Aug 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel (10) drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

If Chiefs' QB Smith Goes Down, Daniel Must Remain Backup Over Bray

It looks like the Kansas City Chiefs have put themselves right back in the middle of a preseason fueled, nonsense driven, quarterback controversy. No, I’m not talking about Alex Smith. For now, he’s the undisputed starter and I really don’t see that changing anytime soon. In Kansas City, we tend to do things a bit differently. In Chiefs’ Kingdom, we like to argue more over who the backup quarterback should be.

It’s been going on with this team for a long time. However, the most recent and notable were the “Stanzi Lovers” who couldn’t understand why the recently departed “Real American” couldn’t get any time in a real live game. Now, without really trying, head coach Andy Reid and company have created another urban legend in Kansas City that I think will rival the Stanzi problem, mainly because unlike Stanzi, undrafted rookie free agent QB Tyler Bray has some skills to go along with his position on the Chiefs.

Those skills were quite evident during the Chiefs’ final preseason game of the season on Thursday night. If you haven’t seen it yet, let me just say that I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed watching the Kansas City Chiefs as much as I did when they stuck it to the Green Bay Packers.

Predictably (and smartly, if you ask me) Reid sat all of his starters for the fourth and final preseason game. That left 60 minutes of football for the players sitting on the “bubble” to prove their worth and play their way onto the team. The game started with apparent Chiefs’ backup quarterback Chase Daniel throwing an interception. The first play from scrimmage. It wasn’t even close. It went right to the defender. Even with my 70 inches of viewing pleasure muted (that’s what I call my television) I could hear the collective groan from Arrowhead all the way down here, 11 and a half hours away in San Antonio, TX.

Reid let Daniel have the rest of the first quarter and the first offensive series of the second to display more of his ineffectiveness before allowing the Chiefs’ third string QB to take the reins. Again, in case you missed it, Daniel’s stat line went like this: four completions on eight attempts for 27 yards through the air. He didn’t throw a touchdown, was picked off once and sacked twice…on consecutive plays.

Now, Daniel is the guy who backed up Drew Brees last season. And, of all the offseason acquisitions that Reid and general manager John Dorsey made this year, he was the only one that made me go: “wait…what?” The Chiefs brought him in, not to compete with Alex Smith – his position as the starter was cemented even before the trade could legally be finalized – but to be the #2 QB on the depth chart. And for that honor, Mr. Daniel received a ten million dollar, three year contract.

Now that kind of contract is not unheard of a good back up QB. In fact, I’m sure it’s similar to what some other notable backups in the league receive. However, and here’s the problem, should Chase ever have to earn that money, there’s a lot of confidence issues in his ability to do so. That stat line from Thursday night is just the tip of the iceberg.

But, every good backup needs a guy to hold their clipboard, right? Enter rookie undrafted free agent, Tyler Bray, formerly of the Tennessee Volunteers. One of the bigger draft stories of the offseason was the fact that Bray declared himself eligible for the draft after his junior season, was a source for many sports writers debate. Originally thought to go in the first round, it was quickly obvious the 2013 NFL Draft was not a “QB Friendly Event” and Bray’s stock continued to fall. In what Bray’s father described as “brutal” Tyler Bray, once thought to potentially be the future of some franchise, fell completely off the draft board and into the wasteland of rookie free agency.

Why did this happen? I have two words for you: Ryan Leaf. Although it wasn’t ever said, I think many scouts, coaches and general managers saw the same immaturity issues and personality defects in Bray that they mistakenly missed in the biggest draft bust of all time, Leaf. I have a bit of a personal connection to the former starting quarterback of the San Diego Charges, as we share the same hometown and went to rival high schools. Although he was a year ahead of me, and I didn’t know him personally, his reputation definitely preceded and to those that had a half a clue, his spiral that began in San Diego and ended in a prison a few months ago in Dillon, MT wasn’t that big of a surprise.

But, I digress. The point here is that Bray showed some of those same indicators. He was immature. He was hot headed. He was quick lipped and when he actually showed up for post game interviews, was quick to criticize everyone and everything, except himself.

And for this reason, I think this QB controversy should be dead before it even rears its ugly head. Yes, it’s true that the $10 million dollar backup QB only produced enough offense to move his team a quarter of the way down the field in over 15 minutes of football. Yes, it’s also true that the guy making just a hair north of the league minimum, rookie undrafted free agent threw for almost 200 yards and three exciting touchdowns. However, there’s more to football than just football.

