It’s interesting that coach Andy Reid found it necessary after Thursday night’s final preseason game to declare without really even being asked that he was still comfortable with Chase Daniel as the Chiefs’ No. 2 quarterback.
Perhaps Reid anticipated the question would be coming. The difference in the play and production between Daniel and No. 3 quarterback Tyler Bray in the 30-8 win against Green Bay was dramatic enough to demand it.
Daniel opened in place of Alex Smith, who along with the rest of the starters was given the night off. Daniel forced his first throw into coverage and it was intercepted and his night didn’t get much better after that. He later took a sack when he held on to the ball too long with the Chiefs on the Green Bay 6, and they eventually had to settle for a field goal.
Bray, meanwhile, threw three touchdown passes. He was also far from perfect, throwing an interception, fumbling, taking three sacks and completing just 56 percent of his passes (14 of 25). While Daniel played against Green Bay’s starters and main reserves, Bray went against a group of Packers who will be released as soon as today.
But for the first time in the preseason Bray put his big arm on display. Reid was eager for this game so the Chiefs could get Bray some extended playing time and, the many rough edges aside, he had to be pleased with what he saw.
“Tyler did a nice job for a young guy stepping in and for most of (the game) put us in some form of a scoring position, whether it was a field goal or a touchdown,’’ Reid said.
Bray doesn’t look ready for a real game yet, so Reid is making the smart move by staying with Daniel as the top reserve. Things are at the point, though, where it makes sense to speed up the timetable on Bray’s development. Longer term, he offers more upside as Smith’s leading understudy.
The Chiefs shouldn’t deny Bray’s progress. His first touchdown pass, an eight-yard throw to Junior Hemingway, came with five seconds left in the first half and capped a well-orchestrated two-minute drill.
“I felt more relaxed after that,’’ Bray said. “I’ve been kind of anxious to throw one. We’ve been down in the red zone a couple of times and haven’t come away with a touchdown so we got that first one.’’