ASU's own Brock Osweiler will thrive back in Denver

The former Sun Devils' quarterback may regain the starting job in Denver

Former ASU Sun Devil and current Denver Broncos backup quarterback Brock Osweiler has just begun his second stint in Denver.

After spending the first four seasons of his career in Denver, the former ASU quarterback signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Houston Texans. This deal made him one of wealthiest quarterbacks in NFL history.

In his first season with Houston, nothing went according to plan for Osweiler as he would throw more interceptions than touchdown passes and have a total quarterback rating of 55.3.

"In the case of Osweiler, when he signed in Houston based on everything I know on the situation, Brock was signed by the owner and the GM (general manager)," Troy Renck, Broncos insider and sportscaster for ABC Denver 7, said. 

"Bill O'Brien wasn't even there when they signed Brock Osweiler. I think he was on vacation, and that's a problem when the head coach isn't on board," Renck said.

After a tumultuous season with the Texans, Osweiler was traded with a second-round pick and a sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fourth-round pick.

"What went wrong in Houston was pretty simple and you're seeing it this year," Renck said. "Bill O'Brien is just deaf on quarterbacks. Overly critical of the position, he's wish-washy. For whatever reason, he does not communicate well with his quarterbacks." 

Osweiler's stint in Cleveland did not last long as the Browns cut him on Sept. 1 and gave the starting quarterback position to rookie DeShone Kizer.

After getting cut by the Browns this fall, Osweiler resigned from the team that originally gave him the opportunity to start games in the NFL.

Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos are in a very peculiar situation as a franchise.

After winning the Super Bowl in the 2015 season, the Broncos would go 9-7 and miss the postseason by a game the very next season.

Osweiler's mega deal with the Texans and Peyton Manning's retirement left the Broncos to turn to their second-year, seventh-round pick, Trevor Siemian.

Though Siemian may have had a solid season for a first-year starter who was drafted so late, he was still 21st in the NFL for quarterback ranking (QBR) and 25th in the NFL in completion percentage.

When asked about Siemian's performance last season, Renck said Siemian "just did not make enough plays."

If the Broncos want to make another run to the Super Bowl or even get into the playoffs in a tough American Football Conference (AFC) West they need improved play at the quarterback position, and Osweiler might be what they need.

If Siemian struggles in the first couple of weeks or gets injured, it may be a smart decision for new Broncos head coach Vance Joseph to replace Siemian with Osweiler, who played his best football in the Mile High City.

"They brought Brock in for a specific reason; he won games for them," Renck said. "They don't win the Super Bowl without Brock Osweiler. He went five and two as a starter and there are still a good chunk of guys in the locker room who remember that." 

Two seasons ago in Denver, Osweiler threw 10 touchdown passes with only six interceptions. One of his five wins included a big comeback win against the 2014-15 and 2016-17 Super Bowl champions: the New England Patriots.

Osweiler was impressive enough in his seven Denver starts that the Texans decided to give him a giant four-year $72 million dollar contract.

Although Osweiler struggled mightily in Houston and could not make the Browns' regular season roster, the former Sun Devils quarterback had his best days in Denver, and a return home to Colorado might be exactly what he needs to turn around his career. 

Reach the columnist at and on twitter @Arizonasian.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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