Chad Kelly 'Finally Got It,' Uncle Jim Kelly Says

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2017

Mississippi's Chad Kelly practices for Saturday's Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly believes his nephew, Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Chad Kelly, is growing in maturity after a stormy college career.

"I told Chad, 'Don't worry about going in there and thinking you're going to compete for that starting job,'" he told ESPN.com's Mike Rodak on Thursday. "The bottom line is, you gotta go there and get healthy, learn the system and be humble. And I think he's finally got it. He understands that."  

According to Rodak, Broncos executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway reached out to Jim Kelly to learn more about his nephew.

"I can't go into all the details, but he wanted to know a little bit about Chad, and I told him," he said. "And I said a lot of things that have happened have been three years ago. Sooner or later, people got to forget about that. I understand, you got to bring things up. Some of the stuff to me, totally [has been] blown up."

Clemson's program dismissed Chad in 2014 "over disagreements with coaches," per Rodak. He proceeded to join Ole Miss, but trouble followed him.

He pleaded guilty to a non-criminal disorderly charge in 2015 following an argument in a bar with bouncers the previous year. In October 2016, he ran onto the field during his younger brother's football game after a brawl broke out in the contest.

Jim maintained Chad was just coming to the aid of his younger brother in the incident, attempting to pull him away from the ordeal.

Kelly was excellent during his final two years at Ole Miss, throwing for 4,042 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while also rushing for 509 yards and another 10 scores as a junior. His 2016 season was cut short, however, after he tore his ACL in November. He threw for 2,758 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions and rushed for 332 yards and five scores before the injury.

Between his tape and his uncle's recommendation, the Broncos decided to make Kelly a seventh-round pick (No. 253 overall). Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch will be the favorites to win the starting job heading into 2017, but given Siemian's up-and-down play in 2016 and Lynch's inexperience, Kelly should have the opportunity to win the starting job down the line if he continues to improve with the Broncos.


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