Brock Osweiler’s Going Big in Texas
A lot of folks have been talking, writing and tweeting about Brock Osweiler signing to the Houston Texans, and many questions have been raised since. Questions such as "how much money did he get??!”, "Why would he leave the Denver Broncos?”, and "Who is this guy anyway??"
The last question can be asked in one of two ways as in “Who the hell does he think he is to leave the reigning Super Bowl champions?”or, literally, “Who is he?”.
Well, Osweiler's a 6’7’ 25 year-old second-string quarterback who graduated from Arizona State. He’s been under the tutelage of one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in Peyton Manning for the last four years and, now that he will have his own spotlight as a starting QB in Houston, he’s about to win the hearts of a looooooott women with his striking good looks. (I was in the dark about this until girls started pointing it out after his brief run last season.)
I understand the confusion and anger expressed by certain people since Osweiler was able to nab a 4-year/$72 million contract ($37 million guaranteed!!!) with the Houston Texans after turning down a 3-year/$45 million offer from the Broncos (one wonders how much Vince Staples was being played on Osweiler’s iPod after the signing). ESPN’s John Keim illustrates how the QB market will probably get ridiculous, with Washington’s Kirk Cousins getting offered nearly $16 million per year before he and his agent cleverly decided against it and decided to play on his one-year franchise tag number. The Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Sam Bradford to $22 million guaranteed contract over the next two years and another quarterback named Chase Daniel for $12 million guaranteed.
Washington signing Cousins I get. Last season, he passed for 4,166 yards, had a 101.6 QB rating, a 29 to 11 TD-to-INT ratio, and helped his team clinch a playoff berth. Bradford though? His TD-to-INT ratio was 19 to 14, his QB rating was 86.4 and his overhyped team couldn’t make it to the postseason, which led to his coach getting canned. It’ a smart move for the Eagles to lock up a backup QB in Daniel in case the oft-injured Bradford goes down again, but for $21 million over three years??? Whateva, man.
Another gripe against signing Osweiler is that he’s virtually unproven. Not only that, but Bill Barnwell also pointed out the difference between Osweiler first seven starts and last year’s maligned Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer. Not much of a difference there, and staring at those numbers doesn’t inspire much confidence for Texans fans. And I get it. That tweet gave me the chills as well.
But here’s one thing that does inspire confidence: on November 29th, Brock Osweiler faced off against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a tense, snowy and entertaining Sunday nighter in Denver. Before that game, I figured it was a guaranteed win for the Pats. Without Manning, the Broncos didn’t stand a chance. I figured that Osweiler would melt under the spotlight. Instead, he stepped up and lead his team to a thrilling and crucial overtime win at Mile High Stadium. The win clearly played an effect down the road as the Patriots would most likely have had home-field advantage in their AFC conference final game with both teams finishing the season with a 12-4 record.
I know it was only one game and Osweiler wasn’t lights out, but he was damn good enough going 23-42 for 270 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception. Seeing him play in those nerve-wracking stakes (in cold weather) as he handed a conference rival their first loss of the season, and then leading his team down the field throwing sideline bombs right and left to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders was amazing. Not to mention that nice lob to Andre Caldwell in the end zone at the end of the fourth quarter, and then C.J. Anderson finishing things off in OT. I was impressed after that game. That was the biggest game of Brock Osweiler’s young career at that point, and he made sure to not lose it for his team.
A bunch of people don’t understand why he’d leave the arguably best defense in the NFL. But shit, it’s not like he’s going to play with some doormats. Houston had the 7th best defense last year, which is ranked better than Denver’s 9th place rank. Oh and that Texan defense is lead by three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, and he has the young and talented Jadeveon Clowney on the other end of that defensive line. Osweiler will have the just-signed and promising Lamar Miller in the backfield with him, and one of the game’s best receivers in DeAndre Hopkins. Miller and Hopkins are both 24 and 23 years old, respectively. That’s a nice, young and encouraging core to build on. I’m not saying we should hand the Lombardi trophy to the Texans, but the organization and the fans have reasons to be excited.