Bill O'Brien loves big-handed quarterbacks

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
INDIANAPOLIS -- The buzz Friday morning was about former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel being shorter than expected, with huge hands.

Manziel's hands measured at almost 10 inches -- 9 7/8 to be exact -- while he was just shy of 6 feet tall.

Good news for Manziel, who would love for the Houston Texans to take him first overall: coach Bill O'Brien doesn't care too much about height, but he does love a quarterback with big hands.

"It’s really important because of the grip of the football, especially in bad-weather games when you have to grip the football," O'Brien said. "I think it’s an important trait for a quarterback to have."

O'Brien's apathy for the height stat stems from the fact that it's not complete enough to offer a full picture of the player's physical attributes.

"Is he a skinny 5-11 or is he a stout 5-11?" O'Brien said to a question that was not specifically about Manziel. "Does he have bigger hands or smaller hands. All those things go into it, I think. It’s not just what his height is."

Beyond physical qualities, this is what O'Brien wants:

"Our quarterback will always have to have intelligence, toughness, the ability to think quickly, be a good teammate, be a hard-working guy, be a guy who throws the ball accurately. Be a guy that can perform under pressure. So many of these games come down to the last two minutes of the game, we gotta make sure the guy that we have is a guy that can perform under pressure."

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter



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