It’s getting harder to deny Kelly’s abilities.
There’s been a lot of debate lately about Denver’s backup quarterback situation.
For the first time since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset, the Broncos have a starting quarterback in camp. Case Keenum is the clear starter, there is no debate and that is a relief for beleaguered Denver fans.
What isn’t certain is Denver’s status at the backup QB spot. We covered Paxton Lynch above and have made mention of Chad Kelly.
My contention, recently has been that if something catastrophic befalls Keenum, it is not certain that Chad Kelly is ready or capable to step in to a starting NFL job. We’ve seen it repeatedly lately in Denver, the feel-good, little-tug-that-could guy that captures fans’ imagination. From Tim Tebow to Trevor Siemian to Kyle Sloter, Denver loves an underdog. More specifically, Bronco fans yearn for that diamond-in-the-rough. That guy nobody else saw but Denver did. It’s what the Lynch story was supposed to be.
The problem is that eventuality rarely pans out. Tom Brady’s story in New England is unique and although not impossible to duplicate, it is unlikely.
Kelly, as I had noted, was just the latest in a line of wishful thinking. Since Denver never gets the top pick in the draft, we don’t get to see this scenario play out with established collegiate stars. No Sam Darnold here and that may be the best thing for Denver. It’s one thing to watch a seventh round pick fail, it’s quite another to watch a first-rounder do the same. We’re watching it play out with Lynch.
Denver Broncos Hibiscus Swimming Trunks - XL
What I missed, though is that Chad Kelly is a really good football player. I never saw Ole Miss play during Kelly’s time there. He was injured last preseason so our exposure was limited. What we’ve seen in camp and now in game situations is that Kelly has that rare and special component to his game that can’t be measured, statistically. He’s got a strong arm, he can run, he’s honestly a bigger, stronger Russell Wilson. If you’ll recall Wilson’s rise in Seattle, it was a similar show-out-in-camp path. His work with the second-string offense was every bit as solid as his work with the threes against Minnesota. He’s poised against the rush and sharp with his throws. He’s mature, on the field.
Case Keenum is Denver’s starting QB, that’s not up for debate. His signing was perceived as a stopgap while Denver works out Lynch or other options at the position. Since the start of camp, Bill Musgrave, Denver’s offensive coordinator, has been saying that Keenum si more than that, he’s a legitimate, long-term solution for the Broncos. We’ve not seen that translate into game action, necessarily but it is the stance of the team. What’s comforting is that with Kelly’s rise, Denver won’t have to make a trade or bring in a neophyte to back up Keenum.
Who knows, if Kelly continues to impress as he moves up to stronger competition, we may be looking at a future star.