Daniel with the Chicago Bears in 2019
|No. 4 – Chicago Bears|
|Born:||October 7, 1986|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||229 lb (104 kg)|
|High school:||Southlake Carroll|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2019|
William Chase Daniel (born October 7, 1986) is an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Missouri and was signed by the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Daniel has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, and the New Orleans Saints.
- 1 Early years
- 2 College career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Daniel prepped under head coach Todd Dodge at Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas, where the team won the 5A Division II state title in 2002 and 2004 as well as a state runner-up in 2003. After playing his sophomore year at wide receiver, Daniel was a two-year starter at quarterback, leading his team to a 31–1 record in those years. He completed 65.2% of his passes for 8,298 yards and 91 touchdowns and added 2,954 rushing yards and 39 scores. Southlake earned a No. 1 national ranking in 2004 after winning the 5A state championship, while Daniel won the 5A state Player of the Year. He was also named the EA Sports National Player of the Year.
As a junior, Daniel threw for 3,681 yards with 42 touchdowns to go along with nine interceptions. In addition, he ran for 1,529 yards with 18 touchdowns.
Despite his impressive statistics, Daniel was not recruited heavily by his preferred school, Texas. This presented an opportunity for Missouri to recruit him, and give him a chance to be part of a resurgent program. Ironically, it was only after he had committed to Mizzou that Longhorn coach Mack Brown began to seriously look at Daniel, but Daniel stuck to his verbal commitment with Missouri. He was also offered scholarships from Maryland, Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Texas A&M.
Daniel enjoyed an illustrious college career at the University of Missouri, passing for more than 12,000 yards and throwing for more than 100 touchdowns. He is widely considered one of the most successful quarterbacks in the school's history.
Although he was not Missouri's most heralded NFL prospect, Daniel raised the football program's profile significantly as a three-year starter and arguably laid the groundwork for the Tigers' eventual move to the Southeastern Conference in 2012.
Daniel was the primary backup quarterback for Brad Smith in the 2005 season and played in 10 games. He completed 38-of-66 passes for 247 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. On October 15, he was 16-of-23 for 185 passing yards and a touchdown against Iowa State.
Daniel started all 13 games in 2006 as Missouri earned a berth in the Brut Sun Bowl. He threw for 3,527 yards with a 63.5 percent completion rate and 28 touchdowns. Daniel also set a school record for passing touchdowns in a game, racking up five scores in the season opener against Murray State. This was good enough for a Second Team All-Big 12 selection while he also was named to the First Team All-Academic Big 12 Team. Daniel was also one of the 35 quarterbacks placed on the 2007 Manning Award watch list.
Daniel improved in 2007, throwing for 4,306 yards with a 68.2 percent completion rate and 33 touchdowns, with only 11 interceptions in 14 games. He also rushed for a net 253 yards and four touchdowns for a total offense of 37 touchdowns and 4,559 yards, which was good for an average of almost 326 yards per game. He led the Tigers to the cusp of a national championship appearance; in late November 2007, the program surged to #1 in the Associated Press poll for the first time since 1960.
After the Tigers defeated arch rival Kansas, the edition of December 3, 2007 of Sports Illustrated featured Daniel on the cover, with the caption "Mizzou, That's Who." Despite losing to the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game, the Tigers dominated Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day.
On December 5, 2007, Daniel was invited by the Heisman Trophy Trust to go to New York City as one of four finalists. He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting with 425 points. He garnered 25 first-place votes, 84 second-place votes, and 182 third-place votes. He became the third Tiger to finish in the top ten. His fourth-place showing marks the second-highest finish in Heisman voting by a Missouri Tigers player, with Paul Christman the only one to finish higher (third in 1939).
On January 1, 2008, Missouri wrapped up a school-best 12–2 season with a 38–7 win over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. A week later, the Tigers were ranked #4 in the Associated Press' final poll — the highest final ranking in school history — and #5 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. Daniel also announced he was returning for his senior season after putting his name in with the NFL College Advisory Committee to receive feedback for the NFL Draft.
In the 2008 preseason, Daniel was named one of 26 candidates for the 2008 Unitas Award, given to the nation's best senior college football quarterback. He continued to break virtually all Mizzou passing records, and in a two-game span against Southeast Missouri State and Nevada, he threw for more touchdowns (seven) than he did incomplete passes (six).
Daniel donned #25 in honor of fallen teammate Aaron O'Neal. O'Neal died before beginning his freshman year during practice in July 2005, and would have been a senior in 2008. The number rotated among the senior class that season.
