Houston (CBS Houston) – A lot has been made about Bill O’Brien’s connection to UCF head coach George O’Leary. Not only has O’Brien coached under him, but O’Leary spent the last four years coaching Blake Bortles.
Bortles is one of the three quarterbacks the Texans could take with the number one overall pick – along with South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The main argument against taking a quarterback with the first pick has been the declaration that there isn’t a ‘franchise quarterback’ in this year’s draft.
“I think a franchise quarterback comes out once every ten years and he came out last year in (Andrew) Luck,” O’Leary said on MaD Radio. “The ones I see succeed are understudies.”
O’Leary isn’t saying Bortles, Bridgewater, or Manziel won’t be successful NFL quarterbacks, he’s merely pointing out that none of them are the lock Andrew Luck was. Despite acknowledging the absence of a franchise quarterback, he does think Bortles has the tools to become a productive NFL signal caller.
“Blake has all the things you’re looking for in a quarterback as far a size and mental capacity to handle a lot of things,” O’Leary said. “But that first year is tough because those guys are moving a lot faster than the college guys.”
The learning curve is always steep for rookie quarterbacks. Some – like Andrew Luck – handle the transition smoother than others. Bortles, Manziel, and Bridgewater will all undergo growing pains in their first year, but O’Leary thinks Bortles is well equipped to handle the transition.
“Blake is going to be fined tuned to what he needs to get done in the pro ranks.” O’Leary said. “He’s a quick study and a quick learner.”
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