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Texans' Bill O'Brien: No internal debate about drafting Johnny Manziel

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Texans coach Bill O'Brien's draft vision didn't include Johnny Manziel. (USATSI)
Texans coach Bill O'Brien's draft vision didn't include Johnny Manziel. (USATSI)

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After months of speculation, the Texans, a team in dire need of a franchise quarterback, ultimately decided to use the first-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Pretty much everyone agreed that it was the right decision, especially since none of the available quarterbacks were considered Andrew Luck-type talents.

That includes Johnny Manziel, the former Texas A&M star who some fans wanted to see in Houston if for no other reason than to erase the forgettable 2014 season that featured almost-weekly Matt Schaub pick-sixes.

It didn't happen. In fact, the Texans, who went into the draft with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates atop the depth chart and didn't take a quarterback until the fourth round (Pitt's Tom Savage). But was Houston ever considering Manziel?

According to first-year coach Bill O'Brien, who was asked this week by a Texas A&M fan if there was any internal debate about drafting Johnny Football, the answer is no.

“We spent a lot of time with Johnny (Manziel) and I had great meetings with him,” O'Brien said during a speaking engagement, via CSNHouston.com. “He is a bright guy and I really enjoyed watching him play in college on film and enjoyed talking with him.”

But for all the excitement Manziel brings, he apparently doesn't fit what O'Brien and his staff were looking for in a quarterback.

“We have a vision for our football team and we stuck to that vision," O'Brien continued. "Every decision we made in the draft we felt led to that vision and we'll see if that vision turns out the way we believe it will in whatever, a year, two years, three years. It was what we believed in and we stuck with it and we stayed disciplined in the draft and Johnny's in a great situation in Cleveland.”

That vision includes Clowney and J.J. Watt on the field at the same time, which is hard not to get excited about. It also means that the Texans are willing to go into the season without a franchise quarterback. And while a team in today's NFL isn't winning the Super Bowl without one, Houston is coming off a two-win effort; finding a long-term answer at QB is one of many concerns.

And before you say, "But they got Savage, he was a second-rounder in a lot of mock drafts!" just remember: Quarterbacks taken between rounds 4 and 7, in general, have short, low-impact NFL existences.

 
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