One of the bigger story lines this off-season was the abrupt end to the Brock Osweiler era with the Houston Texans. A known risk when he was brought in by the Texans, the team signed Osweiler to $37 million guaranteed without having the benefit of meeting him prior to signing him. Ultimately, the team ended up missing out on a big part of the evaluation process on which they would typically rely heavily. The way free agency is set up allows team to lock up potential free agents prior to the opening of free agency during the legal tampering period but, just like for all teams facing the opportunity to add a player to their rosters, time was of the essence in trying to bring Osweiler to Houston.
As the season progressed, it was clear that there was something going awry, especially late in the season when the team benched turnover prone Osweiler and an incident between him and Bill O’Brien in week 17 was alleged in the media. Owner Bob McNair mentioned during the off-season that the fact that O’Brien did not get to know Osweiler prior to his signing led to issues with the relationship.
"We didn't know Brock well enough," McNair said to the Houston Chronicle during the NFL Combine. "Coach (Bill O'Brien) didn't have a chance to get to know him.”
General manager Rick Smith made his first real comments concerning the exit of Osweiler to Cleveland via trade and addressed what the Texans learned about the Osweiler mistake.
“There any of number of things that you look back and hopefully you are evaluating a number of things. You’re evaluating your process, you’re evaluating your decisions, you’re evaluation all those things,” Smith explained on the Stephen A. Smith Show. “What I will tell you is that it was just a situation, that as we came out of the season last year and as we looked at our football team to try to figure out how do we go about getting better. That was just a decision that we felt that this was not a good opportunity, good environment, good opportunity for Brock. So how do we go about resolving that and, fortunately, we were able to make some moves over the course of the off-season to do that.”
The Texans found a way to turn the Osweiler mistake into a chance to draft Deshaun Watson, which did not even look like it could be a reality during the off-season.
Smith is happy with the Texans approach to the off-season and is proud that O’Brien and himself were part of the process to land Watson in Houston.
“Tom Savage is here and we’re comfortable with Tom Savage. Tom Savage understands this offense, he knows this offense,” Smith mentioned of the quarterback situation. “We got another young guy that we just drafted that now comes in and competes and learns. Brandon Weeden is still here, there is all of things that internally we discussed and lessons we’ve learned that I will keep those inside.”
With another change within the quarterback room, the Texans are ready to move on and are clear they are more happy with current situation at quarterback.
Smith explained, “The bottom line that is we moved on and Brock’s moved on and we are going try to continue to get this football team to a championship level.”
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