We’re seeing quite the rise in active NFL players with regular media slots this season. First, FS1’s Undisputed announced Dallas Cowboys‘ linebacker Micah Parsons would join them each Tuesday, billing that as an “unprecedented” move (and by that, they mean completely precedented: amongst other things, many active players have regularly appeared on local radio, Brandon Marshall regularly appeared on Inside The NFL, and Aaron Rodgers regularly appeared on The Pat McAfee Show). Following that, we got news of Rodgers returning to McAfee‘s show each Tuesday, and news of Von Miller hosting a regular interview show for Bleacher Report. And now, NFL Network has announced that Los Angeles Chargers’ backup quarterback Chase Daniel will join them in-studio on NFL GameDay Final on Mondays each week following Monday Night Football:
— NFL Media (@NFLMedia) September 12, 2022
Daniel commented on that as well:
— Chase Daniel (@ChaseDaniel) September 12, 2022
The in-studio portion of this is certainly notable, and it’s one advantage for NFL Network from their new location. Last year, they moved from their initial Culver City, CA headquarters to the new NFL Los Angeles complex, part of the SoFi Stadium complex in Hollywood Park in Inglewood, CA. That means they’re just as accessible as the home stadium for Rams‘ and Chargers’ players, and that seemingly makes it easier to have a Chargers’ player in each week.
The timing of this is smart, too, as a weekly Monday night appearance will give Daniel (seen above in an Aug. 26 preseason game against the New Orleans Saints) enough time to travel back after most Chargers’ road games, but still offer thoughts on the past week’s games. The only apparent conflicts here will be when the Chargers play on Monday Night Football, which happens in Week 6 (Oct. 17, when they host the Denver Broncos) and Week 16 (Dec. 26, when they’re on the road against the Indianapolis Colts). Daniel presumably won’t be contributing to those particular GameDay Final shows (at least, presumably not from the studio, unless he comes over to the studios after that home game), but that’s only two weeks out of 17 in the regular season. The rest of the time, there doesn’t seem to be a conflict.
Daniel feels like an intriguing choice for this, too. Despite going undrafted out of Missouri in 2009, he’s put up a 14-year NFL career so far across eight teams. He’s only started five games in that span, but he’s proven to be a capable backup, and one a lot of teams have seen value in having around. And he earned a Super Bowl ring as a backup with the New Orleans Saints in his first season, immediately contradicting a 2008 ESPN The Magazine cover on him and Missouri backup Chase Patton:
An interesting part of that is that the general story (by Seth Wickersham) actually is nowhere near as bold as the cover headline, and the inside headline (“Only The Name Is The Same“) is indisputably true. The story’s largely a wider look at NFL QB prospect evaluation, and how college playing time and performance sometimes don’t matter as much as physical attributes, and how some shorter quarterbacks (at that time, Daniel was listed as 6’0”, 225 pounds; he’s now listed as 6’0”, 229-pounds) who starred in college weren’t getting as much NFL attention as some seldom-used backups who fit the tall pocket passer mold better (Patton was listed as 6’4”, 230, and had quite the rocket arm).
That balance has shifted a little since then, with some teams willing to look outside the pocket passer mold more. But 6’0”-or-shorter QBs still aren’t getting many chances (with rare exceptions like 5’10” Kyler Murray and 5’11 Russell Wilson) to start in the NFL, and some tall QBs who didn’t light up the college ranks are finding success. And the general thrust of Wickersham’s story wasn’t wrong, as Daniel never got much of a NFL starting chance, while some less prominent college players did. (Patton also didn’t, though, and he’s now a dentist; he’s featured in a great 2014 look-back at that ESPN story from Daniel Jones of The Columbia Missourian.)
But Daniel did wind up winning the Super Bowl, and having a great NFL career to this point. And now, he’s adding NFLN analyst to his resume. And that might be a first step for him into a potential post-retirement broadcasting career. We’ll see how he does on GameDay Final.
[NFL Media on Twitter]