So, it’s Keenum and not Cousins (or any of the other available quarterbacks) who the Broncos have chosen to help lift an offense that has fallen on decidedly hard times.
“He may be just hitting his stride right now,” said Broncos president of football custom nfl jerseys cheap operations John Elway. “A lot of times it takes different situations to get comfortable, obviously. Case was in a good situation last year with the Vikings. My plan is to put him in that same situation this year where he can be successful and have the year — if not a better year this year than he had last year — and continue on.”
Elway added that, with Keenum, he has “high expectations of what we can do.”
It is telling in the Broncos’ evaluation of Keenum that the coach who put him under center in 2013 when the Houston Texans lost Keenum’s first eight NFL starts still has a high opinion of Keenum now. Gary Kubiak was eventually fired by the Texans after that 2013 season. After Kubiak recharged his career with a successful 2014 as the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator, he won a Super Bowl as the Broncos’ head coach in 2015.
Kubiak, after stepping away from coaching following the 2016 season for health reasons, was then hired for what has become a growing role in Denver’s personnel department. In the Broncos’ evaluations of Keenum, Kubiak is known to have lauded the quarterback’s leadership (a mental toughness honed by a bumpy developmental road as a former undrafted rookie) and his room for growth.
Elway publicly confirmed last week that the Broncos tried to trade for Keenum just after Peyton Manning’s retirement in March 2016 but could not reach a deal with the Rams.
“We had interest in Case back then, [but] I think it was more the fact that the Rams didn’t want to let him go because we wanted him and were trying to get something done,” Elway said. “They knew what they had in Case, so therefore we couldn’t get it done … nike nfl jerseys cheap also Gary’s relationship with Case and knowing Case, that was a big feather in Case’s cap. As far as I’m concerned, an effect of what Gary thought of him really as a man and what he could do in that locker room for us.”
It is a bit of a gamble to give more weight to one year of production over five, but the Broncos said they’ve done the work, and Keenum said he’s ready to do his part. The Broncos represent Keenum’s first chance to enter an offseason program and training camp as the unquestioned starter.