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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Go Colt! - Matt Terl redux

Colt Brennan Sees Potential In A Familiar Situation

During his brief and relatively unformed Redskins career, quarterback Colt Brennan has been so popular among a devoted group of fans that it's strange to think of him as hard luck case. But from a certain perspective, that's exactly what he is.

Since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 draft, Brennan has had one impressive preseason, one disappointing preseason, and, in his words, "three pretty significant surgeries in a year and a half" that culminated with a stint on injured reserve last year.

This offseason, Brennan has been working hard to get himself back in shape, to prove that the flashes he showed in his first preseason weren't just flukes. "I spent two months of my offseason down in Arizona at a facility called Fischer Sports," Brennan says, "and basically invested two months, five to six days a week of just reshaping and rebuilding my body."

It wasn't how Brennan spent his first NFL offseason, but the results last preseason frustrated him so much that doing something like this seemed obvious. "What I've realized is that the off-season is definitely for you to relax, but it's also for you to maintain and also grow physically," he says, "you know, become stronger and faster, and that's what I did this year. I acted like I was a top player in the NFL, as far as how I trained."

The result of that effort is that Brennan is healthy, his hips work properly, and he's in the best shape of his professional career. "I feel like this is going to be the first time that the NFL truly going to see what I am as a quarterback," he says, "physically and mentally."

The question is, does he have time for that to matter here in Washington.

First of all, the coaching staff and general manager who drafted Brennan have left the building. And despite the release of Todd Collins, the quarterback depth chart is crowded at the moment. Jason Campbell is the incumbent starter. Richard Bartel is the forgotten man, last year's third quarterback. Rex Grossman was signed earlier this week, and he knows new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's system. And, of course, there are the persistent rumors that the team is eyeing quarterbacks in April's NFL Draft.

It would be easy to run the numbers and assume that Brennan's time in Washington is coming to an end. But that's not how he sees it. "We get a minicamp before the draft," he says, "and right now everything that has been said is that the best player will play. As I get to know our coaches, as I've gotten a chance to talk to Coach [Mike] Shanahan, I truly believe that. I truly believe that he's going to go out there and he's gonna test every single one of us, give every single one of us a chance to show ourselves and that he's really going to pick the best players to play. I really believe him in that."

With that in mind, Brennan has thrown himself fully into the team's offseason conditioning program, where he hopes to impress the new coaches. And he, in turn, has certainly been impressed by them, not least offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. "Right now he's coaching every single one of us as if it was an even playing field," Brennan says, "and that's really all you can ask for at this level. It really is exciting for, I think, everybody right now: from Bartel, to me, Grossman, even to J-Campbell, I think we're all excited about the opportunity in front of us."

They all know that Kyle Shanahan helped the relatively unheralded Matt Schaub become the leading passer in the NFL last year, and the Houston Texans become a high-scoring offense. And Schaub's backup-to-Pro-Bowler story is especially appealing to Brennan, who believes that his skill-set is well-suited the Shanahans' offense.

"Already he's thrown on the tape," Brennan says, "and he's shown us that every great -- from Dan Marino, to Joe [Montana], to Steve Young, to John Elway, he's shown us every great. And what he's pointed out is that they all play a little bit different; they're not the same. But there are things they all do very similarly, and he showed us those. And it wasn't as much technique as it was playing the game and making the game easy on yourself. Making good decisions. Knowing where to put the ball. And all those things seem to fit really well into my game. They really like a guy that slings it, a guy that makes plays, a guy that gets in there. And I'm excited about that, because that's the type of quarterback I am: a guy that takes chances, a guy that makes plays."

Brennan's sometimes laid-back SoCal-by-way-of-Hawai'i attitude makes it easy to forget that he hasn't really had anything easy, at any point in his football career. "Remember," he says, "I'm a kid that walked on at Colorado, bounced back to a junior college, walked on at Hawai'i, and the whole time everyone said 'Not good enough, not good enough, not good enough.' Some coach -- Coach [June] Jones -- stepped in; he saw talent, he saw something in me. He gave me that opportunity, and I took it and ran with it."

Brennan often talks a mile a minute, but here he stops for a moment and considers his current situation. "I'm looking for the same thing right now," he says. "I'm looking for a coach to look at me, see something in me, and give me that opportunity. And that's exactly what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna take it and run with it. This is the same way I had to enter college. The same way I had to enter high school ball. It isn't hard for me to have to work for it."

And, of course, Brennan has found an optimistic way to look at the situation. "I haven't really had a chance to showcase myself healthy yet, but I don't have any more problems. They fixed everything, got rid of everything. I'm treating this like my rookie year again -- went down with the Combine kids for two weeks, got a new coaching staff here -- but the great news is I've got two years experience in the NFL under my belt."

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Anonymous wafan said...

Go Colt!!!

Made better by trials. Look what is happening with the Seahawks and their new qb.

March 20, 2010 at 3:35 AM  
Anonymous wafan said...

Go Colt!!!

Made better by trials. Look what is happening with the Seahawks and their new qb.

March 20, 2010 at 3:36 AM  
Anonymous gigi-hawaii said...

May his wish come true! I'll keep my fingers crossed for him.

March 20, 2010 at 5:44 AM  

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