Competition is tough. Stiff competition is even tougher when one’s chances of winning diminish despite every accentuated step you take, with every courageous move you make.
Since the conclusion of the draft, local football talk has ramped up in regard to who will fill those coveted, limited slots at the quarterback position. It’s arguably the most important position on the field — it’s a position that is not for the meek, it’s for the strong-willed, leaders of men that they must be.
It’s a subject that gets us Texans’ fans riled up over who should fill those coveted slots. Believe me, I’ve been involved in many heated discussions in regard to who it will be.
Now we know.
You know, I liked T.J. Yates. He was one of those scrappy guys who knew how to fight hard to eke out a win. He would do everything that was asked of him to ensure his success but the team’s as well.
This man is still University of North Carolina’s career passing leader, topping more than 9,000 career yards in his time with the Tar Heels!
But as far as talent, Bill O’Brien believes that he does not quite fit with the offensive strategy that he wants to eagerly embed for the upcoming season.
Yates’ was just as graceful with his exit as he was on the field during his peak performance.
Here’s what Yates said on the news:
Can’t thank the Texans organization and the city of Houston enough! We’ve had some great memories and I will always call Houston home.
— T.J. Yates (@TJ_Yates) June 17, 2014
Lest we not forget that this man was instrumental in leading us to our first playoff victory just two seasons ago!
Ya’ll all remember how he got the job in the first place. It was 2011 — Matt Schaub‘s right foot had exploded and backup Matt Leinart got mowed down by then-Jaguars’ defensive end Jeremy Mincey in a late season game to a point to where his shoulder was similar to genetic makeup of silly putty, ruling him out for the season…Ouch to say the least but for T.J., it was his time to rise and to shine!
You know what happened? T.J. happened! He made the most out his opportunity by leading the team down field in position for a field goal just before half time, when Leinart went down. He would spend the rest of the game, managing well enough to assist beating the Jags’ 20-13 in that game.
Now Yates never got cute with his QB play — he usually would stick to the script, make good decisions and would use his legs when he’d have to when he got into trouble. With the offensive line we had that year, he was protected rather well, like a monarch in a fortress.
But his biggest moment was Week 14 of that season against the Bengals, when things were looking dim for the Texans to clinch the AFC South coupled with the franchise’s first playoff berth. But T.J. persevered in perhaps his most important drive of his career — almost improbable.
It was 13-19 with two minutes to ago with 80 yards to cover. This would be a true test to see how good his skills were at running the hurry-up. Boy, did he! Not only he quickly got the Texans down field but topped it off with a missile of a six-yard pass to then-Texans’ wide receiver Kevin Walter for the tie and the eventual win after the extra-point attempt by then-place kicker Neil Rackers was good! Yates finished up going 26-for-44, passed for 300 yards, threw two touchdowns and one pick…outstanding!
And it was all good for T.J.
Although we didn’t get the ending we wanted that season, we knew what could be in store for T.J. after a incredible performance in a role that he probably didn’t expect to play in such a short time.
Over time, we got accustomed to fans donning T.J. Yates jerseys, T-Shirts, his public appearances about town…it was T.J. mania!
But No. 13 is no more — at least in this incarnation.
But we will never forgot what you’ve done for us, you made this franchise proud and you will go and make another one just as proud.
Word is that there’s a job lined up for you!
To T.J. Yates’ Agent — be prepared to hear your administrative assistant buzz in with a phrase I’m sure you’re familiar with.
That would be “Gary Kubiak on Line 1.”
Farewell Taylor Jonathan Yates, it has been grand and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. The book about your NFL career has not been written but only a chapter completed.
It’s now time to turn the page and start a new chapter. Take care, God bless and thanks for the memories.