Daniels, Dragons to ‘handle our business’
SEATTLE – On the flight back from Houston, with one of those not-quite-so-new action movies on the little video screens that fold down from the overhead bins, BJ Daniels walked to the back of the plane.
He sat next to one of his teammates. He asked a question.
“What happened in the fourth quarter?”
For the first three quarters of Seattle’s 32-23 loss at Houston last week, the Dragons were moving the football. They were scoring points. They were beating the only unbeaten team in the XFL.
But in the final frame, the offense stalled. And for the third time this season, the team flew back to Seattle with a road loss.
Instead of dwelling on the frustrating finish, though, Daniels wanted answers. He wanted to fix the issue. He wanted to make sure the Dragons reverse their fortunes in the second half of the season, which begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday against the Los Angeles Wildcats at CenturyLink Field on ESPN2.
“We had the opportunity in front of us and just didn’t do the little things we potentially could have done in order to seize the moment, take advantage of it and come up with a win,” Daniels said.
For the veteran quarterback, last week’s game was his first opportunity to start a game as a professional. He completed 14 of 22 passes for 114 yards, while rushing for 30 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
“I feel really good about it,” Daniels said. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been through it all. I’ve been to different cities. I’ve even thought about life without football and life after football. This opportunity came and I feel like it truly is a blessing.”
On the plane Saturday night, though, Daniels wasn’t interested in moral victories, of playing well to keep the Dragons in the game. Like any competitor, he wants to win, so less than two hours after the loss, he was already looking ahead.
“As a competitor, you feel like you can always do more,” he said. “There are things I feel like I could have done, that we all could have done to contribute and come away with a victory. We all feel like we can do more on the back end of it.”
While the Dragons’ record isn’t where the team would like it to be, there is still plenty to play for.
“Spirits are still high,” he said. “With all things considered, our record does not reflect how good we believe we are, the type of ability we have. We still have a great opportunity in front of us.”
With five games left, the goal is straight forward. “Handle our business,” and “get in the playoffs.”
That starts this weekend against the Wildcats.
“It’s something positive to look forward to, because we know there’s a lot of ability on this team, a lot of things that work in our favor moving forward,” Daniels said.
The quarterback waited years for the chance to become a starting quarterback in a professional league. He doesn’t plan on wasting his opportunity.
Back in Seattle, with the opportunity to start, he said, “this is really a dream come true, to be honest with you.”