Count me as one of the people who have bought into Ryan Mallett as a starting quarterback in the NFL. I understand he has limited game film out there and his stats don’t scream Canton, only 400 yards two touchdowns and two picks in 2014.
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But let’s not focus so much on the game where he struggled against Cincinnati for the simple reason being, he wasn’t healthy. I know it’s a game where you play through pain, but a torn pectoral muscle is not pain. That is an injury, and it affected his play during that contest.
So the one game Mallett was truly healthy was against Cleveland when he posted a 95.3 quarterback rating with 211 yards and two touchdowns. Now, he wasn’t perfect in the game as he also threw an interception, but we saw glimpses of promise from the young signal-caller.
That is the Ryan Mallett that Texans fans should be excited about, because that is the guy who will line up under center completely healthy in 2015. No matter how many people want to say there is a competition between Ryan and the newly signed quarterback Brian Hoyer, this is Mallett’s job to lose.
Mallett came to Houston for one reason, to be the quarterback of the future. An injury may have slow this process down, but while he has been patiently waiting to get back on the field, he has been showing all the signs of being the strong and positive leader the Houston Texans need him to be.
Drew Dougherty wrote a piece on the Houston Texans website about how Mallett has been a strong presence for the Texans despite the way his season ended.
"“In years past, other Texans have been injured in the second half of the season, and they were never seen or heard from until they signed with a new squad the following spring. Not Mallett. He was on the sidelines for the final five games of the year, as the Texans went 4-1 and nearly got into the playoffs. In January and February, he’d duck in and out of the cafeteria. Whether finishing a workout or on his way to the training room, he was already around. Mallett even showed up with Bill O’Brien and his teammates at Texas Children’s Hospital less than two weeks ago, decked out in Texans gear and a smile, to play with young patients and spread a little cheer.” – Dougherty"
Mallett said that while the camaraderie was huge that he really was also trying to keep mentally sharp by being around as much as possible. He has taken on his role with this team the right way, and I believe he will not only be the Texans starting quarterback on opening day, but he will keep that job for several years to come.