Chase and Colt on Colt and Chase
Frankly, I was thinking last month that Rayner vs. Suisham was probably twice as juicy as Colt vs. Chase, but the preseason didn't allow my kicker kickoff dreams to come true. The Redskins will almost certainly end the preseason in the bottom three or four in the NFL in field-goal attempts, two of which were gimmes. Lame. I'll join Joe Theismann in calling for a Monday kick-off, even if cuts are Saturday.
So the third QB battle turned into the headliner, and it actually turned interesting Thursday night, what with Chase Daniel's ragged start, Colt Brennan's B+ showing followed by an untimely fourth-quarter knee injury, and Daniel's solid coda.
"It's difficult, the dramatics of it," Brennan told CSN's Kelli Johnson. "I came in and had a good little drive and then was poised to have another one and then I kind of got hurt and [Daniel] came in and did some really good stuff. Obviously I think it was what we both wanted, we ended on somewhat of a positive note. I thought I managed the ball well--I didn't throw an interception today everybody!--so we're making progress."
Daniel, of course, faced the unenviable task of squaring off with the Jags' first-string defense early in the game, while he was running for cover behind a mostly second-string offensive line.
"I mean, it's definitely hard...but it's a great experience for me to go against the ones, and really just try and show what I have," he told Johnson. "I came out the second half, had a good first drive. It stopped, but I was able to come back and be positive and get us a late touchdown, and that's big for me, not having as good a game as I wanted to. But I did as well as I possibly could."
Who else weighed in? Well, Jason Campbell, for one, was conflicted by this whole drama.
"[Daniel] got a chance to get out there against their starting unit, and a lot of times he didn't have much of an opportunity, they was in his lap," Campbell said. "Those guys have the opportunity to go out there against the starters, create good film, and they've got to take advantage of it, but a lot of time he didn't have any chances. It's a tough decision. I like both of them. I like the way both of them put in a lot of work and everything they do. I enjoy being around them. It'll be a tough decision, most definitely, but I think both of them, no matter what, I think both of them will be successful."
Brennan, incidentally, said his knee was sore and had "lost some strength" on the field, and that he was pulled because of his limp. But he said the injury wasn't serious and he'd be back in a few days, ending the conspiracy theories about stashing him on injured lists. And so, final impressions?
"I hope that they can look at the overall picture," Brennan said. "I moved the ball a lot, I kind of got into some turnovers this preseason, but [all] of those could easily be avoided with better decision making and ball placement. And with that said, just look at my overall body of work, from mini camp--which I did really well in--[to] training camp this year, and then obviously looking at overall this preseason. And just realize that he's progressed and he's got a lot of potential."
"I think I played as well as I could, going against their ones, as best I can," Daniel said. "So I just wanted to go out there and try to make it a hard decision for the coaches. You never know what's gonna happen....You've just got to go about it on a daily basis. The NFL's not for long, so you've got to keep your head up, keep going and just move forward."
(On the postgame show, Brian Mitchell offered up this: "In the end, I think Colt Brennan made this squad.")
(Joe Theismann, by the way, loved both of them. In the same way he loved every man who dressed for the Redskins Thursday night, plus the fellas who drafted 'em.)
September 4, 2009; 12:42 AM ET
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