It’s a daunting task to replace a legend. But to emerge from the shadows of two legends is a tougher task altogether. Still, that fear is not what Brock Osweiler says caused him to leave Denver during free agency.
Last season has to be bittersweet for the young quarterback. He started the season as the backup to Peyton Manning, then after he played poorly for the first few weeks of the season and was hurt again, Osweiler got his chance.
Osweiler started seven games for the Broncos and his play, while not spectacular, was enough to keep the Broncos in most games. He wasn’t asked to go win games, that was the job of their top ranked defense. He made plays when he had to and took good care of the ball. But in the season finale against the 4-11 Chargers with the chance for home field on the line, Manning was put back in and led the Broncos the rest of the way to their victory in Super Bowl 50.
Some speculated that Osweiler felt spurned after being benched in week 17. Others said he wanted to escape the shadow of John Elway, a legendary Broncos quarterback in his own right, and the shadow of Manning. But now, Osweiler says neither of those things motivated him to leave the Mile High City and sign with the Texans.
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“Bottom line, I made my decision off where I felt like I could have the most success playing quarterback in the NFL and where I could go and win long term,” Osweiler said when asked why he signed with Houston.
In a time where people tell lies in the media and give many politically correct answers, I think this is truthful answer. The Texans do have talented players at many spots and play in a division where no team stands very highly above the rest at this point in time. The Broncos also have lost other good players in free agency such as Malik Jackson to the Jaguars and Danny Trevathan to the Bears. Osweiler knew the exodus was coming and he wanted to jump at another opportunity.
But with great money comes great expectations. He signed a four year, $72 million deal and there is no doubt he will be under a lot of pressure to succeed quickly in Houston. However, I doubt the pressure he’s under this year in Houston is more than it would have been in Denver, where he would have been following up the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns and passing yards and starting for the reigning Super Bowl champions.