Have you seen Chad Kelly play more than one entire game? Not game clips, but entire games? If you have and still think he’s an option to play in a single regular season game in 2017, below are a list of reasons why he won’t. If you haven’t seen him play against Florida State or Memphis, you might want to go watch them.
1) If you have seen him play, then you know he comes from a spread system. That immediely puts him behind both Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian because Denver will still be using some WCO verbiage and concepts, plus under center plays. Watching game film doesn’t prepare you. You need to, do.
2) His off season was spent watching. Not one snap was taken and it won’t be until he’s cleared by the team. He’s on NFI. He’s not going in next week and be placed ahead of Kyle Sloter. He may not even take a snap in practice during Training Camp, which means most likely no preseason time.
3) If you saw him play, then you know his game was based on having legs. No one knows if having the second ACL on his other knee has effected his mobility. With less mobility he will need a vastly better mental game and pocket play, which no one will see this season.
4) He had wrist surgery. His arm hasn’t thrown a football in months. He’s going to need to rebuild his strength. He’s not fully trained since November and may never since he’s NFI. The team can waive him at any time and aren’t tied to a contract.
5) He has a canon for an arm; however, he can’t make every throw. There is a difference. Manning didn’t have a rocket arm, but he could make the most intricate passes. His arm is better than Siemian, but worse than Lynch who “can make every throw”. That’s from Mike McCoy.
6) His pocket presence isn’t better than Siemian or Lynch. He’ll need time, just like them, to get better. Time behind the first string OL.
7) This is my opinion, but scouting reports do back it up, he has a tendency to want to be the hero. This is a common occurrence among strong armed QBs. They rely on their legs/arms to make big plays instead of staying in the pocket for a short gain. Lynch is learning to back it down. Kelly hasn’t had any practice or game time for that lesson to sink in.
8) Because he’s physically and mentally behind both Lynch and Siemian, and Sloter, the coaches aren’t going to take away precious practice reps with the ones and give them to him. Especially since they based the entire off season practices on tailoring a playbook to what best fits the QB. They have no clue what Kelly can do since he’s not taken a snap. TC is for perfecting the playbook, getting timing down, building chemistry and playing as one cohesive unit. Not destroying that by taking reps away from the guy. And there will be THE guy.
9) Last season, Denver kept two QBs on the roster. The same two vying to start. Why would he add a third? That’s a wasted roster spot someone else doesn’t get. If Lynch and Siemian both go down hurt, he’d call in a veteran, not toss in a guy with ZERO passes, not even during 4th quarter preseason games.
With Lynch or Siemian needing every snap they can get during the preseason, don’t look for Kelly, at all. As Vance Joseph said, “he’s on the shelf”. Sloter will be the QB getting “garbage time” in the preseason.
10) When a player is cut, he goes on waivers. This means any team can offer a player a contract. If they don’t, Elway could re-sign him on the PS, where once again, he won’t be seeing time with the ones. The best outcome for Kelly and Elway is some team claims him. Elway helps a friend for $66,000 signing bonus and he gets a shot as a first back-up. If you want Kelly to be the starter, then you need to root for another team because he won’t be seeing playing time in Denver.
11) There’s a reason every single team passed on him, including Buffalo who needs another QB. Tthey’ve seen this kid play his whole life. If they really saw a talent (and are ok with his troubles) who could be a starter, they’d have snatched him up. John Elway did his friend a favor, but he’s not going to put him in front of his team without a) seeing if he can go at least a year without getting into trouble, a feat he hasn’t ever done and b) shows he is better at everything over both Lynch and Siemian.
And there’s the rub if you’re a Kelly fan. How is he going to show he’s better, if they keep getting the ones, plus game time? He will need them both to epically fail AND in practice show he’s out thinking and out throwing them.
With his personal history, and lack of time with the ones, if Lynch and Siemian fail, Elway will bring in a veteran, at least for this season. The difference between Lynch last season and Kelly this season, is draft status, practice time and image. Kelly has issues with all three.