BOCA RATON, Fla. -- During his introduction to Houston, Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler said he felt the Texans gave him the best chance to succeed. Today at the NFL owners meetings, Texans owner Bob McNair shed a little more light on what exactly that meant.
In part, it was a chance to create his own legacy, away from the shadow of two of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game.
"I guess the thing that really helped us is that he does like our offense, and Coach [Bill] O'Brien gives the quarterback a little more leeway at the line of scrimmage and all quarterbacks like that," McNair said. "I think that helped. And then of course he had played behind Peyton [Manning] and with [executive vice president of football operations/general manager] John Elway there. Their shadows were quite large. He was still going to be under that and compared to them. He has a chance to be a real hero in Houston. And we’ve got a good ball club so I think all those things entered into it."
McNair said Osweiler's agent told the Texans those factors were important.
Osweiler signed with Houston on a four-year deal worth $72 million, with $37 million guaranteed. His agents had little communication with the Broncos after their initial offer, and didn't allow a counter offer once the Texans reached the number Osweiler ultimately signed for. There is some feeling that Osweiler might have left Denver even if the money were the same, and this aligns with that thinking.
One might assume a signing like this is one to which the general manager and head coach tie themselves. If the player fails, they suffer the consequences. McNair isn't seeing it that simplistically. He first answered with a simple no.
"Number 1, I don't expect that to happen," McNair said of Osweiler failing. "If we didn't think he had the ability and the attitude to be a winner for us we wouldn't have signed him to that kind of contract. I have every confidence he will succeed. How good will he be remains to be seen. Will he be average or will he be a superstar? But I think he'll be more than adequate in any case. That's what we were looking for in the past. If the quarterback doesn't turn the ball over with our defense and our running game, we've got a chance to beat anybody. But when the quarterback turns the ball over, anybody can beat you if they don't turn it over."
The Texans saw that firsthand in the playoffs when Brian Hoyer turned the ball over five times on the way to a 30-0 Texans loss to Kansas City.