KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Whether based on injuries or an open job, the Chiefs have lived the “next man up” mentality the past three seasons.
The latter scenario applies to the backup quarterback position with Chase Daniel now with the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Chiefs need to identify a No. 2 signal caller to starter Alex Smith.
Fourth-year pro Tyler Bray, who ran the second-team offense Tuesday on the first day of organized team activities (OTAs), has the first shot to fill the role.
“Somebody’s got to be the No. 2,” coach Andy Reid said, “so he’s the No. 2 right now.”
The 6-6, 215-pound Bray, who joined the Chiefs in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee, said he was told the week prior to OTAs that he would start out as the primary backup
But he also knows there is a long way to go before the position is settled.
“We still have a lot of time to go before preseason,” Bray said, “so we have to come in everyday and compete.”
Bray will be pushed throughout the summer leading to the regular season by a pair of fifth-round picks: Third-year pro Aaron Murray and rookie Kevin Hogan.
And the Chiefs head coach desires a good look at the trio before making a final decision.
“I’ll be curious to see how they do through camp and then once we get into the preseason games, we’ll see how they roll there,” Reid said. “Whatever happens, happens, it’s as wide open as you can get. None of them have experience, so it’s as wide open of a competition as you can have there.”
Meanwhile, the journey for Bray since he entered the league hasn’t been free of obstacles.
He spent the 2014 season on injured reserve with knee and ankle injuries suffered in the final preseason game, and then landed on the non-football injury list in 2015 after suffering a torn ACL during the offseason.
“It’s always frustrating when you get injured,” Bray said. “You just got to be patient. You look at some guys – (Green Bay Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers had to sit behind (Brett) Favre for a while, he came in and starting to shine – you got to wait and learn.”
Despite not playing a regular-season snap on his career, the Chiefs showed confidence in Bray last year by signing him to a two-year, $1.925 million contract extension.
The team’s faith and his continued education process have paid off with Reid giving Bray the first shot at the backup quarterback position.
But Bray, who said his personal goal for the upcoming year is to continue improving, won’t allow the opportunity to alter how he approaches the rest of OTAs.
“I mean No. 2, 3 or 4, you’re still going to prepare as if you’re the No. 1 guy,” Bray said. “As they say you’re always one snap away, so you always want to be ready at all times.”