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Mason's Mailbag: Looking ahead to camp

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.*

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Is Chad Kelly as good as Uncle Jim, and if so when could he be the starter?**

-- Mike Cox

Jim Kelly is a Pro Football Hall of Famer, a five-time Pro Bowler and he is also the only quarterback to start in four consecutive Super Bowls. It's not fair to compare a rookie to him, even though they're related. Let Chad Kelly develop at his own pace and keep the focus on what he can do, and let's avoid the comparisons with his uncle.

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Thanks for all the information you provide to us in Broncos Country! We are planning a first-time trip to see training camp this season on a Saturday. Can you please give us some insight as to which date would be better to attend? Are there any differences in practice from the beginning of camp to the end, when the team will have already played a preseason game?**

-- Lucas Gallegos

The contact and intensity of practice generally increases on the third day of training camp, when shoulder pads typically go on for the first time. This year, that will happen on Saturday, July 29. The practice on the following Saturday (Aug. 5) sometimes sees more intensity that most because it comes just before a Sunday off-day.

So if you visit camp on either of those Saturdays, you should get a good show — and likely more intense than the practice on the other Saturday of camp, Aug. 12, when the Broncos will be fewer than 48 hours removed from their preseason opener.

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Why would we have Paxton Lynch start? There's no risk in starting Trevor Siemian. The team loves him and if he plays good keep him playing, if he doesn't turn it to Lynch. Doesn't anyone realize how important experience is, you can't replace it and it usually takes about five years to really figure something out.**

-- Phillip Marshall

You would have him start because he emerges as the best quarterback on the roster in training camp and the preseason, if that proves to be the case. It's as simple as that. Whether you're talking about a quarterback, outside linebacker or any other position on the roster, you do the entire team a disservice by not playing the best player at the position.

Experience matters, but it's not the be-all, end-all. If it was, Kurt Warner and Tom Brady wouldn't have been Super Bowl MVPs in their first seasons as starters, just to cite a pair of the many examples of young quarterbacks who have overcome a lack of experience to find success.

You've been discussing the Ring Of Fame lately, and I wanted to ask why Steve Watson has not been honored yet. Do you see the sure-handed No. 81 making it to the ROF?

-- Glenn Hauser

I don't see that happening. Although Watson had an outstanding career, he's a victim of how standards have changed for players at his position; he's dropped to sixth among Broncos wide receivers (and eighth among all positions) in receptions and fifth among wide receivers (sixth among all positions) in receiving yardage. He also went to just one Pro Bowl, which generally hasn't been enough to push a player over the goal line for Ring of Fame inclusion. Simon Fletcher, who had no Pro Bowl selections, is an exception, but he also established a major franchise record (sacks) that has stood for nearly 22 years since his last game.

Earlier in the offseason, there were many critics saying without DeMarcus Ware's leadership, the Broncos would fall off a cliff. What are your thoughts?

-- Branson Smith

There are plenty of potential leaders on the defensive side — most of whom witnessed Ware's leadership first-hand. One potential leader who wasn't a teammate of Ware's has been a captain for the last nine seasons: nose tackle Domata Peko, with the Bengals.

Submit a question for the next Mailbag!

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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