Drew Brees. He's been around a lot of really good quarterback play. I think that only helps."

Daniel, who at 31 becomes the oldest player on the Bears roster, was impressed with how Trubisky performed last season as a rookie. Starting the final 12 games, the second pick in the draft completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 77.5 passer rating.

"Watching Mitch play last year was fun," Daniel said. "It's hard to play as a quarterback in this league, but especially as a rookie quarterback. I think he did some really good things. I'm excited to dive in with him deeper and get started with him. From everything I've heard, everything I've seen, he's a really great guy. So I'm ready to work with him."

Asked what it takes to operate Nagy's offense, Daniel said: "A brain."

"It's very quarterback-intensive," he said. "It's not just go out there and throw to the open guy. We're going to spend a lot of time in the classroom, a lot of time in walkthroughs, a lot of time just going through the specifics of this offense.

"It's very specific from a quarterback perspective in terms of splits by receivers, what route does a tight end have on this concept, the depth of a running back, how many yards on a ZD bend. It's very quarterback-intensive and as a quarterback we're supposed to know that stuff. I'm looking forward to teaching Mitchell."

While there's a lot to learn, Daniel is confident that Nagy won't overload Trubisky.

"One of the biggest things in this league is these rookie quarterbacks and second-year quarterbacks get way too much put on their plate," Daniel said. "I think here we're going to try to simplify things a little bit, get back to the base offense that Matt runs and just let Mitch play freely and not overload his plate. Just go out there from Day 1 and have fun and sling it around a little bit and play with confidence."

Daniel joins the Bears after spending his first eight NFL seasons with the Saints (2010-12 and 2017), Chiefs (2013-15) and Eagles (2016). He has made just two starts and attempted only 78 passes, completing 51 for 480 yards with one touchdown, one interception and an 81.1 passer rating.

Daniel had other options in free agency, but he ultimately chose to sign with the Bears so he could reunite with Nagy and help mentor Trubisky.

"There were three or four other teams that it came down to," Daniel said. "At the end of the day, yes the money was good, but it came down to my relationship with Matt; just everything he's meant to me, how he helped me further my career.

"And to help Mitch; to be able to come in, to be a sounding board for Mitch, really teach him the game and really inside the game, the preparation standpoint, the weight room stuff. From everything I've heard, he's a sponge. He just takes everything in. so I'm really looking forward to that."