Chiefs: Backup quarterback battle begins

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Chiefs Backup Quarterback Tyler Bray
Chiefs Backup Quarterback Tyler Bray

So who is the Kansas City Chiefs’ backup quarterback? Nobody knows…yet.

After veteran Chase Daniel left for the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency after three seasons, the battle to back up starter Alex Smith is wide open. Fourth-year player Tyler Bray and 2014 fifth round draftee Aaron Murray are the early favorites for the job, while this year’s fifth round pick Kevin Hogan also hopes for a chance at the spot.

Read More: Making sense of Eagles quarterback situation (READ)

None of the three quarterbacks have taken a snap in a regular season NFL game. Smith had played a full 16-game regular season only three times in his 11-year career, but has missed only two games in the last three seasons with the Chiefs.

Bray takes first second-string quarterback snaps

Tuesday’s offseason team activity saw Bray taking the second series of snaps behind Smith, but head coach Andy Reid cautioned that the arrangement may be strictly out of convenience. “Somebody’s got to be the No. 2, so [Bray] is the No. 2 right now,” Reid said. “It’s an open competition. We’re only out here for so long, so we try to get as many reps with each one of them as we can, but somewhere you have to distinguish one over the other.”

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Bray hasn’t played or practiced much since being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee in 2013. After an ankle sprain in 2014, a torn ACL wiped out last season. “I haven’t taken a rep in awhile so it’s [a matter of] going out there and commanding the huddle, getting in and out with enough time left to run a play and just trying to executing the offense,” Bray told ESPN. “It’s been awhile [since playing] against a defense. If you don’t do it for two years, it’s pretty fast. Everything is moving and you’re trying to slow things down and try to get focused.”

His raw tools seemingly give him the advantage over the Chiefs’ draftees. Bray is said to have the strongest arm of the position group, including Smith. The other two offer stellar collegiate resumes. Murray is the SEC’s all-time passing yardage leader while at Georgia, while Hogan is the all-time winningest quarterback in Stanford history.

Read More: Chiefs may find Chase Daniel’s replacement on current roster (READ)

Reid was pleased with what he saw Tuesday. “I thought [Bray] did a nice job,” he said. “I’ll go back and look at the tape on it, but he looked like he handled things well. I thought all the quarterbacks kind of handled it very well, even our rookie [Hogan].

Still, there is a long way to go before Reid has to officially name a backup quarterback. “I’ll be curious to see how they do through camp and then once we get into the preseason games,” Reid explained. “We’ll see how they roll there. Whatever happens, happens.”

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