Kevin Hogan has only been a Denver Bronco for a little over a day, but he has plenty of good memories of Colorado.
As a redshirt freshman at Stanford in 2012, Hogan had seen minimal action until the Cardinal headed to Boulder in early November to face the University of Colorado. With the offense struggling under then-starter Josh Nunes, Hogan was inserted on the contest's third drive.
Stanford scored on each of its next six offensive possessions — including five touchdowns — and by the end of the game, Hogan had become Stanford's answer at the game's most important position. Two months later, he was a Rose Bowl champion.
For now, though, he's back to square one and just focusing on learning the system.
"I'm just really happy to be here," said Hogan following Monday's practice. "I had a great first day today. I got to meet everyone — the players and the coaches. I have a great room in the QB room and a great locker room here, so I'm just excited. I kind of got my feet under me at practice and walked through tempo stuff. Again, just really happy to be here."
The Broncos were awarded Hogan off waivers on Sunday after he was released by the Washington Redskins. Just a week-and-a-half earlier, Hogan had directed Washington to two late touchdown drives against Denver in the third preseason game. He finished the contest 7 of 9 for 88 yards and two scores. It may have left a good impression on his new employer.
Though he's only played in eight regular-season NFL contests, Hogan (6-foot-3, 218 pounds) fits what Head Coach Vance Joseph is looking for in a quarterback. He holds the Stanford record for career rushing yards by a quarterback (1,249) and has averaged nearly 10 yards per carry on 18 rushing attempts as a pro.
"Kevin fits what our quarterbacks look like," Joseph said. "He's an athletic guy, he has a good arm, he's very, very smart. He's fast with the ball. He fits the profile of what Case and Chad look like physically. He was a good fit for us."
While nearly all of his new surroundings are unfamiliar, Hogan does share an alma mater — Stanford — with the man responsible for picking him up: John Elway.
"I got meet him a couple of times when he'd come around to either a practice or a game," Hogan said. "I got to say hello and spend some time. The Stanford network is special. [We] always look out for each other."
As the third-string quarterback, Hogan will have limited reps, and he likely will not dress on game days. Just 48 hours ago, Hogan was across the country waiting to hear whether he had made the Redskins' roster, so things have moved quickly for the 25-year-old. It's something he's become used to: The Broncos are his fourth team in just over two seasons.
Still, he speaks on his new organization just like a seasoned veteran would, emphasizing a step-by-step approach.
"I'm going to listen to the coaches, see what they want me to learn first and how they want me to pick it up," Hogan said. "For me, it was going through the run game today. I'm going to go over pass protections this afternoon and try to get into the pass game a little bit. But first and foremost, you've got to be able to run the ball and get to the right plays. That's what I'm going to exercise first, and then protecting myself and getting into the pass game to get the ball down field to the playmakers. Little by little I'm going to try and get this offense under control."