“I’ve always wished the media would go and pull up my courtroom records and see exactly what happened,” Brennan said. “From Day 1, I’d say 98 percent of what you read about what happened to me at Colorado is a lie. The media has just never been very fair to me with that situation. They’ve always just read other articles and then they wouldn’t write it up correctly.
“When somebody does take the time to pull out the courtroom records and pulls out what happened to me, they’re going to see a much different light. They’re going to see a young kid who was taken advantage of. They’re going to see a young kid who made a mistake, but what happened and transpired after he made that mistake wasn’t right.”
Now Brennan’s challenges are simpler, like learning the intricacies of the West Coast offense and earning a spot on the Redskins’ roster in a battle with Derek Devine, who spent last training camp with Jim Zorn in Seattle.
He is certainly going to need time to develop. One pass during a drill flutters into the arms of a defender, which earns a quick talk with Zorn or assistant coach Chris Meidt. The next one zips perfectly through traffic to the intended target.
Patience and time, with starter Jason Campbell and backup Todd Collins firmly entrenched, are attributes Brennan can have.
“He’s got a quarterback’s swagger, and he knows how to play the game,” Meidt said. “He was in the ol’ fun-‘n’-gun. It was shotgun, pitter-patter around and when someone gets open, chuck it to them. Now he’s under center, he has to drop and throw on rhythm.”
Brennan’s experience with the NFL Draft process did not go well, and it can partly be attributed to him being misunderstood. There are several preconceived notions about him that really aren’t true:
Myth No. 1: Brennan has to “learn” how to take a snap under center after his days in the shotgun at Hawaii.
Reality: His only experience not under center was at Hawaii. During high school, a year at prep school, a year at Colorado and a year at junior college, he played in a more traditional offense.
Myth No. 2: Brennan’s poor showing against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl (22-for-38, 169 yards, three interceptions) proves he can’t play against elite, NFL-type competition.
Reality: He carved up several BCS teams in his three years, including a 559-yard, five-touchdown showing against Arizona State and a 42-for-50, 442-yard, five-score outing against Washington. He also topped 400 yards against Wisconsin, Purdue and Oregon State.
Myth No. 3: Brennan will struggle with the cold weather.
Reality: He spent a year at Worcester (Mass.) Academy and a year in Boulder, Colo. He has played and practiced in bad weather before.
“It is football - everybody tries to make it into a complex thing but when it all comes down to it, it’s about being a football player,” Brennan said. “That’s something that no matter where I’ve been - California, Boston, Colorado or Hawaii - I’ve always been a great football player. I’m just looking to prove that again at this level.”
Brennan had only one year as the starting quarterback at Mater Dei High School in Santa Anna, Calif., because Matt Leinart was a year his elder. The two have remained good friends, and they were able to hang out together last week at the ESPYs in Los Angeles.