Texans Owner Talks Watt, Manziel, Fans

As we heard yesterday, it’s been a rough year for Texans owner Bob McNair, who endured a 10-month ordeal in which he battled two forms of cancer under an assumed name at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. However, McNair has been given a clean bill of health by the team of doctors that treated him, and was available to speak to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com about a few topics related to football and the Texans. Here are some of McNair’s notable quotes from Ganguli’s pair of pieces for ESPN:

On the possibility of using the franchise tag on J.J. Watt when his rookie contract expires:

“You’ve got guys in the Hall of Fame that have been franchised in back-to-back years. The franchise tag is worth something to the team and you can’t be afraid to use it.”

On a potential long-term deal for Watt, sooner or later:

“It’s going to be a big contract. If we can do something with him that makes sense for the team to do it early, we’ll certainly do it. It has to make sense for us. The team comes first. We want to keep all of our players. We want to take care of all or our players, but the team comes first.”

On prioritizing which players to lock up:

Mario [Williams] is gone; we just couldn’t do that. Some people said, ‘Why didn’t you sign Peyton Manning?’ Well, we just couldn’t do it. We would have had to let go of two or three of our outstanding players to create enough room in the salary cap to do something with him. Those are the decisions you have to make as you go forward. You hope you make the right decision.”

On what would have happened if the Texans opted to draft Johnny Manziel:

“I knew with Manziel it would be a frenzy. And probably even if he didn’t succeed at being an outstanding NFL quarterback for a couple years, the fans would have been frenzied. … Long term, we had questions as to how well he’d fit in our system doing what we wanted to do. 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.”

On the role that fan pressure plays in the team’s football decisions:

“Ultimately all they want to do is win. Once you win, at that point they don’t care what those decisions were; at that point, they’re happy because you’re winning. If you picked some of those other guys and you didn’t win, their response would be, ‘Why’d you listen to us? You’re losing. We’re unhappy because you’re losing.’ We respect our fans and we listen to our fans, but they don’t study the film that we study. They don’t have the information and knowledge that we have. We’re in the best position to make those decisions.”

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