When the Houston Texans held the No. 1 overall pick in May’s NFL draft, owner Bob McNair told ESPN.com he knew what he would be signing up for if his club had selected in-state sensation and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel out of Texas A&M.
“I knew with Manziel it would be a frenzy,” McNair said. “And probably even if he didn’t succeed at being an outstanding NFL quarterback for a couple of years, the fans would have been frenzied.”
There were groups of fans that were doing just about anything and everything to convey their wishes to the Texans’ hierarchy, that they wanted the team to draft Johnny Football.
Houston didn’t cave to public pressure the last time they had a chance to draft a Texas college football hero/quarterback at the top of the draft.
Not taking former Texas star Vince Young worked out OK for the Texans. Despite feedback from fans expressing a desire for Young or Reggie Bush, the Texans selected North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams.
McNair said the Texans thought about Manziel but moved on from him.
“Long term, we had questions as to how well he’d fit in our system doing what we wanted to do,” McNair said. “At the end of the day, you’ve gotta do what you think is best for the team. If you do what’s best for the team and the team succeeds as a result of it, the fans are going to forget those other things.”
McNair said fans get attracted to certain players because they confuse being recognizable with being good for the franchise.
“When they say they want you to get Manziel, it’s because [they think] with Manziel you’ve got a better chance to win. Or with Vince Young, or with Reggie Bush, or whoever, it’s because they think you’ll be a better team with that person.”
The Texans did draft a quarterback in May. But it’s doubtful that former Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage will move the dial much with the fan base … at least not yet, anyway.