Chase “Handshake” Daniel and His Irreplaceable NFL Superpowers
It’s been news for a couple of days now, but the NFL free agency news has been so fast and so furious that it takes time to catch up. A lot of players are joining new teams, but one addition is more important to this blog than all the rest: the Kansas City Chiefs have signed Chase Daniel to a three-year deal.
It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to just let my relationship with Chase end so quietly. For four years, Chase has been the only Missouri Tiger on the Saints, a perfect storm of my cheering interests. He’s also been the last-round pick on my fantasy football teams each year. For four years, I’ve watched the man who used to stand in line with me at Chipotle suit up on Sunday for my favorite NFL team. Chase and I have something special. It’s going to be hard to see him go.
In case you’ve been living under Shaun Rogers for the last four years, you’ve probably noticed something about the Saints quarterback situation: Chase Daniel doesn’t play. It’s not his fault that Drew Brees has put together back-to-back-to-back-to-back record-setting seasons. While there’s something to be said about the positive impact of a good backup on a starter, Chase’s primary responsibilities at this point are twofold: (1) rushing on to the field after touchdowns to give Drew Brees elaborate handshakes and (2) maximizing his Time on TV:Time on Field ratio.
To celebrate the former, I’ve made a collage out of a few of my favorite Chase handshakes. Chiefs fans, you should be drooling thinking of the intricate handshakes the Burrito can draw up in all that time on the sidelines. Chase studies playbooks, reviews overhead photos and communicates via the in-helmet microphone to sculpt touchdown celebrations like no player of this or any other generation.
To address the second part of his role (ToTV:ToF) in New Orleans, I’ve collected a few photographs to serve as a visual history. Let me walk you through each. Let it be understood that this is in no way an exhaustive list, but truly the tip of his icebergish ability.
This is how it started. Before every game, Chase warmed up with Drew. As far as football goes, this is the right thing to do.
But Chase’s dedication to staying on top of Drew for the media opportunities was unprecedented. Before the games, Chase was significantly more backdrop than quarterback. Get ready Alex Smith, your shadow is hungry.
After every touchdown, NFL games take a TV timeout. Then the kickoff, and another TV timeout. During this time, the broadcast loves show the quarterbacks from the team that just scored, and CD knows that. That’s why he’s always there, preparing for the next handshake in his trademark backwards hat for some air time.
When Drew Brees broke the single-season passing record on Monday Night Football, Chase knew the cameras would be on. Here you can see that he’s the third player on the celebratory pile. That’s impressive for a guy who started on the sideline. He’s never run as fast in his life as the 30 yards from bench to broadcast.
Speaking of that record-breaking night, it was a pretty crowded locker room after the game. Luckily, NFL Films was there to capture the speech Drew gave to thank the team and coaches for helping him make the record books. Even luckier, Chase knew exactly where that camera was and got his sweet face in front of it.
Daniel: “I spent that drive studying the defense and I think I saw something.”
Brees: “That’s cute, why don’t you write it down and we’ll put it on the fridge in the locker room.”
Daniel: “This piece of paper taped to my wrist only has handshakes written on it.”
Brees: “We’re running 27 next time.”
A sincere thank you to Chase Daniel for the last four seasons. Kansas City is truly lucky to have him. Who knows, this fall, I’ll probably still pick Chase in the last round of my fantasy draft. Only this time it won’t be sentimental, Alex Smith just isn’t much better.