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Denver Broncos News: Broncos' Mailbag


Mason's Mailbag: Sifting through post-draft questions

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

Chad Kelly has a very impressive resume and has great ball placement and anticipation. Do you think he is in the mix for the starting job?

-- Cade Johnson

Realistically, not this year. The wrist injury he suffered before his Pro Day workout will prevent him from practicing until at least August, and even when he returns, he won't be receiving any first-team snaps like Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch will.

As we've seen with previous recoveries from ACL injuries, Butt will likely get back up to speed in steady increments, with a little more added to his workload each game as trainers monitor the state of his knee.

There could be an advantage to this for the offense itself. If Butt is gradually worked into the lineup, then it will allow the offense to work new wrinkles into its repertoire at midseason because of the multidimensional threat that the fifth-round pick should provide.

Butt said Saturday of how he feels his previous ACL rehabilitation will help him, because it gives him a template he can follow. He also said that he didn't feel compromised on his knee immediately after his previous recovery in 2014, and he felt that would help him as he works his way up to speed this year.

You hit the nail right on the head. Competitive fire had plenty to do with the composition of this draft class.

"You want guys who love to play and hate to lose, and these eight guys we picked this weekend all fall in that category," Head Coach Vance Joseph said. "They want to win. They hate to lose and they're tough guys, but all good kids. We're excited about that.

"It's an attitude game, and you have to acquire guys with those attitudes. You can't hope that players will have that. You have to go find those guys with that certain attitude."

I had the chance to speak with seven of the eight picks, and I came away impressed with their collective willingness to tackle any task in order to get on the field and help the team.


Hey Mase, please explain the process of undrafted rookie free agents. First come, first serve? Rich get richer? Gotta have connections? Does speed dial help?**

-- Mike Powell

It's a combination of factors, including connections and the state of the roster. Some players would actually prefer to go undrafted and choose a team based on which one offers the best chance to make the roster rather than be drafted in the seventh round. The desire to take a better chance to crack a 53-man roster also leads some players to choose weaker rosters, thinking their odds are better in, say, Cleveland than New England.

A famous example of how the depth chart can affect a decision involves the now-retired Tony Romo. In 2003, the Broncos offered the Eastern Illinois product a contract, but he chose the Cowboys because he felt he could get on the field sooner in Dallas. The Broncos had just signed free-agent quarterback Jake Plummer, while the Cowboys' quarterback stable included Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson.

One of the selling points the Broncos will offer is their openness to the possibilities of undrafted signees sticking on the roster. All but one season-opening roster since 2004 has included an undrafted rookie.


Since we have two pretty decent QBs, why don't we play them and switch them more often throughout each game/quarters (taking turns, according to different plays), thus confuse the defensive line of the opponent. This approach could give our QBs more experience, and our offense more different plays.**

-- Juan Gutierrez

Playing two quarterbacks with different styles actually makes it harder on the rest of the offense. Pass-catching targets would have to adjust to a different style of pass being thrown in their direction. Blockers would have to recalibrate their work to account for one quarterback being less mobile and less likely to scramble than the other.

The Dallas Cowboys tried something like this with Craig Morton and Roger Staubach during the 1971 season, with the passers alternating plays. It nearly wrecked their season. Their coach, Tom Landry, finally settled on Staubach, and the Cowboys won their first world championship.

Dan Reeves, a member of that team, dusted off the idea in 1992 when John Elway was hurt, alternating Tommy Maddox and Shawn Moore. It nearly helped the Broncos upset the eventual world champion Cowboys, but then the tactic failed a week later.

Changing quarterbacks as frequently as you suggest is a different idea, but it's a novelty. You might be able to cause problems for an opponent for a game, but it's not a sustainable tactic.

The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.





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