QB Keenum impresses, but so does Yates

QB Keenum impresses, but so does Yates
August 18, 2013, 12:30 am
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(USA Today Images)

Case Keenum and T.J. Yates did everything in their power on Saturday night to keep the backup quarterback competition going.

That competition is alive and well.

As expected, Keenum was the first quarterback in the game after Matt Schaub exited. Keenum played the second quarter and into the third, finishing 11-for-18 with 150 yards and one touchdown.

“Really comfortable,” Keenum said. “As many snaps as I can get under center, as many game-time situations I can be put in, I think I’m getting better each time.”

Keenum delivered the best throw of the night, a 38-yard pass down the left sideline to Lestar Jean for a touchdown. He placed it perfectly to hit Jean in stride.

But just when it looked like Keenum might have been separating himself in the quarterback competition, incumbent backup T.J. Yates followed Keenum’s performance with an impressive one of his own.

Yates completed 7-of-9 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Yates’ 33-yard touchdown pass came on a play-action bootleg to Garrett Graham in the third quarter.  

“Things slow down a little bit more being out there more,” Yates said. “Getting a little more experience, the count is a little slower, and work the cadence a little bit. Use stuff to your advantage, stuff we’ve been doing since my first year here.”

Yates didn’t throw as many passes as Keenum did on Saturday night but had to deal with steady pressure because of an offensive line that struggled to block for him.

“The easy way for me to answer that is to say they’re both doing their job,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “They are making it really hard on me. They are both doing good things and that’s a good thing for our team.”

Schaub looked good too, despite an early interception. He finished 8-for-11 for 92 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The three combined to complete 26-of-38 passes for 326 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

“It’s fun watching those guys grow and learn and how they go and take things from the practice fields, from the meeting room and then come out here and display it in games,” Schaub said. “T.J. is going into year three. Everything is clicking for him. He understands everything, what everyone is doing mentally. And Case has really come a long way in a year from what he used to do in college to how we run the offense. They’re both doing a great job.”

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