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Unknown, But Important Contributors – Chase Daniel Edition

The years may change, but once again, the Bolts have a must win game against Kansas City to make it into the playoffs. And like last year, Alex Smith will not be playing against the Bolts for this game. This will not be last year’s game, though. The Chiefs need a win and help to keep their own season going; last season, they were playing for nothing at all.

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UBIC – Offense

Chase Daniel (QB, #10) With Alex Smith on the shelf while his lacerated spleen heals, Andy Reid’s next man up is Chase Daniel. In a QB driven league, the signal caller’s importance is without question, but what can the Bolts (and the Chiefs for that matter) expect from Daniel? He has only appeared in 2 games this season, attempting one pass (it was incomplete). That is not to imply that he is completely without NFL work and some decent physical tools.

Daniel is listed at 6’ even and 218 pounds. He played his college ball at Missouri, throwing for more than 4,300 in both his junior and senior years. Despite that, his height and perception as a "system" passer resulted in him going undrafted in 2009. Signed by the Washington DC franchise, Daniel lasted until the final cuts before being released. The Saints signed him to the practice squad and spent the remainder of 2009 bouncing between the street, the practice squad, and one game as the designated emergency #3 QB. He locked up the primary back-up job in 2010, remaining in New Orleans through the 2012 season. Daniel has thrown a grand total of 48 passes in his 5 year NFL career, completing 32 of them. When you back up Drew Brees in New Orleans, you do not get many chances to play QB.

Last year, he started one game, which was lost by Kansas City; all of us Bolts fans should remember that game well. It was nearly a Kansas City win, except for a blown FG at the end of regulation, requiring the Bolts to buy their playoff ticket in overtime. In the Week 17 game last year, Daniel went 21 for 30, racking up 200 yards and a TD. He also rushed for 59 yards on 7 attempts. He did a decent job during the game, but did finish with 3 straight incompletions in OT to deprive the Chiefs a shot at continuing the game. This year, he will have the benefit of Jamal Charles, Travis Kelce, and the starting offensive line.

Daniel can make NFL caliber throws, if he is given passing lanes. He did not run much in college, but did show some skill doing that in the game against the Chargers last season. Look for the Chiefs to operate the same type of offense that they ran with Smith; a lot of running, screens and dump-offs to Charles and Knile Davis, slants and crosses targeting Kelce and Bowe. Based upon what Daniel did last season in a similar situation, it is likely that Daniel will not cost his team the game. It remains to be seen if he can do enough to win it, if he has to carry the load.