METAIRIE, La. — For many teams, preparing for an athletic duel-threat quarterback could be tough.
Few NFL teams have guys on the roster good enough to mimic those players.
Luckily for the New Orleans Saints, they have nearly the perfect player in Chase Daniel, who will play the 6-foot-2, 217-pound Robert Griffin III this week in preparation for Sunday’s season opener against the Washington Redskins.
“He’s a pretty good runner himself,” Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis said. “He does some good things out there when he runs the ball. I’m sure he’s giving us an accurate a look as he can.”
Indeed, these are the weeks that Daniel enjoys the most.
An option quarterback at Missouri, it’s not often that Daniel gets to use his zone-read and foot skills for the greater good of the team. At Missouri, Daniel completed 68 percent of his passes for 12,515 yards and 101 touchdowns while also recording 970 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing on 364 runs.
Usually, though, he has to mirror what a traditional drop-back passer will do as scout team quarterback. Not this week. Not with Griffin and an unpredictable offense.
“It’s fun,” said Daniel, who stands 6-feet tall and 225 pounds. “Anytime you get a big quarterback who can scramble a little bit and run around a little bit, we’re definitely working on that in practice some. It’s fun. It definitely is.”
Griffin’s 49.22 in the 400-meter hurdles at Baylor is third-fastest in school history and his 49.55 in the 400-meter hurdles was third-best at the NCAA Track & Field championships.
He set school records as a quarterback, becoming the first person to complete more than 600 passes; throw more than 1,000 passes; have a completion percentage of better than 65 percent; throw for more than 6,000 yards; record more than 40 touchdown passes and gain more than 8,000 yards in total offense.
And that’s what Daniel has to imitate this week.
“It’s tough,” Daniel said. “I try to get really warmed up before our running team period when I’m out there reading the end and pitching off nickel and stuff like that. It’s fun. I try to give them the best look possible and try to go 100 percent all the time.”
The best part, though, is the ability to go off-script, to give the Saints’ defense a look that they may not be expecting.
“They draw some pretty cool cards up for us in weeks like this,” Daniel said. “So it’s definitely fun to run around a little bit and find some open guys.”