Catching Up With Colt Brennan

Colt Brennan will check in each week by phone and discuss his week with's Chris Steuber. "Catching up with Colt" is an exclusive feature to and gives fans an inside look into the senior season of a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Chris Steuber: Did that Hurricane hit you guys last week?

Colt Brennan: It barely missed us, it barely missed the big island. It came close enough to give us really bad winds and rain overnight and we had to cancel practice in the morning.

CS: What's the situation like for you guys when a tropical storm or a hurricane is expected on the island?

Brennan: That was my first one since I've been here. I guess we knew it wasn't really coming for us, so we weren't really getting too worried about it. I really tripped out. I was driving down this mountain by the ocean, I was kind of far inland, but driving down the mountain I looked out ten miles, as far as I could out into the ocean and the ocean looked like a washing machine. Usually it's really calm and really pretty, so that was kind of a trip to see. For the most part, we knew it wasn't coming too close, so we didn't get too worked up about it.

CS: How's practice going?

Brennan: Practice is going really well. We started school this week and we got back to our normal schedule. I am really excited, because we had some offensive linemen banged up early on and we got them all back and we've been looking really good this week.

CS: Now that your schedule is back to normal, what is your schedule like?

Brennan: From 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. we have practice. Right after that I have to do media for a little while. Then we have breakfast and then we shoot up to class. We'll be in class for an hour or two. After that, we'll come back, lift and attend meetings at 4:00 p.m. We'll finish up around 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. For me, since I am graduating, I don't have study hall, but some guys have study hall.

CS: Did you guys work on any game preparation for Northern Colorado this week?

Brennan: We're the type of offense where we really worry about ourselves.  We do what we do. The two years I've been here, every practice is the same. It's never changed. We just get extremely good at what we do. But what we do each week is adjust the scout defense to what we may see.

CS: What does Northern Colorado bring to the table on defense?

Brennan: I've seen their back coverage and what they like to do, and basically it's all execution. It's all about going out there and not making mistakes and taking care of ourselves. Some teams we see they try to do all of these crazy things to stop us and try to throw us off; you really never know what you may see until you get out there. We just have to go out there and worry about ourselves.

CS: Did your center John Estes return to practice and have you guys been working together?

Brennan: Yeah, he's back and he's been doing really well. The last couple of days the O-Line has really started to gel and looks like the O-Line we all expected.

CS: How exciting is this right now? You're about a week or so away from your first game of the season -- how are you holding up?

Brennan: It's cool, you know. I really don't try to get into thinking about things. I just try to stay in the moment. I'm just focusing on my everyday tasks. I am not trying to understand everything that's going on around me. I just want to stay focused on football and worry about that.

CS: That's probably the best thing to do in this situation, right?

Brennan: Yeah, I don't really want to think about this being my last year and all of that. I just want to get to practice and play football and do what I do and worry about all the other stuff at the end of the season.

CS: You say that practice is always the same, but do you guys ever install anything new?

Brennan: Basically it's always the same, but we're always trying to do new things and trying to adjust. We kind of install things as we go -- on the fly. Depending on who we're playing or what they do, Coach Jones will have a few plays he wants to install. But as far as how the practice is run, and about 90 percent of the plays that we do, it's the same everyday.

Ronen Zilberman, AP
CS: I've seen a lot of features written on you the past couple of weeks and everyone is debating, "Is Colt Brennan just a system quarterback, or is he for real?" What do you have to say about people calling you a system quarterback?

Brennan: I grew up in the West Coast offense. I was a West Coast offense quarterback at Mater Dei (High School). I was that at Colorado. I was trying to be a West Coast offense my whole life. I know how to run a West Coast offense, but as I searched for a school to go to, I basically only had this opportunity in Hawaii. This is an unbelievable offense, and I am surprised that more teams don't take from what this offense does. I understand the run game, and I understand why you want to run the ball.  I like running the ball, I really do, and I had two running backs last year that got drafted.  But there are so many wonderful things this pass offense does to defenses. Even our defensive coordinator Greg McMackin says you can't stop this offense, you can only hope to contain it. If you look back at a lot of the quotes from Oregon State, Purdue, Boise State, that's exactly what those head coaches said, "You don't stop this offense, you just contain them."

