Colt Brennan vs. Chase Daniel: The Washington Redskins Next Big Decision

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IAugust 24, 2009

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 13:  Chase Daniel #10 of the Washington Redskins looks to throw a pass during  warm ups of aa NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens on August 13, 2009 at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.   (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The truth can be a slippery thing amid the politics of Washington DC.

If there is one truth to be had about our nation’s capital, it’s this: They love a good quarterback controversy.

Surprisingly, this one doesn’t involve Jason Campbell, and it’s not the other quarterback competition the Redskins thought they had.

Instead of 2008 preseason star Colt Brennan challenging 38-year-old Todd Collins for the backup role, Brennan is now fighting to stay on the team altogether. 

After Chase Daniel went 6-for-8 for 58 yards and two touchdowns against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he sparked a discussion by showing that he has NFL-caliber touch and accuracy. 

It wasn’t just the jump ball he threw up to wide receiver Marko Mitchell for a touchdown.

It was the little things, like a perfectly floated dump pass to running back Marcus Mason over a defender in the flat that went for eight yards. It was his lightning-fast 22-yard scramble after being flushed out of the pocket.

It was also the mistakes he didn’t make, and ones that Colt Brennan did, that make this a conversation.

With just over four minutes left in the game, Brennan had the Redskins driving into the Steelers red zone. On a play intended for tight end Todd Yoder, Brennan knew he was too late. He hunched down in the pocket, and tried to aim the ball into a tight window, except that window had already closed and Steelers linebacker Tom Korte had an interception. 

Brennan has struggled this preseason, completing 41.2 percent of his passes for 85 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions.

The two have an eerily similar career arc. Both had prolific passing careers in college, but were largely overlooked by the NFL—Brennan was a sixth round pick, and Daniel went undrafted. Both played great in their preseason rookie debut, each throwing two touchdowns. Now, both are competing for one spot.

The third preseason game is the final warm-up for the first team. With the starters likely to play most, if not all, of the first half against the Patriots, there will be less time for Zorn to decide between Brennan and Daniel.

What Zorn should do is play Campbell and the first team the entire first half. Since Collins has already made the team, he should be given most of the work in the final preseason game against the Jaguars. The Patriots game should be used to decide the third quarterback slot.

Brennan should play in the third quarter, and Daniel the fourth, to get another quarter's worth of film on each of them before five players are cut on Sept. 1.

With Chase Daniel’s fantastic play against the Steelers, he’s created an unexpected competition.

Washington DC loves its quarterback competitions and Chase Daniel has everyone talking.

When you’re fourth-string, that’s all you can hope for.