Is Pitting Brian Hoyer Vs. Ryan Mallett Good For The Houston Texans?
The Houston Texans took a giant step on Monday to find their franchise quarterback. Both free agent quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer have reportedly agreed to sign with the Texans. But is pitting the two against each other actually a good idea?
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According to a recent article appearing on NFL.com, Around The NFL editor Gregg Rosenthal questioned whether the Texans’ recent offseason moves would be good for business.
"“Bill O’Brien is going to have to keep winning to keep some antsy Texans fans happy. Cutting Andre Johnson on the same day that they essentially guaranteed a competition between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer at quarterback is not a recipe to sell season tickets.”"
Some might argue that positional competition is always a good thing. But is creating a quarterback controversy? Some of the best examples being Roger Staubach vs. Craig Morton for the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1970’s. Or Joe Montana vs. Steve Young for the San Francisco 49ers in the late 1980’s?
How about Brett Favre vs. Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers in the late 2000’s? In all these instances, things seem to work out pretty well for all players and teams involved.
Of course, there are plenty of examples where these competitions didn’t work out so well. The late 1990’s Buffalo Bills Doug Flutie vs. Rob Johnson or the early 2000’s St. Louis Rams Marc Bulger vs. Kurt Warner controversy both didn’t work out so well for those teams.
A more recent example involved Hoyer last season, against first round draft pick and former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. Less than a year later, Manziel is in rehab, Hoyer has left in free agency and the Cleveland Browns were forced to sign veteran quarterback Josh McCown as insurance.
Because the quarterback position is a leadership position, splitting a team’s loyalties is a real threat when you’re talking about a possible controversy. You can also alienate a portion of your team’s fan base, if you choose one quarterback over another.
Going into this offseason, Mallett has to be seen as the odds on favorite to start in September as he’s spent a year under head coach Bill O’Brien‘s offensive scheme in Houston. He’s also only 26 years old as opposed to Hoyer’s 29.
But Hoyer is a more experienced veteran who has had a bit more success in the NFL. Mallett spent his first three years as a back-up to Patriot’s legendary quarterback Tom Brady and recorded only one pass in a regular season game during that span.
Both players have played under O’Brien before. Hoyer was a back-up with the New England Patriot’s from 2009-2011 while Bill was the quarterback coach/offensive coordinator. And Mallett was drafted by the Patriots in 2011 during O’Brien’s final season in New England.
Best case scenario: One of these Texans’ quarterback proves himself to be the better candidate during the offseason as makes himself the obvious starter.
Worst case scenario: Both quarterbacks are seen as equals and split the coaching staff, team and fans down the middle about who should start.