Ready to Back Up?

Though he might still be a year away from giving incumbent starter, Alex Smith, a run for his money, Aaron Murray enters the month of June with a legitimate shot to become quarterback number two this season.

The label quarterback of the future is one of the most over used phrases this franchise has uttered since, Hall of Fame Quarterback, Len Dawson, retired in the 70’s.

With the franchises inability to draft, develop and find a leader at the position, who can shake off the memories of their lone Super Bowl victory decades ago, Quarterback Aaron Murray, might change all that.

Don’t get me wrong, Alex Smith is the teams starter in 2015 and 2016. Beyond that, it’s a crapshoot as to the direction Head Coach, Andy Reid, will take the quarterback position in Kansas City.

This season, Chase Daniel, despite his massive salary, could be a training camp cap casualty or regain his back-up spot behind Smith. To which end of that spectrum he falls, depends largely on what Murray can do between now and opening day.

To say I was anything but elated when the team plucked the Georgia Quarterback in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL was an understatement. I thought then, as I do know, that he was one of the top three quarterbacks in his class.

Murray was a winner at the college level, and if not for a knee injury his senior campaign he would have been a first round pick. The fact Murray finds himself in Kansas City working under a coach like Reid might be the singular item that turns his career into one filled with Super Bowl appearances.

I know the kid hasn’t played a regular season snap. I know he’s currently third on the depth chart but he could become golden for this franchise in the near future.

So what do I base my praise for the young man and his ability to be the quarterback this franchise needs to become a perennial NFL winner?

It probably has to do with something churning in my gut that says Murray, if given a chance to lead the first team offense, will develop into a quarterback that wins games in December and January.

The Kansas City Chiefs futile efforts to develop a young quarterback have been met with one disappointment after another. While fans judge this as a failure to do it with a first round quarterback, the fact Murray came to the Chiefs in the fifth round not the first, remains irrelevant.

Let’s just be happy the team drafted a quarterback with the talent to one day become a starter on the NFL stage. If not, why did Reid push to nab the young man in the first place.

What Reid has in Murray is a mystery. The two haven’t spent enough time together to gauge if the two will become a tandem that has the Chiefs nation celebrating a home playoff victory or a legitimate super bowl run.

All we know at this point is this franchise has the opportunity to right its biggest failure in team history – develop a young quarterback and watch him evolve into a superstar.

At this point, Reid knows the order of quarterbacks remains Smith, Daniel and Murray to open the season. If that order were to change, it would be a bold move by Reid to bump Murray to the second spot ahead of Daniel.

In doing so, Reid would be bypassing a player that he feels can be an NFL starter. Though Daniel has started just two games for the Chiefs, going 1-1 in those opportunities, there is a reason he’s been a career back up in this league.

As we hit the month of June with OTA’s still in full session, nobody is talking about Murray and what he could possibly do in 2015. However, it’s not too early to begin the banter in regards to the future at the quarterback position for the Chiefs.

Daniel has one season left in Kansas City and Smith likely two more in the heartland. Murray entering his second year in the NFL has time to prove he’s worthy of becoming a starter for the Chiefs.

Reid has done a terrific job grooming young quarterbacks. However as the off-season continues, the head coach knows expectations are at an all time low debating the back-up candidate for Smith. Yet that doesn’t mean it won’t have more meaning later in the summer.


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