Colts Looking To Further Develop Quarterback Chad Kelly

Colts Looking To Further Develop Quarterback Chad Kelly

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Colts Looking To Further Develop Quarterback Chad Kelly

How is Chad Kelly approaching his chance to be on the Colts practice squad? What are the Colts looking for from Kelly?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – This time last year, when Chad Kelly took the practice field with the Denver Broncos, he was one play away from being a starting quarterback.

Now, Kelly begins practices with the Colts by serving as a scout team player on kick coverage duty.

That’s life for a No. 3 quarterback on the practice squad.

Once Kelly’s two-game suspension ended in mid-September, the intriguing signal caller wasn’t sure what was in store for his NFL future.

“I had no clue,” Kelly says of the uncertainty he faced last month.

Despite several early-season injuries at the quarterback position around the league, all 32 teams passed on bringing Kelly onto their 53-man roster.

Instead, the Colts (with a handsome practice squad pay day for Kelly) wanted to bring Kelly back and continue to groom him.

“Chad earned it,” Frank Reich said after the Colts signed Kelly to their practice squad a few weeks back. “He earned it on and off the field. Really thought he practiced well, thought he played well in the preseason games. In meetings and every aspect of what it takes to be an NFL quarterback, I thought he checked every box. He’s deserved a chance to back here to further develop. I’m really looking forward to it.”

When the Colts first signed Kelly back in May, he was thought to be competing alongside Phillip Walker for this 3rd QB role.

Behaving off the field, coupled with a very strong preseason, led to Kelly continuing to have a future with the Colts.

In four preseason games, Kelly completed 74 percent of his passes (54-of-73) for 583 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. He added 107 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 10 carries.

“The way he progressed learning the offense and his ability to go out there on the field in live action and just make plays and create plays, the game was never too big for him,” quarterbacks coach Marcus Brady says of Kelly’s preseason performances.

“Each week, from preseason game 1-to-4, he got better and showed progression. And that’s what you want from a young quarterback. Is he worth trending upward?”

That upward potential has the Colts wanting to keep Kelly around.

Any team can now try and sign Kelly to their 53-man roster, but Indianapolis would also have a chance to stop that by bumping him up to their 53-man roster, if they are still that high on Kelly.

For now, it’s practice squad life for Kelly as he tries to get back to the place he was (or even higher than that) last season.

“I just look it as an opportunity to get better each and every day,” the nephew of Jim Kelly says. “Just going out on the practice field throwing the football around, just playing football. That’s the biggest thing. The more experience I get being on the practice field, being in game situations that’s obviously going to help. To be around the guys, the camaraderie, hearing a play call, calling it out, the studying, there’s a whole amplitude of things that obviously go together in being here. I’m thankful just to be around it and to keep on learning and bettering myself in football.

“You are seeing a lot of different schemes on defense. You see different ways of running plays. I think everything together just adds up to a lot of football knowledge. To see things before they happen and anticipate with the football before they happen, that’s where the game is heading. You have to see things and know where you’re going with the football and read and react. See things before they happen. The great ones are able to take one hitch and get the ball out. That might not be their first read. It’s their second or third read. I’m just trying to keep on learning, whatever it is, whether it’s the offense or the defense. And just keep on getting familiar with everything out there on the football field.”

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