Hope springs eternal during the month of August both for NFL fan bases and for players coveting a spot on their respective team's 53-man roster. We're just over two weeks shy of a decision that will perhaps bring their dream of playing professionally to fruition. Some will land on the Kansas City Chiefs' taxi squad; others will venture on to new NFL cities. A third group is likely to hit waivers (however temporary).
For the following players, they can take solace in having acquitted themselves well on Sunday afternoon against the New Orleans Saints. Let's take a look at a few of the players who seized their opportunity in Preseason Week 1.
By now, Shane Buechele is no stranger to One Arrowhead Drive. Signed originally as an undrafted free agent in 2021, Buechele is entering his third NFL season in head coach Andy Reid's offensive system. His two previous years of service time were mostly spent on the practice squad, but with Chad Henne enjoying NFL retirement, this is a unique chance for Buechele to succeed Henne to become Kansas City's backup quarterback.
Sunday got off to a rocky start for the third-year man. Buechele entered the game with two minutes remaining in the first half. After tossing a dart to rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice, for a gain of 13 yards, Buechele would turn the ball over on his next attempt. With the clock running, the Chiefs were trying to run tempo, but the former SMU grad forced a ball to Justyn Ross on a sit-down route, the ball was tipped, and ultimately landed in the hands of Saints' safety Ugo Amadi.
The most encouraging part of Buechele's performance was how he rebounded after the interception. The rest of the way, he went 9-for-16 for 142 passing yards and two touchdowns. With six minutes remaining, Buechele hit Ross on a slant for a 15-yard score. On the very next drive, facing a 3rd & 7 in the red zone, Buechele extended a play and threw a touchdown to receiver Kekoa Crawford. While Blaine Gabbert had some success of his own, you could argue Buechele had the better outing. He has a hill to climb to earn the trust of his head coach, but Sunday afternoon was a great start.