I know that concept sounds ridiculous and may hit the ears of Chiefs’ fans sounding like nails on a chalkboard, but it’s true. While Chase Daniel may not be earning all $10 million of that contract, he’s a guy who has proven himself in this league to have a level head. He’s a guy that Reid and company can trust to hand off the ball to Jamaal Charles and not mess up the exchange 99 times out of 100. He can throw the short, accurate, high percentage passes that are the staple of Reid’s offense and manage the game well.

The bottom line is (and the superstitious part of me almost doesn’t want to type this) if there’s an injury to Alex Smith, Daniel needs to be the guy to step in and replace him.

As Chiefs’ fans, we’ve seen this all before. The recently departed (and no offense, Ricky, but good riddance) Stanzi is a perfect example. When the Chiefs’ quarterback play turned from bad to “what the hell is going on?” over the last two seasons, many fans screamed for Stanzi to get a chance. Say what you want, but there’s a reason he was never allowed to step onto the field. And he never had a preseason performance like Bray did on Thursday night.

Bray was fun to watch, but if you thrust someone like him who has had the personality issues already rise to the surface, the impending implosion of the team will make the San Diego Chargers’ 1998 season look like a day at Disneyworld.

I like Bray, and I want the kid to be the Chiefs’ quarterback of the future more than anything. Not to blow my own whistle or claim to be an expert evaluator of talent, but I was calling for the Chiefs to draft him well before it actually became a reality.

But I want him to become the starter similar to how it happened with Aaron Rodgers, sitting behind a known and trusted starter and mentor, for a few years before he’s handed the keys to the franchise.

I think Smith is the guy to not only lead this team, but mentor that young man. But, should anything happen to Smith, Daniel has to be the guy.

Am I wrong? Am I off base? I’d like to hear your thoughts, Addicts.

Either way, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • chiefin’ainteasy

    I don’t care what anyone says, there was absolutely ZERO reason not to play Stanzi last year. He could have been as bad as Palko, which is likely, but at least we would have known, because there was nothing to lose by doing it.
    I do agree with Bray must be behind Daniel on the depth chart this year and probably next year. I would not want to jeopardize our only chance at a qb of the future, because he got thrown into the fire too soon and lost it mentally.

    • Jason Seibel

      I don’t disagree with you about Stanzi. I get that Haley started Palko over Stanzi as a big “screw you” to Pioli, but why would Crennel not give him a shot last season when it was clear that everything was over. He had to know he was getting fired anyways.

    • Patrick Allen

      Yeah but the fact that two coaches with their jobs on the line refused to even give him a chance tells you all you need to know about what would have happened if Stanzi got in a game against NFL starters.

  • Norman Gunn

    This is a complete rumor but takes this with a grain of salt. I heard something from someone close to the Volunteers’ camp that Bray started some weird players politics, and that they intentionally dropped a game so they would be a failed 6-6 bowl team. To me that would be a strong reason why he wasn’t drafted. Hell even the Chiefs skipped him twice in the 7th round. It didn’t make sense until I heard the rumor.

    • Patrick Allen

      Weird. Hopefully going undrafted humbled him. He’s on a good team with a bunch of good guys that generally stay out of trouble so hopefully he will grow up and learn to be a team player in KC.

      • Norman Gunn

        Regardless I am in love in Bray. He is in a great situation to sit under Reid, Smith, and Daniels. Even if the rumor was true he was just a 19 year old kid. If Smith went down I would take Bray over Daniels because I am a huge believer that a deep threat attack keeps a defense honest (and god I couldn’t imagine how JC would tear it up if safeties had to stay back.

        • Jason Seibel

          Did you read the article? The point was there’s more to being an NFL QB than just a big arm.

  • Chris Tarrants

    I am not pointing fingers at anybody from fansided or even ESPN for that matter but let’s be honest here show of hands if you will, how many guys in here were outstanding citizens with great moral character and nose to the grindstone attitude at 20-21 years old? Any body? Nope not this guy either! We all went through that stage in our lives, it part of our youth, part of growing up and it is what makes us who we become. I remember being drunk and windsurfing on my buddies suburban driving down 270 in St. Louis at 70 miles an hour. Now that I’m grown I don’t have any daredevil antics up my sleeve any more. So give Bray the benefit of a doubt he was a kid and still is for that matter, Reid can and will make him great!

