3 Days to Camp: QB Tyler Bray

3 Days to Camp: QB Tyler Bray

Its been a long time since the Kansas City Chiefs have attempted to groom a young quarterback. With Alex Smith entrenched as the teams starter for 2014, their are some young arms behind him. One of them, Tyler Bray, could become his primary back-up this season.

If you ask any Kansas City Chiefs fan the one thing that continues to frustrate them decade after decade, they'll tell you it’s not drafting a quarterback in the first round. In the past they’ve attempted such a feat with zero success. But until Head Coach, Andy Reid, arrived in town, no other coach simply knew how to get that done.

Reid put his quarterback stamp on the Chiefs a year ago when the team traded for veteran starter, Alex Smith. However, after failing to draft a young quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft, he signed the best undrafted free agent signal caller on the market, Tyler Bray.

It was mind numbing Bray wasn’t drafted a year ago. Granted he didn’t play on the best teams at the University of Tennessee. After all, he had that tall frame and strong arm abilities that scouts drool over.

But Bray suffered from a familiar perception that befalls young highly recruited quarterbacks who play in elite conferences, if they don’t win enough games scouts questions their potential at the next level. The knock on Bray was that he lacked the overall leadership and make-up to be an NFL starter. In reality, people questioned his attitude. Still when he came to the Chiefs last spring there was no question he had abilities. He just needed the proper tutelage.

In fact, if you watched him throw the ball at training camp last summer, there was no doubt he had the strongest arm in the Chiefs quarterback pool. Now to be honest that doesn’t really mean anything. There have been hundreds of quarterbacks with cannons fixated to their shoulders who never saw the light of day as an NFL starter.

Bray though might not fall into that category. He stands 6’6” tall, throws the rock with confidence and seems to have that knack for placing the ball in the best spot for his receives to catch his throws. Even better he can stand in the pocket but also has the mobility to throw darts on the run.

Though we only saw him play mop up duty a year ago in the Chiefs final pre-season game, it was clear his three touchdown passes were a real treat for the fans. In fact, I’d have to go back to former Kansas Jayhawks quarterback, David Jaynes, to remember the last time I saw a rookie quarterback at Arrowhead throw the ball that well in a meaningless pre-season game.

Under Reid the Chiefs commitment to developing quarterbacks is clear. Last year Bray came into the fold and this year in the fifth round, they drafter University of Georgia Quarterback, Aaron Murray.

Having one young gun on the roster is one thing but having two of them is a refreshing philosophy that no other generation of Chiefs fans has witnessed first hand. Still getting them on your roster is one thing but preparing them to lead your team - is quite another.

So getting ahead of ourselves wouldn’t be very wise. Still their is a big question surrounding Bray that has to be answered in training camp. Can he become Smith’s back-up this season? In the fight for that spot, the Chiefs have veteran, Chase Daniel, but he doesn’t have near the talent of Bray or Murrray.

If Bray gets quality time in the pre-season, we’re going to get our answer soon enough. However there is some mud the Chiefs have to get thru before the start of the regular season. The urgency in getting Bray or Murray ready to become the Chiefs next starter might be decided on the Chiefs ability to lock up Smith for the long term. Thus far the two sides have been unable to get a contract extension finalized and there are no signs one will get done anytime soon.

In fact with training camp about to open, it’s doubtful those talks will re-open until after the regular season. By then, it might be too late and Smith may want to test the free agent waters.

So it would be wise for the Chiefs to see what they have in Bray over the Summer. With four pre-season games, they could learn quite a bit about his abilities and leadership qualities. Still he’s only payed half of one game and I’m not ready to cut Daniel at this point.

Still if Reid is committed to developing young quarterbacks to run his system, he’s not about to waste time with them by keeping them stranded on the bench. That wasn’t his stance in Philadelphia. He had no issues playing younger quarterbacks if they’re number came up next.

It will be interesting to see if he adopts the same philosophy in Kansas City. The Chiefs were a playoff team a year ago so expectations to repeat a post season birth are very high. That might prove problematic only because most Chiefs fans think 2014 will be a rebuilding year. However, Reid isn’t going to concede anything.

Nor should he.

Regardless of what he does, Reid has pushed the quarterback position into a transitional phase. It’s been a long time coming in Kansas City but at least they have the right man to develop the present and the future at the most important position on the field.

Next Up: Eric Berry




WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Is it true risky for the Chiefs to keep Bray and Murray in 2014?


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