COMMENTARY | The Kansas City Chiefs announced their first round of roster cuts Sunday and on the list was Ricky Stanzi, paving the way for Tyler Bray to assume the job as third-string quarterback behind starter Alex Smith and backup Chase Daniel.
Stanzi, a fifth-round pick in 2011, never really got a legitimate shot with the Chiefs and was a product of the previous regime. With John Dorsey (general manager) and Andy Reid (head coach) now running the show in Kansas City, the former Iowa Hawkeye will look toward the next chapter of his professional football career.
Bray went undrafted after deciding to forgo his senior season at the University of Tennessee, but his ideal frame (6 feet 6 inches and 232 pounds), big arm, and production against competition in the SEC could not be ignored. It was Bray's lack of maturity and inability to grasp certain plays during the draft process, however, that dissuaded teams from investing a pick on him.
Kansas City hopes that spending his summer competing for a spot on an NFL roster will help bridge this gap for Bray and ultimately provide more depth to the quarterback position -- something the Chiefs desperately needed after Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn both played a huge part in last season's disastrous 2-14 showing.
Though it would almost certainly indicate similar results should Bray see any snaps during the regular season (because both Smith and Daniel would obviously need to be injured), the increased confidence in this group is apparent -- largely because of Bray's presence.
With this being the final week of the preseason and the Chiefs looking to ensure the healthiest possible roster for Week 1's matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bray -- who has attempted just 15 passes so far -- should be on the field for the majority of the game against the Green Bay Packers.
Bray was put into a situation with minimal pressure yet had an opportunity to profit immensely from the experiences and work habits of both Smith (former No. 1 overall pick who has seen rough times during his eight-year career) and Daniel (also undrafted, but is now a viable NFL backup).
It will be interesting to see just how much progress Bray has made now, having gone through the full array of an NFL offseason. Should the rookie be able to milk this experience for everything it has to offer, this chance could pay dividends well beyond Thursday night's preseason finale.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country.Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Tyler Bray
- Ricky Stanzi
- Alex Smith
- Chase Daniel