Editor’s note: ESPN announced they hired Brock Osweiler as a college football analyst on July 28.
DENVER (BVM) – No matter how good your starting quarterback is in the NFL, having a reliable backup is crucial. Injuries are unpredictable and teams have to be prepared if something happens to their star QB.
This was the case for the Denver Broncos in 2015 when Brock Osweiler answered the call when Peyton Manning went down, keeping their Super Bowl aspirations intact.
Before the NFL
Growing up in Montana, Osweiler was a star not only in football but basketball as well. As a rising sophomore, he committed to play basketball at Gonzaga University under head coach Mark Few. Not too long after that, Osweiler changed his mind and wanted to play football at the next level.
He won the 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year in Montana and decided to take his talents to the west coast at Arizona State.
Osweiler did not get his chance until his junior season, but he took advantage of it when he did. The 6-foot-8 quarterback threw for over 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns, putting him on the radar of NFL scouts.
He was selected 57th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2012 NFL Draft, being the fifth quarterback taken.
There was not much playing time for Osweiler in his first three seasons in the league. And going into the 2015 season, it was looking much the same. That was until a four–interception performance from Peyton Manning, and then being ruled out due to injury the following week.
In three years, Osweiler had 30 passing attempts, but the Broncos were forced to give him the keys to their playoff hopes. And he was everything and more they could have asked for.
In his first career start on Nov. 22 against the Bears, he threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns leading them to victory and earning AFC Offensive Player of the Week. Denver decided to ride the hot hand even when Manning was healthy, leading them to a 4-2 record until he was benched after a poor half in Week 17.
While he did not contribute in the game itself, Osweiler was a vital part to the team hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy.
While it was a sour finish to Osweiler’s season, he had done enough to wonder if he was capable of being a franchise QB. In the eyes of the Houston Texans, he was.
Osweiler entered free agency the following offseason and cashed out with a four–year, $72 million contract with Houston.
Even though he rode the bench for three and a half seasons, Osweiler got himself generational wealth. While many probably did not know who he was at the beginning of the 2015 season, the expectations were high for him entering the 2016 season.
Unfortunately for Osweiler and the Texans’ organization, it did not go to plan. He did not make it a full season before he was pulled for backup Tom Savage. But with Savage getting hurt in Week 17, Osweiler got back in, leading Houston to the divisional round of the playoffs before losing to New England.
Following the 2016 season in Houston, it was the beginning of the end for Osweiler. After only playing one year of his four–year deal, the Texans traded Osweiler to Cleveland by attaching a second–round pick to get rid of his contract. On Sept. 2 of the same year, he was cut, never playing a game for the Browns.
After bouncing around with another stint in Denver and then in Miami, Osweiler announced his retirement in October 2019 at age 28.
Osweiler stays out of the public eye, having no social media presence. The last he was heard from was in an interview with Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post last November. At the time, he lived in Arizona with his wife and two kids with no activity in the game of football. But maybe in the future, he will try his hand at getting back into the game in some capacity.
“I’ve entertained a few things, coaching quarterbacks on a 1-on-1 basis, but nothing has come to fruition yet,” Osweiler told O’Halloran. “When (our daughters) get a little older and their friends become cooler than their dad and have their own stuff going, I would love to try and find the right avenue to be associated with the game.”