KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Former Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel knows that by signing with the Chiefs, he’s created somewhat of a dilemma for some Chiefs fans.
As in those Chiefs fans who also happen to be Kansas Jayhawkers.
“They might have a tough time accepting this,” Daniel said. “But hey, I might end up living in Kansas. But they have to realize the facilities and the stadium are on the Missouri side.
“I’m sure it’s a tough deal for them but at the end of the day, they’re Chiefs fans through and through. That’s what I would think.”
Daniel, who signed with the Chiefs last week after spending four years in New Orleans, already has heard from some Jayhawks-Chiefs fans, and he reports the comments on his Twitter account have been positive.
“Actually, it has been an amazing amount of support,” Daniel said. “When I signed with the Chiefs, I got about 1,500 messages on Twitter. There’s a lot of stuff on there. That was nice. I’m going to check each and every one of them and try to respond. I appreciate it more than they’ll ever know.”
In fact, Daniel has picked up about 3,000 more followers in less than a week, boosting his followers’ list to over 76,000.
“I think there’s just this incredible buzz throughout the city about the Chiefs,” Daniel said. “I’ve been here quite a bit. My girlfriend is from here so I’m here a lot, and I can’t remember there being this much buzz about the team.
“It’s so great to be back in this part of this country. Having played my college career down the road, I get to enjoy part of the same fan base again. That’s exciting to me.”
Of course, Daniel is no stranger to Arrowhead Stadium, either.
Daniel played his first college game against Arkansas State at Arrowhead in 2005. Then, Missouri fans will recall fondly, there was the famous “Armageddon” game between Missouri and Kansas in 2007.
Daniel led the Tigers to a pulsating 36-28 victory, completing 40 of 49 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
“That might have been my fondest memory of my college career,” Daniel said. “That was wild.”
That game drew 80,537 fans, second most in Arrowhead history. And Daniel admits the aura of Arrowhead was a factor in deciding to sign with the Chiefs.
“You look at the mystique of Arrowhead and then you have Chiefs kingdom,” he said. “I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I’ve heard how loud that stadium can be from playing here in college. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a pro game.”
Daniel also was lured by the thought of working with coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey.
“I thought about the tradition of the Chiefs, the Hunt family,” Daniel said. “And knowing that they hired Andy Reid, one of the best offensive minds in football. Then you add John Dorsey. The splash they made in free-agency was incredible.
“That’s what I told Mr. Dorsey. I said ‘I want to be part of this new culture. You want to win right now and I want to be part of that. You understand what it takes to become an elite team from your time with the Packers.’ For me, that was the big difference.”
Leaving the Saints, though, wasn’t easy.
“Bittersweet. Definitely bittersweet,” Daniel said. “I made all the phone calls to Sean Payton and to Drew (Brees) and everyone else. They were great. They want what is best for me. We had some great times but they understand.”
Daniel was glued to the clipboard during his time in New Orleans, sitting behind Brees who rarely missed any time due to injury. Daniel has thrown just nine NFL passes.
“But I learned from a future Hall of Famer,” he said. “I didn’t get a lot of game experience but I got to learn from one of the best. I studied him and all of his work habits. I feel like I got an education.”
Daniel knows his situation in Kansas City won’t be much different than New Orleans. He was signed to be a backup and he has no illusions about starting.
“I did the best thing for my career,” he said. “I understand that I’m going to back up Alex Smith. He’s the starter. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to compete every single day to push him. He’ll be the first to tell you that it’s what makes a good quarterback – being pushed.
“I can’t wait to meet with Alex. He’s a baller in my opinion. He’s as athletic as any QB in the league right now.”
Daniel’s faithful fans from Missouri, though, may want to start a quarterback controversy.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a controversy,” Daniel said, smiling. “Coach Reid made it clear that Alex is the starter. I’m here to learn the offense and help push Alex.
“But hey, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the support from the fans. They’re great. I can’t wait to get started.”