Colt Brennan: The Future of the Washington Redskins...Jason Campbell: The Past
It's easy to say that Jason Campbell should be the past and that Colt Brennan should be the future of the Washington Redskins' organization—really it is. That's just the way it is with us fans, the media, and even some of the NFL management.
That's the problem though; we far too often aren't given the total story and are forced to make our own opinions and decisions based on 50 percent of the total information or less.
Normally, I would disagree that it is the QB's fault; I usually would preach to the choir about how we as NFL fans should break the mold and actually give players a few years to adjust to their surroundings, before we unfairly or fairly demand that they become the stars that we drafted or signed them to be.
Not this time.
Campbell has had many chances to prove his worth as a professional QB over the last couple of years—regardless of the situation with the head coach or the offensive system. Every quarterback in the NFL today has to learn to cope and deal with problems regarding personnel turnover.
Like Joey Harrington in Detroit, neither of them had a chance to play in an optimum environment. That is to say neither of them had much of a chance to have success.
I don't buy into the thought process that says you absolutely need to have a great offensive line, key players at skill positions, and a dynamic and creative head coach at the helm to succeed.
Tom Brady didn't have a lot to go on when he won his first Super Bowl as a New England Patriot. Look at the Patriot teams before he was under center.
Sure they had Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, and Richard Seymour, but the success was minor while Drew Bledsoe was under center. A good or great quarterback—without a doubt—increases his team's chances for success 100 fold.
It can make an average offense become a great offense, just look at Brady's numbers over the past nine seasons. It can even make an aging and injury-ridden defense look dominant.
Players have something to play for and realize that if and when they make a mistake, their QB, the leader of the team and locker room, will be able to overcome these mistakes and put points on the board when it counts the most.
Anyway, as for the Redskins, MOST of the positions are already in place. Star running back? Clinton Portis, check. Above average WR or WRs? Santana Moss and Chris Cooley, check. Adequate o-line? Check. Above average defense? Yes sir!
Depth will always be a problem for most NFL teams, and you can't always rely on having a star at every position on the team. The point is: Campbell has had the offensive coordinators (i.e.: Al Saunders), AND the talent at all skill positions to make much more of a statement than he has over his entire NFL career.
Even with the conservative play-calling last year, Campbell looked easily rattled and nervous for many games in the regular season. When he had time to settle in the pocket, Campbell often had a decent, if not spectacular game.
The time has come—IMHO—for a change at the Redskin's QB position.
Look at Brennan's numbers over the course of his college career and his game tape. I often scoured the TV channels looking for games in which Hawaii would be playing in order to see his talent. I especially enjoyed watching their showdown with the Boise State Broncos every year.
Boise State has been a perennial WAC conference powerhouse for at least the last five or six years—probably longer than that.
In the past four years, Boise State has reached the end of the autumn season with a record of 12-0 TWICE and reached a BCS bowl game ONCE. That time that they went, they defeated a VERY, VERY good Oklahoma team to take home a BCS trophy.
Just FYI, this Oklahoma team was led by RB Adrian Peterson, now of the Minnesota Vikings—he's pretty good.
Brennan handled all comers in the WAC conference, racking up 58 TD's and currently holding 30 Division I FBS records—nothing to take lightly.
In 2007, he successfully completed an undefeated 12-0 season, even defeating Boise State along the way. This culminated in an earning BCS berth in the 2008 Sugar Bowl against SEC powerhouse Georgia.
The Warriors lost—and lost badly—to the Bulldogs and Brennan's NFL stock dropped. He was eventually drafted in the sixth round (186th overall) by the Redskins.
What does this all mean?
Well, let's make this story short and sweet.
Let's look at the statistics:
1. Brennan, as a sixth round draft pick, was signed after the '08 preseason to a four-year, $1.8 million contract.
How many sixth round picks get a four-year contract? That says a lot about the Redskins confidence in his talents.
2. Over the course of the entire '08 preseason, in which he was given limited playing time, Brennan led ALL NFL rookies in passing yards (411), touchdown passes (three), and QB rating (109.9).
Also important, he had exactly zero interceptions. Remember, he was a sixth round pick from a WAC-conference school.
If this doesn't warrant a shot at starting in the NFL, I'll leave you with one more example to think about.
Matt Schaub, current starting QB of the Houston Texans, was drafted in the third round of the 2004 draft by the Atlanta Falcons. The ex-UVA quarterback played in 11 regular season contests over the course of his career with the Falcons.
Schaub only started two games in three seasons. Based almost completely on his limited success during the preseason and the occasional start in the regular season, Schaub was traded to the Houston Texans. Houston gave up two second round picks and agreed to drop two spots in the '07 draft—from eighth to 10th.
The Texans then promptly signed Schaub to a six-year, $48 million contract.
Suffice it to say, just like the Falcons, the Redskins are holding a very good QB hostage. If they don't give him a shot within the next two to three seasons at the most, I am certain someone else will.
-Michael (email@example.com, who lives not 20 minutes away from Fed-Ex field—home of the Washington Redskins)
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