Chad Kelly already is facing an uphill climb in his NFL journey as the NFL’s newest Mr. Irrelevant. The Broncos rookie quarterback also is still in the midst of his recovery from right wrist surgery, which has hampered his opportunity to get those early important reps at organized team activities and minicamp.
Kelly, though, is optimistic about his progress and has a timeline set for when he can get back into the fold.
“Hopefully, I should start throwing within the next two weeks,” Kelly said Friday on NFL Total Access. “My goal is to get ready for training camp and try to help the team win in any way possible.”
For veteran quarterbacks, the offseason is meant to develop rapport with new additions or improve chemistry with returning players. A rookie signal-caller has to start from scratch, making those first few months vital.
“I think it hinders it a little bit, but until you go out there and make a couple mistakes, you got to learn,” Kelly said. “Right now, I’m kind of just visualizing everything, pretending like you’re calling out the MIKE even in your hotel room every day. You got to pretend like you’re out there doing exactly what those other quarterbacks are doing so when you’re out there, you can’t miss a beat.”
Kelly flashed arm talent at Ole Miss. Injuries, character concerns and inconsistent decision making, however, led to an up-and-down collegiate career. He hopes to learn from his mistakes this time around, and turned to guidance from his Hall of Fame uncle, Jim Kelly.
“Shut your mouth, work extremely hard and be the first one in there, last one to leave, and to lead by example,” Kelly said, referring to the advice the former Bills gunslinger told him. “When you’re down in the fourth quarter, those guys are going to look to you to make a play. It’s up to you to gain that respect and to show them that you’re the guy.”
While the rookie has a lot of ground to gain on Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch in the Broncos’ quarterback competition, if he listens to those words of wisdom, he could catch up quicker than expected.