Former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke is sure he knows what new Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien wants in a quarterback, and Weinke says that is good news for Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.
Weinke -- who won the Heisman Trophy at Florida State in 2000 before moving on to the NFL -- coaches the high school team at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., during the fall. In the winter and spring, he trains NFL hopefuls at IMG's complex. He currently is working with Bridgewater after coaching quarterback Michael O'Connor last fall. O'Connor signed with Penn State, O'Brien's former employer, and O'Brien was heavily involved in O'Connor's recruitment before he left the Nittany Lions.
"No question, Teddy would fit Bill O'Brien," Weinke told USA Today Sports. "I know what Bill is looking for in a quarterback because he recruited my high school quarterback to Penn State before going to the NFL. Bill is looking for the total package."
Is Bridgewater "the total package"?
"Teddy has all the intangibles to be special," Weinke said. "He's similar to Russell Wilson in terms of elusiveness, sensing danger with pocket feel. His accuracy is as good as I've ever seen."
"When the time comes, we're going to make that decision," Bridgewater told USA Today. "I'm willing to outwork anyone to prove why I should be that top guy."
"I was pretty much an arm passer," Bridgewater told USA Today. "Chris helped tremendously improving my technique."
Weinke is sold on Bridgewater.
"Teddy loves the game. He's a gym rat," he said. "He's a No. 1-worthy franchise quarterback."
Bridgewater's appearance at the combine will be intriguing even if he doesn't throw. He was listed at 6-foot-3 and 196 pounds by Louisville, and some analysts worry about his lack of bulk. His weigh-in will be heavily scrutinized, and it's expected that he will be in the 205-pound range.
Houston seems likely to take a quarterback with the No. 1 pick, and Bridgewater, UCF's Blake Bortles and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel are the top three available. While Bridgewater has a connection to O'Brien through Weinke, Bortles' is more direct. UCF coach George O'Leary is O'Brien's mentor -- O'Brien worked for eight seasons under O'Leary at Georgia Tech -- and Houston recently hired George Godsey as its new quarterback coach. Godsey was UCF's running back coach in 2010, when Bortles redshirted as a true freshman. Manziel has appeal in two ways. One is his on-field success. Another is that Manziel, a native Texan, would be a huge P.R. boost for Houston.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.