    • Justin R Groth

      I don’t know about outstanding citizen, however I am married work 60-70 hours a week and I’m 22, don’t really drink, don’t smoke (anything), follow most of the laws (stupid seat belt law). My wife is way better than me though, she didn’t drink till she was 21, I was her first kiss at 18. She wears her seat belt every time she hops in the car, she is what every parent wants in a kid. :)

      • Chris Tarrants

        Ummm ok well other than this guy any body else? Lol props to you man but most people who are that age and going to school we had “fun” which usually led to bad decisions but my point is with age comes maturity

        • Tony Parker

          LOL….such a nice young man. Totally get your point Chris, at that age you are supposed to be immature and having fun and sowing your seeds and snortin lines off of strippers asses….wait, that was me.
          sorry couldn’t help it, that was funny.
          Bray needs the time as a back up to grow and learn. thrusting him into a starting role too soon could very well ruin him.

        • Scott Edward Sternberg


        • Curtis

          I worked full time in missions starting at 19 years old, got married at 20. So, there are a few of us mate. I do agree with you though. There are not many of us at all.

        • Justin R Groth

          Oh I have had fun, and I got my degree. Just there is way to responsible and have fun.

    • Jason Seibel

      I agree with you woleheartedly that his youth shouldn’t be held against him. But he now works for one of the biggest corporations in the world and the crap he pulled at Tennessee won’t cut it.

    • twaddy

      I did a number of things in college for which I am not proud. I did a number of things for which I am lucky i didn’t get caught. I fully respect those who achieved emotional maturity at a younger age, but the fact is that I didn’t and I know a lot of people who also did not. BUT…we all grew up a little later and we all have responsible jobs, families, and are solid upstanding citizens. Give Bray the same chance. I agree that Chase Daniel should be Alex Smith’s backup. I also think that both he and Alex Smith can set a good example for Tyler Bray. The boy has a lot of upside and he is showing his talent. It’s up to him now. If he can grow up, he can be great. Not just good, but great.

  • Dfrey87

    You are deffinetly spot on with this post. I really liked the way Bray played ( hey look in a poet and didn’t know it) although he has some footwork issues, that once resolved will help his accuracy. But with all the head case talk from college, there is no way you can put him ahead of Daniels right now. We have to bring him along as slow as possible. I hope maturity will come with time and I hope going from being considered a high draft pick to UDA will humble him. With AR as his coach and to sit behind AS11, there is no better situation for him IMO. This guy I think can be the future of our franchise but he has to be brought along slowly or I believe it will blow up in our face and set us back for years.

  • Calchiefsfan

    I never did get on the Ryan Leaf bandwagon. When I saw him play in the Rose Bowl I thought Greise out played Leaf and looked like the more NFL ready QB. Maybe if Leaf had gone undrafted he would have had a change of attitude. That’s what I’m hoping for with Bray. That kind of humbling experience can force you to reexamine how you see yourself. Now that he realizes nothing is going to be handed to him he can get down to work. This is a character test for Bray and probably the best thing that could have happened to him in the long run.

    The thing about Bray last Saturday night is that he performed. Even if it was against 2′s and 3′s he found the open man and got the pass there, sometimes in very tight windows. Yes he has a lot to learn but he made some very good throws in an actual NFL game. I never once saw Stanzi come even close to that kind of performance. Yes his opportunities were limited but to date he has had more than Bray. I really wanted Stanzi to succeed but every time he played he was flat terrible.

    I’m not saying make Bray the #2…yet, but he showed something Saturday night. Reid says he’s working hard and listening to everyone he should be listening to. It will be interesting to see Bray develop. We just might have something with this kid.

  • Travis Forsyth

    after thursday’s performance, I recently just become a Tyler Bray fan….but I don’t think we should make him the #2 QB just yet. I think he needs to clean some stuff up and work on some things like his foot work and accuracy (not that it was bad) and he can do that while he learns and grows under Any Reid’s system and with Alex Smith the help guide him….bray will be fine at #3 for now, but in 3 or 4 yrs from now, Bray could the QB of the future…..but only time will tell. GO CHIEFS! 2013 WILL SPECIAL!!!

  • Scott Edward Sternberg

    While Bray may be the quarter back of the future… who is he going to throw to?(if this happens like it should 2-4 years from now) If and when Bray takes the wheel the Chiefs will most certainly have to have a new star at the WR position. What excites me is the possibility of having a solid QB that we wont have to draft with our #1 or get into a bidding war via Free Agency.

  • BurtGummer44

    Bray is the most talented QB on this franchise, hands down.

    • micah stephenson

      Yup. And its not even close.

  • micah stephenson

    We need to draft a 1st rd QB. Alex ain’t good enough. Chase just plain sucks. Bray cud b the best QB on the roster after a yr of progression.