Houston Texans: The thing backup QB A.J. McCarron brings to the table

Houston Texans quarterback A.J. McCarron (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Houston Texans quarterback A.J. McCarron (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans have signed A.J. McCarron to a one-year deal, thankfully ending the Brandon Weeden-era. What does he bring to table? Let’s look.

The Houston Texans have continued to meander through free agency filling some holes with the signings of Tashaun Gipson, Bradley Roby and Briean Boddy-Calhoun but the recent move of signing A.J. McCarron to the roster to a one-year, $3 million deal is one where they’ve actually made an improvement at the position.

You know it and I know it.  The Houston Texans have needed to improve at the backup quarterback position for quite some time.  I had wondered why the team was so dead-set at offering Brandon Weeden — who is 35-years-old now — the reins of being the primary backup called up when his traits are so different from Deshaun Watson‘s.

I have nothing against Weeden as his story of making to the NFL at age 28 is nothing short of inspiring.  It goes to show that age is nothing but a number and one can still make an impact regardless.

I thought to myself that if Watson were to get injured, there would be absolutely no continuity to the season and the Houston Texans would seriously take a step back with Weeden under center.

It was painful message that the Houston Texans were sending to the fan base in regard to such an important position.  The franchise was putting themselves in a situation to where if Watson did get hurt or had to miss a significant amount of time, the season would be doomed.  With so many fans making investments in either their time or money in this team, that cannot happen so I’m glad that Bill O’Brien and Brian Gaine banded together and decided to switch gears.

Besides, with the wear and tear that Watson has been taking as of late, the No. 2 position has just as much a priority as the No. 1.

McCarron, a 2014 fifth-round pick out of Alabama, has some wheels and I’m sure he can run a 40 in just slightly under five seconds.  He can be a dual threat just like Watson and I hope Bill decides to swap him in at various points throughout the season.  I wish I would’ve seen more trick plays executed last season but when you have Watson under center, his ability to create something out of nothing allowed O’Brien just let his quarterback do his thing.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), McCarron had 37.2 offensive grade,

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54.2 passing grade and a 40.9 run grade through just 12 snaps in 2018 for the Oakland Raiders.  Those numbers are hardly impressive but if given the opportunity I think McCarron will truly have an opportunity to shine.

PFF also has McCarron ranked No. 1 in adjusted completion percentage which is at 100 percent through four dropbacks.  Yes, I know it’s an extremely small sample size but it definitely indicates his potential if he gets the call.  Moving the chains and not turning over the football is important as he only has two picks to his credit in his five seasons in the NFL.

McCarron, 28, has completed 87-for136 passes for his career for a completion percentage of 64 percent.

I’ll take that any day and I’m truly glad that he was able to fall into the Houston Texans‘ lap.

Who knows what Tim Kelly has planned with McCarron in the mix?  I don’t think you’ll see him relegated to the bench full-time but I do honestly think the team is going to use his traits to their advantage.

We’ll have to keep an eye out.

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