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Colt Brennan Feels the Love

Photo by Brian Murphy.

When Colt Brennan's first series Friday night ended with a goal-line interception that the Patriots returned for a touchdown, the jokes started. Press box jokes about Chase Daniel jerseys going on sale. Internet jokes about how Colt would need to be gelded. At that point, he had three preseason interceptions, and zero preseason touchdowns, and the Cult of Colt was on the verge of being dissolved.

"Pretty abysmal," Brennan said, describing how he was cussing himself out even as he tried to chase down cornerback Jonathan Wilhite. "I couldn't believe it when it happened. It was kind of surreal for a second. I was like, 'Not again...Are you serious?' "

And then he walked to the sidelines, and walked into the warm embrace of Interceptions Anonymous, Redskins style. Casey Rabach came up to offer a word of encouragement. So did Chris Cooley. So did Jim Zorn. And so did every quarterback on the roster, from Daniel to Todd Collins to Jason Campbell.

"I mean, these are guys you're competing with, and they're rooting for you," Brennan said with a shake of his head. "I mean, that's pretty impressive, considering it's the NFL, [considering] it's such a business

"I said, 'That happens in football, move past it,' " Campbell recalled. "Get ready for the next series, get out there and strike 'em with a touchdown pass, don't let that get you down."

And it wasn't just guys on the offensive side, either. Several defenders, including cornerback Fred Smoot, came up to Brennan after the interception, urging him to forget about the past and find some success before the night ended.

"That's my guy, man, that's my guy," Smoot said. "I love Colt Brennan, man. You know what? There's some guys that's born to do what they're doing, and they just get the perfect name, the perfect everything. He's one of those guys to me. He just reminds me of Brett so much. I've been around Brett Favre so long, and I see a lot of Brett in Colt. I feel like I've got to look out for him and take care of him. That's my guy."

Now, none of this would have mattered much had Brennan gone back out on the field and tossed three more picks. But he didn't. He may not have dazzled, but he held things together. His final line was at least respectable; 6-for-12 for 81 yards and a touchdown, although he was sacked four times. And he said the words of his teammates had helped accomplish that much.

"I can't even remember how many guys came up to me and just said don't worry about it," Brennan said. "You know, I've done so well in practice, and it's been frustrating to not really do all that well in the games this year. So to have that kind of support from teammates and coaches made me settle down, made me realize, hey look, let's just focus on getting in the end zone, and luckily I was able to score one....

"Everyone knows me, everyone's seen me have success here. They know that I kind of get in a rhythm and I get confidence and I go. And the way things have fallen into place this preseason, I've kind of just had some bad things happen and I've had to deal with it....But at least everyone's been real understanding and been real supportive and been rooting for me, and I really can't ask for anything more."

What happens next? Hell if I know. Jim Zorn had words of praise and criticism after the game, saying Brennan made "a couple of really big throws" but also "showed his lack of NFL experience out there." After getting all the buzz last weekend, Chase Daniel didn't even play.

Brennan said that last preseason, all his chances paid off, and this year, all his chances have backfired. Still, the Cult will probably live on, at a slightly lower decibel level, and at least Brennan finally got his team into the end zone.

"I just sat there and looked at the sideline, like finally, I can't believe it's been this hard," he said of his touchdown pass to Marko Mitchell. "It was like a huge weight off my shoulders. Hopefully I can really put it together and end preseason on a good note."

He was referring to Thursday's game at Jacksonville. When I chatted with Smoot, though, the cornerback was thinking bigger picture. He described Brennan as his "little brother," and talked about helping him in practice and seeing his improvement. I asked Smoot if he thought Brennan could play in this league.

"Think he can play? I think he's gonna be great," Smoot said. "I don't say that about a lot of players. Put it like this, the Falcons traded Brett Favre years ago. I just hope we don't make that mistake."

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 29, 2009; 1:21 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Skins Secondary Not Worried About Pats Points


I agree with FS; however, I think CB could improve his game by putting on a clear face shield during late day/evening games.

What's up with that shield anyway?

Posted by: Steelblue1 | August 29, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Well, Smoot is right about Colt in the fact that he plays like an early Brett Farve. Probably to a fault. He's always been forcing it...even in college he hated throwing the ball away.

Probably a result of June Jones and the lack of talent in Hawaii. Over there, the burden was placed almost entirely on him and every drive was treated like he had to score. The defense was so bad every punt was like a death sentence. Chase probably had a similar situation in Mizzou too.

Colt would probably be better off playing like JC or Collins. Playing "not to lose your spot on the depth chart" rather than "playing to win."

Posted by: Blacklist | August 29, 2009 4:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the love, Dan. We need more love in the world. Especially for the Redskins. There really is a lot to love about this team.
It has personality, comic relief, drama, angst, adventure and a lot of talent.
It's all coming together.


Posted by: lizkauai | August 29, 2009 4:57 AM | Report abuse

Colt needs to keep the 3 spot and chase needs to be on the practice squad because we know Todd Collins is not going to be around forever. Look at Colt he was the only one chasing the fs Marko mitchell is faster than that Wilhite. He was just jogging after him and the receiver just gave up that Colt was throwing too.
Colt keep your head up we love you in DC.
You will be a great leader I have seen your fire on the sidelines. You and Chase are our future. Jason will have a good year but if he goes down we need a young gun slinger to run Z's offense

Posted by: bert3 | August 29, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm convinced Colt's best shot is at becoming Babe Laufenberg. You recall the Babe was a preseason darling of the Skins faithful, then went on to play for four other teams and in the World League before finding his true destiny in the Dallas broadcast booth. He did get at least one shot at a starting gig -- when Aikman went down near the end of a season -- but showed more flaws than a piece of cheap jewelry.

