August 19, 2008

Colt Brennan: Overhyped Or The Real Deal?

Since the start of preseason, I have tried (for the most part) to stay out of the Colt Brennan discussion. However, I can't resist any longer.

It's hard to really pass judgment on a guy that has only played in three NFL preseason games, so I'm going try and avoid labeling him. So many people I have talked to are ready to crown him as the savior of DC, and it's way too early to even discuss him taking the No. 2 role. So basically, I just have to point out several things.

From what I have seen thus far, Brennan is very raw. I think he has talent and a great arm, but come on people, let's face it, some of the throws he makes would never fly against first-team defenses.

Now, I know he's a third stringer playing against third stringers, and it's good to see him dominate his peers. Unfortunately, many of his peers will be looking for work in a month, so his present success is rendered irrelevant. Should we care that he was burning Joe Schmo last week? No!

However, all that we have to look at is his previous performances, so let's check them out.

In first game against Indy, Brennan showed good mobility and made some tough throws. He went 9-10 for 123 yards and threw a pair of TDs. Overall, there wasn't much to complain about as he played as well as could be expected. He went out against third stringers and played very well, but some of those throws wouldn't have been made against starters.

He also moved in the pocket too much, which would have been exploited had the speedier first teamers been on the field. Jim Zorn attested to this. "Colt Brennan had a couple of plays that could have gone either way," Zorn said. "Those are the things he can learn from, and he has to become a more disciplined quarterback and not risk as much as he did in the game."

I'm not faulting Brennan for this. He's young and inexperienced. But fans were singing his praises the next week—saying he would become a starter and replace Jason Campbell—about what a star Brennan would be.

All I could think was, "This is far too much hype for a late-round rookie QB with two quarters of preseason experience."

It was only one game and fans were ready to crown him. That's easy to do when he came off a great performance and everyone jumps onto the Colt Brennan tour bus. I figured he would struggle and everyone would forget about the glowing promise he exuded on that Hall of Fame weekend.

Week Two actually played out accordingly. Brennan had an average showing, going 4-8 for 37 yards and was sacked several times. All of a sudden, I didn't hear as much from the Brennan crowd.

Things are back to a fever pitch now that Brennan led the 'Skins to a victory from behind last week. His play was great, but fans fail to realize this isn't the main stage; things are different once you play with the big boys.

Why do we quickly embrace the big story? I know Brennan is a likable guy with a solid winning record, but just watch him play a little. The guy is not ready to play against DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys or Ray Lewis and the Ravens.

I am calling out to 'Skins fans to temper their enthusiasm. We have a guy at starter now who looks like he is about to come into his own. Jason Campbell has been comfortable in the offense and is surrounded with talent. Let's not abandon him now that he is gearing up to prove himself.

It's easy to root for the guy who makes the headlines, but sometimes he isn't the best option to win. Right now, Colt Brennan is not ready, and if Campbell comes into his own this season, then we might never see Colt as a starter in DC. I don't think Colt has played badly, I just think it's silly to listen to fans proclaim him the next superstar.

Zorn summed up the atmosphere surrounding Brennan by saying, "Remember, we were talking differently last week after the Buffalo game: 'Oh Colt came down to earth.' Well now he's in outer space again."

Come on, DC! Get your heads out of the clouds.

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