Chiefs chatter: Tyler Bray’s “promotion” not meaningful yet

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Today marked the start of organized team activities for the Kansas City Chiefs. In a bit of a surprise, head coach Andy Reid announced that former undrafted free agent Tyler Bray is the new backup quarterback. Make no mistake, this is an excellent opportunity for Bray to repay the good faith shown to him by Chiefs brass. However, I believe this transaction comes much too early in the offseason program for it to be “meaningful.”

I should explain. By “meaningful”, I mean I’m not convinced it’s merit-based. There’s been little football activity — that involves game play or practice — for Reid to base this decision on. I would say it’s meaningful to Bray though, at least in the sense that he’s earned a chance to solidify his spot on the roster. With the drafting of Kevin Hogan in the fifth-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, I’m persuaded to think that between Tyler Bray and 2014 draftee Aaron Murray, one of them is on borrowed time.

So what can we take from today’s news?

I think the benefits are twofold. It serves as a confidence booster for Bray, but it also gives him an opportunity to return to center stage. Bray didn’t see any preseason action in 2015 after tearing his ACL. Having him at the No. 2 spot gives the team an opportunity to assess his growth and maturation following three years in Reid’s West Coast system. Especially, since he’s been here one year longer than Murray and thus far has been unable to push him off the roster or assert himself as Smith’s backup.

I won’t characterize the move as an empty gesture. I’m inclined to think that Reid’s fond of Bray’s abilities. He clearly has elite arm talent. It’s the rest of his game that leaves something to be desired. The question has always been whether or not his feel for the game and football IQ are sufficient enough for him to become something more than a reserve player at this level.

If Bray can retain the backup role deep into the month of August, he’ll make me a believer. That’s where spots are truly won in the NFL — in training camp and the NFL preseason. It’s there where the competition with Bray and Murray will heat up. To my eye, Murray’s the better prospect. He appears to have the acumen and intangibles that are absent from Bray’s game. The former Georgia Bulldog also had a superior collegiate career, out of the same conference, with arguably less NFL talent surrounding him.

Time will ultimately tell which of the two quarterbacks will emerge and assume the role vacated by Chase Daniel. The two of them will have ample time to earn the job over the next three months. I may be alone in my cynicism, but this transaction just doesn’t tell me much. It’s the fourth phase of the offseason program where the rubber meets the road.

From your perspective, has Bray earned the opportunity to backup incumbent starter Alex Smith? Will Bray displace Murray when the smoke clears? Can Kevin Hogan rest easy about his place on the 2016 roster? Use the comment section below to weigh in. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

Until next time, Addicts!