When Houston signed quarterback Brock Osweiler to his four year, $72 million dollar deal, the battle lines were drawn instantly between those who thought Houston had made the biggest blunder in free agency and those who thought Brock was going to finally fill the franchise quarterback seat that had been empty for all the of the Texans' existence.
While it's still entirely too early to say who was right and who was wrong, it isn't too early to say Osweiler has yet to play to the level that fans had hoped he would.
Since we live in an instant gratification, "I want it now" society, lots of people are quick to rush to judgement, especially after an embarrassing loss like what happened last week. Some say Brock is the $72 Million Dollar Mistake; others say it's head coach Bill O'Brien's fault.
Drawing conclusions from small sample sizes isn't always accurate. Many may recall that after Colin Kaepernick's first season, the national media mantra was that Kaep would destroy every record in the book and was truly the next Steve Young. Some said he was better than Brett Favre. Some were already preparing his gold jacket for the Hall of Fame. Yes, that's the same Colin Kaepernick who lost his job to Blaine Gabbert under the 49ers' previous coach and couldn't regain it until this very week under Chip Kelly, a coach who employs a system a guy like Kaep should excel in.
So while Osweiler has shown very little to get excited about as a Texan thus far, when you factor in his limited amount of time in the Texans' offense (compared to several years in Denver's), a patchwork offensive line that's also learning the offense, a lead back who is (yep, you guessed it) also learning the offense, and that two of the Texans' four main wide receivers are rookies, the numbers make sense.
Let's take a look at Osweiler's first five starts in Denver:
|2015 First Five Starts (Denver )||PASSING|
||W 30-24 (OT)||23||42||270||54.8||6.43||39||1||1||45.8||72.5|
|REGULAR SEASON STATS 3-2||108||148||1140||63.5||6.84||48||5||3||56.6||86.7||
Now with Houston to this point in the season:
|2016 first five starts (Texans)||PASSING|
|REGULAR SEASON STATS 3-2||109||188||1,133||58.0||6.03||53||6||7||50.1||70.6|
While the stats for his H-Town games are anything but glorious, they're not that different than his numbers in Denver.
The NFL is a win-now league. But the history of the league is littered with the casualties of that mindset.
Terry Bradshaw was booed mercilessly early on in his starting career in Pittsburgh - the same Bradshaw who many could say is the most successful quarterback in NFL history after being the only one to win four Super Bowls in six years.
Jon Gruden's highly complex offensive system didn't work well in Oakland for the first few years (and Gruden was hammered for having a system too complex for his own good) until they brought in Rich Gannon, a quarterback almost everyone had written off as a perpetual loser. Yes, the same Gannon that went on to win NFL MVP in 2002 and back-to-back Pro Bowl MVP awards on his way to the Super Bowl (that the Raiders ultimately lost because Al Davis wouldn't keep Gruden in the fold due to his own impatience) as a Raider.
Bill Belichick did little to turn Cleveland into a winner before he went to New England, where patience prevailed and brought them multiple championships. If then Cleveland owner Art Modell could have turned back time before he passed away, do you think he would have undone that one?
Looking back on this in a few years, Brock Osweiler may very well be a $72 million dollar mistake, but until more time has passed, more games have been won and lost, and more stats exist to compare and contrast, it's too early to draw that conclusion.
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