ENGLEWOOD Jarran Reed Jersey , Colo. (AP) — Chad Kelly has a tenuous hold on the No. 2 quarterback job in Denver, and not because Paxton Lynch is making a push to regain the gig he lost to him this summer.
Kelly gets one more shot at showing he’s a worthy backup to starter Case Keenum when he starts the Broncos‘ final preseason game Thursday night at Arizona.
Although he’s won over Broncos fans with a stellar summer, Kelly still has to convince general manager John Elway that it’s not necessary to scour the waiver wire for a more seasoned backup QB.
With Saturday’s cut-down deadline looming, Elway has some big decisions to make at quarterback:
—Is Kelly, who spent his rookie season on IR last year, ready to step in if needed after getting precious few snaps with the starters?
—And is it finally time to give up on the underachieving Lynch?
Elway moved up to grab Lynch with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft. But the former Memphis QB was leapfrogged by Kelly this summer after failing to beat out another seventh-rounder, Trevor Siemian, for the starting job each of the last two summers.
Lynch is 1-3 in his NFL career and has regressed this summer. Last week at Washington, he was 3-of-7 for 39 yards against the Redskins’ third-stringers.
The Broncos solved one quarterback conundrum by signing Keenum in free agency, but they’re facing another as the preseason winds down.
“I would say right now Chad’s our 2 and he’s earned it. Right now, Paxton’s our 3,” coach Vance Joseph said Tuesday. “Obviously, we have a game to play on Thursday night. We’ll see after that how it shakes. But as we sit here now, Chad’s the 2 and Paxton’s the 3 and Case is the 1.”
Joseph, however, declined to speculate about the possibility of Lynch getting cut if that order remains in place.
“Those decisions are made over the weekend,” Joseph said. “We’re going to play this game on Thursday and have our staff and personnel meetings on Friday and Saturday and determine what’s best for the Broncos. That’s all I can tell you about that.”
Kelly insisted he wasn’t worried about his standing, saying he’s just excited about starting his first game since lining up one last time for Ole Miss in 2016.
“I’m looking at it to get better. I get to go out there the first series of the whole game and prove myself,” Kelly said. “… This is the last interview you have before the regular season starts and they break it down to 53 men.”
Lynch said he wasn’t fretting over his football future Frank Gore Jersey , either.
“I’m not worried about anything past the next day, which is tomorrow, we come out here and have our practice and then travel to Arizona and then have our meetings there. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m focused on going out and playing well on Thursday,” he said.
Lynch reiterated his hope of sticking with the Broncos, however.
“Absolutely, I love it here,” he said. “I’ve said that since Day 1, I wanted to be The Guy here. I’ve gone through some things. I’ve struggled. I haven’t played well at times. And at times I have played well and I’ve just got to find that consistency of constantly playing well and I know I can get there.”
Lynch said he can absolutely find that consistency on the scout team.
“If you get a chance to get reps out there, you can find a way to get better and especially against our defense,” Lynch said. “You know those guys are going to challenge you every day, so you can always work your craft.”
Lynch created a bit of stir last weekend when he posted a photo on social media of a “For Sale” sign, leading to speculation he was already preparing to leave Denver.
Turns out his girlfriend is a real estate agent.
“On my day off I was with my girlfriend and we were down in the Cherry Creek area and that’s where she has some houses listed and I just took a picture of it,” Lynch said. “I was proud of her. I’d never seen her name on a sign like that, so I just took a picture of it and it kind of got blown up a little bit.”
Notes: ILB Jerrol Garcia-Williams was carted off the field after sustaining a knee injury during 1-on-1 drills.
— One of the great leaders football has seen, Ray Lewis used his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech to call for more enlightened leadership in the United States.
The last of the seven members of the class of 2018 on hand to be enshrined, Lewis eschewed notes and the lectern, instead strolling along the stage and passionately urging his listeners to come together.
“Are you living every day to make this world better?” Lewis asked Saturday night at the end of his 33-minute oratory, often invoking the teachings of Martin Luther King. “Think what we can do if we work together as a country … teaching our nation to love each other again.
