Tuesday, October 25, 2016

4 comments Ian O'Connor Spills Some Nonsense about Brock Osweiler

Of all the things to bring me back to post something, it's an article by Ian O'Connor about Brock Osweiler. I don't have a strong opinion on O'Connor and really have no strong opinion on Osweiler either. Yet, here I am. Ian O'Connor thinks Osweiler made a mistake by leaving the Broncos. I think this is a ridiculous opinion knowing the facts as they happened.

1. Gary Kubiak only played Osweiler during the 2015 season when the Broncos' original starting quarterback, Peyton Manning, could not play due to injury.

2. As soon as Manning could play and Osweiler struggled, and remember Manning was a 39 year old noodle-armed quarterback at the time, Kubiak played Manning over Osweiler.

3. The Broncos didn't give Osweiler much consideration when he was a free agent, until the rumors he might leave started up and then they offered him $45 million over 3 years or 4 years at $64 million, depending on what you believe.

4. All indications are that Osweiler was "wanted" by the Broncos, but not really wanted. NFL teams are desperate for quarterbacks and so a young quarterback isn't treated like this if the organization REALLY thinks he's the long-term guy.

5. So Osweiler got $8 to $27 million and one more year (depending on what you believe) in a contract from the Texans, while the Broncos got to start Trevor Siemian over the guy they drafted in the first round, Paxton Lynch.

6. Indications {based on (a) how the Broncos kept Siemian around last year when they already had Manning and Osweiler and (b) this year started Siemian based solely on performance} are that if Osweiler came back to Denver, there is a chance he may not have even started. Clearly, Gary Kubiak likes Trevor Siemian.

But anyway, dumb move by Osweiler to get paid a lot of money and become a starter...or so says O'Connor. It's not like NFL players want to make as much money as possible and get playing time or anything. It's not like the NFL has non-guaranteed contracts either.

If success is determined only by the size of your bank account, then Brock Osweiler is your man. 

Success for an NFL quarterback is determined (partially) by three things:

1. Size of your bank account.

2. How many Super Bowl trophies you have.

3. Individual awards you have received.

Though it's fun to ignore, Osweiler now has success with two of these three things. I would bet Ian O'Connor might get pissed off if ESPN decides they want to cut his pay. Or would he? Because he wouldn't want to be one of those people who thinks success is determined by the size of his bank account. We know O'Connor would never leave ESPN if another company offered him more money. He's too principled for that.

He was offered an $18 million wage to work for the Houston Texans and a $16 million wage to work for the Denver Broncos, and he took the extra loot.

What O'Connor neglects is Osweiler was offered $2 million less (I thought it was $3 million less) over a period of several years to work for the Broncos. Also, the guarantees in the Broncos contract could have been different because NFL contracts aren't 100% guaranteed. But let's pretend O'Connor is simply ignoring this in a desperate attempt to help prove his point and not because he doesn't understand how NFL contracts work. He works for ESPN, so there is no way he is simplifying a complex issue. 

But we all know that happiness and prosperity in life, even in pro football, are often defined by things that have nothing to do with dollars and cents. Take championship rings, for instance. How much money do you think Dan Marino would give back if it meant adding a Super Bowl title to his otherwise staggering legacy?

Honestly, I think Dan Marino is perfectly fine with his legacy that doesn't include a Super Bowl ring. More importantly, Brock Osweiler HAS a Super Bowl ring. He won a Super Bowl ring last year, so it's staggering to me that Ian O'Connor ignores Osweiler has a Super Bowl ring and doesn't have to go chase one. He's won his Super Bowl and now wants to be a starter. Comparing Brock Osweiler to Dan Marino is stupid anyway.

More importantly, I think the issue is being confused here. The issue, as I see it and how everyone else should see it, isn't that Osweiler chose to be the starter in Houston over being the starter in Denver. Osweiler chose to take more money to be the starter in Houston as opposed to taking less money in Denver and compete for the starting job. What, O'Connor really thinks the Broncos and Kubiak had no clue what they had in Trevor Siemian? They just kept him as a 7th round pick on the roster when there were other more experienced quarterbacks out there and got lucky he has ended up being a capable starter (so far)? There is a reason, and Osweiler also knew the reason, the Broncos weren't tripping over themselves to outbid other teams for Osweiler. It's because they liked Siemian and they thought he could be the starter for them this year or in the future.

