Chase Daniel and Colt Brennan, Two Days Later
Since the last time they stood on the practice field together, Colt Brennan and Chase Daniel's names have been linked in a new way: the Either/Or, Colt or Chase, Brennan or Daniel, Cult or Church. After Daniel threw two touchdowns and Brennan threw a red-zone INT on Saturday, there were "Colt or Chase" questions posed on both The Post and The Times, and on a bunch of message boards. Both were hounded by the mics and recorders this afternoon, and both were trying their damndest to stay medium.
"The NFL dude, it's amazing what two weeks will do to you," Brennan said. "Two weeks ago, everyone's saying you're the most interesting battle for the No. 2 job in the NFL. Two weeks later, you're competing at No. 3 and supposedly dating a pop star. That's just the NFL, I guess. I can't wait 'til next week and the week after. Luckily there's still plenty of good that can still happen."
Daniel, meantime, has been fielding congratulations for the past 48 hours. He said he had 95 text messages after the game from "every friend from back home, all my college coaches, all my high school coaches." He was answering his phone during the whole ride back to Ashburn, and joked that "I've got to throw for three [touchdowns] next time, right?"
"That's just how it is, especially here in the national capital," he said. "So you've just got to go out there and just play ball and have fun with it, and not worry about outside expectations when I hold myself to a higher standard than a lot of people do.... All I'm doing is trying to get a spot on this team or another team. And I realize it's an audition, any time you get on film, it's an audition for another team. Do I want to be here? Heck yes. This is my first option, this is why I picked to come here, to learn under Coach Zorn. But if things don't work out here, then I know I'll have some film out there."
Brennan again was asked to discuss his fourth-quarter interception, when he tried to jam the ball into Todd Yoder's arms at the goal line. He said he would have handled the situation differently if he was protecting a late lead in a regular-season game, when a field-goal would have put his team up seven.
"But knowing that it is a preseason game, knowing that [it's my] only drive of the day, you're kind of trying to impress everyone and make something happen and make people remember you, that you went out there that day and did something," he said. "And so I was definitely looking for a touchdown. Now had it been a real game, then I probably would have made sure that I was really really smart with the ball, but that just really kind of wasn't my thinking at that moment. That was the only drive I got of the night. You know, I can go down and kick a field goal, or I can go down and get a touchdown. If I get a touchdown, people are gonna remember that a lot more than getting a field goal. I'm just glad I made the tackle."
Daniel, meantime, was facing questions about whether he can master this offense in one preseason, whether he's comfortable being away from the Missouri spread and whether he's big enough to be an NFL quarterback.
"it's the story of my life," he said of the size issue. "Everyone just questions it, but you can't question my heart, you can't question my brains or my arm or my skill. I still have a long, long way to go, but this is the right step and the direction that I want to go."
Neither man was exactly hyping up the Colt vs. Chase thing, and Daniel said that Brennan "was real excited for me." But obviously this is a story that's not going away, with Daniel threatening to take over, or at least share, the role of fan favorite.
"Last year I wasn't really playing flawless football, but my stats were really really awesome," Brennan said. "This year I'm not playing bad at all, it's just unfortunately my stats really aren't that great. You know, you only get so many opportunities in preseason, that's why you've got to capitalize. I got a chance, I've got two more opportunities coming up, I've just got to make sure to capitalize on these next two opportunities."
Daniel, meantime, was still trying to find a way to impress on practice, despite limited chances. He said he had only six reps in seven-on-seven drills Monday, "so I've got to make those reps count, and make the defense better as much as I can."
"This is just one game for me man, I'm just glad I had a great game," he said. "It's a little bit of a relief, but if I start thinking like that then I'm not gonna keep pushing forward in practice. And now especially, because we're into season mode, I get very little to any reps, so I've got to make my reps count."
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