On Sunday, we may have witnessed the low point of Peyton Manning’s career, one he may never recover from. Manning had a 0.0 passer rating with four interceptions in the Denver Broncos’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs before being benched for backup Brock Osweiler in the second half. Now, with Manning reportedly dealing with serious injuries to his foot and ribs, Osweiler has been announced as the starter in the Broncos’ upcoming game against the Chicago Bears this Sunday.
So, to prepare for his first career NFL start, let’s familiarize ourselves with Osweiler, starting with what you probably already know about him: He’s super tall.
Osweiler stands at an immense 6’8, tying him with early-’90s Seahawks bust Dan McGwire (Mark McGwire’s younger brother!) as the tallest quarterback in NFL history. One look at the above photo and you see why his height is an advantage at the position: He can easily see over the offensive line. Of course, a bigger body often also means a lack of quickness, and Osweiler is indeed a pocket quarterback with a slower-than-average release. The former disadvantage is something the Broncos offensive line has been dealing with since Manning came to town, but the latter will be a new challenge.
Osweiler declared for the NFL draft after three seasons at Arizona State, only playing his junior year as the full-time starter. But in that season, Osweiler put up respectable numbers: He completed 63 percent of his passes for over 4,000 yards, with 26 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. He played mostly out of the shotgun, but showed good pocket awareness and arm strength. His size and his flashes of ability led the Broncos to pick him in the back half of the second round in the 2012 Draft, even after they had signed Manning a month before.