The Best Without Pads

Now that OTAs are officially over, the Kansas City Chiefs have their sights sets on St. Joseph, MO and training camp.  Over the past month or so, the players have been given ample opportunity to show that they belong, even if it’s without any pads on.  Josh Looney over at KCChiefs.com has highlighted six players that excelled during OTAs or the “tryout” portion of the offseason.  One of the players Looney is singling out is veteran CB Travis Daniels.

Before OTAs: A veteran in the shadows, Daniels played the role of the third and fourth cornerback during parts of the 2009 season.  He originally didn’t’ make the team out of training camp, but was brought back in early November after Jarrad Page was placed on injured reserve.  With the addition of Javier Arenas this off-season, Daniels faces plenty of competition around him to continue his role as a reserve.

During OTAs: Daniels was not only one of the biggest surprise of OTAs and mini-camp, but he was also one of the biggest standouts. A role player throughout his six years in the league, Daniels looked like much more in these non-padded workouts.  He picked off passes on what seemed like a daily basis and performed well in one-on-one matchups against the best that the Chiefs had to offer.  By the end of mini-camp, Daniels was rewarded with first team repetitions at cornerback.

After OTAs: As far as roster battles go, nothing changes for Daniels.  He’s still fighting for a roster spot in the midst of one of the most competitive position groups on the Chiefs roster.  At the end of the day the Chiefs will keep more than three cornerbacks, but there are a number of players vying for a role.  If Daniels can carry this momentum with him throughout training camp, he’s going to be a tough out.

Haley Says: “There are a lot of areas that I’m encouraged about but I think our secondary, to this point, and one of our best players hasn’t been out there (Brandon Flowers).”

This time of year it seems there are always one or two journeymen that look good during practices and then once the pads go on and the speed of play increases they come back to earth.  Daniels will be looking to prove immediately that he should be taken seriously as one of the final defensive backs on the roster.

When I sat down to put together an early guess at the final roster, Daniels made the cut not only because of his recent play but due to his versatility.  Like Maurice Leggett and Donald Washington, Daniels will have an advantage over the other defensive backs fighting for a spot because he has shown in the past that he can handle a little run at both corner and safety.

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