What about Brock Osweiler has such a polarizing impact on pundits…and who is right?
As detailed in earlier articles Jayson Braddock and Pro Football Focus ripped the Texans for signing the free agent quarterback. Now comes NFL.com analyst Heath Evans appearing on The Herd stating just the opposite. He calls the Osweiler signing “the best move this year”.
Can this be the same quarterback, the same transaction?
It is not unusual for mainstream analysts to have varying opinions–they usually appear as many shades of gray, seldom black or white. One pundit may project a great career and another merely good, but there is usually agreement that the player will be successful…or unsuccessful. The opinions regarding Brock Osweiler tend to vary in the extreme.
Osweiler has done nothing to contribute to this polarization. He played out his contract; no griping, no holdouts. When given the opportunity he played to the best of his ability. When he was free to do so he made what he and his agent believed to be the best move for him.
That is the way the system is supposed to work. A good young player learned his craft, did his job, honored his contract and then took care of his business. His future should be evaluated on his ability and potential, not how much money he makes.
Money seems to be a central theme among the haters such as Jason La Canfora. They provide a semblance of detailed analysis to justify their predictions of failure, but almost always the opinion starts with a statement that Osweiler’s limited body of work did not justify such a big salary. Once the pool is poisoned by the “he didn’t earn the dollars” conclusion, the rest of the analysis falls into place.
The lovers tend to dismiss the money as being a function of the market. They view it as pay for what the new team will receive, not what was “earned” in service to the old team. Analysis of the skill set may be colored to justify the money.
Forget the money. My analysis is that Osweiler has a chance to be very good, but he is not a lock. He has the tools but is still a work in progress.
It is as much a matter of intellect as arm strength. It is a function of hard work as much as height and weight. Most importantly it is about leadership.
Osweiler is off to a good start regarding leadership, from his organized workouts in Arizona to his high profile in the community. I wavered a bit when I saw a photo of him looking like a drug store cowboy. I thought, “Oh no. This guy is a stiff.”
Fortunately the photo turned out to be a still from an HEB commercial where Osweiler was the butt of the joke. He was being schooled by J.J. Watt in how to assimilate into Houston. Not taking himself too seriously is a good sign.
Expect Osweiler’s career to eclipse Matt Schaub‘s; the good Matt Schaub that flourished in Houston, not the broken player that left. That would make Osweiler the best quarterback in Texans history.
Will he become elite? That’s possible but not necessary.
Will he be recognized as a franchise quarterback? Count on it.
Will he win a Super Bowl? According to Evans, Osweiler was good enough to win the last Super Bowl (though he didn’t play in the game he did play for a significant part of Denver’s run last year).