Can the Texans afford to let a QB develop?



In a nutshell, that has always been my view on any team's ability to be patient with a quarterback. It doesn't always work out this way -- in fact it usually doesn't -- but rushing into a player's future before he's ready can have dire consequences for both the franchise and the player. It takes a rare patience, but the payoff is big.

This subject occurred to me upon reading Greg Bedard's piece yesterday on TheMMQB.com about Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles. He calls Bortles the player with the highest ceiling of any in the draft. And he says Bortles just isn't ready. It's the opinion of one reporter, but Bortles' rawness has been much talked-about and will continue to be. (I'll insert here, that I'm not making that judgment for myself, having not formed my own opinion about whether Teddy Bridgewater, Bortles, Johnny Manziel or another quarterback is the best of the group. What we're talking about is the concept of waiting.)

What happens when you start a quarterback who isn't ready? You can kill his confidence. You can give him a label that is hard to shed. You can set your franchise back and get coaches fired.

What happens if you wait out his growing pains? Another bad season could follow and, with an impatient owner, that could lead to firings, too. But with a patient owner, it could lead to planned development of a player who could guide the franchise for a decade.

The Texans do not have an impatient owner. Winning is important to Bob McNair, and recent moves and comments show that he does think it's close. But McNair understands the need for patience at the right times, and if he believes in the future of a quarterback and trusts his coach's ability to develop him, there won't be any reason for him to panic.

Ten years of great is better than one year of good any day. If the start of that 10-year period gets delayed a year or two, what's the damage?