METAIRIE, La. ― Rarely will you see a defender cheering for an offensive player during practice.
But Friday, that’s exactly what Saints safety Roman Harper was doing as quarterback Chase Daniel sprinted down the right sideline, away from defenders and towards the end zone.
“On that long run, I was gassed running down the sideline,” Daniel said. “But I just saw on opening. It was a cover zero blitz. There was no one covering the quarterback and Coach Payton says every time to try and find a lane and just run and go for it.”
Eighty yards later, Daniel was in the end zone, outrunning the entirety of the defense and impressing first-team safety Harper, who shouted, “Go Chase! Go Chase!” as the quarterback raced by the sideline.
“We dropped back and I was looking for my post route on my left by (Andy) Tanner and he was covered up,” Daniel said. “I saw the lane flash and instincts from college and high school, running the football a lot, took (over) and just said run. The funny thing is, when I got to the 50-yard line, I realized I had 50 yards more to go and I was out of breath. It was a good conditioning workout for me for sure.”
Daniel is fighting for a spot on the roster. The current thinking is that Patrick Ramsey is the backup to Drew Brees.
But if Daniel has more days like Friday afternoon, he could usurp the No. 2 spot. Daniel also threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to receiver Courtney Roby as the clock expired during two-minute drills.
“Really, what I’ve been telling myself (is) to try and be consistent,” Daniel said. “Past couple of days, I haven’t done as well as I wanted to but just come out and I’ve felt good about this first week of training camp for the most part.”
On the 15-yard touchdown pass, Daniel was working a 10-on-11 scenario after receiver Rod Harper injured his left hip. Harper could barely get back on the field to line up let alone get down the field.
Daniel immediately saw that and knew he only had half the field to work with.
“I saw the right corner to the field with his back turned to me and Roby just waving his arms in the air and I threw it sort of back shoulder and he came back and got it in the end zone,” Daniel said. “It was a great catch.”