So Osweiler took more money to be a guaranteed starter after sitting behind another quarterback for four seasons. O'Connor wants the reader to believe the Broncos saw Osweiler as a starter, yet immediately benched him when a slightly better, older, less permanent quarterback option was presented? The Broncos then waited around to see if the better, older, less permanent quarterback would retire or not, while knowing it could affect their ability to re-sign Osweiler. Then when that better, older, less permanent option retired they saw Osweiler as a starter so much that they didn't really exert themselves to re-sign him. Don't be thick for the purpose of a column. Osweiler isn't very good, but he's not very good while being the starter for the Texans and making more money. The Broncos just didn't value Osweiler as much as he thought they should.

Osweiler sure had to be thinking that way Monday night, when the Broncos made the NBA-sized quarterback look smaller than the fine ink in his $72 million deal. ''

Maybe he was. Maybe he was upset that he didn't get to play with such a great defense. Maybe he was mad at himself for blowing a chance to be a starter on a playoff team. Or maybe he was mad he didn't play well, but understood that he probably wasn't going to be the starter in Denver long-term anyway so he's glad he got paid.

Osweiler was all over the place with his passes, and the Broncos hit him hard on or after delivery every chance they got. Osweiler yelled at wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, a much better football player than the quarterback, after one throw to nowhere.

The fact Hopkins is a better football player than Osweiler is very irrelevant. It's not a criticism of Osweiler necessarily. The list of players on the Broncos roster who are better than Trevor Siemian goes at least 10 players deep. If Siemian yells at one of them, then it doesn't mean much. Osweiler was awful against the Broncos, but pointing out a hierarchy of vocal criticism is silly. 

Talib was asked at his locker if the Broncos were motivated not only to end their surprising, two-game losing streak but also by a desire to prove to Osweiler that he shouldn't have left.

"Definitely, definitely," the cornerback said. "We know he looked up at those passing yards in the fourth quarter. And maybe it wouldn't have looked like that if he had stayed."

I mean, it wouldn't have happened if he had stayed because he wouldn't have had to play such a great defense. Unless the Broncos defense started playing defense for the Texans the lack of passing yards by Osweiler against the Broncos definitely would not have happened if he played for the Broncos. There is a chance Osweiler would be on the bench and have less money if he had stayed with the Broncos too. Let's just keep ignoring that though. 

"We knew that he struggles with disguises," Ward said. "We'd seen that from playing here and the film, so we tried to do that. We started kind of slow in the beginning, but we got better as the game went on, and it affected him."

And if Osweiler played for any other NFL team, outside of the Broncos, opposing defenses would never have studied film and seen he struggles with disguises. The Broncos have the only competent defense and defensive coordinator in the NFL and Osweiler would have thrived if he played for the Broncos. I guess this is the assumption to be made. 

Not much didn't affect Osweiler in this game, and that might've had the Broncos wondering if they should've tried to re-sign him after all. But Elway did want him, and he drafted him in the second round to someday lead the franchise the same year he signed Peyton Manning.

Elway wanted Osweiler, but it's almost like the Broncos didn't want Osweiler as much as O'Connor portrays here. 

Osweiler slammed that door in his former boss' famous face, and that was a worse decision than any he made Monday.

This is overstating what Osweiler did by choosing to sign with a different team after the Broncos didn't offer him a contract he felt reflected his talent. Osweiler sat behind Peyton Manning for 3.5 years and then was pulled in the third quarter of a Week 17 game once Manning was healthy, after having gone 6-2 as the starter. The writing was on the wall, especially combined with the fact the Broncos didn't rush to lock Osweiler up when he could be a free agent, that the Broncos were pretty "blah" on him. The Broncos correctly evaluated Osweiler, that he wasn't going to be a quality NFL starter. But yeah, Osweiler "slammed that door" in Elway's face, right? How dare he attempt to improve his career and bank account.

