KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Quarterback Chase Daniel's regular-season NFL playing experience is limited to nine passes in his four seasons as Drew Brees' backup with the New Orleans Saints, and eight passes this season as Alex Smith's understudy for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Daniel might get to benefit the most of any Chiefs’ reserve player if he gets significant playing time in Sunday’s final regular-season game against the Chargers in San Diego. If he can get at least a half of playing time, that would be the most extended one-game experience of his career, at least in the regular season.
It’s of some benefit to the Chiefs to get Daniel some work in case he’s needed in the playoffs.
“These opportunities don’t come along all the time," said Smith, at times a backup earlier in his career with the San Francisco 49ers. “You don’t know when your next one is going to be.
“I think Chase does a great job. He’s very professional, and works extremely hard preparing himself week in and week out. Like I said, I think everybody, if you don’t have a ton of game experience and then all the sudden you (get to play in) the regular season, that is a great opportunity. Not just Chase if he does get in, (but) anybody. Only so many guys get to do this, and to be able to get that experience is invaluable.”
Daniel received extensive work in offseason practice, training camp and the preseason. But other than 26 snaps late in recent blowout victories against the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, that work has to last Daniel.
He gets no work with the starters in practice. He does take the scout team snaps mimicking the opposing team’s plays each week, but he doesn’t get to run Kansas City’s plays unless he gets into a game.
That, plus the chance to play a game at full speed, is the reason why the Chiefs need to get Daniel plenty of work in San Diego.
“It’s a good opportunity," Daniel said. “We’ll see what the coach decides at the end of the week. My mindset going is to prepare like the starter, just like I have my entire career."