Fans of the Houston Texans have been waiting a long time for a franchise quarterback. Like a long time. And they’ve waited even longer for a superstar signal caller.
Read these stats and then memorize them, if you already haven’t. 400 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. That is everything we know on quarterback hopeful, Ryan Mallett and it just might be enough to earn him crowd favor.
In one way, Houston fans have gotten their wish. Last season was liberating from the miserable 2-14 collapse in 2013 but there was still a feeling of desperation in the air with no long term answer for an ariel attack. I tip my hat to Ryan Fitzpatrick, he came in and learned his fifth offense in his NFL journeyman career and he didn’t allow for that as an excuse.
He played his guts out and after 2-14, losing your head coach and defensive coordinator, that’s just about all you can ask from a guy. He led the team, best he could and even though his year ended with a broken leg, I credit him with laying a foundation for the winner of the Mallett/Hoyer competition battle to rise up and take hold of the reins this year.
It was a breath of fresh air. People actually looked forward to Sundays for a change.
So here we are amidst an exciting battle for the head position on a playoff capable football team. With a somewhat easier schedule ahead, (at least easier than in recent memory) there’s more reasons than not to remain hopeful, rather than to expect the worst.
Mallett’s upside seems to give him the slight edge over former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer. With Hoyer, you know exactly what you’re getting. Despite his hot start last year, Houston was able to nab him in the offseason simply because in the last third of the season he ranked as the worst quarterback in the NFL with a rating of 76.5.
The Hoyer acquisition was an excellent insurance policy to patch things up if the Houston camp give Mallett a shot by default and realize during their week 10 bye week that things simply aren’t working out with the Tom Brady understudy. Hoyer would then start and serve as a Fitzpatrick upgrade, giving the Texans’ front office more serviceable time to find another replacement, yet again.
But no matter how much we plead Mallett’s case over and over again that he has the potential to be a superstar, this Qb battle has the makings to run the entire course of the offseason and nearly through all four preseason games. This could be a way for head coach Bill O’Brien to mask his decision (or indecision, as some skeptics might believe) of who he believes in more.
It’s really this simple. In my opinion, if you’re not going to start Mallett eventually, then trade him. Seriously. What did we bring him here for if not to gamble an entire season on him?
He’s already had three years in the league and the only way I could think him sitting on the bench another game would make sense would be if the starting quarterback in front of him were Peyton Manning. And although there were rumors, it’s at least not a feasible thought for this year.
So, get excited but realistically know that a choice between passers won’t be handed down any sooner than week three of the preseason unless one of them suffers a serious injury or starts running plays like Bart Starr.
Neither of which are likely to happen.