O'Brien and Smith definitely know what they are doing, and they definitely understood that they were taking a big, fat gamble on an athletic, 6-foot-8 kid with seven career starts to his name.

Actually, if O'Connor did any research at all before regurgitating this column then he would know O'Brien didn't even meet Osweiler prior to the Texans signing him. So they "definitely knew what they are doing" and "they definitely understood" the "big, fat gamble" they were taking? I'm not entirely convinced. 

But what in the world was Osweiler thinking when he left this near-perfect situation in Denver? For that matter, what in the world was his super-agent, Jimmy Sexton, thinking?

"I want to earn a large commission and get my client set for life." --- exactly what Jimmy Sexton was thinking.

"Denver may not want me as their starter judging by their actions since Week 17 and I can be the starter in Houston." --- exactly what Brock Osweiler was thinking.

Osweiler walked out on that program because he said he fit better in O'Brien's system.

How did that fit work out Monday?

Two issues I see here:

1. It can't be ignored that the Broncos have a really, really good defense. They make good quarterbacks look not-so-good. Osweiler isn't a good quarterback, but when seeing how the "fit" of the Texans offense worked out on Monday, the quality of the Broncos' defense must be acknowledged as well.

2. Osweiler said he fit O'Brien's system because he isn't going to say, "Man, I don't think this system is going to work for me" after getting paid $72 million to run the offensive system.

This may come as a shock to Ian O'Connor, but athletes (falls into his fainting chair) don't always tell the truth and/or their deepest thoughts to the media.

Even so, Osweiler should still be the Broncos' starter -- not the less talented Trevor Siemian --

You can tell I take exception to this contention. Isn't it possible Osweiler wouldn't be successful in Denver and eventually be replaced by Trevor Siemian? It's not like Gary Kubiak didn't see both quarterbacks in practice every day or anything. So if/when Osweiler struggles, O'Connor doesn't think Osweiler would be benched (again, by the way) and replaced by Siemian? At that point, Osweiler certainly isn't getting a good deal on the free agent market IF the Broncos even decided to release him. He was the backup for 3.5 years in Denver. That's a long time for a competitive athlete to sit.

Osweiler isn't Derek Anderson, Matt Moore, Mark Sanchez or any of the other backup quarterbacks who got a chance to start and realize that's not where their value to an NFL team may lie. Osweiler hasn't gotten a chance to start and he wanted that I presume. I can't figure out why it's assumed Osweiler would (a) not be a bad starter in Denver and (b) would be the starter in Denver no matter what.

and the quarterback's representative, Sexton, has to take a hit for that. Too often, agents confuse the richest deal with the best deal.

I can't imagine a scenario where Osweiler getting the most money and being the definitive starter wasn't the best deal for Osweiler. I also can't imagine a scenario where Osweiler would play worlds better for the Broncos than he has with the Texans. 

If Sexton's client is telling the truth when he says his benching late last season for a returning Manning didn't drive him out, then what was the deal?

Again, this may come as a shock to Ian O'Connor, but athletes (falls into his fainting chair yet again) don't always tell the truth and/or their deepest thoughts to the media. So Osweiler is being diplomatic and not burning bridges by stating it wasn't the late season benching that drove him away. In truth, it doesn't matter. The deal probably was that he wanted to be a starter. Now he is.

This isn't to say Osweiler won't develop into a pretty good player in this league. He beat the unbeaten Patriots last season, and he delivered a thrilling comeback against the Colts last week, and he made a sweet, third-and-8 run against Denver in the third quarter.

He's been a backup for 3.5 years. If he's going to develop into a pretty good player, then it has to start happening fairly soon. Osweiler understands this, which is why he went out and got paid when he had the chance to go out and get paid. This is as opposed to being a member of the Broncos, a successful team, yes, but also a team that committed to him in the same way I commit to writing regularly on this blog. Sure, that is what they would like to have happen in theory...unless something else comes along of course.

