Josh McCown! Alas, the Houston Texans’ draft strategy for Bill O’Brien 1.0 begins to emerge, and it is growing on me.
If you saw any of the Chicago Bears last eight games last year, you might have felt that the 34-year-old McKown was the Bears’ best QB, an upgrade from the ever-promising Jay Cutler. You might even have sensed that he would also be an upgrade not only from the star-crossed Matt Schaub, but probably from the best initial year or two that might be expected from whoever might be the best of the Johnny Football/Blake Bortles/Teddy Bridgewater pool. You probably decided that McKown was definitely better than Michael Vick and the rest of the sorry lot of other QBs available via free agency or trade. You might even have decided that you would rather overpay Mr. McKown and give up your shot at the three rookies than spend another year waiting for next year.
The point is, pro football has pretty much decided that building for the future is a losing strategy, that you play to win this year and then next year you fix some more things and play to win again. Takes a good GM to pull that off, but that is a topic for another day. Texans’ owner Bob McNair may be deranged in his belief that the team is only a good coach, a good QB, and a few tweaks away from winning this year, but even Mr. McNair has to know that none of the rookie QBs is likely to be that good a QB this year. Mr. McNair certainly is aware that even once-in-a-generation QB Andrew Luck finished his ho-hum rookie season with a one-&-done in the playoffs, and that the chances of any of this year’s rookies being the second coming of Luck – or even a playoff-caliber QB – during the 2014 season, are pretty slim.
So, you overpay McKown, you draft JaWhatshisname Clowney at #1, you release Schaub, and you use the 1st pick of the 2nd round to draft the best then-remaining QB as your QB of the future, a guy you pay to sit on the bench and mature like a 2009 Chateau Latour – or better yet, an Aaron Rogers. At that point, you have a pass-rush so good that it will make cornerback Kareem Jackson appear to be almost competent, so good it will make the secondary remind you of when Joseph and Manning were healthy and before the Texans got rid of Glover Quin to make room for a non-playing coach (Ed Reed). Then you tap the phone of the Seahawks’ GM and find out the secret of picking up terrific defensive players on the cheap, in free agency and the later rounds of the draft, and you plug a few other holes. Shazaam! Super Bowl. Works for me.