If there's one player on the Los Angeles Chargers that is exempt from a preseason competition, it is starting quarterback Justin Herbert. That doesn't mean that Brandon Staley won't spend a good chunk of time in August trying to figure out if Chase Daniel or Easton Stick is the better QB2 option.
The two players are very different from a stylistic point of view. While Daniel is the aging veteran who gets the ball out as quickly as he can, Stick is a more athletic youngster who can be less consistent, yet more creative. The two appear to be in the middle of a legitimate competition for Herbert's backup job.
Fresh off a close loss against the Los Angeles Rams in the preseason opener, LA got to see exactly how far along both players are in their quest to secure that spot. Both of them took home solid nights out in LA.
Daniel completed 11 of his 17 passes for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Daniel connected with Joe Reed on a long 41-yard play early in the contest and later found San Diego alum Michael Bandy over the middle for a second score. Daniel was absolutely cooking for most of the evening.
Los Angeles Chargers: Chase Daniel and Easton Stick impressed.
While Daniel can be mocked online for consistently earning new backup contracts, there's a reason the league keeps signing him. Daniel isn't going to bomb the ball down the field all the time, but he's honed his decision-making skills and short accuracy to a point where he will be able to move the ball well in this LA scheme.
Stick completed 16 of 23 passes for 119 yards and an interception at the end of the game. Stick also ran for a three-yard score on an option play. His performance was much better than the raw box score would indicate, as the North Dakota State alum was decisive with the football and able to deliver it quickly.
While Daniel is obviously the more experienced option, Stick remains the better athlete. Showing off the 4.62 speed that made him a combine darling without sacrificing the accuracy Joe Lombardi needed to see out of him, Stick is going to give Daniel a run for his money if he can replicate this performance.
While neither of these players are anywhere close to the same stratosphere as Herbert, Staley should come away from his first preseason game with some added comfort after watching both of his deputies perform. It may have been against backups, but both showed that can execute well and operate within this scheme.