The backup quarterback is traditionally a popular figure in Washington, but now-former benchwarmer Colt Brennan was especially beloved by many fans for his gunslinger mentality and candid personality. However, the Brennan era is now over and after Brennan was cut today, the Cult of Colt will ride off into the sunset.
Brennan was the figurehead of an underground movement of 'Skins fans looking for a rowdy, frat-boy gunslinger they could relate to. Brennan fit that prototype and his fans ate it all up. We would see ridiculous blog posts and threads proclaiming Colt the next big thing at the quarterback position.
As time wore on and Jason Campbell began to lose his luster, other fans grew to love Brennan because he was an alternative to a QB they felt was not effective. Campbell was a model citizen during his stint with the Redskins, but he lacked charisma and flair; something Brennan possessed. Many turned on Campbell as he struggled through several disappointing seasons, clamoring for Brennan to start.
Brennan was the anti-Campbell. Everything Brennan was, Campbell wasn't, and fans grew tired of holding onto the hope that Campbell would be the savior of the franchise. Campbell was conservative on the field while Brennan played with reckless abandon, making him easy to root for.
Campbell was the prototypical nice guy. He shrugged off criticism with his Southern cool, and just kept working. As admirable as this approach was, it left people with the impression that he would never be vocal enough to take control of a locker room.
Meanwhile as Campbell was experiencing the pressure of being the incumbent in Washington, Brennan was soaking up the limelight while sitting on the bench. Brennan was a collegiate superstar from Hawaii who had always attracted fans from across the country.
And those fans didn't abandon him after he was drafted by the Redskins in the sixth round in 2008. Many Hawaii fans tuned into the Redskins, hoping to see Brennan succeed and become an NFL starter.
Brennan played well in the 2008 preseason, gaining instant approval. He solidified his cult status with a 67.9 completion percentage, 411 yards passing, and three TD passes in five preseason games. He could do no wrong in almost anyone's eyes, but he spent the year behind Campbell and Todd Collins.
Brennan's mechanics were a real concern as was his average arm strength. In the 2009 preseason, he had a significant drop-off, posting a 53.5 completion percentage, 249 yards passing, and one TD pass. To add to that, Brennan threw three interceptions, including one ill-advised pass thrown across his body that was returned for a TD.
Brennan ultimately sat out the 2009 season on injured reserve. He underwent hip surgery and proclaimed himself fully healthy for training camp this year. Yet despite the setback, he had managed to maintain his rockstar image.
The Cult of Colt was still going strong even with the addition of Donovan McNabb. Some fans felt that Brennan would eventually succeed McNabb as the starter.
Their hopes died today when the Redskins cut Brennan after they traded for Ravens' backup QB John Beck.
I never bought into the Brennan hype. His arm wasn't strong enough to make the deep throws, his accuracy was spotty, and his decision-making...well it would make Brett Favre proud.
Training camp did little to change my opinion. Brennan is a cult hero and nothing more. His play was uneven at best and for all his bravado, he just doesn't have the makings of a good quarterback.
Brennan's swagger off the field is reflected in his game, which is a good thing. You like to see a QB who is comfortable with running an offense. But for Brennan there was just too much untamed technique to overcome his deficiencies. To his credit, he always played with moxie, but he didn't have the raw physical tools to supplement it.
So as Brennan looks to catch on with a new team, there is a group of football fans just waiting for him to become football's next big thing, insisting that once he gets his shot, he'll deliver.
Unfortunately, these fans just haven't faced the cold hard truth; Colt is nothing without his Cult.