It was #ChadKellyWatch on #BroncosTwitter today as the once “Mr. Irrelevant” draft pick became a very relevant quarterback on the field, officially moving up the depth chart to No. 2.
If you’re a big Chad Kelly fan, the quarterback’s comments after his practice with the twos today will only confirm your support. Crediting his teammates for his move up the depth chart, it was as if Kelly spent some time at the Peyton Manning School of Pressers.
“Those guys made the plays, they got me in the right protections and the guys with the ball in their hands made plays,” Kelly said. “Like I said, it’s not just me that got to that position. It’s those other guys around me that helped me get there.”
But Kelly is the first to admit that he still has work to do and that only increases now that he’s working with the second team offense.
“You just have to work hard. That’s really what it is. Even the best ones are still working extremely hard. They don’t know everything,” Kelly said, adding that as just a second-year guy, he “doesn’t know anything.”
“I have to watch more film than I ever have before,” he said, “and you know when your time is called, you better be ready to step up and go.”
Earlier in the day on “First & 10 @ 10,” Ryan Edwards, Andrew Mason and Steve Atwater talked with Matt Boyer of Broncos TV about whether the “Kelly hype” is real - and the consensus was “yes.”
“We have been talking about how well he commanded huddle in training camp, and that chemistry definitely translated [to Saturday’s game],’” Boyer said, adding that Kelly had “great command coming up to the line and his awareness of the defense was amazing.”
When it was finally time for practice and Kelly was with the twos, #BroncosTwitter went on full Kelly alert.
Hot damn, Chad Kelly getting 2nd-team reps.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 13, 2018
Chad Kelly complete to Jake Butt. First play with no 2 offense. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 13, 2018
During his first period of reps with the second team, Chad Kelly went 3-for-3, including a dart to Courtland Sutton over the middle for about 20.— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) August 13, 2018
“Welcome to the Jungle” plays as Chad Kelly gets his first move-the-ball period with the 2nd team. Offense goes 3-and-out twice, although a drop cost the O a 1st down on the 2nd try.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 13, 2018
Edwards, Mase and Atwater had discussed the situation if Kelly were to get the second-team nod for the upcoming joint practices with the Bears this week, and Edwards even compared the fan love for Kelly to that of Kyle Sloter last season.
“But there’s a developmental process that needs to happen,” Edwards pointed out, wondering if Kelly is ready. “If you were to throw him out against the ones, we’d be saying a few different things.”
True. And Boyer believes that is exactly what what the Broncos will try to answer this week - will Kelly, or even Paxton Lynch, be a viable backup this season - or do the Broncos need to look for a veteran as backup going into the season?
“Kelly proved he can handle the third-stringers. Now can he take the next step, and what is that next step?” Boyer said, adding that it will be “very interesting” and “very, very exciting” for fans if Kelly is taking those second-team reps at the end of the week.
But Boyer doesn’t believe the Broncos should give up on Lynch yet either and Mase noted that the third year is a “fork in the road” for quarterbacks - either you stay or you get ready to go.
“A backup QB is like a fire extinguisher,” Mason said. “You don’t want to need them but you want them to be reliable when you do.”
And although Kelly has officially moved up to No. 2 and Lynch down to No. 3, Boyer still wants to see Lynch have time on the field.
“I think Paxton has faced a lot of adversity. You’ve got to keep putting him out there. You can’t write him off,” Boyer said. “He’s got to have an opportunity to get better. These next two games are very important.”