In New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is unchallenged for his starting role, well secure in the confines of Sean Payton’s yard stealing offense.
But every teams needs a backup quarterback just in case, and once again this year the battle for number two will be between Chase Daniel and Sean Canfield.
Daniel was a college star at the University of Missouri, but the scouts didn’t like his height or athletic ability enough to label him as an NFL quarterback, even after he threw 12,168 yards and 100 touchdowns in three full seasons at the helm of the Tigers.
He went undrafted in 2009 before signing a deal with the Washington Redskins. Daniel was cut after the preseason, as Washington hoped to sneak him through waivers, but the Saints liked what they saw and signed him to their practice squad in September.
Since then he has been bounced on and off the practice squad and regular roster until last season were he finally made the 53 as Brees’ primary backup for the 2011 season.
Daniel has been given the nick name of “Little Brees”, in reference to his likeness to the Pro Bowl quarterback given his shorter stature, and his game is very similar in that he is very accurate with the football — although lacking elite arm strength.
But Daniel will once again have to outplay another quarterback to keep his backup job for the 2012-2013 season. His primary competition will be former Oregon State quarterback Sean Canfield, who was signed to the active offseason roster on January 14th.
Unlike Daniel, Canfield didn’t go undrafted, but was selected by the Saints in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL draft.
But there are similarities between the quarterbacks – just like Daniel was bounced on and off the practice squad — so to was Canfield after spending most of the 2010 and 2011 season on the scout team with a few stints on the regular roster.
In the offseason last year Canfield battled with Daniel and veteran quarterback Patrick Ramsey to become the teams primary backup, and while it appeared close between he and Daniel for a few weeks, he eventually lost out as the Saints favored the accuracy of Chase.
Ramsey was released in the preseason.
Canfield has a bigger arm than Daniel, but at times has flashed questionable decision making. He has had some time to work with the Saints coaching staff on his deficiencies, and surely he is hopeful that this is the year he can break through.
The Saints are likely going to have plenty of intriguing camp battles this year. There is a new defensive coordinator in town, and Spagnuolo is likely to completely overhaul the defensive roster.
But the battle to watch will be that of Canfield and Daniel as once again these two young quarterbacks will go head-to-head for the right to be called Drew Brees’ backup.