As he headed for his car after this sweetest of October victories, a smiling Elway stopped near a stadium barrier to mingle with players' family members and others looking for photos. He always walks -- or hobbles -- with his shoulders pinned back and his barrel chest puffed out. It seemed on this night that his chest was puffed out an extra inch or two.

It feels good to win a game and show a decision Elway made was the right decision. Couldn't Elway feel good that he chose to not fully commit to Osweiler and instead give Trevor Siemian a shot? Isn't it possible Elway's chest-puffing is not from getting back at a quarterback who spurned him, but showing his evaluation of that quarterback as not being the future starter of the Broncos was the correct evaluation? In this scenario, isn't it possible Osweiler would have ruined his chance to be a starter had he re-signed with the Broncos? 

Why not? It was painfully clear that Brock Osweiler, former Bronco, had put his money on the wrong horse.

Ignoring this painfully bad last sentence, this is also a horribly confused sentence. Osweiler didn't put any money on the wrong horse because he received the money. If anything, the Texans put money on the wrong horse, though their alternative may not have been any better. So it's clear the Broncos put money on the correct horse, at least in the short-term. See, the Texans HAVE the money to put on a quarterback, while Osweiler is the guy who received the money from the Texans.

The correct sentence here should be written as, "Why not? It was painfully clear the Broncos put their money on the correct horse."

Osweiler has a Super Bowl ring and wanted to be a starter. It's not a mistake that he made, but an attempt to be a definite NFL starter and make the most money possible. End of story.

4 comments:

Chris said...

Perhaps Osweiler was yelling at Hopkins because he screwed up his route? I don't remember exactly at what point in the game this happened but O'Connor leaves out the possibility that Hopkins may have screwed up here, not Osweiler. In terms of Hopkins being a better football player, to me that's not just completely irrelevant it's a false equivalence seeing as they both play completely different positions.

Elway is a general manager. Who he "wants" is the best player available at the position they want to target in any given round. If the Broncos scouts and coaches liked another QB and had him rated higher than Osweiler on their board then Elway would have picked them over Brock. No doubt Elway wanted an young kid to sit behind Manning until he retired but to pretend like Elway had some sort of attachment/schoolyard crush on Brock Osweiler is idiotic.

Of course Ian O'Connor knows what sports agents are doing wrong in their jobs, considering he's never been one. A sports agents job is to make their client as much money as they possibly can, so that they agent can get his cut, and therefore make as much money as he possibly can. So Ian has it backwards. To a sports agent, the best deal IS the richest deal. It begins and ends there. I don't imagine that Jimmy Sexton spent much time wondering whether Houston's offensive scheme would be a better fit for his client or not.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, the feeling I get from Osweiler's quotes about the situation is he had Sexton negotiate with the Broncos for a while. Then when he got the feeling the Broncos didn't really see him as the future, because they:

-Waited for Manning to make a decision on retirement.
-Pulled him in the 3rd quarter of Week 17 and he never got the job back.
-Offered him a contract he didn't feel was worthy of his skills.
-Gave him the feeling Siemian may be the preferred long-term starter.

He had Sexton negotiate with other teams. Now Osweiler is struggling but he's wealthier than he would have been had he stayed with the Broncos. As I said in the column, he didn't want to sit behind another QB. So while Denver may have been the best place for him on paper, it's not like he was guaranteed the money and starting job he got in Houston.

It's like the reverse of the Josh Norman situation. He wanted to stay in Carolina, but once he saw (and they released him) they weren't going to offer him the money he wanted, he moved on quickly. He got paid and if he struggled (which he hasn't) then he would have regretted the decision? Not necessarily, because the team was not going to value him long-term as much as other teams would value him.

And yeah, who knows why he yelled at Osweiler. Sportswriters have some weird hierarchy of when a QB can yell at a teammate. Yelling isn't a good look, but this is competitive sports and it happens.

dan said...

welcome back! hope you begin writing more again . i miss your weekly takedowns of peter king

Snarf said...

When you see BGF is active again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nz3DL6EXtQ