As we enter the abyss of the dreaded off-season once again, it’s time for NFL teams to make tough personnel decisions that will resonate throughout the 2015 campaign. For the Houston Texans, the biggest question mark to be put to rest will be deciding who will be calling the signals in the huddle when September rolls around.
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The quarterback question in Houston could have been a moot point had the Texans’ front office folks made a different choice a couple of short years ago. In spring of 2012, the Indianapolis Colts cut their future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning loose in favor of a youngster out of Stanford…one Andrew Luck.
At that time Manning showed interest in coming to Houston and working with then-Texans’ head coach Gary Kubiak. As it turns out, though, Manning’s interest was refused in favor of Matt Schaub…insert serious head scratching here.
Of course hindsight is always 20/20, but a quick review of the performances of the two field generals shows that perhaps the Texans made a boo-boo in rebuffing Manning.
Schaub did set a slew of franchise records for the Texans, including most fourth quarter comeback wins (11) and most career wins, with 46 total. On the flip side, though, Schaub also set the mark for most career interceptions (78) and most interceptions in a single season with 15. That was before he departed Houston for the Oakland Raiders in 2014,
After landing with the Denver Broncos, Manning led his team to the playoffs where they lost to the Super Bowl-bound Baltimore Ravens in overtime. He followed that up with an appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII and a trip to the divisional round of the playoffs in 2014. In fairness, it is worth noting that although Manning has a knack for getting his team to the post season, he has faltered in big game situations of late.
But I digress…
The future of the Texans’ quarterbacking duties will be decided by competition between the signal callers on the roster, according to Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien. That list currently includes Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum and Tom Savage.
However, Mallett is a free agent and might not be in a Texans’ uniform when the team returns to workouts. He, Fitzpatrick and Savage are all working their way back after injuries in the 2014 season.
Don’t worry, Texans fans. Your head coach knows what the team needs most this offseason.
"“There’s really no more important position than that,” O’Brien said last week on Texans Radio via HoustonTexans.com. “We all understand that. That’s a position that’s very important, that handles the ball on every single play.”"
If there is one thing that Texans’ fans can be sure of, it is that O’Brien knows a thing or two about working with quarterbacks after his five years in New England. It will be interesting to see who ends up behind center for the Texans when the 2015 season gets underway.