Chicago Bears: Is Tyler Bray pushing Chase Daniel?

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 25: Quarterback Tyler Bray #9 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 25, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 25: Quarterback Tyler Bray #9 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 25, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Tyler Bray has been better statistically than Chase Daniel so far. Is he starting to make a push for the backup job?

One underlying topic of the Chicago Bears first two preseason games is how weak the quarterback play has been. This is not a shot at Mitchell Trubisky and his first two drives (relax about that one guys). No, this is more about the two behind him.

The quarterback question is not an opinion that has formulated in the preseason. I came in expecting Bray and Daniel to be poor on the field due to their inexperience and what they have put on tape in past preseasons.

Still, Chase Daniel has looked even worse than expected in stretches and has had worse statistics this season than preseasons past. Tyler Bray has not set the world on fire, but the second half offense does seem to buzz a bit more with Bray on the field compared to Daniel.

This has led some fans to speculate that Bray may be ready to step into the backup role and that Daniel has officially proven that his NFL career should be dying down here. The fact of the matter is that while yes, Bray has been better so far, it is not nearly enough to push this into a competition.

Bray is better when breaking them down statistically, but not by much. He has a much bigger sample size, that is his best argument. Bray has thrown 61 passes in two games; Daniel has thrown 28.

On those passes Daniels has one touchdown and three interceptions, Bray has one TD and two picks. Both were sacked twice.

Bray has completed 59% of his passes for 6.5 yards per attempt. Daniel has completed 57% of his passes for 4.6 yards per attempt. Bray has been better, but lets not act like Bray is putting on a show.

In fact, the sample size puts these statistics in favor of Daniel. The lack of attempts should speak to the idea that Daniel is so locked into the number two job that the Chicago Bears are not worried, and do not want to see more. Daniel was listed as a loser from the Hall of Fame game but threw fewer passes in Week One of the preseason, 16 to 12. This is not the sign of a team nervous about his on-field play as a backup.

The other idea is that level of competition has to be factored in. Daniel is not necessarily playing against NFL stars, but he is playing against NFL players. By the time Tyler Bray enters the game, he is facing the bottom of the roster participants and players who will be cut within the month.

Yes, Daniel has had the chance to throw to better pass catchers, albeit not Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson or Anthony Miller.

Still, when you look into the depths of targets and the types of passes called, it still should be expected for Bray to have a better yard per attempt metric.

Daniel is running a safe and conservative offense. He has not pushed the ball down the field often. He is being used to manage the game as a backup would.

Tyler Bray is getting the chances to sling the football down the field. He is letting it rip, and he has had receivers downfield. So, while that has led to better passing stats, it has still shown the Chicago Bears that this player is not pushing to move up any depth charts either.

Note some of his downfield throws from their most recent preseason game.

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Bray fails to push the ball 40 yards down the field, comes up well short and does not give his receiver any chance.

One fair argument for Tyler Bray has been that he has looked more poised and competent navigating the pocket than Daniel. Bray’s poise could have to do with differences in the pass rush.

Still, it does not matter that Bray stands tall and steps up strong in the play below if he is going to miss wide open receivers.

The play below is the very next pass. Bray has his man again. Unfortunately, after missing long the first time, he scares himself and leaves the pass short. What is frustrating is that in this play the defender is in view and a pass a bit too short would have been picked. This pass HAS to be deep if anything.

Nothing said was to praise what Chase Daniel has done so far. The idea still is that Bray or Daniel, things will be awful if Trubisky gets hurt.

Still, while Bray may have a few more deep passes and certainly has more attempts than any of the others, he is not competing for anything quite yet. He has looked about as good as Daniel against worse competition.

The Chicago Bears seem to show no urgency in Daniels slow start and have treated him like he has already won the backup job. Bray will need to light the world on fire in these late game chance to make a name for himself, something he has not done yet.