NFL: Brock Osweiler experiment setting the standard
By Wanda Wiedman of NFL Female
Special to Pro Football Guru
At one point in his career quarterback Brock Osweiler was rated the sixth best quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Denver Bronocs with the 57th overall pick in the second round, signing a four-year rookie contract for $3.516 million. Not bad for a 21-year-old fresh out of college.
It's not very often one gets an opportunity to train and learn from the best. Osweiler had that with Peyton Manning. He made his debut in the NFL in Week 4 of the 2012 NFL season against the Oakland Raiders, winning 37-6. He threw his first pass in Week 17 in a victory of the Kansas City Chiefs, a whopping 2 of 4, 12 yarder for the win. During the 2012-14 seasons he played a few games to get some experience under his belt, being groomed by Manning every step of the way.
Rumors of whether or not Manning would be able to return to the game of football after neck surgery was growing. When Manning returned, he was inconsistant and just couldn't get his mechanics right. Against the Chiefs in 2015, Osweiler was given the chance after Manning was benched after throwing four interceptions. The following week, Manning was out with an injury and Oswieler stepped in to lead the team. That's where it all started, the "I have arrived" believe-ism. See during that season he beat the New England Patriots in overtime 30-24. The Patriots were unbeaten at that time.
But his success was immediately overshadowed by the return of The Sheriff in the season finale. Osweiler was replaced because he threw two interceptions and fumbled once. Manning led the Broncos to the win over the Chargers and they were back in the top seed. But it in Osweiler's eyes, he took them there. He did all the work and Manning comes in, throws a couple of touchdowns and he's the hero.
Hmm, seems like the backup who became the starter was replaced by the backup who became the starter and won the Super Bowl. That should have been humbling but it was not and it showed in his demeanor. Osweiler finished that season a Super Bowl champion but when Manning retired and team vice president John Elway did not make him an acceptable offer, he would go where money talks. Yes, you got it Texas.
The Texans needed a quarterback and Osweiler looked pretty good. Despite the fact that as a starter in Denver, Oswieler was 5-2 with an 86.4 passer rating and a completion percentage of 61.8, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. But that didn't matter, because somehow Osweiler convince the Texans that he was worth $72 million dollars, with $37 million guaranteed.
So how did Osweiler fair in Texas his first year? He completed 301-of-510 passes and earned a 72.2 passer rating. He had six fumbles, (five recovered, one lost) threw 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He was in all aspects a bust. But it was the altercation he had with head coach Bill O'Brien that sent him packing. All of this could have been avoided had the Houston Texans met with Osweiler a lot longer than 10 seconds (as documented by Will Brinson of CBS Sports a year ago). He has since been traded to the Cleveland Browns, the graveyard for quarterbacks.
Despite the unhappy ending there is a silver lining. The "Osweiler Experiment" gave NFL coaches and general managers a template as what not to do.
Thanks to this debacle, teams looking for quarterbacks in the draft are doing their due diligence in finding their future franchise starter. Meeting with them several times to see if they are willing to work as a team or play as an individual. Here is hoping Osweiler changes his attitude and give Hue Jackson some hope in Cleveland.
Wanda Wiedman covers the Chicago Bears for NFL Female. Follow her on Twitter at @WandaW63.