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 INDIANAPOLIS — Chad Kelly insists a few months 
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Post INDIANAPOLIS — Chad Kelly insists a few months
away from football helped put life in perspective.He read the Bible while living in his parents’ basement. He recommitted himself to the game. And now he believes he can avoid any more trouble off the field.The once-promising young quarterback thinks his latest humbling experience will help jump-start his career with the Indianapolis Colts in what even he acknowledges could be his last NFL chance.“You just have to put in enough work for those guys to trust you because it’s going to take some time John Simon Color Rush Jersey ,” he said Wednesday. “There have been things that have happened in the past, but I am up for the challenge to prove to these guys I am dedicated to this.”Only time will tell if Kelly will be one of the few who actually turns the corner, though he may have found the perfect landing spot.His new coach, Frank Reich, was a longtime backup to Kelly’s uncle, Jim, a Hall of Fame quarterback with the Buffalo Bills. The man who signed Kelly, general manager Chris Ballard, decided to take a low-risk gamble by establishing guidelines for Kelly to meet. Kelly declined to elaborate on any specific provisions.Expectations are low in Indy, too, given that the Colts already have an established Pro Bowler in Andrew Luck, a solid backup in Jacoby Brissett and a known quantity in Phillip Walker as their No. 3 quarterback.And with Luck missing his second week of offseason workouts because of a strained calf, Kelly will get even more snaps so he can learn a new offense.“He has come in and he’s picked up the system well,” Reich said. “I think he’s — from what we saw at the rookie minicamp — he has progressed from there. I think Chad shows to have a little bit of a knack and some instincts. He has made his share of mistakes out there , but I think he’s certainly showing he belongs out there competing.”NFL scouts all saw his promise. And the Denver Broncos overlooked the potential pitfalls when they took Kelly with the final pick of the 2017 draft.He was booted off Clemson’s roster after arguing with coaches during the 2014 spring game. He pleaded guilty to a non-criminal charge of disorderly conduct stemming from a December 2014 incident in which he allegedly punched two bouncers and threatened to use an AK-47 to “spray the place” after he being ejected from the bar.In October 2016, Kelly charged onto the field when a bench-clearing brawl erupted during his brother’s high school football game. And then there was the torn ACL that ended his senior season at Ole Miss.There was more trouble in the NFL.After missing his entire rookie season to rehab from the knee injury, he took only one snap, a kneeldown, before he was cut in 2018 after he left a Halloween party and entered a house belonging to a man and woman he did not know. In March, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree trespassing charge.Over all those months, Kelly pondered his future. A few teams were interested but none was willing to sign him.“I really didn’t know,” he said when asked if he thought he’d get another chance. “I really couldn’t tell you what I was feeling like — you were kind of lost, you kind of look to the good Lord, you talk to close friends and family, and at the end of the day you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to get ready for whatever life brings you. I was just reading, doing as much as I could to stay active on the field and in the weight room.”Indy finally offered him a tryout earlier this month during a rookie minicamp and apparently he did enough during those three days to convince Ballard he was worth a chance. Kelly signed May 20.If he sticks around long enough, Kelly will at least give the Colts an extra training camp arm to diminish the wear and tear on Luck. But if he stays out of trouble and finally starts playing football the way many believe he can, Kelly could give the Colts another solid backup option.“There is something there Antonio Morrison Jersey ,” Reich said. “He can throw on the run, and then when he moves in the pocket I think he’s got some natural movement instincts and can deliver the ball from different arm angles. He has played a lot of football for his age and thrown a lot of balls.” WESTFIELD, Ind. — Andrew Luck felt like a different guy as he strolled down the tree-lined path to the Colts practice field Thursday.The recently married quarterback and now expectant father made the short trek, confident in his surgically repaired right shoulder and football future.And despite being limited to individual drills by a strained left calf as training camp opened, even the Indianapolis Colts quarterback took a few moments to reflect on how much has changed since he first appeared at Grand Park Sports Campus last July.“I remember walking through that sort of tunnel in the trees. Today I was sitting there thinking about it and how scared I was to go practice and how nervous I was,” Luck said.“I had no idea what the heck was going to happen on this practice field. I remember it being a very powerful feeling and then feeling so happy and almost relieved like I’d survived. Survived practice. My arm is still attached to my shoulder. That’s certainly a much different feeling this year.”Those initial fears gradually dissipated with a steady progression of successful steps — proving to himself the throwing arm could withstand the NFL rigors, leading the Colts back from a 1-5 start to end a three-year playoff drought and eventually winning the league’s Comeback Player of the Year award.Now Luck begins this season with another light workload.In 2016, team officials rested Luck as part of an effort to protect the sore shoulder he initially injured in September 2015. After opting for surgery on the still-ailing shoulder in January 2017, Luck missed all of training camp — and the entire season. Last year, Luck slowly returned with coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard closely monitoring Luck’s passing totals at camp to assure he’d be healthy for the season opener.It worked.This time, it’s different.Instead of talking about his arm, Luck has spent much of the offseason answering questions about the leg injury that kept him out of all of the team’s offseason workouts this spring, prevented him from working out with his teammates on the West Coast between June and July and now has limited his work early in camp.Luck threw Thursday in individual drills and is expected to return to seven-on-seven work Friday. Reich said Luck’s injury would be evaluated each day and hopes his starting quarterback is back in full action by early next week.But with their preseason opener two weeks away and their regular-season opener more than six weeks away, nobody at Colts camp is panicked. Instead Kenny Moore Color Rush Jersey , they’re playing it safe.“When you don’t go the whole spring, I just think it’s the smart thing to do,” Reich said. “We’ve got plenty of time. He’s working hard, he’s dialed in and he’ll get plenty of reps out here.”Besides, the Colts have a pretty good idea of how Luck will play once he is healthy.In his first season under Reich, Luck set career highs in attempts (630), completions (430), completion rate (67.3 percent) and quarterback rating (98.7) while being sacked a career-low 18 times. He flirted with career highs in yards passing (4,593) and touchdown passes (39) and finished with the second-lowest interception rate (2.34 percent) of his career.He played in all 16 games for the first time since 2014 when he led the Colts to the AFC championship game, engineered a six-win improvement over 2017 and made his fourth Pro Bowl appearance.The Colts encouraged Luck to take some well-deserved time off following their divisional-round loss to Kansas City, but sometime before the start of OTAs, Luck injured his lower left leg.So he spent the spring studying playbooks, watching game tape and demonstrating his mastery of Reich’s offense by explaining what he liked and didn’t like last season, discussing adjustments and what could be changed in 2019.“He had input last year , but it’s not even close to the same level. We were installing it and it was more listening with a few comments here and there,” Reich said.“I think it has taken the meetings to a higher level and even when it’s the quarterback meetings with (offensive coordinator) Nick (Sirianni), (quarterbacks coach) Marcus (Brady) and myself, but even in the offensive meetings. The voice he has in there making sure he is talking to receivers, tight ends, backs. He has had a real strong presence this offseason.”And it should give the Colts a leg up on their competition when Luck returns.“You can go to bed saying, ‘I wish I didn’t pull my calf. I wish I didn’t feel like this,” Luck said. “I know anybody coming back from any type of injury, it’s the same thing. You’ve got to keep working and getting better and trust that.”

Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:45 am
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