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Brandstater is just enjoying the ride
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Tom Brandstater, a Turlock High graduate, wants to be the Super Bowl MVP, the one who lifts his index finger in the air to show that he’s No. 1 and the one who looks into a camera and tells the world where he wants to go on vacation next.
One day.
His father, William, told me this just days before the unfortunate happened: On Friday night, in a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers and in front of a number of people who drove about two hours from Turlock and other Central Valley areas, the Denver Broncos rookie quarterback stayed on the sidelines for three hours and was never given the chance to take an official snap.
This is only the beginning.
Don’t expect Brandstater to have very much field time this season ... unless his team is ahead by many points or behind by many points. Or unless something terrible happens to the two quarterbacks ahead of him, Kyle Orton and Chris Simms, like consecutive season-ending injuries. Even if the latter happens, it wouldn’t be ideal for a rookie. (Even so, the Broncos might go sign someone more experienced.)
Brandstater understands. He knows he’s just going through the motions of a rookie quarterback. Not too many quarterbacks in the history of the NFL could step in immediately from the college ranks and play really well in the pros.
It’s all a part of the process.
And he appreciates the process. That’s why he didn’t mind having the top of his head shaved into what looked like an old man’s hairdo, as he knows this is what happens to a rookie — an initiation into the big leagues, a place where a very small percentage of college players go.
After the Broncos were narrowly defeated Friday night at an excited Candlestick Park, Brandstater didn’t say he was disappointed or upset. He used the term “unfortunate,” which is basically saying he was disappointed and/or upset. He said “the only problem” was not being able to play in front of his friends and family who made the trip to this cold and windy city.
But he’s definitely not complaining.
He’s been here before: He was Paul Pinegar’s backup at Fresno State before he became a three-year starter.
Many players have been through the backup-quarterback process, including Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Shaun Hill and Steve Young. Matt Cassel, a seventh-round pick in the 2005 Draft, was Tom Brady’s backup for some time before he got his shot last season; now, he’s enjoying his $63-million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Simms, the Broncos’ backup, was released by the Tennessee Titans last season before they resigned him the same season. And now, Simms is a serious threat to Orton, as questions were raised immediately after Orton threw three interceptions in the first half of the 49ers game.
And now, Simms is Brandstater’s teacher.
The sixth-round pick knows his time will come.
In the meantime, he’s just enjoying the process.
And maybe one day he can reach his ultimate dream: Super Bowl MVP.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.