DENVER (AP) — Brock Osweiler wanted to follow Peyton Manning's path, not live in his shadow.
And that, he said, was the reason for his remark that drew so much ire back in Denver last spring.
Osweiler swears he meant no disrespect to Denver when he said at his introductory news conference in Houston that he chose the Texans over the Broncos in free agency because they gave him the "best opportunity to be successful."
With his homecoming on tap Monday night, a game pitting two flawed 4-2 division leaders, Osweiler acknowledged it might not have been the wisest choice of words. But he's not apologizing for saying it, just expressing regret that it came off wrong in some quarters.
After spending four seasons as Peyton Manning's backup and presumed successor, Osweiler shockingly left the Super Bowl champs for a four-year, $72 million offer from Houston 48 hours after Manning's tearful retirement.
His "best opportunity to be successful" comment was seen as one last jab at the team that had benched him for the playoff run. A dash of salt in the wound of uncertainty he'd left behind in Denver, the team was suddenly jolted with an unexpected search for a new quarterback.
"I don't know what he was thinking," Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said this week. "We've won a lot of games here, so I would think we'd give him the best place to win."