The Texans started OTA’s today and Bill O’Brien got the ball rolling with the quad squad of quarterbacks vying to be the starter come opening day kick off. Today we’ll look at each one and try to guess who the starter is going to be. During the post-OTA media confab OB1’s stance on the starting position is simple “Wide open”. He really believes in competition bringing out the best in the players and for the team. So far, he’s been a man of his word. Let’s take a look at each candidate to start.
First up is veteran free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick.
This 7th round draft pick was selected by the St. Louis Rams in 2005. Texans fans will recall his biggest moment in Houston came when he brought the Rams from a 24-3 halftime deficit to a win replacing injured starter Jamie Martin. From there he’s bounced around from there with stops in Cincinnati, Buffalo and Tennessee. If there is one thing about Fitzpatrick that stands out, he’s one smart cookie. He graduated from Harvard, scored a near perfect on the Wonderlic test and while his on the field performance has yet to land him a consistent starting job he is a capable player able to adapt to new offenses.
That being said, he’s not a long term solution, at 32 he’s at best a stand in until Tom Savage is ready perhaps later this year or early next year. Fitzpatrick understands this reality, but expect him to give his all to be the starter for your Texans come opening day. Traditional football thinking would lend you to believe he’s the man to start and the man to beat in this years camp.
Right on the heels of Mr. Fitzpatrick is last years heartbreak story, Case Keenum. He started against Kansas City after Matt Schaub was benched and T.J. Yates failed to spark the team. While Keenum never managed to lead the team to victory, he was hamstrung by a head coach who was in a free fall and panic mode and the running game had collapsed with injuries to Foster and Tate. That Kansas City game was an eye opener, but as the season progressed opposing teams realized that all they had to do was rush and he’d panic. Of course lacking a solid front line and no running game as mentioned early didn’t help things either. From this end of things, it seemed Kubiak was trying to make Keenum play like Schaub instead of working with the young man to get the most out him. If anyone deserves one shot at redemption, it’s Keenum, and I for one and pulling for him to take the reins and be set free. The OB1 offense being instituted looks to play right into Keenum’s strengths and the starting slot is more his to lose then Fitzpatrick to keep. Keenum made fans hearts break after he had games slip away that saw him amaze us with deep passes to Andre Johnson, then get crumpled by unrelenting blitzes.