Chiefs QB Breakdown: Complete Position Evaluation and Depth Chart Analysis
Last season saw the Kansas City Chiefs finish with a franchise-worst 2-14 record. Considering that they were tied for a league-worst minus-24 in turnover differential, the team didn't get beat near as often as they simply gave games away.
While most successful NFL teams are able to look to the quarterback position to lead them through difficult times, the Chiefs quarterbacks were at the heart of their turnover problems in 2012.
Chiefs former starters Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn combined to account for 23 turnovers (20 interceptions and three fumbles lost) last season, making it no surprise that neither finds himself back on the roster heading into 2013.
New to the Chiefs are three signal-callers handpicked by head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey who have fans cautiously optimistic heading into 2013.
Here is how the Chiefs quarterback situation breaks down:
The Starter: Alex Smith
How many touchdown passes will Alex Smith throw in 2013?
Many Chiefs fans figured, going into the offseason, the team would use the top pick in this season's draft to finally draft a franchise quarterback, something the team hasn't attempted to do since the selection of Todd Blackledge in 1983.
Instead of gambling on the talents of someone like West Virginia's Geno Smith, Reid and Dorsey had other ideas.
They chose, instead, to trade their second-round pick in this season's draft to San Francisco for the player selected in 2005 with the first overall draft pick, Alex Smith.
Smith had been underwhelming in his first six seasons after an impressive collegiate career at Utah, but his performance in 2011, along with his 10 games in 2012, were enough to convince Reid that he was the right quarterback for the Chiefs in 2013.
Smith has thrown just 10 interceptions compared to 30 touchdowns over the past two seasons, and Chiefs fans will be ecstatic if he can generate that type of production in Kansas City.
The Backup: Chase Daniel
For a guy who had attempted just nine passes as Drew Brees's backup in New Orleans the past four seasons, Chase Daniel was, perhaps, the most sought after backup quarterback in free agency this offseason as evidenced by the three-year, $10 million contract he signed.
Despite three outstanding seasons at the University of Missouri where he threw for over 12,000 yards and 100 touchdowns and a run at the Heisman during his junior season, Daniel was undrafted back in 2009.
At six feet tall, coming out of college, Daniel was considered "too short" by most scouts, in spite of his production, so it was fitting that he backed up another short quarterback in Brees in New Orleans.
Now, as Smith's backup in Kansas City, Daniel has reason to be excited, as the team has enlisted the expertise of former Nevada head coach Chris Ault as an offensive consultant. Ault is considered the father of the pistol offense, a system very similar to what Daniel flourished in at Missouri and during his prep days in Texas.
Should anything happen to Smith as the starter, Chiefs fans won't be as quick as they have been in recent years to abandon ship with Daniel at the helm.
The Reserve Battle: Tyler Bray vs. Ricky Stanzi
Perhaps, the only remaining question for this new-look Chiefs team will be who can win the battle for the job of the quarterback no one in Kansas City wants to see in a game.
Ricky Stanzi is the incumbent No. 3 quarterback, and with the exception of preseason action, the former fifth-round pick has yet to log any game time in his two years with the team.
Despite being considered a good locker-room guy and looking remarkably like the fictional Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass from the movie Remember the Titans, Stanzi will be hard-pressed to hold off the more talented Tyler Bray.
Bray, an undrafted rookie from Tennessee, is a raw talent, but is also, perhaps, the most physically gifted quarterback who was available in the draft this offseason.
Blessed with a cannon for an arm, Bray has also shown the ability to accurately make all the throws of an elite NFL quarterback. What he lacks, however, is the maturity and consistency necessary to avoid the types of mistakes Chiefs fans saw all too much last season.
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