Joniak's Journal: Bears' Chase Daniel Aims To Be 'Perfectionist'

Jeff Joniak
November 28, 2018 - 8:12 pm
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(WBBM Newsradio) The Bears were back at work Wednesday, with their attention on a matchup against the Giants (3-8) on Sunday. Here are the observations and notes of the day.

First impression

There's something about Bears backup quarterback Chase Daniel and his personality that quiets concern. With starter Mitchell Trubisky still nursing a right shoulder injury, Daniel might start again this Sunday, when the Bears visit the Giants.

The uncertainty of what lies ahead doesn't faze Daniel.

"Listen, it’s never changed with me," Daniel said. "And I told you this last week and I will tell you it again: I prepare every single day like I’m the starter whether I get the practice reps or not. My whole thing this week is take it day by day, try to grasp the game plan day by day and try to grow with it."

It's Daniel's job to prepare like a starter every day, and it's his responsibility to his teammates. His knowledge of the offense and acceptance in the locker room are two big keys.

Shouldering blame for what didn't go well in his first start as a Bears last week is a veteran move as well. Daniel was 27-of-37 for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions but was left wanting more.

"There were 10 incompletions," Daniel said. "Some of those should have been completions. Four sacks -- that’s too many. Those are all on me. You just constantly try to be a perfectionist, and that’s how I am and that’s how I was sort of raised."

Daniel completed 73 percent of his passes and increasingly improved throwing the ball on first down in the second half. If Trubisky can't play, a full week of practice should improve all aspects of timing and chemistry for Daniel and his skill position players.

Second thought

Asked if he's saving Trubisky and his sore shoulder for a perceived bigger game against the Rams (10-1) at Soldier Field on Dec. 9, coach Matt Nagy denied that line of thinking.

"Every one of these games is just so important, so we want everybody we can possibly (have)," Nagy said.

"Give me everybody. I want everybody out there. I don’t care what the situation is. You start doing that, you are going to be in trouble."

Trubisky’s "arrow is up" as it pertains to the health of his shoulder, Nagy said. Taking last week off was good for him. 

"Whatever he can do, he will do physically," Nagy said. "And whatever he can’t do, he’s got to really stay in mentally."

Trubisky was listed as a limited participant on the injury report Wednesday.

Third degree

The weather forecast calls for rain and mild temperatures in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday. It might be a good day for the Bears to run the ball a little more. 

Chicago is 15th in the NFL in averaging 115.2 rushing yards per game and ranks 25th in averaging 4.1 yards per rush.

"It’s something we definitely will be working on this week," Nagy said. "It just takes a little bit of pressure off the quarterback not having to make every single throw perfect."

Nagy attacks defenses how he sees fit.

"You got to stick with it," Daniel said. "It’s all about discipline. It’s all about gap awareness in the run game. We do a lot of motions with our run stuff. It’s just really guys trusting it, running backs hitting the hole hard and just continuing to repping it."

Rushing totals blew up around the league in Week 12, with five teams netting more than 200 yards on the ground and 16 running backs rushing for at least 70 yards.

Fourth-and-short

Giants running back Saquon Barkley is fumble-free since his sophomore season at Penn State, according to NFL research. That means he has no fumbles in his last 32 games. Barkley and Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt are the only two in the league with more than 800 yards rushing and no fumbles this season. The Bears share the league lead in forcing 16 fumbles in 11 games. 

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.​​

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