New Orleans Saints Quarterback Chase Daniel*
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, April 3, 2017*
Is it crazy to be back in New Orleans after a couple years away?
"Yes. it is. It's interesting, I started my career in New Orleans, for four years and sort of left for four years spread my wings a little bit and now I'm coming back home. It's exciting to be back I'm not going to lie. That was absolutely one of the draws to New Orleans…To come back and not only play with Drew (Brees), but that offensive coaching staff with Sean (Payton), Pete (Carmichael) and Joe (Lombardi). It's one of the best in the game."
Do you consider New Orleans home and reside here at all still?
"No, we don't live there (full-time), we live in Dallas, but I think anytime you start your career somewhere and you're there for four years and are able to win a Super Bowl there and still stay in contact with all the coaches and some of the players, I think you almost have to consider it home a little bit."
What were you looking for in free agency?
"I think that is a fair and good question. For me it was a chance to further my career. Obviously, if you are in this business to just be a backup and just get along than you are not going to last very long, in my opinion. For me it was about an opportunity to not only come back to New Orleans where I started my career, but also put myself in a position to become a starter down the road. Now is it in New Orleans? I don't know? Is it somewhere else? Hopefully. That's obviously my goal and to become not only a starter, but a Pro Bowl starter."
In what ways can being a backup with the Saints prepare you to be a starter?
"Obviously, you're behind a first ballot hall of famer in Drew Brees. You're behind a hall of fame offensive coaching staff. This is the best opportunity for me and my family for this one-year deal."
Did you look at this is as a situation where you only had offers to be a backup and this is the place you best wanted to do that or do you see this as a situation where they're going to need a starter here in 'X' number of years and you'd like to audition for that?
"Yes, I think that obviously Drew (Brees) is Superman. He could play till he's 45 if he wanted to and the way his contract is sort of setup, yes, it's his last year of his contract. But for me I'd be crazy to say that didn't play a little bit into it to come here to play behind Drew again, to learn this offense, to get noticed in this offense and see where it takes me."
How much contact did you have with Drew (Brees) during through this process and what was his reaction to you signing here?
"Well, I believe for me Drew has always stayed a close friend. I call him like my big brother. We've worked out together in the San Diego area really ever since I played in New Orleans during June and July (prior to training camps). Our relationship has stayed really close, but for me yes, he was a big part of this. The opportunity to come back and compete with him every single day is something I could not pass up. We stayed in contact really all of last year, especially through this free agency process. He just filled me in on his thoughts, the franchise, the city and everything that's going into effect. Obviously with Joe Lombardi and Pete Carmichael and Sean Payton (there), they obviously played a big role as well."
What were you able to learn and accomplish the few years you were away from the Saints?
"That's a good question. I think that for me personally to be able to step away from the program to go to Kansas City for three years and be on a very highly competitive team, to learn maybe some new offensive concepts, to grow mentally and physically and see how different franchises are run, different scenarios that have happened and to come back here, I just think it (helped me) grow as player going into my ninth year in the league. I feel like overall I'm a more mentally, physically tough person than I was maybe three or four years ago when I was a young pup in New Orleans."
How challenging was that situation in Philadelphia the last two years?
"Yeah, there's different scenarios that took place that obviously when we signed there at the beginning of the free agency period last year changed. Listen, they felt like they could go and move up to number two, which they did and get their franchise quarterback for 10-plus years going forward. Now I hope Carson (Wentz) plays that long. I think he's an excellent guy, he's an excellent player. He is very smart for his age. But for me personally I felt that being in Philadelphia, even though I loved the city, my career was sort of stagnant a little bit. To be able to (get) a chance to get back here, now listen there were plenty other offers on the table, not only to be a backup, but possibly come in and compete and be a starter, but I felt right now at this point in my career, for my family for this one-year deal, this was the best spot."
Can you share with us what other teams were interested?
"I'd rather not, it doesn't really matter because I'm in New Orleans. I'm a Saint now baby."
Was the parting in Philadelphia mutual? Is that an accurate way to word that?
"Yeah, like I said circumstances took place that were beyond my control and we've had healthy long conversations with Howie Roseman. Howie's a great guy, he's treated me very fairly throughout this entire process and we just both felt that it was best to sort of move on so I could grow my career and it was in perfect timing because we had really thought about that before they had signed Nick (Foles) and I know they were looking for a veteran backup in Nick Foles and I know Nick very well. It sort of worked out well for both. They were able to get a veteran starter and I was able to sort of spread my wings and get released."