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Colt Brennan Doesn't Respect the NFL Draft


Colt, before the draft. (By Ronen Zilberman - AP)


"Be kind," Colt Brennan said on Saturday, after we had spent a few minutes discussing the NFL Draft. "Don't throw me under the bus."

So let me say this up front: take all that follows with a grain of salt. We were just two sports fans at a hockey game, discussing the NFL between periods. But I was asking the football players in attendance whether they were excited to watch the draft this weekend. Here's the short answer: "No."

"I never watch that stuff," Brennan said. "I fell asleep last year. I don't have a lot of respect for the NFL draft, to be honest with you, because of my experience. I think what's more important is what happens after the draft. That's what I care about. I just don't have a lot of respect for the NFL draft process. Obviously something's not right, because they make a lot of mistakes, year-in and year-out."

Wow. Strong words, no?

"I don't care," he said. "It's the truth. I don't ever have to go through it ever again."

Er, Kedric Golston? Your team has lots of picks, and the landscape of the league could change over these two days. You watching?

"No way," Golston said. "The only draft I ever watched was mine. It's so boring. I'll flip it on and off. I mean, four picks take an hour? That's just ridiculous. I've got two kids. I've got a yard to keep up."

Golston's critique was all based on boredom, but Brennan's strong opinions come from his own experience last year. He set more than two dozen college football records at Hawaii, and was one of the most efficient passers in the sport's history. But amid concerns about his size, the strength of his opposition and the system he played in, Brennan slipped to the sixth round (186th overall).

He heard the critiques during the run-up to last year's draft, but didn't actually see what happened and what was said when he was finally drafted. Until last week. And a year later, he still didn't like what he heard.

"The reasons that I slipped were not even legit," he told me. "They weren't even true perspectives of what I was going through. And the criticisms of me, they kept saying I was small, that I weighed less than 200, but three weeks before that I had weighed 218. They kept saying 'Oh, it was the competition he had,' and they compared me to guys that played in the run-and-shoot before.

"But remember, the tell-all is that yeah, I was throwing the ball a ton of times per game, but I was one of the most efficient, accurate quarterbacks in the history of college football. So that obviously has to say something different [than] I'm just a system guy. And everyone said I played nobody, but the year before when I played Alabama, Arizona State, Oregon State, Purdue and a 13-0 Boise State team, that was the year I had over 60 touchdowns. That was one of the toughest, if not the toughest schedule in the history of Hawaii. So it was just frustrating to see them make these criticisms up that really weren't true."

Brennan hasn't talked to most of his draft-day critics, and he doesn't seem to have a Gilbert Arenas-sized vendetta about all this. He was smiling throughout our conversation. But he won't forget what was said, either.

"To watch Jaws do what he did, to watch him come out and say those things....The worst part about it is that if it was true, if it was legit, then I can't say anything," Brennan continued. "But the fact was, he was misleading, and wasn't really honest about his critique of me. I've lost a lot of respect for the draft, is what I have. I'm speaking specifically on me alone. I'm biased, I'm saying I'm biased, but that's basically where I stand on it."

I asked about the Mark Sanchez rumors, and Brennan said he didn't mind, that he knows this is a business and that he's just trying to work hard and develop himself into an NFL quarterback. I asked about the Cult of Colt, and he said he knows about his popularity in D.C. and thinks it's because people sympathize with the criticism and injuries he's faced. And I asked whether he really wouldn't peek at the draft coverage.

"I won't even pay attention to it. When is it, this Saturday? This weekend coming up?" he asked. "[I'll] play golf. Relax. Hang out. We work out hard Monday through Friday so you use Saturday and Sunday to play golf, go check out a local game, keep your mind busy and have some fun at the same time. Not watch the draft."

"Now it's gonna be all over the place, 'Colt doesn't care about the draft,' " he joked, after we had talked.

Though I'm not so sure. I think a lot of NFL players don't care about the draft.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 21, 2009; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  NFL , Redskins  
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Comments

"Though I'm not so sure. I think a lot of NFL players don't care about the draft."

All they care is that they have a job after training camp. Every year the Draft becomes a bigger production and ESPN forgets about the football a little bit more. They forget that the players are human and that 40 times, reps in the weight room, and viral videos aren't the most important things even to making a team.

Posted by: sitruc | April 21, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad that the players were open with you.
What was done to Colt was heartbreaking for us fans who watched him develop and excel as a young man and a great football player. Even the whole Heisman experience smacked of biased "journalism" but Colt still played his part in support of the very worthy Hawaii football program and Coach June Jones.

Colt has been through the fire and his character has been forged through hardship and awakening not privilege and payoff. He pays his dues and we know some day he will reap his due. The team he plays for will feel blessed.

Posted by: lizkauai | April 21, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Colt is a little BITTERRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dupa3 | April 22, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

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