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No. 3 QB: The Chase is on

I wrote about Chase Daniel and his pursuit of the No. 3 quarterback job for this morning’s paper. Four days ago, this had absolutely no legs, so to speak. But on an offense that can’t score touchdowns, any quarterback that gets the Redskins in the end zone is going to earn some extra looks.

We entered training camp with a compelling competition for the No. 2 quarterback spot between Todd Collins and Colt Brennan. Collins, though, went 8 of 11 for 70 yards in the Baltimore game. Colt, meanwhile, has thrown two picks, zero touchdowns, generally hasn’t been accurate (7 for 17) and hasn’t come close to rekindling the magic of last preseason.

Jim Zorn said yesterday that Collins is firmly entrenched as the No. 2 quarterback at this point. So that’s that.

Now let’s step back and play devil’s advocate for a moment. Brennan won the fans over last preseason by tearing up third-string defenses. And while Jason Campbell struggled through the second half of 2008, Brennan rested on his preseason laurels. His touchdown passes in August looked better and better as Campbell got pounded by the likes of New York, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, etc.

Pair that with Brennan’s unmistakable charisma, and it’s no surprise, especially in this town, that the Tom Brady/Tony Romo comparisons begin.

But Brennan is learning now that his career arc can dip just as quickly as it can ascend. Perhaps his first two preseason games will humble him a bit. Perhaps he backs off his aggressive, gun-slinger approach some. He’s expected to play quite a bit in the second half on Friday against New England, so it should be fascinating.

On the flip side, many people–including me–didn’t give Daniel much of a shot at making this team. I still believe he’s on the outside looking in at the No. 3 spot. But Zorn had a chance to quiet any speculation yesterday when he was being peppered on the subject. But he didn’t. In fact, he opened the door for Daniel, calling it a “battle.”

Now, is Zorn just paying this lip service to light a fire under Brennan or maybe humble him a bit? Perhaps. But you can’t argue with the production at this point in the preseason.

To me, Daniel is going to have to replicate Saturday’s performance again to have any shot of making the practice squad. As great a story as it is that he’s overcome his height disadvantage, the fact is that it’s difficult for a sub-6-foot quarterback to make it in the NFL. When you’re that small, it’s exceedingly difficult to make reads down the field over the other players.

So yes, Daniel’s preseason production speaks for itself–to a point. But I want to see him make a really tough read before I give him the No. 3 job. Neither of his TDs on Saturday fall in that category.

I will say this about Daniel, though. The guy has his head on straight. He’s humble, smart and knows his role. That’s only going to help him. And as a star college QB, he’s given thousands of interviews before, so his media savvy is a huge plus from my perspective!

Ultimately, I see Brennan winning the gig. The coaches have put 16 months into his development. Plus, if you try to stash either guy on the practice squad, there’s a better chance that another team will try to acquire Brennan. Daniel would probably clear waivers.

What do you think? Have you already forgotten about Colt’s 2008 preseason accomplishments? Who should be the No. 3 QB?

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/redskinsjournal/2009/08/25/no-3-qb-the-chase-is-on/

No. 3 QB: The Chase is on

I wrote about Chase Daniel and his pursuit of the No. 3 quarterback job for this morning’s paper. Four days ago, this had absolutely no legs, so to speak. But on an offense that can’t score touchdowns, any quarterback that gets the Redskins in the end zone is going to earn some extra looks.

We entered training camp with a compelling competition for the No. 2 quarterback spot between Todd Collins and Colt Brennan. Collins, though, went 8 of 11 for 70 yards in the Baltimore game. Colt, meanwhile, has thrown two picks, zero touchdowns, generally hasn’t been accurate (7 for 17) and hasn’t come close to rekindling the magic of last preseason.

Jim Zorn said yesterday that Collins is firmly entrenched as the No. 2 quarterback at this point. So that’s that.

Now let’s step back and play devil’s advocate for a moment. Brennan won the fans over last preseason by tearing up third-string defenses. And while Jason Campbell struggled through the second half of 2008, Brennan rested on his preseason laurels. His touchdown passes in August looked better and better as Campbell got pounded by the likes of New York, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, etc.

Pair that with Brennan’s unmistakable charisma, and it’s no surprise, especially in this town, that the Tom Brady/Tony Romo comparisons begin.

But Brennan is learning now that his career arc can dip just as quickly as it can ascend. Perhaps his first two preseason games will humble him a bit. Perhaps he backs off his aggressive, gun-slinger approach some. He’s expected to play quite a bit in the second half on Friday against New England, so it should be fascinating.

On the flip side, many people–including me–didn’t give Daniel much of a shot at making this team. I still believe he’s on the outside looking in at the No. 3 spot. But Zorn had a chance to quiet any speculation yesterday when he was being peppered on the subject. But he didn’t. In fact, he opened the door for Daniel, calling it a "battle."

Now, is Zorn just paying this lip service to light a fire under Brennan or maybe humble him a bit? Perhaps. But you can’t argue with the production at this point in the preseason.

To me, Daniel is going to have to replicate Saturday’s performance again to have any shot of making the practice squad. As great a story as it is that he’s overcome his height disadvantage, the fact is that it’s difficult for a sub-6-foot quarterback to make it in the NFL. When you’re that small, it’s exceedingly difficult to make reads down the field over the other players.

So yes, Daniel’s preseason production speaks for itself–to a point. But I want to see him make a really tough read before I give him the No. 3 job. Neither of his TDs on Saturday fall in that category.

I will say this about Daniel, though. The guy has his head on straight. He’s humble, smart and knows his role. That’s only going to help him. And as a star college QB, he’s given thousands of interviews before, so his media savvy is a huge plus from my perspective!

Ultimately, I see Brennan winning the gig. The coaches have put 16 months into his development. Plus, if you try to stash either guy on the practice squad, there’s a better chance that another team will try to acquire Brennan. Daniel would probably clear waivers.

What do you think? Have you already forgotten about Colt’s 2008 preseason accomplishments? Who should be the No. 3 QB?

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/redskinsjournal/2009/08/25/no-3-qb-the-chase-is-on/

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