LANDOVER, Md. -- If there's anything NFL coaches like to see from young players, it's an ability to learn from their mistakes. So when Redskins quarterback Colt Brennan -- one week after throwing an interception in Pittsburgh's red zone -- was picked off by New England's Jonathon Wilhite on the Patriots goal line, it had to set off some warning lights for Washington's staff.
It certainly did amongst the Redskins fans in FedEx Field. As Wilhite rumbled 99 yards for a New England score, the disgruntled Washington faithful let it all out.
"Keep giving away points, Colt!" ... "There goes your roster spot, buddy!"
Washington's fans have undergone a pretty remarkable shift in attitude. Up until three weeks ago, Brennan was Washington's unquestioned future at quarterback. Heading into Friday night, though, he was battling undrafted college free agent Chase Daniel just to get on the Redskins roster.
It's not hard to see why, either; the hope was that Brennan would progress enough between his first and second year to put the heat on starter Jason Campbell. Instead, at best, Brennan's about where he was last season. The interception was troubling, both because it was a terrible decision and displayed awful fundamentals -- Brennan whipped the pass almost completely side-armed while falling onto his back foot.
Daniel didn't play in New England's 27-24 win -- perhaps a sign that Brennan is penciled in as Washington's No. 3 QB no matter what. And Brennan did bounce back from the ill-timed interception, connecting on a pretty 33-yard touchdown to Marko Mitchell just minutes after the turnover. Still, he left plenty of room to improve.
"I would say it was a mixed bag," Redskins coach Jim Zorn said of Brennan's night. "He had some really big plays, a couple of really big throws and a couple of great adjustments. Yet he showed his lack of NFL experience out there, especially on the interception and on the sack. But other than that he is going to like some of the things that he did."
The interception clouded any major positives for Brennan. "Everything happens so much faster [in the red zone]. I was just trying to squeeze one in there," he explained. "It was man and the receiver broke out and I tried to put it on him. If I had put it more out front, the receiver may have made the play and we may have made the play and been in the end zone."
Daniel, despite not playing versus New England, has shown enough this preseason that he'll find a home somewhere if the Redskins opt to cut him. With veteran Todd Collins entrenched as Jason Campbell's backup, Washington has a bit of a cushion should the Redskins decide to give Brennan another year of development.
That said, Brennan has to start showing more progress soon -- beyond the bits and pieces of growth Zorn says he has seen. The undying support that followed Brennan everywhere he went during his rookie season is quickly waning.
Brennan's margin for error is diminishing, too, with each critical mistake he makes.
Colt Brennan's Roster Spot Still in Danger After 'Mixed Bag' Performance originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Sat, 29 Aug 2009 16:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.