March 22, 2018

The Elusive Quarterback Position for the Texans

The fans of the Houston Texans have been damaged with the quarterback play that has occurred since 2002 from the Texans. The number 8 has been attached to the position, and it has had way more downs that ups in this stretch of Texans position. With the NFL draft approaching majority of the fan-base and media have “earmarked” the number one overall pick as a quarterback which shows the tunnel vision  to find “the guy” with the top overall selection.

The play of Matt Schaub has tarnished a fan base that has looked around the NFL and witnessed above average quarterback play week in and week out. Quarterbacks who can push the ball down field, make throws with a purpose or lead a late 2-minute drive to win the game, while those moments were far and few in between here in Houston. The quarterbacks in Houston did not meet expectations and were everything, at times, what you did not want from the position. All that is wanted is a quarterback that doesn’t resemble what Schaub was for the Texans. A quarterback that does not have below average speed, a better than average arm and the intestinal fortitude to carry the team when needed in crunch time. Fans are pushing for a much more athletic quarterback that can make plays with his feet when needed, and be a dynamic player that can change games in an instant.

The play of Schaub has put the fan base into acts of desperation and finding the quarterback has turned into a witch hunt of sorts. There will be a quarterback drafted according to O’Brien in the upcoming draft, but where is the next question.

Just like Gary Kubiak, Bill O’Brien has his thoughts on what a quarterback needs to be for his offense. If we look at the quarterbacks that we know that are attached to the new head coach it started with Kevin O’Connel (6-5, 220 lbs.) , Zac Robinson (6-3, 215 lbs.) and Ryan Mallett (6-6, 245 lbs.) who were all drafted to New England when he was the quarterback coach/offensive coordinator of the Patriots. Christian Hackenberg (6-4, 220 lbs.) was his hand-picked quarterback and started as a freshman for Penn State when O’Brien was in his second season and not to mention turned then senior Matt McGloin (6-1, 210 lbs.) into a viable NFL spot starter for the Oakland Raiders after leaving Happy Valley. Now he has picked his own quarterback to help the quarterback position in Houston with Ryan Fitzpatrick (6-2, 225 lbs.) and this was a surprise to many when the deal was completed.

The only issue is that O’Brien’s wants and needs from a quarterback don’t necessarily line up with what Texans fans are looking for. Looking at the list of names that O’Brien has had a hand in selecting, they are all taller quarterbacks for one and second they make their living inside the pocket, running an offense from inside the tackles. Majority do not have above average speed and all look very similar in the traits wanted from O’Brien. Smart and accurate passers have been the characteristics that O’Brien has pointed out recently in his interview at the NFL Owner’s meeting. Those are tidbits that should not be overlooked as the days close in on the NFL Draft.

There is so much focus on the Texans finding the “franchise quarterback” in the upcoming NFL draft with the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles. There is an overall thought that one of these three will turn around a franchise and be the quarterback for the next ten seasons. Where O’Brien himself has continued to mention the second tier of quarterbacks as possible options for the Texans when he is continually asked about the top three, either in an attempt to not show his hand or possibly open the door for the idea when the NFL Draft arrives.

The trust has to be put into O’Brien on what quarterback he wants his name on, and the realization that it could not be one of the top three could be a harsh reality for Texans fans everywhere. Drafting #1 overall ensures nothing except the pick of the litter and the results have varied since 2002 on quarterback taken top overall. David Carr, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, JaMarcus Russell, Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck is the group taken top overall at quarterback since the Texans have come into the league. Only Newton, Luck, and Manning are the ones that have really panned out in terms of success on the field, where the remaining have been a mixed bag of not hitting potential, injury issues and flat-out busts.

The process is real and chasing the elusive quarterback position could possibly set back the franchise once again if the pick is missed. As much as fans what the Texans to swing for the fences on any quarterback laced in potential, the 2013 season should be a firm reminder on what poor quarterback leads to. The process will work it way out, but going for broke on one pick trying to find the next quarterback could be a bad start for the O’Brien Era.


You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.


4 Responses to “The Elusive Quarterback Position for the Texans”
  1. Nikki says:

    Bottom line is WE NEED a top tier QB, NOT another Carr, def NOT another Schaub. IMO out of the top 3 Manziel is our best shot if we EVER want to make it to the Superbowl & we will NEVER get there with a sub-par QB we need our manning, our Tom Brady and Manziel is our best shot at that, hopefully Mcnair, Rick Smith & O’Brian wont let this city down.

  2. cartooner says:

    Lately, I’ve noticed a “grass is greener” syndrome from fans, i.e. the best QBs are coming out next year and we should wait. So Florida State’s Winston or Oregon’s Mariota will fall in our lap if we just wait…and lose? Yes, picking the wrong QB would be a setback. But how much of a setback is picking “safe” positions while waiting for Godot? Nothing is going to take the gamble out of picking the QB. Andrew Luck? Want to wait 25 years for another once-in-a-generation “sure thing”? Everything said by our team, whether true or not is for competitor, not fan, consumption.

  3. Talis_Redstar says:

    In my opinion Texans need sure things on the Offensive line, just as much as a good QB. Carr didn’t pan out, but the Oline of that day was utterly, and completely atrocious. The way i’ve always looked at it, when the QB gets hit its 90 percent the Oline’s fault, and 10 percent on the QB for not reacting either faster enough or smart enough.

    I’ve been a Schaub Fan, and continue to remain one. Yeah his last season was bad, but something people easily over look, and/or tend to forget is that on picks that went against Schaub, most of those picks were made from outstanding defensive plays. People like to hammer on Shaub as if he just tossed the ball to the defensive player almost on purpose. He didn’t go back and look at the picks, and i’d say on a high percentage of them, the defensive player made the right read, and adjusted accordingly so that he was at the right spot.

    Now yes part of that is on Schaub, but another big part of this was also on Gary Kubiak, whom i’ve loved as the Texans coach and hated to see him let go. However, Kubiak’s lack of spontaneity, and keeping defenses on their toes with play calling didn’t help Schuab, yates, or Keenum.

    When I can sit there and pretty much know what the coach is going to do, on the next play and/or series of plays then guess what, the other team has known this, and has had packages and set ups already in place and practiced.

    Strengthen the Oline in its weak spots. Make sure you have the linemen that in those clutch moments, at those crucial times will leave it all out on the field to do all they can, penalty free, to give the QB time to make a play.

  4. Shaun Nelson says:

    I think the biggest mistake made in this offseason is hiring Bill O’brien. In my opinion he is opinionated, obstinate, and defensive. From the interviews I have seen, he is closed minded and old school. He lacks creativity. Oh great, give me another TALL quarterback, because you have to be tall to succeed right? (Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Fran Tarkenton, Doug Flutie) Don’t let him use his feet, ever, and don’t give any levity to the fact that a mobile, strong armed quarterback of 6′ or 6′ 1″ might be your answer. Get creative witht the position, not predictable.

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