|Hawaii's Brennan trying to showcase skills to NFL in Senior Bowl|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 25 January 2008 10:28|
Besides the normal quarterback indicators like accuracy, arm strength and decision-making, Brennan also must show he can operate a prostyle offense and master the often overlooked task of collecting snaps under center.
The record-setting Hawaii quarterback will help lead the South team in Saturday's Senior Bowl, capping a weeklong audition for NFL coaches, scouts and executives.
The high-pressure circumstances would seem likely to make Brennan jittery. Instead, he was the guy often seen in the players' hotel, chatting on a cell phone or talking with reporters.
Typically with a smile on his face.
``This is a great experience for me, because I'm kind of the big question mark as far as the quarterbacks in the draft,'' Brennan said. ``Everybody's kind of waiting to see, 'Is he a good kid? Is he a good football player?'''
Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge - subbing for injured Brian Brohm of Louisville - and Kentucky's Andre' Woodson will join Brennan taking snaps for the South team.
Michigan's Chad Henne - whose stock seems to have risen with his practice performances - Southern California's John David Booty and Joe Flacco of Delaware will quarterback the North.
Flacco was a fill-in for Boston College's Matt Ryan, who is considered the top-rated senior quarterback and decided to skip the game.
Other top pro prospects in the game include USC teammates defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis and linebacker Keith Rivers, Texas receiver Limas Sweed, Troy cornerback Leodis McKelvin and Penn State linebacker Dan Connor.
Then there's Brennan, who has basked in this opportunity after putting up huge numbers directing Hawaii's run-and-shoot offense. He broke 31 NCAA records, including career touchdowns with 131.
Brennan spent the week leading up to the Senior Bowl brushing up on those under-center snaps, then spent this week trying to prove himself. While keeping an upbeat attitude.
``People just question, can I be as effective in a different system,'' he said. ``Obviously there's a learning curve and I'm going to have to get used to lining up at center. It can come back to really benefit me because I don't think people expect me to be good under center.
``The truth is that I grew up my whole life with Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer in Orange County learning the West Coast offense. I went to Colorado to play the West Coast offense. I'm going back to my roots.''
Besides all that, Brennan wants to prove he's ``a good kid who's got a good heart.''
He does have a blemish in his past, which might be why that's so high on his agenda. Brennan was convicted of burglary and trespass after entering a woman's dorm as a freshman at Colorado, and was kicked off the team and jailed for a week. He later enrolled at Hawaii.
So he spent this week selling himself. If some players consider the weeklong grind a chore - with all the questionnaires, interviews, meetings and practices - it's a treat for Brennan.
``For me this is a great opportunity and I understand how much this can benefit me,'' he said. ``Instead of shying away, I'm really up for it. I'm really excited when a coach approaches me or a scout approaches me. I'm really eager to talk and eager to be part of the process.''
He regards a 169-yard, three-interception performance in Hawaii's Sugar Bowl loss to Georgia as a ``last lesson'' for his college career. It showed him how to better handle the abundant attention and the large crowds that go with being an NFL quarterback - or playing in a BCS bowl.
Also, he said, ``It's like the saying, 'I'd rather have loved and lost than never have loved at all.' I can always say I went to the Sugar Bowl my senior year. They can never take that away from me.''