ST. JOSEPH — It will be a total team effort when the Chiefs play their preseason opener on Friday night at New Orleans.
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
All four quarterbacks are scheduled to play, starting with the Chiefs debuts of Alex Smith, Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray and concluding with third-year man Ricky Stanzi.
And everyone on the 90-man roster who is healthy will play in coach Andy Reid’s first game with Kansas City.
“There won’t be anyone who won’t play in the game unless there’s an injury,” said Chiefs assistant coach David Culley. “Our rotation as far as how we play will be based off our quarterbacks. Alex is going to have the first quarter, Chase is going to have the second quarter, Tyler is going to have the third quarter and maybe some into the fourth quarter, and Ricky will end the game.
“When (Smith) is in the game with the first (unit), our first group will be in the game. Then our second group will come in (with Daniel). Some of those guys will overlap, because of the numbers. We’ll have some play into the second quarter, some guys will play into the third quarter.
“It’s going to be that way simply because we want to see everybody.”
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said there will be plenty of plays for all four quarterbacks, even if the game plan will be pretty vanilla.
“We’ve got four quarters, we’ve got four quarterbacks,” Pederson said. “We’re excited to see them all play. We’ll keep it pretty simple, pretty basic, so you can play fast, play loose, not a lot of thinking on the field, because we want to evaluate everybody.”
Both Smith and Daniel will try to get the most out of their time on the field.
“It’s hard when you get told you’re only getting limited plays,” Smith said. “Each one even counts that much more. So sometimes you can press or do some things you shouldn’t. The key is to just go out there and do your job every play, and let the game come to you.
“Sometimes it’s tough to get in a rhythm when you know you’re only getting a handful of plays …it’s fair, pretty normal for a first preseason game. It’s what I expected. It will depend on how we do.”
Daniel knew he’d be relieving Smith on Friday night, and he likes sharing the workload with the other backups.
“It’s awesome,” said Daniel, who remembers what it was like being a fourth-team quarterback at Washington as an undrafted rookie from Missouri in 2009.
“I was just begging to play, and (then-coach Jim Zorn) gave me a quarter every game. It’s something that four quarterbacks really don’t get in preseason play, and I think it’s definitely a smart rotation to go with. I’m excited about playing.”
Daniel was eventually released by Washington before the 2009 season started, but he played well enough in the preseason to be picked up by New Orleans, where he backed up Drew Brees for four years.