Brock Osweiler returned to the Denver Broncos over the weekend after a long, sad, profitable journey through middle America. Why would the Broncos sign such a bad quarterback after all their preseason games were completed? That’s a serious question. I don’t have an answer. Apparently neither does Broncos head coach Vance Joseph.
Actually, the praise didn’t end there.
That is the nicest thing anyone besides Brock Osweiler has said about Brock Osweiler in well over a year. Here’s what John Elway had to say about Osweiler after he spurned Denver to sign with the Texans last year. Via Denver Broncos.com:
“We’ve stayed true to our philosophy of building a team with players who want to be Denver Broncos and want to be here. That’s been a successful approach for us.”
Again, that was in 2016. Since then the Houston Texans paid the Cleveland Browns to take Osweiler away and then the Browns paid Osweiler to do anything as long as it wasn’t play football for them. Now, Osweiler apparently wants to be a Denver Bronco again. This makes sense as no one else wants him. But why does Denver want Osweiler?
A popular refrain in NFL circles is that familiarity is an important part of players getting jobs. Here’s a brave anonymous executive in a MMQB piece last week:
“It’s not something we discussed, so to talk about reasoning, we’re talking hypotheticals. … Certainly he’s good enough to be a backup. … But we have a good No. 2, a guy that fits our system that we have familiarity with. He’s here for the same reason that [Dolphins coach] Adam Gase goes back to [Jay] Cutler. We know exactly what we’re going to get from the guy. Physically, Kaepernick’s more talented, but familiarity with a backup at that position, knowing exactly what you’re going to get, is more important than the ‘wow’ factor.
And Osweiler certainly has familiarity with the Denver Broncos. He played for them from 2012 to 2015. Here’s a picture of him wearing a Broncos’ uniform.
But does the familiarity go beyond that image?
Broncos head coach Vance Joseph was coaching defensive backs for the Texans and Bengals during Osweiler’s unremarkable time with Denver. Quarterbacks coach Bill Musgraves was with the Vikings, Eagles and Raiders.
Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was with the Broncos in 2012, but then became the head coach of the Chargers. During his rookie season, Osweiler appeared in 5 games and completed 2 of 4 pass attempts. Of course, the 2012 Denver Broncos weren’t running Mike McCoy’s offense. They were running Peyton Manning’s offense.
In summary, the only two possible reasons the Denver Broncos signed Brock Osweiler are a.) he previously played for the Denver Broncos and b.) is tall. Those are some good reasons to get yet another NFL job.