Upon further review: Colt already there
EVERY Saturday night, last fall, we would sit there waiting for each new wonder Colt Brennan would unleash on us. A daring escape! A perfect pass! A super scramble! Throwing up on the field!
And then every Monday we would sit in front of June Jones, at his weekly press conference. And someone -- often Robert Kekaula, still giddy over what Colt had done a couple of nights before -- would ask Jones if he'd ever seen anything like this in his life.
That's how exciting this Hawaii quarterback was, last year.
Then Jones would always inhale, when these questions came up, and smile patiently, going along. Big-time football is often more than meets the eye. Sure. He loved Colt Brennan, he wanted us to understand that. The kid's accuracy was off the charts. He was able to do some things very few others could. He makes things happen. He makes plays. Jones loves that.
But then the coach would explain that the kid still wasn't quite getting it, ran too early. Wasn't taking advantage of the offense. Didn't always check down to his second or third receivers. Scrambled instead, sometimes took sacks instead of throwing the ball away.
It was exciting, but every play shouldn't be a scramble drill, Jones explained.
It was true. You could see it if you watched. He'd let a single rusher, a guy who probably wasn't going to get him anyway, throw him off the play. When he'd go to the sideline you could see Jones pointing to the chart he always holds in his hand. THIS is the offense. This is what we want. Stick to the plan. The quarterback would nod dutifully.
And then Brennan would go out and dip, and dodge, and get away, and drop an arcing pass into the fingertips of a diving Davone Bess. Holy cow.
We non-coaches just couldn't get enough. Let's start the insanity, we said.
But just wait, Jones said. Wait until he stays within the system. Wait until he really learns the offense. Wait until he stops scrambling so much and learns to live another day, throwing the ball away or running out of bounds.
We think he's good now. But wait until he stops the high-wire act, and does the right thing every play. Then watch out.
Jones is the coach. But the high-wire act sounds a lot more fun.
I hope Brennan doesn't stay in the system too much. I hope he doesn't go boring on us. I hope he occasionally scraps the plan, and still throws up on the 35-yard-line once in a while.
Because let's face it, this kid is special. And I would hate to see anything that might take that away. He's got spark. So much spark you've got to shade your eyes, sometimes.
You'd hate to see staying within the system dull that, even a little bit.
He's at his best when everything breaks down. If I'm the coach I'm not telling him to play it safe -- I'm telling the left tackle to stop blocking. I'm holding practice at recess at the nearest elementary school.
He's just like his name -- he's a wild pony. Let him run.
We've seen the run-and-shoot run perfectly. We've seen a quarterback who always did the right thing, never strayed from the plan -- Tim Chang.
I love Tim Chang. He was a special person. He got the record, threw for a lot of yards. But I think he was too perfect, sometimes. I think it held him back that he only rarely said what the heck.
He always did exactly what he was supposed to do in every situation. People ask why Timmy never ran. Because he always did the right thing.
Now along comes Colt and he's more exciting than any statistic. Jumps right out of the playbook, flying by the seat of his pants.
If Brennan was wrong, I don't want him to be right.
I'll admit it. I was scared, this spring. All that talk last fall about toning him down and reigning him in and his not quite getting it yet, but he will. Sure, you would love to see the guy cut down on mistakes. Become more efficient.
But he's special. He's wild. He's free. (He throws up on the field!) I was secretly hoping he wouldn't learn the offense too well.
Then I read where Jones said he'd gone back and looked at last year's tapes and decided Colt had done much better than he originally thought.