The Texans' dire quarterback situation led them to sign Brock Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million contract and hope that Peyton Manning's backup in Denver can become a legit franchise player in Houston.

Osweiler was serviceable in seven starts for the Broncos last season, but he put up replacement-level numbers, completing 62 percent of his throws for 1,987 yards, 10 touchdowns and 6 touchdowns. Still, through the first few weeks of offseason workouts in Houston, coach Bill O'Brien is more than happy with what he's seen.

"So far, he's been exactly what we've expected," O'Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. "He works extremely hard. He's a very bright guy. He's a good communicator with his teammates. He's very hard on himself.

"He's a fun guy to be around, a fun guy to coach -- very competitive on the field," O'Brien continued. "He's been exactly what we expected to this point. We all know the nature of the deal. We all have to go out and coach well and play well when the season starts. That's the key. That's what we're building toward."

The Texans targeted Osweiler after passing on Blake Bortles in the 2014 NFL Draft, and then stumbling through last season with the likes of Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett and Brandon Weeden. Shortly after Osweiler inked his deal, Texans owner Bob McNair suggested the change of scenery would allow the 25-year-old quarterback to blaze his own path.

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Brock Osweiler is looking to blaze his own path in Houston. USATSI

"I guess the thing that really helped us is that he does like our offense, and coach [Bill] O'Brien gives the quarterback a little more leeway at the line of scrimmage and all quarterbacks like that," McNair said in late March. "I think that helped. And then of course he had played behind Peyton [Manning] and with [executive vice president of football operations/general manager] John Elway there [in Denver]. Their shadows were quite large. He was still going to be under that and compared to them. He has a chance to be a real hero in Houston. And we've got a good ball club so I think all those things entered into it."

Put another way: Osweiler will face pressure in Houston he never had to worry about in Denver.

"I still have a long way to go," Osweiler said recently of O'Brien's system. "There's a lot I still have to learn. There's a lot I still need to rep on the practice field and things we need to talk through."

And that knowledge and understanding of the system -- coupled with the on-field results -- will have a lot to do with whether Osweiler emerges as a proper NFL quarterback or becomes the latest name in a long line of disappointments for the Texans.