By: Barry Barnes, Founder
There’s rarely a time when a NFL player can come towards the end of the season and be the answer an organization was praying for. With two games remaining in the 2015 NFL campaign, B.J. Daniels, better yet – ‘The Back’, probably has the Houston Texans in his ‘hands.’ Unquestionably, ‘The Back’ in Daniels has the NFL Regional Combine in his ‘hands.’
The Texans have talent on both sides of the ball, with skilled players who can clearly transform them into a championship caliber squad.
But they need a quarterback to complete the transformation.
The Texans entered this season experimenting with quarterback Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. Hoyer ultimately proved that he was the better among the two. Hoyer got banged up during the season, which ushered in veteran quarterbacks T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden.
In Week 15, Yates was placed on IR with a torn ACL and Hoyer remains on concussion protocol after being concussed in Week 10 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Weeden helped the Texans pull out a victory against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday to top the AFC South. Nevertheless, the Texans need to secure their depth field general position – and Daniels could be their saving grace.
But at which position?
The Texans signed Daniels off the Seattle Seahawks practice squad Monday as a quarterback, joining fellow RC pioneers in running back Jonathan Grimes and defensive back Darryl Morris.
Nonetheless, the South Florida standout can play multiple positions.
Daniels should be known as ‘The Back’ because he runs like a running-back, even when he’s a return specialist and a receiver. And on defense, he can play defensive – back.
Either way, with the ball in his hands, Daniels can be ‘The Back’ for the job.
“We’re going to train him to play quarterback, but we’re also going to do some things with him as a receiver,” said Texans head coach Bill O’Brien on Monday, according to houstontexans.com. “We’re not going to try to put too much on his plate.
“He can do a lot of different things,” he added. “In Seattle, he could play a little bit of quarterback. Do some things there. He can play in the slot. He can play on special teams. That’s a good guy to have on your team.”
Undoubtedly, Daniels is a quarterback.
For his outstanding collegiate career, Daniels amassed 8,433 passing yards and threw 52 touchdowns. In addition, the 5-10, 220-pound signal caller rushed for 2,068 yards and compiled 25 scores on the ground, registering 10,501 total yards and 77 total touchdowns at USF. Daniels’ numbers placed him second on the all time Big East yardage leaders and topped USF’s record books in passing and rushing.
Counter his collegiate experience with what he gained from the quarterback who he has backed up for the past three seasons in Russell Wilson, the Texans may have a championship winning leader in their midst.
“Very serious guy, very business-like approach,” said O’Brien. “Right away he’s come in here and gone right to work, and that’s something that’s impressed me right away in the first couple days…We give him plays,” O’Brien said. “We talk about our base offense, and then he comes back, maybe a couple hours later or the next day and has his questions.”
Now, for what’s more significant, explaining why Daniels is special and his importance.
Out of all the positions to be evaluated in the NFL Regional Combine, quarterbacks are the most difficult to examine because they are throwing to individuals they are not familiar with.
When the Shield initially invested into the RC, every Tom, Dick and Harry who dreamed of playing in the NFL registered, whether they had played collegiate football or not.
Some pass catchers had speed, many didn’t. Some could jump, majority couldn’t. A few had good hands, many didn’t. Several ran solid routes, but the majority didn’t, and some were in football shape, while many were past their prime.
The decision makers of the NFL Combine Series, primarily the NFL Regional Combine, changed their registration rules to bring credibility to the sessions. Still, quarterbacks continues to be challenging to judge.
Daniels participated in the NFL Super Regional Combine in 2013, which was held in Dallas. Understanding that his fate was in the hands of strangers, Daniels put the ball in their hands by adjusting to their abilities instead of forcing them to his world class level.
Daniels caught NFL scouts attention, including those who might have not heard about him without the NFL Combine Series platform.
The San Francisco 49ers selected Daniels in the seventh round (237th-overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft.
His career with the 49ers was short lived and the Seahawks claimed him off waivers in October of 2013. Daniels went from the SRC workout to becoming a Super Bowl champion.
Let’s put the cart before the horse, let’s count the eggs before they hatch.
If Daniels take the field ‘as a quarterback’ Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, he will be the first pioneer from the NFL Regional Combine stage to accomplish that feat during the regular season. If he’s successful at ‘quarterback’ for the rest of the season, Daniels could spark conversations of being their starter next season.
Most noticeably, Daniels’ achievement at the quarterback position will take the RC to another level becoming one of the platform’s most valuable pioneers ever.
The Texans’ conquest and the Combine Series maturation is probably in Daniels’ ‘hands.’
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