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Bill O’Brien Speaks: On Rookie Quarterbacks

They’re to be seen and to learn, not start.

New England Patriots v Houston Texans
Skeptical about rookies starting at quarterback.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Fans of the Houston Texans have seen the team select a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft on just one occasion, with the first pick in franchise history back in 2002 (David Carr). Since that time, the next highest round Houston has selected a quarterback was in the third round, back in 2003 (Dave Ragone). Whether it was poor planning or differing opinions on player value, the Texans simply have not put a premium on drafting quarterbacks.

Many observers are convinced the drought will end this year, that the Texans will spend a high draft pick in a signal-caller (though the debate about who that player should be rages on). Regardless of when or who the Texans select to play the game’s most important position, don’t expect that player to skip right to the top of the depth chart while Bill O’Brien is in charge. Alex Del Barrio has the story:

“I think it’s tough to play quarterback as a rookie in our league,” head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday. ” I think that there’s no substitute for experience. So, I think it’s hard to ask a guy to come in straight from college and day one he’s a starter on your team.”

“I know that there are some really good quarterbacks in this draft that we’re looking at and we’ve met with a lot of them,” O’Brien said. “We’re excited about continuing to get to know them. But, I just think for me as a general rule, that’s tough to start them as a day one guy.”

While nothing O’Brien said here should be considered earth-shattering, it’s worth keeping in mind when the Texans finally do spend a premium pick on a quarterback. Even if it’s a first-rounder, odds are that a veteran will be starting under center when Houston opens the regular season in September.