CS: Do you think this offense only works in the college game and that's why you get a lot of doubters about your future at the next level?

Brennan: To be honest with you, the one thing that this offense does is that it takes a lot of pressure off of the quarterback, but it also puts pressure on the quarterback. If we're playing a big game and I expect to win this game, I've got to throw four or five touchdowns. That's a lot of pressure on a QB. The one thing this offense does is that it really puts the QB in the spotlight. You've got to play every game and there's a lot of pressure involved with that. I think it can go both ways. You can build a lot of confidence in this offense, but at the same time, I am really excited about getting into another offense and trying some new things and seeing what else is out there. But I would have no issues with running this offense the rest of my life.

CS: You know your game better than anyone. What offense suits your skills the best?

Brennan: I love what the Patriots do. I love what Tom Brady does and I love what Peyton Manning does. Coach Jones even said that there are plays that he sees the Colts and Manning run and he will come back and try to implement them into our offense. It's funny to hear about the knocks on a shotgun offense and all of that stuff, but all I see is Manning and Brady in the shotgun almost the whole game. I think there's a little bit of evolution going on in the game right now. People are not really sticking to a certain kind of offense, they're kind of doing everything. I would really like to be in an offense that does everything. It has the run-and-shoot, it has a running game, shotgun, underneath the center; that's what I want to be in.

CS: I still think you're labeled unfairly because you're playing in Hawaii. I don't think people take the time to actually study your game, because if they did, they would see you're far more talented then previous quarterbacks at Hawaii.

Brennan: I think they have speculation and reason to [label me], but if you watch me every Saturday, how can you say that I am a system quarterback? It doesn't make any sense. If you watch film on me, you can't sit there and say I am a system quarterback when I am running back and forth across the field three or four times and then finding a guy down field for a completion.

CS: It drives me crazy, because I currently have you as my third-ranked quarterback in the nation, behind Brian Brohm and Chad Henne. I can't understand why people don't except you as a true talent.

Brennan: It's crazy. For instance, ESPN, Scouts, Inc. came out with a ratings system -- my receivers showed me it the other day -- and it has your strengths and weaknesses. Every weakness they had on there, it was basically my strength. They said I couldn't buy time with my feet. They said I wasn't very good under pressure. And they said I don't throw to my outside receivers very well. If you watch my games, all I am doing is scrambling around running the ball. In my bowl game, my outside receiver is the one who had more yards than any other receiver in the history of the bowl games. I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there, especially with the people who don't watch the film. They have to take some time and do their homework.

CS: I think at this point you're typecast. When people hear about a quarterback from Hawaii, automatically they are saying, "Oh, well, he'll never make it in the pros." The perception is that the system in Hawaii makes the quarterback, not the quarterback making the system.

Brennan: There is some truth to that no matter what. If I wasn't in this offense, I wouldn't be throwing this many touchdowns for all these yards. I do throw that many because of the system I'm in. It doesn't mean I can't play in another system.

CS: What's the Heisman hype like for you? Do you pay much attention to it?

Brennan: The great thing about being out here in Hawaii, you just don't get into that stuff. I don't even watch TV that much out here. Stuff like that isn't too overwhelming out here. If anything, my teammates do a great job of distracting me from it. They're joking and always keeping me pretty humble.

CS: Obviously it's exciting, right?

Brennan: Oh, yeah definitely. Luckily I got a taste of it last year. I already had a chance to go through all the hype. It's great and it's an unbelievable experience, and I can't even imagine how sweet it would be to be invited to New York. But I realize last year that all the success came when I was focusing on football and not on awards and records. If I take that same mentality this year I should be alright.

CS: Good stuff… so what's on tap for the rest of this week?

Brennan: This is the week I have a bunch of stuff coming out in the media. Sports Illustrated has an article coming out. The New York Times has an article coming out this weekend. I've been doing all of this media stuff the last two weeks. It's been running me ragged, but I am excited to see how all of that pans out.

CS: What happens next week as you prepare for Northern Colorado?

Brennan: We'll just enter our normal game week schedule. I am sure since we didn't have a game this week, on Monday we'll just do some running and watch some film, but I am sure this Monday will be a full out practice and we'll game plan Monday - Friday. We'll go to the hotel Friday night and be ready to play on Saturday night.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.

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