In the past few months, you may have heard or read something about how Brock Osweiler chose to sign a four-year contract with your Houston Texans instead of re-upping with the Denver Broncos, the team that selected him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. With the Texans heading to Denver for a date on Monday night, Osweiler’s former teammates have fielded questions about the impending return of their former quarterback. They haven’t been bashful about sharing their thoughts about the Texans’ new QB.
For example, here are some quotes from Brandon Marshall and Chris Harris (from stories that can be found here and here), two of the members of Denver’s fearsome defense that’ll be getting after Osweiler on Monday night:
"There's no ill will toward Brock. I am happy he got paid," linebacker Brandon Marshall said. "But it's competition. We want to kill him."
“We know that Brock likes to hold the ball so I feel that we can get a lot of good pressure on him,” Marshall said. “Just watching their offense, I think this can be a great week for us, I can say that.”
"He's a gunslinger. He's also forcing a lot of throws. We know that he left us," Chris Harris Jr. said. "It's going to be great. I am pretty sure that he wants to win, and we want to beat him bad and get a lot of interceptions."
Although Texans fans might want to get fired up about these quotes and lambast the Broncos for the reckoning that the Texans shall deliver upon the non-believers, I can’t really do it. Truth be told, Marshall and Harris’ words ring true based upon Osweiler’s first six games in a Texans uniform.
Sure, it’s hyperbole to suggest that a player really wants to murder the opposing quarterback. Beyond that? Osweiler does like to hang onto the ball. The Texans’ offense hasn’t been very good thus far, whereas Denver’s defense has been exceptional; it follows that someone on Denver’s defense would rationally believe they could perform well against the Texans’ offense.
In terms of what Harris said, Osweiler has been forcing a lot of his passes, particularly to DeAndre Hopkins. Should that happen again on Monday night, a handful of interceptions could easily be the result; after all, Osweiler’s already thrown eight picks in only six games as a Texan.
Nothing Marshall or Harris said is unfair. Should they have said it publicly? Maybe not, if you believe in the idea of bulletin board material making a difference in how professional athletes approach a game. Even then, it’s hard to take too much offense to those quotes.
Now, rolling your eyes at the idea that John Elway is some sort of prescient genius who consciously decided it would improve the Broncos to roll with Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, and originally Mark Sanchez as his QBs instead of Osweiler? Different story.