Babe was a 6th rounder, too.

I'm guessing Zorn likes QBs like Brennan and Daniel because they're more like he was as a player -- slightly undersized, short on arm strength, but mobile, smart and unafraid to gamble. That is the sort of QB whose often most comfortable in the WCO, which emphasizes sideline and slant patterns (and the ability to move around in the pocket) over size and strength. Joe Montana was the prototype, after all.

Anybody think Colt or Chase is the next Joe?

Posted by: Samson151 | August 29, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Colt will one day be the man (hopefully) in DC. He is not ready yet though. Experience, time, and patience are needed. I just wish that we could see him work with the first team offense some in game situations... This is the only true way for him to get the experience that he needs.

Colt is an exciting and energetic QB and makes the game fun to watch. Don't you think it significant that on his first series, it was pass pass pass the whole time? And he was able to consistently move the chains.

Yes, he will one day be a great QB, hopefully when that day comes, he will be a Redskin.


Posted by: rick16 | August 29, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Keep your head up Colt! ~ from the 808.

Posted by: chasefour808 | August 29, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching the Skins for 50 years and Colt has that "it" factor (something I haven't seen in a Redskins quarterback since Sonny). It was good to hear Smoot come out for him. Colt may not be ready to take the reigns yet, but hopefully, Mr. Snyder will knows how to protect a potential great assest.

Posted by: elderdave1 | August 29, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Put Colt in with the first string offense and we'll see better than JC. Normal play calling will also makie his passing more effective than pass, pass, pass. Even the average player can figure out what will happen if the play calling isn't mixed.

Posted by: raca1234 | August 29, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Yea just like Brett Favre without the arm strength. Get real people, Colt is not an NFL QB. He is a College QB from a Gimmick offense. We saw exactly what Colt can do against NFL level talent this pre-season, as opposed to last year when he was playing against guys who ended up bagging groceries in 2008.

Furthermore, in the face of a rush, he looks like a deer in the headlights. He needs to be cut.

Posted by: keino83 | August 29, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

raca1234 wrote:

Put Colt in with the first string offense and we'll see better than JC. Normal play calling will also makie his passing more effective than pass, pass, pass. Even the average player can figure out what will happen if the play calling isn't mixed.

raca1234 aka Colt's mom.

Posted by: Keliza64 | August 29, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

keino83, gimmick offense? So the Patriots are not running an NFL offense? The same offense that went 18-1 and would've been 19-0 had their O-line not choked? Since that's pretty much what they run 90% of the time now. The only real difference is that instead of 4 wides 100% of the time they mix in receiving Tight Ends.

I'll agree with you that he was playing against people bagging groceries last year. At the same time he threw to people, and had people blocking for him that also, guess what...ended up bagging groceries. More so this year than last.

I also agree with you that he should be cut. Then he can go to a better team, like the pats. Where he definitely isn't going to unseat Brady, but can run the "gasp" same offense he ran in college. Where he'll probably end up like Cassel.

Man can't believe I'm talking so highly of the pats when I hate them so much. But might as well leave one last thing about them then...Once there was a man named Brady. Who no one thought was good enough for the NFL. He ended up being picked up "late" in the "6th round". Even when he arrive in NE, people didn't think he'd last. Had it not for been an injury to Bledsoe, Brady might never have even seen the field, because his preseasons would've led you to believe he was still, just a "College QB" and a "perennial backup."... ... ...Then he goes on to be considered one of the greatest QB's of all time...wait what?

Posted by: Blacklist | August 30, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

If you think the June Jones version of the Spread is the same as what the Pats run, then I submit that you have no idea what you are talking about. No offense intended.

Comparing Brennan to Tom Brady is asinine on too many levels and not even worthy of response.

As to your contention that he has been playing against "Grocery baggers" morseo this year than last, I have to ask, do you watch the games? Both of his untimely picks were thrown against 2nd Team defenders and were bad decisions. He made equally bad decisions the year before but the lack of quality in the opponent (ie the grocery baggers) prevented those decisions from becoming costly mistakes.

I am not going to bother to address your counter-factual argument. Bledsoe was hurt and Brady came in and won 3 Superbowls. Why bother thinking about what didn't happen?

I'd rather keep Chase Daniel, who appears calm in the face of pressure, is mobile, has great throwing motion and played against real college opponents while amassing ridiculous numbers.

The Cult of Colt needs to go away.

Posted by: keino83 | August 30, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

zorn should have taken his asz out- even with the TD later. That's his 3rd interception this preseason.

he can't continue to make this mistake each time out. skins prolly would have won had it not been for that dreadful interception.

say goodbye, colt - gallop on now....

Posted by: amembernow | August 30, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Jason performed very well! He showed us what he's got. Keep it coming JC!

Posted by: amembernow | August 30, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I find it funny that Fred Smoot thinks Brennan has trade value. CUT VALUE is more like it.

Posted by: BMACattack | August 30, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

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