Well, the joke is always that when the Texans are "On The Clock" during the NFL draft, that is when the networks go to commercial. Generally, I think there is a view that something doesn't exist unless it happens near the northeast media markets.
That said, I think individually people have different views on that. Personally, I don't care one bit about it. "Lack of respect" blahblah is good to hype people up, but you get respect by winning and succeeding. Winning takes care of everything.
Not that I'm under any illusions that the music selection isn't tied to some marketing surveys the Texans or the NFL conduct, but in the event they are taking requests, here are a few: Judas Priest - You've Got Another Thing Coming; Springsteen - Born to Run; Black Sabbath - Paranoid; Doors - Break on Through; McCartney - Live and Let Die; Guess Who - American Woman; BTO - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet; Mötley Crüe - Home Sweet Home; Steppenwolf - Born to Be Wild.
As for quarterback, I think what O'Brien said before the draft is what he meant. That the way they evaluated the quarterbacks wasn't just the big three. That each of the QB prospects had strengths and weaknesses, enough that there were a lot of good quarterbacks to choose from, depending on what you specifically valued.
In watching camp, you can completely see why they picked Tom Savage. If you didn't know any of these guys' stories, and you just were watching them throwing against air, skill wise, he just looks more like a starting NFL quarterback than the others. Nice mechanics. The ball comes out like a rope, even in bad windy conditions. He can make all the throws, and has the strongest arm I've seen in a Texans camp. (Yes, tallest Hobbit sort of thing to say). Obviously his size. Comes from a part of world that develops QBs. Nobody was recruiting him to be a safety, for example.
Hard to eval him from college because his college career was unorthodox and his line was pretty terrible last year, but there were moments you could see what they saw. Why he was a good value where they got him.
O'Brien's offense is very involved, so it's not just a question of physical skills. But whoever he drafted, he was going to have to pretty much rebuilt in the way he needed them to be built for a very mentally intensive offense. So there was never going to be a Let Johnny Be Johnny kind of quarterback pick.
So I think Tom Savage actually is the round peg in the round hole. The pre-draft view of him was that he could be a good quarterback if he went to a place with good quarterback coaching, and this might be the best place he could go. O'Brien needs a guy who can make all the throws.
Foster, I think, could fit in most systems. He blocks, has good vision, can catch the ball out of the backfield. He's mentioned that he likes the offense because he is going to be doing more pass catching. I am not sure that Foster will have the TD numbers that he had in the previous scheme just because the old OC had such a strong preference for the running TD if it could be done.
I asked J.J. Watt about the concern that under Crennel's defense, he is going to have fewer sacks. He wouldn't bite on that, and basically said, I don't care what people think and just watch. (Few players are talking much detail about anything they are doing, which I believe is part of the redoubled emphasis on team first, and less me me me talk. No way that J.J. Watt this year would talk about that 20 sack thing like last year even if he had it as a goal).
I think nationally, there's a view that Crennel is going to try to fit guys in spots they don't fit well in, and that more local people are saying that Crennel can be creative with his players to take advantage of their skills.
Will be interesting to see how quickly they can develop their front 7. The defensive line with the departure of Antonio Smith is very young. Usually young is tough on defensive linemen, because few can have the kind of immediate success that J.J. Watt had. It's a grown man position.
So as far as fair is concerned, like most everything, this is wait and see.
I have been saying this for quite sometime now but I think it is worth repeating for the umpteenth time.
Johnny Manziel is going to get some one fired. I'm just not sure if it's the person who takes him or the person who passes on him. I think he is the biggest risk early in the draft just due to the fact that he is the biggest boom or bust pick early on. I think he is going to be a stud but I also could see him crash hard.
With that said, I think a bold move is needed for the Texans and I think they should take him.
If I had an idea whether Bill O'Brien had a track record for molding his offense around the skills of his talents as opposed to demanding his talents to fit within the boundaries of his system, then I'd recommend a quarterback. The two I'd consider are Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel.
I like Bridgewater the most among the passers in this class. One of the flaws I see with the NFL's evaluation process is a tendency to magnify certain attributes to the point that it overshadows flaws that could be "knockout" factors that prohibit prospects from transitioning to the NFL. At the same time, the NFL doesn't trust the value of prospects average physical attributes and excellent on-field skills.
There's an understandable arrogance within the NFL where it needs players to prove their football intelligence can translate a notch upward in the same way that the league is often skeptical about college systems making the transition to NFL playbooks. Bridgewater's game fits this collective skepticism in the same way there was some with Drew Brees, Joe Montana, and Russell Wilson.
Forget the pro day and the anonymous executives who are critiquing Bridgewater's leadership skills and "it" factor. The combination of the quarterback's smarts, focus, work ethic, accountability, and toughness are as good as any prospect at the position that has come along in the past decade. NFL teams don't have to have cameras and media in the room during interviews or reveal the results of intelligence and pscyhological examinations the way they grant access to workouts.
This behind-closed-doors part of the process gives teams a chance to use it as a rationale to downgrade a player for reasons it may not feel comfortable explaining to the public. Bridgewater's singular flaw is his deep velocity, which based on my film study is correctable because there's opportunity for the QB to drive the ball more than he's shown on tape.
Arm strength and velocity are two areas quarterbacks routinely improve with weight training, and sharpening of throwing technique. What's difficult to improve is pocket presence, anticipation, creating when the play breaks down, and the toughness not to go into a shell when the going gets tough. Bridgewater possesses these qualities in abundance.
Why I think Bridgewater should be the pick, but isn't my overall choice for the Texans is that coaching staff and front office. If O'Brien and Smith are not sold on running a west coast style offense and want to lean harder on a player with a rocket arm then the closest option who fits that bill is Manziel.
The Texas A&M; quarterback may frustrate quarerback purists who nitpick technique or coaching traditionalists who want players who run their system like a replacable cog in a machine, but there are enough coaches and systems in the NFL that would be excellent fits for this young quarterback.
Manziel is the more vocal leader and traditionalists of the NFL will have more confidence in his style than Bridgewater, who is quieter. However, Joe Montana was a quiet leader who commanded a football team's respect and was vocal when needed. Bridgwater is also a far more polished player when it comes to reads and executing a variety of plays from center.
That said, if the player doesn't fit the direction of what the team wants from a quarterback it makes more sense to invest in a player who does. It means Khalil Mack or Jadeveon Clowney are the best match for what the team is doing. Mack is the more polished player in terms of technique, but Clowney's athleticism, feel for the game, and upside in a situation where he'll benefit from J.J. Watt's presence is too tempting to ignore.
Some of the better teams in football build on a defensive strength and then either come around to molding scheme to a quarterback (Seattle, San Francisco) or find a free agent who sees the opportunity to be that missing piece (Denver, Vikings with Favre).
Give me Clowney not only for his upside and the chance to build on a strength, but also because I'm not sure if O'Brien and Smith are willing to be flexible with the long-term offensive vision. If so, Bridgewater might be there late in the first round to trade up.