Awards and honors
- 2× Heisman Trophy candidate (2007, 2008)
- 2006 First Team Academic All-Big 12
- 2006 ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District
- 2006 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week (Sep 4 and Nov. 27)
- 2006 AP Honorable Mention All-Big 12
- 2006 Second Team All-Big 12
- 2007–08 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year
- 2007 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week (Oct 8, Nov 5, and Nov. 26)
- 2007 First Team Academic All-Big 12
- 2007 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team
- 2007 First Team All-Big 12 (AP, Coaches)
- 2007 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year (AP, Coaches)
- 2007 All-America Honorable Mention (Sports Illustrated)
- 2007 All-America Second Team (AP, Walter Camp, Sporting News)
- 2007 Maxwell Award semifinalist
- 2007 finalist for Manning Award, Walter Camp Award, Davey O'Brien Award
- 2007 Heisman Trophy finalist – finished 4th
- 2008 Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year
- 2008 Draddy Trophy runner-up
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad|
|6 ft 0 in
|4.92 s||1.76 s||2.87 s||4.31 s||7.28 s||33 in
|9 ft 0 in|
|Broad from Missouri Pro Day, all others from NFL Combine|
Some scouts considered Daniel to be potentially among the best quarterbacks in the 2009 Draft, but they had concerns about his height and whether his skills in the college spread offense would translate to the very different game played in the NFL. Daniel's height was measured as 6 ft 0 in at the NFL Scouting Combine. He weighed in at 218 pounds. Daniel ran a 4.86 and 4.79 in the 40 and had a nine-foot broad jump in his Pro Day.
Daniel was not selected in the 2009 NFL Draft, but was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins waived him when making their final roster cuts on September 5, 2009.
New Orleans Saints
Daniel was signed to the New Orleans Saints practice squad on September 6, 2009. He was promoted to the active roster on September 26, and named the emergency third quarterback for the September 27 game against the Buffalo Bills. The Saints waived Daniel on October 12, 2009 after placekicker Garrett Hartley (coincidentally, a teammate of Daniel's at Southlake Carroll High School) came back from a four-game suspension, then re-signed him on October 16. On November 17, 2009, ESPN reported that Daniel had been cut once again, to allow the Saints to sign cornerback Chris McAlister. He was signed to the team's practice squad once again on November 20, 2009. He was released from the practice squad on December 9, 2009, only to be re-signed to the practice squad two days later on December 11, 2009. Daniel was promoted to the active roster prior to regular season finale on January 1, 2010. He was a member of the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XLIV Championship team, although he did not take the field that season.
Going into the 2010 season, Daniel was expected to battle with veteran Patrick Ramsey for the backup quarterback position behind Drew Brees. Daniel and Ramsey put up similar numbers during the preseason, but on September 3, it was reported that Daniel had been chosen as backup quarterback while Ramsey had been waived by the team. He signed a new one-year contract with the Saints in March 2012. He continued as the primary backup to Brees, as well as the team's placekick holder, for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons.
Kansas City Chiefs
Daniel signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on March 12, 2013. For 2013, he was secured as the backup to Alex Smith. In Week 14 of the 2013 NFL season, Daniel played in the game against the Washington Redskins and was 1 for 3 in passing with an interception. The Chiefs won that game 45–10. In Week 17, with the Chiefs locked into the #5 seed in the playoffs, Daniel started his first ever regular season NFL game, a 24–27 overtime loss to the San Diego Chargers, going 21/30 for 200 yards and one touchdown pass, while rushing for an additional 59 yards. His final 2013 stats were 248 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Daniel returned to the Chiefs for the 2014 season as Smith's backup. Before week 17 against the Chargers, it was announced that Smith had suffered a lacerated spleen and would miss the game and possibly the playoffs, giving Daniel the start on Week 17 for the second straight year. This time, Daniel led the Chiefs to a 19–7 victory over the Chargers. The victory eliminated the Chargers from playoff contention.
Daniel remained with the Chiefs in the 2015 season but appeared in relief in only in two games in the regular season and the 30–0 victory over the Houston Texans in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.
On March 9, 2016, Daniel signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. In the 2016 season, he was the backup to rookie Carson Wentz, who the Eagles used the second overall pick on. He appeared in two games in the 2016 season. On March 13, 2017, hours after the Eagles signed free agent quarterback and former Philadelphia Eagle Nick Foles, Daniel requested his release from the team, and was granted the request.
New Orleans Saints (second stint)
For the 2018 regular season, he served as the backup to Mitchell Trubisky. In week four, he saw action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a trick play nicknamed "Willy Wonka", which had been designed by Nagy and the quarterbacks and named by Daniel days before the game. On the Buccaneers' three-yard line, Daniel joined Trubisky in the backfield in the shotgun formation. Before the play began, receiver Taylor Gabriel and tight end Trey Burton moved along the line of scrimmage to confuse the defense. Upon receiving the snap, Trubisky quickly pitched the ball forward to Gabriel on a shovel pass. Trubisky then faked a hand-off to Daniel as Gabriel scored the touchdown.
On November 21, Daniel was named the starter for the Week 12 Thanksgiving matchup against the Detroit Lions due to a shoulder injury to Trubisky. It was his third career start and his first start since Week 17 of the 2014 season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He completed 27 of 37 pass attempts for 230 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 23–16 Bears victory.
Daniel remained the starter for the following week's game against the New York Giants. He completed 26 of 39 passes for 285 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions (both by Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree, one of which was returned for a touchdown), and was also sacked five times as the Bears lost in overtime 30–27. Trubisky returned to the starting role a week later.
In week four of the 2019 season against the Minnesota Vikings, Daniel replaced an injured Trubisky in the first quarter. Daniel completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown to Tarik Cohen as the Bears won 16–6. With Trubisky unable to play the following week's game against the Oakland Raiders in London, Daniel filled in as starting quarterback. Although he threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns, he was also intercepted twice, with one coming late in the game as the Bears lost 24–21.
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