NEW ORLEANS ― For much of the offseason, it was assumed the Saints would be shopping around for a backup quarterback.
After Saturday night, in a 38-20 win over Houston in preseason, it appears they didn’t have to look far.
Chase Daniel had a standout night, tossing three touchdowns passes and finishing 15 of 21 for 182 yards and a 117.5 passer rating. Though he threw one interception that led to a Houston field goal, he appeared comfortable and in command in leading the Saints to scores on 57 percent of the drives he was in the game.
Daniel was signed originally by Washington as an undrafted free agent in 2009. But he ended up in the Saints’ locker room last season and Saturday night, had a breakout performance.
“What I wanted to do was give him a lot of reps and I’ll try to do the same with Patrick next week when Drew (Brees) comes out,” Head Coach Sean Payton said. “At some point I wanted to just see how he would do No. 1 with the first offense and then how he would handle it with the second offense.”
New Orleans picked up Patrick Ramsey days before training camp began in July and used the former Tulane starter as the primary backup in its preseason opener against New England.
But against Houston, Daniel took the bulk of the backup snaps, playing all of the second and third quarters and most of the fourth.
“I think I played pretty well,” Daniel said. “I was confident in the huddle. Very comfortable running the offense and coach called some great plays out there.”
Playing with the first-team offense certainly helped.
“Big time,” Daniel said. “Playing with those guys, it makes you a better quarterback. It makes things easier on you and really you just go out there and play the game.”