Meet the talk of the town. Broncos third-string quarterback Kyle Sloter.
He’s not exactly Mr. Excitable. Which is a good thing when you enter your first NFL game in the fourth quarter against the Bears in Chicago.
“Good: I think I can step up in the pocket and throw it 50 yards wide open to a guy,’’ the understated Sloter said when asked to assess his 158.3 passer rating performance against the Bears. “Bad: I’ve just got to refine the footwork and fix the timing and all of that stuff.’’
A one year starter at Northern Colorado, it wasn’t a surprise Sloter went undrafted, although he started hearing late in the process he might sneak into a late round. Broncos general manager John Elway got him with a mere $3,000 signing bonus, which indicates there wasn’t heavy competition from other teams.
“I had heard a bunch of different things,’’ Sloter said. “At one point, towards the end of the process as the draft was starting, I was hearing that I was in that 10th to 14th quarterback taken range. They were saying anything from sixth to seventh round to possibly undrafted, which is what happened.
“The Broncos called me; they showed a lot of interest and they were one of the first teams to contact me in free agency and that meant a lot to me. Also, being able to come home in a sense—I’m from Atlanta but I went to school out here. It was kind of a home feeling and what more could you want being under a guy like John Elway and getting to learn some things from him, picking his brain a little bit as a quarterback.”
Sloter came along at the right time Thursday night. The first 2 quarterbacks, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, struggled to score 3 combined points in three quarters.
Sloter came in and put up 14 points in two drives.
A preseason star was born. Only don’t get any ideas. The Great Quarterback Competition is still between Siemian and Lynch, Lynch and Siemian – and no more.
“It’s something that I went into, knowing when I came here, that it was going to be a Paxton and Trevor show,’’ Sloter said. “I’m fine with that. I don’t get paid to make those decisions, that’s up to them. My job is just to go out there, do the best that I can and put the team in a position to win.”
Sloter is somewhat reminiscent of Siemian from two years ago. Siemian was one of the last guys drafted in the seventh and final round in 2015. He then showed smarts and a slow heart beat during an impressive preseason to make the 53-man roster.
Sloter is actually the Broncos’ No. 4 quarterback – Chad Kelly was drafted in the seventh round but is out with injuries – so barring any more physical setbacks there are no plans to put him on the 53-man roster. Still in a couple years, don’t be surprised if Sloter has a chance. And credit offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave for coaching up every player at their position, not just the top guys.
“He’s been impressive for a young free agent quarterback,’’ said Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph. “He’s been impressive, he’s poised, his ball placement’s really good—in games and in practice. I wasn’t surprised to see him play well in that game on Thursday night.”