The Houston Texans signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million contract in the offseason, and head coach Bill O'Brien gave his thoughts on the 6'7", 240-pound signal-caller on Tuesday.
“We felt like he was a guy that everything that he brought to the table from his command at the line of scrimmage to his skill set as a passer," O'Brien said at the NFL owners meetings, per Deepi Sidhu of the team's official website. "For a big guy—I’m sure you guys know his history, he played basketball—he’s a very, very good athlete. We think he’s a great fit for our offense.”
All these comments were despite the fact that O'Brien officially met Osweiler for the first time at the 25-year-old's introductory press conference, per Sidhu. However, in today's technological world it's easy for coaches to get their hands on game film, and that is exactly what O'Brien and general manager Rick Smith did. After poring through film that included Osweiler's college career, the head coach said two performances stood out, according to Sidhu.
I thought the New England game was one particular game that stood out to me because they were really in coaching lingo, getting after him. They were hitting him and he was delivering the football and getting right back up and calling the next play. One of the main requirements for a quarterback in this league is the ability to stand in there when everything is flying at you and take a hit and deliver the ball.
In the Raider game, Khalil Mack must have hit him, I don’t know, eight to 10 times in that game? He stood in there, delivered the ball. Maybe statistically it wasn’t his best game but to someone who’s been coaching that position for a while and has really studied it, that means a lot to us.
That's all fine and well, but what about how he would fit in the clubhouse? Reports surfaced that the main reason Osweiler did not return to Denver for next season was because he was "upset" that future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning replaced him in Week 17 when he returned from injury, per Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson.
O'Brien said he vetted Osweiler through those who knew and coached him previously, per Sidhu.
I know there’s a lot of people that have coached him throughout the years that I’ve personally known so I’m sure he spoke to those guys. We spoke to those guys. That was one thing that stood out to me about him was everyone we spoke to, that was either a coach or teammate, couldn’t say enough good things a about this guy. That he was a good leader, a hard worker, a guy that really cared about his teammates, everything we’re looking for in a quarterback. So now, he’s just got to come in here and do it.
Joel Klatt of Fox Sports was not impressed with the quarterback who threw for 1,967 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in seven games as a starter last year.
Speaking on The Herd with Colin Cowherd last week, Klatt said he would be "skeptical at best" that Osweiler can turn the Texans into a contender, even saying that embattled San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would have been a better fit in Denver:
Given the fact Osweiler has started just seven games in his four-year career and his 2.2 interception percentage was the same as Johnny Manziel, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, the Texans most likely overpaid him.
Considering O'Brien never met Osweiler before offering him the contract, there is a good chance his future in coaching and the quarterback's performance will be linked.