Can Chase Daniel Win Games For The Chiefs If Called Upon


In a world of superb, athletic defensive players – big, fast, and strong – all aimed at taking down the quarterback, it is imperative for team to have a quality back-up at quarterback who won’t lose games for the team. The back-up quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 will most likely be Chase Daniel. Will he be able to perform at a suitable level to win games if something untoward would happen to Alex Smith?

December 16, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and quarterback Chase Daniel (10) prior to kickoff of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

One of the defects for the past several Kansas City Chiefs teams was their lack of a quality back-up quarterback (or a quality starting quarterback back either, for that matter). The Chiefs have rostered the likes of Tyler Thigpen, Brodie Croyle, Brady Quinn, Tyler Palko, Matt Gutierrez, and Quinn Gray, and all of these are just since 2008. None inspired much confidence.

The new Chiefs regime under General Manager John Dorsey and Head Coach went right out and signed a quarterback to be the back-up, former Missouri Tiger, Chase Daniel. The interesting fact about Chase Daniel is that is has never started a game in the NFL.

He went undrafted out of college in the 2009 NFL Draft. He did not play at all that season. In 2010, he joined the New Orleans Saints, where he has backed up Drew Brees for three seasons. In those three seasons, Daniel only threw 9 passes, completely 7 of them for 55 yards. Despite his time in the league, he has very little game experience.

The encouraging part of this is that evidently the Saints and their Head Coach Sean Payton, thought enough of Chase Daniel to keep him around for three seasons. Even though Brees is very durable, the Saints know that this is the NFL and a dependable back up is a necessity for any team competing for a title, which the Saints have been for several years.

Dorsey and Reid obviously agree with the Saints and see talent in Daniel despite his total lack of game experience in the league. They signed Daniel to a 3-year, $10 million contract, which included a $3 million signing bonus and $1 million in guaranteed money for 2014. That is a lot of money for a team to spend on a quarterback with 9 thrown passes in his career.

May 14, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel (10) throws a pass during organized team activities at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

This contract shows that the Chiefs brass have complete confidence in Chase Daniel as the back-up quarterback for the Chiefs for the next few years. Andy Reid must feel comfortable that if anything were to befall Alex Smith, Daniel could step in and effectively lead this team. Reid has a bit of a reputation as a quarterback guru, tending to get the best out of his signal callers.

As with most of the moves made this off season by Dorsey and Reid, we have to trust that they know what they are doing. Until they prove otherwise, they have earned the benefit of the doubt because of their histories in the NFL.

For those of us from this area, it is not hard to remember Daniel’s stellar career at Missouri. In his years at Missouri, the Tigers went 37-16. He threw 1609 passes, completing 1094 of them for a 68% completion percentage, and 12, 515 yards. He tossed 101 touchdowns to 41 interceptions. He was a talented college signal caller and a fierce competitor.

The hope is that Daniel has learned under the tutelage of Sean Payton and Drew Brees, despite his lack of playing time. Dorsey and Reid are certainly hoping that is the case. The fact is, because he has thrown a mere seven NFL passes, no one knows how Daniel may react in a key situation with a game on the line if he is called upon. His collegiate history suggests he would rise to the occasion but the NFL is not college ball. There have to be reasons why he has no experience, other than just opportunity. The Chiefs new regime obviously sees something in Daniel to give them the confidence that Daniel can be that guy.

At some point in the 2013 season, the Chiefs will probably get a chance to see exactly what Daniel can do. Playing quarterback in the NFL is a dangerous job and Alex Smith has not gone unscathed in his career. Few quarterback do. At some point Daniel will get his chance. Let’s hope Dorsey and Reid are right in their evaluations and Chase Daniel can pick up the slack and run this team if Smith should get hurt.

Because Daniel played for Missouri, fans may be split on how they feel about him. Fans need to remember that those college days are over, and Daniel is a Kansas City Chief now. All other considerations should be placed aside. Chase Daniel being successful with the Chiefs only means good things for the Chiefs. Having a local collegiate player be successful for the Chiefs should be exciting for everyone.

Let’s all hope Dorsey and Reid are right about Daniel and that he can run the offense successfully is called upon. It would be great to have a reliable back up quarterback after all these years.