San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has had his name in the news cycle a lot lately. And, he should. The young man was, possibly, one stroke of bad NFL luck away from starting in the Super Bowl as a rookie.
This time last year, no one was debating Brock Purdy vs Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett or any of the other top 10 QBs in the 2022 NFL draft.
Meanwhile, here in H-Town, all the talk revolves around the #2 overall pick and the potential for taking Alabama Crimson Tide signal caller Bryce Young. Or, Ohio State Buckeye field general C.J. Stroud. Or maybe Kentucky’s Will Levis, or even Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
If yesterday’s poll is any indicator, there will be a LOT of upset Texans fans if the team doesn’t take Young or Stroud.
But... Bobby Slowik.
I spoke with Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and Kevin O’Connell about their experiences as first-time play-callers.— Brooks Kubena (@BKubena) March 29, 2023
Their answers were interesting and reveal what Bobby Slowik is set to experience with the Texanshttps://t.co/4bmuI7Khtl
How many diehard 49er fans were chanting Purdy’s name moments before the 2022 NFL draft started? How many mock drafters had San Francisco taking Purdy with their 1st pick, #61 overall?
Odds are, not many. Not even the ‘9ers themselves.
This begs the question: What can Slowik do with Young, Stroud, Levis, Richardson or even >gasp< Davis Mills?
Is Purdy just the Tom Brady of last year’s draft? Would he have excelled anywhere that had a good system, supporting cast and decent coaching?
If the answer is that Slowik just happens to be the QB guru Texans fans were promised with Bill O’Brien and then Pep Hamilton, it certainly relieves some pressure on the #2 overall pick.
If the Carolina Panthers take “our guy” with the #1 overall pick, and Slowik is all that and a bag of chips, taking EDGE Will Anderson suddenly looks viable. Then the Texans target another QB further down the draft board.
Stanford’s Tanner McKee, Georgia’s Stetson Bennett or even Houston’s Clayton Tune all have potential to excel in the right NFL situation.
Or, to leverage it further, imagine what Slowik could do with Bryce Young if he did that with Purdy?
DeMeco Ryans (via ESPN)
For Bryce, I know it’s a lot going on to talk about his size. The guy has done it at the highest level in college football, and size hasn’t seemed to be a problem. I don’t see it as an issue because you watch the tape, and you put on the tape, and you see the kid play and you see how smart he is. You see the anticipation. You see the accuracy. You see how this guy is calm in critical moments.
Unfortunately, the big knock on Young isn’t something that can be “coached up”: his size. At 5’10”, if the Texans draft him, he’ll need daily neck stretches after standing next to 6’4” Davis Mills on the regular.
Can Young see over giant NFL defenders? Can he spot receivers who are cloaked by 6’+ defensive backs? Will his frame endure a pounding from monstorus NFL sack artists?
These are the knocks on this kid.
Since 2006, only three quarterbacks who have measured below the 6-foot mark at the combine have been drafted, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Those three are Kyler Murray (the No. 1 overall pick in 2019 by the Arizona Cardinals), Russell Wilson (third round in 2019, Seattle Seahawks) and Johnny Manziel (No. 22 in 2014, Cleveland Browns).
The Texans hold the second and 12th picks in the first round of Ryans’ first draft as the team’s coach. So with Houston being in the market for a quarterback, Ryans also said Monday that the Texans plan to bring Young in for a top-30 visit.
So far, Murray has earned two Pro Bowl honors in four seasons, and Wilson has earned nine in 11 seasons. Wilson also was the starting quarterback for the Seahawks when they defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. As for Manziel, he threw seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight starts for the Browns in two seasons before being released.
But all these knocks go out the window if Bobby Slowik is who we think he is. If Slowik can put Brock Purdy in a mindset and situation to win every weekend, he can do the same with Young... and Mills.
Or, he could do the same with Stroud, Levis, Richardson, McKee, Bennett or Tune.
Houston Texans Offensive Coordinator Bobby Slowik spent some time as an analyst for Pro Football Focus and termed his time there as "beneficial".https://t.co/aLLBAeBxbM— VCP Football (@VCPFootball) March 16, 2023
And, if Slowik is just another BO’B or Hamilton, then it doesn’t matter what QB Nick Caserio brings in, or if Mills gets another shot.
All eyes might be on the rookie taken with Houston’s #2 overall draft pick, but the true success of the 2023 Houston offense rests far more on Slowik’s shoulders than any soon-to-be millionaire student athlete.