It wasn’t as smooth or as polished, and it didn’t flow with the same Elvis-style drawl. But quarterback Brock Osweiler’s first press conference with the Texans seemed a lot like quarterback Peyton Manning’s last press conference with the Broncos.
Osweiler, the only one of the four players introduced by the Texans to show up in a suit, emphasized his intention to work hard. Three days after Manning, voice breaking with emotion and pride, talked wistfully about the fact that no one could outprepare him, Osweiler said, “I promise you that I will come in this building every single day, rain or shine, and I will give it everything I have. Nobody will outwork me and nobody will outprepare me.”
With Manning, it felt raw and real. With Osweiler, and with all due respect, it felt like words, at least for now.
But it will feel like words until there are deeds to back it up. Peyton Manning didn’t become known for working hard because he told people he plans to work hard. Peyton Manning worked extremely hard, and people noticed it.
Osweiler won’t have a choice but to work hard, given the presence of coach Bill O’Brien. The quarterback said he embraces O’Brien’s R-rated temperament.
“I love it,” Osweiler said. “In fact that’s one of the reasons that I came here. . . . One of the notes I made about Coach O’Brien was passion and fire.”
Osweiler’s ability to placate O’Brien can be attributed to lessons learned from former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who is known for a much less exuberant demeanor. Osweiler said Gase “taught me how to work and prepare on a daily basis every single day in the National Football League.”
It’s what Osweiler will need to do immediately as a member of the Texans, even if he can’t directly work with O’Brien and the rest of the coaching staff until the offseason program begins. Osweiler said he wishes that was coming tomorrow.
The day will come quickly enough, as will the 16 days this year when he’ll have an opportunity to prove that he has indeed as hard as anyone to get ready for the challenge of consistently winning NFL games.
By paying him $18 million per year, the Texans are betting that he will. And while Osweiler is working hard throughout the offseason and into training camp, the little silver ball will be rolling around the boundary of the roulette wheel.