It was far from an easy decision for the 25-year-old Brock Osweiler, but one that landed him on what he calls "the top of a mountain" in his career, "a dream come true."
"It was a very difficult decision," Osweiler said Thursday in his press conference. "In fact, it was the most difficult decision of my life. I am very thankful, I am very appreciative for everything that the Denver Broncos organization has done for me. However, in saying that at this point in time in my career, I feel that the Houston Texans give me the best opportunity to be successful."
The decision to leave Denver and sign with Houston came down to the wire, according to Osweiler. He hadn't made up his mind until Wednesday. Once he did, he picked up the phone and personally called Broncos General Manager John Elway.
"That was a very hard phone call to make, but I told John out of the respect for him and everything he's done for me he deserved it," Osweiler said.
Osweiler spent his entire career as a backup to Peyton Manning, but started seven games in 2015 when Manning was dealing with a foot injury. The former second-round draft pick out of Arizona State was selected as AFC Offensive Player of the Week after winning his first career NFL start at Chicago on Nov. 22, completing 20-of-27 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and a 127.1 passer rating.
It seemed as though his time had come to take the reins in Denver. But just days after Manning's retirement announcement, Osweiler made the decision to leave as well.
"With the coaching staff with Coach (George) Godsey and Coach (Bill) O'Brien and the offensive attack they have here I feel that their offense fits my skill set very well and I am excited to play in that offense and that is ultimately what brought me here to Houston," Osweiler said.
The new Texans quarterback started his first press conference with a prepared statement in which he thanked a list of people from his family to his agents to all his former coaches, including Adam Gase.
"I would definitely be wrong if I did not thank Coach Adam Gase," Osweiler said. "Coach Gase, he is the one that taught me how to work and prepare on a daily basis every single day in the National Football League, so Coach Gase thank you for that."
Gase, now the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, served as Osweiler's quarterbacks coach during his rookie season in Denver and as the Broncos offensive coordinator during the next two before holding the same position in Chicago under John Fox. Bill O'Brien has compared Gase's system to his own, saying the two are "similar" with their time in New England. Gase worked for Josh McDaniels during his head coaching tenure from 2009-10. McDaniels and O'Brien both spent time on Bill Belichick's coaching staff as quarterbacks coaches and then offensive coordinators for the Patriots.
For Osweiler, it won't be a stretch to learn O'Brien's system since he does have experience. He also did his homework on O'Brien, now entering his third year as the Texans head coach, and says he's ready to play for him.
"It's one of the reasons why I came here," Osweiler said. "I did hours and hours and hours of research on all the teams that I was considering and one of the notes I made about Coach O'Brien is passion and fire. I expect Coach O'Brien to coach me hard. I told him today I said, 'I know you're a phenomenal football coach and I know your background and where you come from.' I said, 'I want to get everything out of you I possibly can.' I expect to have him coach me very hard, but that's how you get better."
In his first Texans presser, Osweiler seemed to mirror all the traits that O'Brien enforces to his players, preparation, hard work, practice. And even though it's only March, Osweiler is ready to get to work.
"I have great respect for the Houston Texans organization and what Mr. McNair has created here in Houston," Osweiler said. "I am extremely humbled. I am honored, but most of all, I am extremely excited to get to work. After speaking to Coach O'Brien today and some of the other coaches, I wish spring ball started tomorrow."
Check out a collection of the best shots of QB Brock Osweiler.