Falcons coach Dan Quinn caught some people off-guard when he talked about how well B.J. Daniels was playing at running back after the first minicamp practice Tuesday.
The former quarterback and wide receiver, who’s thrown passes, returned kicks and caught passes in the NFL, was moved to the backfield.
Daniels, who played quarterback at South Florida, signed with the Falcons on Dec. 18 and placed on the practice squad. He later signed to a reserve/future contract Feb. 7.
Daniels, 28, has bounced around the NFL since he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 draft by San Francisco as a quarterback. He’s spent time with 49ers, Seahawks, Texans, Giants and Bears.
He’s played in eight NFL games after rushing for 2,068 yards and a dual-threat quarterback in college.
“It’s been an interesting journey,” said Daniels, who’s 5-foot-11 and 217 pounds. “My senior year I broke my ankle and I never thought I’d make it to the NFL. I got my degree in criminology. The Lord blessed me and I got drafted by San Fran, and then I went to Seattle for three years. I’ve been to three Super Bowls now.”
Seattle moved him to wide receiver.
“I was in the league for the first three years as a quarterback,” Daniels said. “Seattle wanted to use me on the field with my athleticism and I was able to transfer over to receiver.”
The Falcons are deep at running back, with veterans Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward. They also drafted Brian Hill in the fifth round from Wyoming.
Daniels is a long shot.
“I have a little bit of ability that I’m trying to use right now,” Daniels said. “Dan Quinn has given me an opportunity to do that and I’m very thankful.”
Even if a roster spot or a long-term career remains elusive, Daniels seems to be enjoying his journey.
“I will say that as a kid you get an opportunity to play a lot of different things,” Daniels said. “That’s what I’m having an opportunity to do now on the highest level. It’s been nothing, but fun. A tremendous experience and something that I’m going to take away.”