QB Chad Kelly plans to 'lay it on the line' in Thursday's preseason finale

Quarterback Chad Kelly says his mindset won't change this week as he starts the Broncos' final preseason game.

On if he prepares differently this week knowing he is starting the game

No, I think you still have to approach it like every game. Whether youre the backup or the starter, youve got to prepare as hard as you can and keep on getting better each and every day. Its going to feel fun to go out there and let it loose right away. You dont have to sit around and wait, you get to go out there and perform right away.

On if its as simple as just letting it loose for him

Yeah, go out and have fun. This is the last preseason game, lay it all on the line. Just go out there and have fun with those guys. This is what its all about.

On what he took away from the Washington game

A lot to improve on. We got points in the three drives I was out there and we ended up winning the game. [QB] Case [Keenum] did a great job leading those guys right away with two quick scores and then a field goal. Then [QB] Paxton [Lynch] kept on driving all the way down the field, so I think overall it was a good performance by all of us. Weve got to keep on seeing how we can get better each and every play.

On whats been different this week in his mind

I think just being able to go out there right away and perform, I dont have to sit around, wait until halftime or end of the first quarter. You get to go out there right away right after warmups and let it loose.

On whats been different in practice this week

You get a lot of repsyou get a lot of first-team reps. Youre going out there and performing, not just waiting around. You get to go out there and do what you love to do.

On if he looks at it as a chance to solidify the backup quarterback spot

Im looking at it to get better. I get to go out there first series of the whole game and go out there and prove myself. I think a lot of those guys in that locker room know this is the last preseason game. We have a lot to prove and guys are fighting. Guys are fighting to not only be on this team, but other teams as well. This is the last interview you have before the regular season starts and they break it down to 53 men.

On if his confidence stems from his knowledge of the offense

I think youre right, the knowledge of the offense first and foremost. Youve got to study. Youve got to study the game, youve got study what the other team is doing, where your guys are going to be. I think you just have to have that confidence whether its out there playing backyard football or football on this field. Its what youve been doing since you were a little kid, so go out there, have fun and know that you can do it.

On how much the game has slowed down for him this preseason

I think each rep I get more and more comfortable with this offense and guys being out there. You start building the chemistry more and more. Even offensive line, they start gelling more together. They understand how you call the plays, your cadence and how the play is going to pan out. Obviously, you go in there marketing the play and you hope that it works and plays out exactly as the coach wants it to. But, at the end of the day, youve got to make plays.

On if hes shown everything he wanted to this offseason

Im never satisfied with what Ive done and I think even the great ones feel the same exact way. Theres so much more I can learn and build off of, and Im going to keep striving each and every day to get better than the day before. I think good things will happen as long as you keep an edge in your mind and keep working hard.

On which preseason game hes most proud of so far

Thats kind of hard to say. Every quarterback wants to be perfect. You go out there to try to score points. You go out there to have fun. You dont want to turn the ball over, and at the end of the day, I think the most is winning. I think this last game we had the most fun with all the guys because we went home winning.

On if his on-field play has to live up to his nickname Swag

You kind of have to (laughing). You kind of fall into it, but at the end of the day, Im myself. Im going to do what I need to do to help this team win and approach it like a franchise quarterback. I think growing up the past couple years and weeks, youve got to approach it a lot differently when youre a college kid, an NFL player and now even a starter. Ive just got to keep on being a leader and do what my teams ask me to do.

On gaining the respect of veterans

We have a lot of veteran players that have proven themselves in the league and are one of the best to do itnot only that, one of the best ever to do it. I think youve got to win them over by playing very well, making the right choices on and off the field, and at the end of the day, you want to win and so do those other guys. Thats how youre going to be based off of in this league.

On being able to learn from QB Case Keenum

I think he sees the defense so well. He sees things before they happen. He sees it once or twice, and the next thing you know its a common occurrence on the defensive side of the ball. His knowledge of the game is very powerful. All of us in the quarterback roomeven [Quarterbacks] Coach [Mike] SullivanI think all of us together are a great communication pack and are able to tell each other things. One might not see it and the next one does. We try to help each other each and every day, and especially Case being in my position before and Paxtons. Hes like another coach out there.

On Keenums leadership skills

Its fantastic. Case Keenum has led our team in a great manner. A great guy, a great player and a guy that understands what it takes to be there. He had a fantastic season last year and I think of him as a big brother. Hes helped me throughout the past couple months and hes really kind of excelled my gameseeing things that he sees and trying to relate it to me. We all just keep on talking and Case has been there before. Hes seen it, hes done it and hes proved he can do it.

On what it would mean to him to be named the backup quarterback

Like I said before, Im going out there to have fun. I got out there with my teammates, my friends and just ball out. We want to end up winning this game, thats what its all about. However it plays out, Im going to keep working extremely hard and just have fun.

On how his studying habits have changed since he entered the NFL

I think in college, you really dont have to study as much as in the NFL. You have to study your opponent, but you dont have to study your playbook every single night. You know where to go with the football. Your coaches are going to tell you, Hey, we want to work on this today, you might see this look. In the NFL, every playbook is changing every single day. Youre getting new looks that youve never ran this play before. Its defeat the defense. Coaches are very smart and they come up with a lot of great ways to beat defenses and vice versa. You have to make sure youre on top of your game each and every practice, each and every rep.

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