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Zac Stevens Avatar
October 25, 2018

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It has become very clear Andy Reid has an excellent eye for evaluating talent at the quarterback position.

Along with Patrick Mahomes — the second-year phenom that’s taken the league by storm like no player ever has — Reid identified another young talent.

He just happens to be on the Denver Broncos now.

“I love him,” Reid said to the Denver media on Wednesday, speaking about Kevin Hogan.

Wait, what? Who now?

Up until now, that’s been the expected response when Hogan’s name is mentioned.

But with the Broncos waiving Chad Kelly Wednesday morning, due to an arrested for first-degree trespassing early Tuesday morning, Hogan has quickly been thrust into the job of  “most popular guy in town,” everyone’s new favorite Bronco, the backup quarterback of a losing team.

According to Reid — who brought Hogan into the league as a fifth-round pick in 2016 — there’s no reason not to love Denver’s newest backup quarterback.

“He’s got sniper vision. He’s got great eyes and he sees everything,” Reid said with fire in his voice. “I’m pulling for him. I’m one of his fans. I like the way he goes about his business, he’s a brilliant kid, he loves to play the game dirty and tough. He’ll beat it up for you there. He’s a good one for you to have right there.”

Reid loved Hogan so much, in fact, that he straight-up cut him 126 days after using a fifth-round pick on him.

But being the most popular guy in town typically doesn’t come easy.

Look no further than Hogan’s current fellow quarterback, Case Keenum, to see precisely that.

After bouncing around the league as not much more than a journeyman backup, Keenum became Minnesota’s favorite player after taking over early in the 2017 season and putting up an MVP-type season, guiding the Vikings to the NFC Championship game.

“Similar paths,” Keenum said about the two quarterbacks. “Been on a few teams and he’s done a great job stepping in and getting a lot of mental reps every day.”

The Vikings were Keenum’s fourth different team. The Broncos are Hogan’s fourth different team.

Coincidence? Perhaps. Chance he sweeps the chants for Kelly under the rug in place for his name? Perhaps.

“I’ve got a lot of trust in Kevin,” Keenum said, putting all of his confidence in a player that could potentially replace him. “Getting better every day. He’s done a great job, great team guy, great locker room guy to be around. I have complete trust in him if he needs to step in.”

In his NFL career, the three-year vet has appeared in eight games, making one start. Hogan has four touchdowns to seven interceptions on a 59.4 completion percentage for a 61.5 passer rating.

However, during his four years at Stanford, he racked up 75 touchdowns to only 29 interceptions on a 65.9 completion percentage.

Hogan was claimed off waivers by the Broncos after being cut by the Washington Redskins on Sept. 2.

If the Broncos need to call on him on Sunday against the Chiefs in Arrowhead, Hogan will be up for the task.

“I feel very prepared,” he stated without hesitation. “This is going on week seven or eight in the system, and I spend a lot of time working and studying.”

At least for Sunday, if something happens to Case, Hogan will be the Broncos man.

“Kevin is fine. Kevin has played in games, he’s a smart guy, he’s picked it up quick, and we have full confidence in Kevin,” Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph said on Wednesday.

But Joseph did say the 6-foot-3, 218-pound quarterback is the backup “right now,” adding “we’ll see as time progresses here” when asked if the team plans on bringing in another quarterback.

“I like Kevin,” Emmanuel Sanders genuinely said Wednesday. “Kevin is a solid backup for us.”

On Sunday, not only will Hogan suit up for the first time in Orange & Blue, he’ll be going up against the team, and coach, that gave him a shot in the league.

Until he sweeps Denver off its feet like Keenum did one year ago in the Twin Cities — if that chance ever comes around — Hogan’s donning the ideal backup quarterback mentality as he quickly becomes the most popular man in town.

“My job is to get myself prepared, but also to get Case as prepared as possible,” Hogan said, wide-eyed at the newfound media attention. “First and foremost, have to make sure Case is ready.”

In Week 6 the hometown crowd was chanting for Chad Kelly.

With Kelly now gone, and Keenum playing well below expectations, who knows how long until there are chants for Kevin ringing around Mile High.


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