“It’s how we react to the challenges in our life that shows our greatness. How do we execute that dream? Who will answer that knock on the door in the middle of the night? And it has to start right now. We need people willing to fight for what is good and what is right.”
Turning to the 140 Hall of Famers on the stage, he told them: “We can go from being legends to building a legacy bigger than football Kyle Van Noy Jersey , bigger than sports. Look at what unites us … the answer is simple, love. Hope, faith and love, and the greatest is love.”
Lewis was joined by Randy Moss, Brian Dawkins, Brian Urlacher, Jerry Kramer, Robert Brazile and Bobby Beathard as inductees at the hall ceremony.
One of the best linebackers in NFL history, Lewis won two Super Bowls with the Ravens; he often chanted “BALTIMORE!” during his speech.
“Tell me something can’t be done is like pouring lighter fluid on an open flame,” said Lewis, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year who won a second Super Bowl for the 2012 season — coming back from a torn triceps — then retired. He was the MVP of the 2001 title game.
“I came back, and boy did I come back,” Lewis said. “When you walk off the last time with that thing, that Lombardi, it’s a confirmation I am living proof of the impossible.”
A first-year nominee, Lewis was selected 26th overall in the 1996 draft — what were other teams thinking? He wasn’t even Baltimore’s first choice: Jonathan Ogden was, and the big tackle made the Hall of Fame in 2013.
His impact was immediate, both on the field, in the locker room Shaq Lawson Jersey , and even in pregame introductions, when his “squirrel dance” fired up fans and teammates alike. He and Ogden even did a short version on the stage.
Lewis was the first player with 40 sacks and 30 interceptions in a career. An eight-time All-Pro and inside linebacker on the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team, he had a franchise-record 2,643 career tackles.
Dawkins also delivered a powerful speech and, as he promised, cried during it.
One of the hardest-hitting and most versatile safeties in NFL history, Dawkins stared at his bust and nodded his approval to the crowd.
“The majority of success I have had has come on the back end of pain,” he said noting he had suicidal thoughts when he battled depression. “On the other side of it, all of a sudden I became better. There’s a purpose for my pain.
“I have grown leaps and bounds because of the things I went through. For those going through this now, there is hope on the other side. Keep moving, keep pushing through.”
Dawkins was the leader of an Eagles defense that made four straight NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. Voted to the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team and a five-time All-Pro, Dawkins intercepted passes in 15 consecutive seasons and had 37 picks overall. He averaged nearly 100 tackles a year and spotlighted his versatility as the first player in NFL history to get a sack, interception, fumble recovery and touchdown catch (on a screen pass) in a game, against Houston in 2002.
Urlacher became a record-28th Chicago Bear inducted into the hall. A first-year nominee who filled the tradition of great middle linebackers in the Windy City so brilliantly, Urlacher actually was a safety at New Mexico. Chicago selected him ninth overall in the 2000 draft and immediately converted him to linebacker. He spent two weeks in training camp on the outside, then was moved inside — for 13 spectacular seasons.
“I love everything about football: the friendships, the coaches, the teachers Justin Hardy Jersey , the challenges, the opportunity to excel. I loved going to work every day for 13 years,” said the 2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and 2005 Defensive Player of the Year, a season in which Urlacher had 171 tackles.
The five-time All-Pro and member of the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team even did some work on special teams.
But it was in the heart of the defense where he shone.
“The most coveted position for a defensive player to play is middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears,” said Urlacher, who had to hold back tears several times. “Just think about it. I hope over my 13 seasons I made you Bears fans proud.”
Another first-year nominee, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Moss brought the perfect combination of height, speed, soft hands and agility to Minnesota as the 21st overall draft pick in 1998 after a rocky college career. His 69 receptions, 17 for touchdowns, and 1,313 yards helped the Vikings go 15-1 and earned him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
That was just the start for the eccentric but always dynamic Moss. When he finally hooked up with an elite quarterback, he caught a record 23 TD passes from Tom Brady in New England’s perfect 2007 regular season.
Moss rubbed the face and top of his bust, then delivered a sermon worthy of any church or synagogue. He paid tribute to his family, to the fans of his five teams, and to his roots in West Virginia Womens Kyle Lauletta Jersey