Hon. Advertiser columnist: Colt could be the difference for ‘Skins

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090503/COLUMNISTS06/905030383

Colt at minicamp

Picture threads:

http://www.extremeskins.com/showthread.php?t=287218

http://www.extremeskins.com/showthread.php?t=287219

http://www.extremeskins.com/showthread.php?t=287220

Audio interview of Colt.

And here’s a post from the Hawaii Scout.com forum from a Redskins blogger:

Colt will be given zero chance of beating out Campbell. The Skins have too much invested in JC and they need to see what he can do  in his contract year. In addition, you can’t find anyone in the Redskins organization who thinks that Brennan is ready to be a full-time NFL starting QB.

If Campbell lights it up he’ll be given a new, long-term deal and Brennan will be the backup and his NFL future as a starter will be on hold and probably will be elsewhere.

But if Campbell plays like he did in the latter part of ’08, the door will be wide open for Colt.

Rich Tandler
Real Redskins

All true.  Campbell is the starter, Colt is the backup.  The preseason won’t change that (unless there’s an injury).  What will change is whether or not the Skins win.  As has been indicated during the Skins draft prep — during which they clearly indicated they do not have confidence in Campbell by trying to acquire Sanchez and Cutler — Campbell is on a tight leash.  If there are struggles during the season, expect Colt to get a look.

John Madden Retires — Madden on Colt

Legend John Madden retired from broadcasting last week.

Here’s a flashback to what Madden said about Colt during a NFL pre-season game.

John Madden (NBC Sports, Hall of Fame coach), September 7, 2008

“I tell you, he can fling it … I like the way he plays.  I mean you just feel — you can just feel his energy.  He brings a certain energy to the game, a certain energy to the team.”

Wash. Post: Colt Brennan Doesn’t Respect the NFL Draft

And, well, why would he?  If the draft was re-done, I don’t think anyone would doubt that Colt would be drafted higher than the sixth round.

From the Post:

“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.

Zorn commits to Campbell for 2009

The Washington Times reports that Campbell will be the starting QB going into next season:

Near the end of today’s season-ending press conference, Jim Zorn committed to keeping Jason Campbell as the team’s starting quarterback going in to next season.

Zorn also mentioned bringing back Todd Collins and Colt Brennan (who’s having knee surgery) back, and working with all three of them during the summer.

Zorn said he expects even more improvement from Campbell, who is coming off his third season as a starting quarterback.

“What I’m going to do is what I did last year. I took time with [Campbell] before minicamps started,” Zorn said. “Once the offseason program starts we’ll be able to do some scheme work. … His footwork was poor when we got here, it’s gotten a lot better, and it’s going to get a lot better this offseason because of the stuff we’re going to ask him to work on.”

Zorn also reiterrated that he doesn’t see Brennan unseating Campbell.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports:

Campbell will stick around, keeping his job over rookie Colt Brennan, who did not play a snap in the regular season. Brennan will return next year for his second go-round with Zorn.

“He’ll make some tremendous leaps as he gets into our program, but I don’t see him unseating Jason,” the coach said.

So what will 2009 look like?  Well, probably the same as 2008.

But that doesn’t mean Campbell will finish the season as the starting QB.  Indeed, if Campbell struggles during the season, expect fans to get restless and call for a different signal caller.  The other part of the equation, of course, is Colt needs to continue progressing and preparing for the possibility of playing.

What could have been: Syracuse

Back in the day:

San Jose State was the only school that offered Brennan a scholarship. Syracuse coach Greg Robinson recruited him and initially offered a scholarship. But on the day the Syracuse paperwork arrived via courier at Brennan’s home, Robinson called to tell him the school’s president wouldn’t allow it. So Jones made one last push, trying to persuade Brennan to join the Rainbows as a walk-on.

The rest, of course, is history.  What does departing coach Greg Robinson say about the decision now?

When Paul Pasqualoni left, he said he wouldn’t change a thing? Is there anything that you would change about this place?

“I can’t tell you that I wouldn’t change anything. Gosh, from the first month I was here, I’d change the decision on (quarterback) Colt Brennan. How’s that? Hey, I was told to go do the homework on him. I did. I did my due diligence way past anyone would’ve ever thought. I’m not here to make a big deal about it, but as you take me back to right when I started here, I knew we needed a quarterback! I checked that kid out and you know what, he came in third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. He decided to stay his senior year at Hawaii because he felt like those people reached out to him. I would try to retool that. I think if our people knew me better like they do know, they would’ve said go ahead, work with him. But that’s easy to say. That would be a good way to start because that was the first guy I started recruiting.”

Colt Brennan still misses Hawaii

The Honolulu Advertiser has a lengthy feature on Colt today.