Aaron Rodgers has the resume to tell reporters “you don’t know” when the multi-time All-Pro and his offense are being picked apart.
It might be unfair because some do realize what’s going on with the Green Bay Packers, and it’s more than fair to point out that Rodgers and Co. are nowhere near where they once were as a unit.
That said, the cachet is there for Rodgers to get the benefit of the doubt over some twentysomething with no real football background putting together GIFs of Green Bay’s troubles.
Brock Osweiler, on the other hand, doesn’t have Rodgers’ reputation, or talent for that matter, yet he took a similar route when it came to responding to critics panning his slow start in Houston after signing a four-year, $72 million contract in the offseason.
Osweiler has been rather pedestrian over his first three games in South Texas and looked particularly bad against New England in Week 3 as Bill Belichick confounded the inexperienced signal caller with simple cover-2 looks during a 27-0 New England victory.
“I think that’s hilarious, to be honest with you,” Osweiler said when asked about criticism he’s getting for the way he is seeing certain defensive looks. “The critique comes from a whole lot of people that don’t know my read. …They’ve probably never actually sat in an offensive meeting in their life, let alone a quarterback meeting in the National Football League”
The blame-the-messenger tactic Osweiler is using there doesn’t address the real issue, however, in that plenty of critics who have sat in those types of meetings believe similar things and the Texans, despite being 2-1 and in great shape in a very weak division, are already panicking to a degree.
That’s because they’ve scored just three touchdowns in three games and have struggled mightily when in the red zone.
“We really have to go back as a coaching staff and really look at what we did, learn from it, and try to fix it,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “We really need to put our heads together and get after it.”
For O’Brien that meant taking the playcalling away from offensive coordinator George Godsey so one sacrificial lamb has already fallen in an effort to protect Osweiler just three games into his stint with the organization.
And Osweiler is either blind to that or in denial.
“I feel like I’ve done a great job of progressing in this offense,” he said. “I feel like I get better every week.”
Although, not implicitly stated, the plan moving forward is likely to simplify things for Osweiler, similar to what’s going on with Trevor Siemian in his old stomping grounds in Denver, as well as Dak Prescott in Dallas.
“I’m very comfortable with my reads,” Osweiler claimed. “Certainly, I know I need to clean up my ball security issues of having four interceptions through three games, and that’s something I will clean up.”
After watching Osweiler play, some may find that self-assessment hilarious.
-John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com and TodaysPigskin.com. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @JFMcMullen — Also catch John each week during the NFL season ESPN South Jersey, ESPN Southwest Florida, ESPN Lexington, KDWN in Las Vegas, and check @JFMcMullen for John’s upcoming appearances on SB Nation Radio, FOX Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio as well as dozens of local radio stations across North America.