Vance Joseph on Chad Kelly: “Right now he is our backup”

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It’s official. Chad Kelly is currently the No. 2 quarterback in Denver. For now.

“Right now, he’s our backup,” coach Vance Joseph said on the day that the second-year, seventh-rounder received reps with the second-string offense for the first time. “Again, your roster is pretty much formed until something happens out there. So, right now, Chad is our backup. Things change in this league all the time, but right now he is our backup.”

The reason is simple. In a merit-based business, Kelly has shown the necessary merit.

“Chad has played well,” Joseph said. “He played well in the scrimmage and he played well Saturday night, so he deserves a chance to be the two right now.”

Joseph said Kelly will run the second-string offense all week, culminating in a preseason game against the Bears.

“It was nice,” Kelly told reporters regarding the news of the promotion. “I wouldn’t have gotten there if it wasn’t for my teammates. Those guys made the plays, they got me in the right protections and the guys with the ball in their hands made plays. 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.”

Paxton Lynch, a first-round pick in 2016, now plunges to No. 3.

“[He was] obviously disappointed, but he understands it’s a performance business,” Joseph said regarding Lynch. “He has great potential — physical potential — but it’s got to equal performance eventually. He understands that. It’s a performance league, and everything we do is graded and it’s counted. It’s really more about what Chad’s done, honestly. Chad has played well. He’s played with poise, he’s played with confidence. He moved the ball for us on Saturday night. It’s been that way since the spring. He had a great spring, he’s had a great camp and so it’s his turn to be the two. He’s earned that right.”

It’s a great story, and it’s hard not to wonder whether Kelly is just getting started. With starter Case Keenum under contract for only two years, Jim Kelly’s nephew could eventually be the No. 1 quarterback for John Elway’s team.

41 responses to “Vance Joseph on Chad Kelly: “Right now he is our backup”

  1. It’s painfully obvious that Lynch just isn’t an NFL qb and never will be. He just doesn’t process information quickly enough to make good decisions with the ball and his inaccuracy compounds things.

    They have to to pay him for the next 2 years anyway. He’s a legit 6′ 7″, 245+ and a good athlete with light feet. As long as you have to pay him anyway they might as well might out if he can play tight end.

  2. He will be the starter before long. Kid can play. Reminds me a lot of Brett Farve when he was a youngin. Not the arm that Brett had, but has the same moxy and swagger. He is a lot of fun to watch. Will make you scratch your head from time to time, but he will win some games… Hotty Toddy…

  3. So it only took Vance Joseph 2 years to realize what most of us knew from the first time we saw him play:

    that Paxton Lynch isn’t a professional quarterback.

  4. Kelly looked great and Lynch looked awful. However, while it’s popular to bash the crap out of Lynch as much we can, we all need to bear in mind that Kelly was playing against guys who likely will not even be on an NFL roster come September.

    Not to knock on Kelly’s potential, but his current state is still as a project. Watching his game last night, you can see him stare down his receivers and his wind-up is very pronounced, which gives defenders more time to react to his throws. He has great arm strength-incredible arm strength, actually-but he needs to know that not every throw has to be a fastball, ala Kaepernick.

    While I was impressed by Kelly, I wouldn’t say that he is quite ready to be the backup yet. I know this will be unpopular, but I think their promotion of Kelly is a knee-jerk reaction to his performance against the third and fourth teamers last night and the fan reaction to Lynch. Of course, the Broncos quarterback coaching has been so awful lately that it’s no surprise that Lynch has not progressed much.

  5. As a Vikings fan, I thought Case was a real solid QB after last season…but after the preseason game I’m kind of wondering what most Broncos fans wonder…is the fact that John Elway wanted Case and gave him 25 mil guaranteed over 2 years, a very bad sign? That guy can’t spot an NFL QB unless he is looking on the mirror…

  6. Kelly played well on Saturday and certainly seems like he deserves to be the backup quarterback. I just wonder what Bronco fans think about the fact that the three quarterbacks on the other side of the field all played very well too, and Elway decided he didn’t want any of them.

  7. Brandon in Northwest Suburbia says:
    August 13, 2018 at 8:33 pm
    It’s painfully obvious that Lynch just isn’t an NFL qb and never will be. He just doesn’t process information quickly enough to make good decisions with the ball and his inaccuracy compounds things.

    They have to to pay him for the next 2 years anyway. He’s a legit 6′ 7″, 245+ and a good athlete with light feet. As long as you have to pay him anyway they might as well might out if he can play tight end.


    At 6’8 240lbs I feel like I wasted my potential. I could have been a horrible backup QB in the NFL for years while people around me made excuses for my lack of progression.

    And here’s my usual pro-Chad Kelly post about how he’s going to be a great backup, and hopefully a great starter one day. Mistakes were made in college that he’s seemed to grow up from and he has immense natural ability.

  8. Chad Kelly will be starting soon. He’s got the swagger and whiskey breath you need in a huddle. Once he cleaned up his act, you knew he’d be successful.

