Connections and Trust Lead Texans to Kizer or Bust?
- Updated: March 13, 2017
The Houston Texans need a quarterback, shocker. Bill O’Brien has commitment issues with the quarterback position as well. So, how do these problems get solved? Find a talented quarterback who Billy O trusts through thick and thin. To find a quarterback to trust Bill needs some trustworthy intel from people who know the player well and know O’Brien well. Finding a quarterback to select makes it easier with the right resources. These resources are why the Houston Texans may select Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer.
Let’s back things up to 1979, in Denver, Massachusetts, where Bill O’Brien is graduating from St. John’s Preparatory school. Thirty-five years before he will become an NFL head coach. In that same class, current Notre Dame head coach and longtime childhood friend of O’Brien: Brian Kelly. The two grew up through grades school together and played football together in high school. The relationship between the two head coaches has been well documented dating back to when O’Brien began coaching at Penn State. The Texans head coach has referenced his relationship with the Notre Dame head coach on various occasions citing it as a great tool for evaluating.
It would be a fair assumption to believe that without such a close knit bond the Houston Texans would not have traded up the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL draft for Will Fuller and Nick Martin, two former Notre Dame football players. Having Brian Kelly as their coach gave Bill a unique and honest insight into their games as he and Brian are so close. Kelly has O’Brien’s full trust which has lead to the selection of the two and maybe even led to Bill not selected other Fighting Irish players due to a concern talked about amongst the two coaches. Speaking of the 2016 Texans draftees, both played an integral part in the Kizer led offense two years ago when Kizer got to start over the injured Malik Zaire.
Deshone Kizer worked day in and day out calling plays with Kelly’s guidance, making line adjustments, which he had total control of in college, with Nick Martin, and throwing pro route trees to Will Fuller for a year plus. If there is a coach more equipped to get the best scouting information on the Notre Dame signal caller, it is Bill O’Brien. The coach who currently coaches the two closest positions on the field to the quarterback in college and who grew up with and has full faith in Kizer’s head coach, has all the resources he needs to evaluate Kizer.
As a prospect, Kizer has all the tools to be successful in the NFL if he gets in the right situation. He has played in a pro style system at Notre Dame and will have less of a learning curve than the spread style quarterbacks. Kizer is somewhat mobile, has a strong arm, throws a tight spiral, and is a very bright young man. You can see his interview with Coach Mariucci here.
That being said, he lacks consistent footwork, pocket presence, stays too fixated on his first read and was benched in key situations this last season. These big flaws may cause him to fall to the Texans and the 26th overall selection in the first round of this year’s draft.
With all of the physical attributes Deshone posses he is attractive to many franchises. Many scouts like Mike Mayock have him as the signal caller with the most upside in this year’s draft. Making a first round selection on a quarterback means that franchise must fall in love with him to select. Many may have a hard time doing so with Kizer, as not many have what the Texans have with their direct ties to the young signal caller.
If O’brien wants to invest in a pro style 6’4 230 pound strong armed quarterback, he has all of the resources to answer every question he needs. What is most important here is that Bill fully invests in a quarterback and trusts him. He and the Texans have had major trust issues with their quarterback position since the former Nittany Lions head coach go hired on as head coach. The Texans learned that they could not buy trust as they attempted last offseason when they handed former quarterback Brock Osweiler the richest contract for the position in team history. With the starter of this season not being Brock Osweiler for opening day, it will mark the fourth straight season a new quarterback was under center come opening day for O’Brien.
This franchise needs consistency at the most important position in all of sports and consistency can be directly attributed to trust from general manager Rick Smith and Bill O’brien towards the position. The lack of consistency starts with talent but ends with trust, if the coaching staff does not believe in the man under center they will not allow him to grow through the fire. It is time to find that signal caller to start all 16 games for the first time in Bill’s tenure as head coach.
Being able to rely on Brian Kelly for information is a huge plus for Kizer’s chances of becoming a Houston Texan. Having two former Fighting Irish on your current roster who directly attributed to his growth and can attest to key questions is also going to factor positively in the scouting process. Lastly, having your current center and number two target having that experience with Kizer will come handy in training camp and would be a huge aid in Kizer’s development. If O’Brien trusts the sophomores judgement and perceived developmental curve aid, it could be yet another reason why O’Brien pulls the trigger on Kizer. Out of all the quarterbacks to become available during Bill’s tenure, this young gun slinger may be the easiest to evaluate and fastest to trust. Don’t sleep on a Kizer-Texans draft day marriage.