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Eagles coach says Chase Daniel was Carson Wentz’s “backbone” last week

Eagles Football

Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks Carson Wentz (11) and Chase Daniel (10) throw passes during practice at the team’s NFL football training facility in Philadelphia, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. The Cleveland Browns face the Eagles on Sunday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


Chase Daniel might not have been thrilled with being leapfrogged by rookie quarterback Carson Wentz in Philadelphia.

But Eagles coach Doug Pederson said that having the veteran backup was the key to the No. 2 overall pick looking so good last week in his first start against the Browns.

Asked specifically about Wentz’s ability to handle blitzes, Pederson said it was a combination of time spent in preparation and having someone to prepare with.

“It comes back to him being here at 5:30 in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday last week, and starting to dive into the film, and preparing himself that way,” Pederson said, via Jimmy Kempski of “And I think that two, I look at Chase Daniel and what he did with Alex Smith and how he was sort of that backbone for Alex, which he is for Carson. They’re studying together, and I think that’s important because I’ve been in Chase’s role before as a backup quarterback, and I know what it means to be able to dive into the tape and then have answers for the guy that’s playing.

“They prepared themselves last week for it, and again, credit too to the offensive line and backs for picking up these blitzes. It’s something that we work every day, so exposing your guys to it also helps.”

Pederson was once the Chase Daniel to Donovan McNabb — though he got nine sacrificial starts before he returned to the bench and McNabb took over for the long term. The Eagles showed they valued Daniel with the contract they gave him when he thought he was going to be Sam Bradford’s backup, and he’s apparently giving them their money’s worth.