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Horse Tracks: Despite starter status, Keenum vows to ‘stay hungry’ and earn the right to be the Broncos’ starting quarterback

For the first time in his six year career, Case Keenum enters the forthcoming season as a starting quarterback in the National Football League and vows to ‘stay hungry’ and do whatever it takes to become the best player he can be.

NFC Championship - Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country.

From an undrafted college free agent out of the University of Houston in 2012 to the 2018 starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos, it’s safe to say quarterback Case Keenum feels good about where he is at entering his sixth season in the National Football League. Though feeling good about earning the right to be the signal caller of one of the league’s most historic franchises doesn’t mean he is complacent with his status with the team. In fact, he’s the exact opposite and vows to ‘stay hungry’ and do whatever it takes to earn that right each and every day.

“It feels good, it does. For me, I’m going to accept it. I know there’s a responsibility with that too. It’s not something where I feel like, ‘I’ve made it.’ That’s not ever my mentality. I’m going to stay hungry; I’m going to stay consistent to the same mindset I’ve always had,” he stated yesterday at Dove Valley.

Holding up to the physical rigors of football is only one part of the battle on the road to having success in the league. What often separates the best players from the rest of their peers is the desire to be great and having the ability to handle the mental aspect of the game. Most players can do the former, but few can achieve the latter. By all accounts, Keenum’s as mentally tough as they come, with a track record of perseverance and continued success that should serve him well in his desire to prove to everyone he has earned the right to be an incumbent starter.

“That’s what’s gotten me here, and that’s who I am. Nothings ever been handed to me,” he went on to add. “I’ve earned that right and I’m going to continue to earn that right, being in this building, being in the weight room, media room, practice field, then on game day in the game field. That’s my mentality.”

Yet, for as long as he has been in the league, the has always been his doubters. In fact, it wasn’t long until after he failed to have his name called in the 2012 NFL Draft that writers stated he didn’t ‘have the talent’ to compete in this league — more or less writing the final chapter in his professional football journey before it even started. Talk about an all-time backfire, because those folks couldn’t have been more wrong.

It didn’t seem to matter that at the time he held (and still holds) the NCAA’s records for most career passing completions, yards and touchdowns. He was just a ‘system guy’ who benefited from pass-happy and quarterback-friendly offense. Nobody seemed to care that as each and every level of football, he had made progress and become a better player every single year. Arguably the most impressive signal caller in collegiate history was an NFL Draft afterthought, with few people in the league believing he had what it took to make it happen.

All it takes is just one person to believe in someone to make something extraordinary happen. Keenum had a believer and his name was Gary Kubiak — his former head coach of the Houston Texans and current senior advisor to general manager John Elway. There’s no coincidence that he landed in the Mile High City, but maybe you don’t believe in coincidence — perhaps it was meant to be. Nevertheless, fast forward six years later to the present day, and Keenum still wants to make believers out of everyone around him.

“I just want to make a good first impression and build on it. I’m going to be myself every day — that goes for yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week and on into the season. Just be consistent, be a leader, be somebody that is accountable and [be somebody] people can trust and be trusted to do my job.”

Consistency, leadership and accountability: things that the Broncos’ have desperately been needing from the quarterback position the past several season, and by all mean, things he has proven in spades in his through football journey. Long story short, don’t bet against Case Keenum — because he has a knack for proving his doubters wrong.

As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.

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