Houston Texans: Let The Backup QB Battle Begin!


With nearly a week’s worth of training camp activities underway, the Houston Texans will have to start making decisions on who will fill the upcoming season roster before the start of the 2014 season.

So many players, so few slots…

One of the most important battles that we will see in training camp is the one for the backup quarterback job.

The role of the backup quarterback is highly underrated and at any given moment one can be called up for duty because of variables like injuries, poor quarterback play, whatever.

In the 2013 season, one could infer that just about every irregularity that you could imagine warranted the switch in the quarterback position.

We went from Matt Schaub to T.J. Yates to Case Keenum to — gasp — Matt Schaub once again.

It was a game of musical chairs and I’m sure many Houston Texans fans out there were not liking the nuances of that game.

The quarterback position is the most important position on the football field and there needs to be some stability at the position.

After all, they’re a leader of men and the entire offense must flow through that one individual first.

Sounds like a high pressure job?  Well, someone’s got to do it!

Who is that guy for the Texans?

That’s none other than Ryan Fitzpatrick — also known as the Amish Rifle.

Although I feel otherwise, Bill O’Brien tapped him as the starter earlier this summer after nearly a month of organized team activities.

He felt he is the best man for the job.

"“When I came into the 8:00 a.m. team meeting this morning I told the team that Ryan Fitzpatrick is our starter,” O’Brien said June 17th. “He’s a guy that’s earned the job and the other three guys are working hard and battling it out for number two.  All four of them have put in a lot of good work, but at the end of the day, Ryan Fitzpatrick is our starter.  He’s had a good off season.”"

It’s interesting how time progresses as it does…

More from Houston Texans

The very next day, faster than T.J. Yates could take a bite out of his favorite burrito at Chipotle, the Texans announced that he’d be traded to the Atlanta Falcons for linebacker Akeem Dent subtracting one from the equation of the skirmish to be the No. 2.

It’s now down to two…

After all of the dust has settled, hometown hero Case Keenum and our newly-minted 4th-round draft pick in Tom Savage are now in the hunt.

The stories of how both of themselves got to the NFL is nothing short of amazing!

These are two guys who are worked extremely hard to get where they are now and I expect nothing less out of them as training camp progresses.

We all know Case Keenum’s story as he spring-boarded himself into relevance at the University of Houston, eventually becoming the NCAA FBS Division I all-time passing yards leader with more than 20,000 of them!

I still feel Keenum should be the starter and I talked about that this spring, there’s still an opportunity if Fitz doesn’t cut it.  Take a look at it here.

It will be interesting to see Savage battle as well — he’s used to it.  In college, he had a starting job, lost it, seeked another at a different school, didn’t get it and finally found a home his senior year with Pitt where he threw for nearly 3,000 yards, throwing 21 touchdowns to nine interceptions!

I also talked about Savage shortly after he was drafted, take a look at it here.

The only caveat that I add from when I wrote that back in May is that he’s just too good to go onto the practice squad.  Another team would snatch him up in a heartbeat!

It’s highly probable that the Texans carry both quarterbacks — we’ve done so before — and it’s just a matter of who gets the job.

Each is suited to run Bill O’Brien’s high-octane — refreshing if you will — offense that uses multiple tight end sets and heavy use of the running game.  We will have many weapons at the tight end position and C.J. Fiedorowicz is just what the doctor ordered with his build and exceptional blocking capabilities.

The running game will be limited if Arian Foster has any health issues this season.  But, you never know, the guys battling for the backup spot are hungry for that opportunity to thrive in this new system.

All I know is that only one person can get the gig and I’m placing my full vote of confidence in Keenum — he’ll get it done.

Let the battle begin!  All right Texans’ fans, sound off on who you think will be the victor for the that coveted No. 2 spot!