  9. Give Chad a chance in college he was better than Dak Prescott there’s no reason why he can’t be a better quarterback than Prescott in this league

  10. The only reason he is still on the team is 2018 cap is 4.5 million & he will be gone next year as his hit is only 1.9 million. Yep try him at tight end or special teams. What a complete waste of money. He has no clue how to play QB & has no heart.

  11. Everyone knew going in that Payton Lynch was going to be a project.

    Sometimes however, projects go horribly awry.

    As things are, it would not shock me if Keenum reverts to the career backup that he is and Kelly is starting by mid-season.

    Donkeys got a steal on Kelly in the 7TH. The Knicks on him in the draft were always his maturity level. If the guy has finally grown up then he can be q very good QB.

  12. “Z SPORTS NETWORK says:
    August 13, 2018 at 8:56 pm
    So it only took Vance Joseph 2 years to realize what most of us knew from the first time we saw him play:

    that Paxton Lynch isn’t a professional quarterback”

    Really I don’t blame Vance for that. Since he came in last year which was a year after Elway used a first round pick on Paxton. You aren’t going to be able to justify getting someone else until you prove to the boss that his guy isn’t the guy. It’s not like Vance wasted 3 seasons on Paxton, he got there with Paxton as the heir apparent, played him it failed and he has no qualms putting Paxton on third string duties which many coaches wouldn’t do.

  13. I’m rooting for Kelly, but you’ll forgive me if I don’t get overly excited by Joseph’s evaluation of his, or anybody else’s, talent. How that man is still a head coach is beyond me.

  14. As we all expected Case Keenum is proving why the Vikings dumped him, He is too easily rattled and isn’t…..well Clutch. He benefited from the talent around him last year. after his lame Duck int in the NFCC game, he wasn’t the same. No offense just calling it as I see it. On the other hand, it was the first game in pre-season. The Broncos did see the quality of the Vkings 1st team starters. They really did nothing until Minnesota’s starters were on the bench.

  15. Sorry Paxton but it’s time to let you go. Maybe Jerry Jones will give Denver a 1st Round pick for him. Kelly looked great (I know preseason 3rd teams) but he will be worth watching.

  16. I’m too tired to look up Head Coach Vance Joseph’s quotes after the game vs Minn but I do recall him being THE ONLY ONE AT THE TIME who didn’t know Chad Kelly had moved up on the depth chart. What a moron.

  17. This is the first thing I’ve respected this coach. Elway clearly has an obsession with Lynch. so this took some gut, even though it was clearly the right choice./

  18. I liked this pick when they drafted him. Tons of upside, not any downside really. Some character concerns, but nothing that was like guns, drugs etc. I can handle a 19-20 year old kind being a little bit immature. This could really pan out for them. I would love to see him in there.

  19. And we all agree the Broncos are the best at evaluating QB’s, right? Lol. Lynch could go somewhere else and be an all pro. The Broncos’ brain trust has no idea what they’re doing.

  20. Chad Kelly could well be the eventual starter in Denver. Probably the best thing for Paxton Lynch would be to go elsewhere, and have a change of scenery and fresh start with a new team and coaching staff. If he has any chance at all to eventually play somewhere, that would likely be it. Reminds you somewhat of Brock Osweiler 2.0 .

  21. What was one of the most common criticisms we heard about Chad Kelly coming out of college? That he was talented but a head case, and that if he cleaned up his act and applied himself then his potential would be through the roof. Well a year in and he’s now clawed from his from a 3rd/4th string guy to the #2. If he continues on this track and consistently shows the talent he flashed in college he might just become the Broncos starting QB sometime in the near future.

  22. The way he says “for now” makes me think they are going to bring in a veteran QB to be the back up. Chad Kelly will be the 3rd string and Paxton will be cut by the end of camp.

  23. I watched this kid at Ole Miss and saw a guy with NFL talent who was his own worst enemy off the field (and sometimes on it). If he has finally become an adult, is ready to accept coaching and really wants a career as a starting NFL QB I believe it’s his for the taking, especially in Denver.

  24. I was hoping the Bills picked up Chad Kelly he is a good QB prospect, but he’s also known to be with bad crowd type here in Buffalo, maybe it’s not best that he stay home, far away in the Rocky Mountains sounds like a good fit.

  25. Remember when Elway during the draft passed on Russell Wilson for Brock Osweiller? Or when he passed on Dak Prescott for Paxton Lynch? For those calling for Vance Joseph’s head, you should also call for Elway’s head for all his draft busts.

  26. scrapsworld703139467 says:
    August 13, 2018 at 9:48 pm
    Good for Chad

    Sucks for Paxton.

    As I’m reading the Nick Foles book. Anything is possible.

    I hope you’re in 8th grade

  27. “Is it just me or did he look like he has a slow release and uses velocity to make up for it?”


    That’s his biggest problem. Pro corners will pounce on that release very quickly. As much natural talent and determination as Kelly has, he will have to show that he is able to develop his footwork, patience, and ability to read coverages.

    I cannot stress enough that we need to remember that Kelly was playing against third and fourth teamers out there.

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