Houston Texans camp: who to watch on offense

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Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett (15) rolls out of the pocket against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

If you are anything like me, you enjoy watching the young guys come out on the field during preseason games and see how they perform, especially at quarterback. It would be great to see the Texans run their first string offense for a few series and turn it over to a young guy like Tom Savage so we could sit back and see how much he has developed after one season.

While it will still be nice to see the development of the second-year pro, he will not be the main person getting a look by the coaching staff for the Houston Texans. Instead, coach Bill O’Brien, and all the fans will be watching both Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer compete for a starting job.

Mallett provides a tall, prototypical pocket passing quarterback. At 6’6″ and pushing 250 pounds, Mallett has great size, but below average mobility. He is also coming off a season ending pectoral injury he suffered after starting only two games for the Texans in 2014.

While watching the Arkansas product it will be important to see how much command he has of the offense. If Mallett has confidence, can make quick decisions and push the ball downfield with his rocket arm, it will be hard to sit him down.

If he shows any hesitation and allows defenders to use his lack of mobility against him, it could start to sway the scales against him.

Another thing to monitor with Mallett will be how well he has recovered from his torn pectoral muscle. He has had plenty of time to recover, but it will be important to see that he does not favor the inury or play too cautiously because of it.

On the flip side, there is Hoyer, a quarterback often called a game manager. He won’t wow people with his stats, and his arm is good, but not great like Mallett’s.

Where Hoyer has an advantage over Mallett is experience and mobility. With an offensive line that is shaky outside the tackles, both of these could prove to be vital.

To win the job Hoyer must prove that he is the more savvy veteran, and that he can buy time with his legs. It will also be interesting to see if the subpar season he had in 2014 was due to the lack of talent around him in Cleveland, or if it is in fact an indictment of him as a passer and leader.

While I believe Mallett has more upside and should be the starter, the camp battle will be fun to watch and see if I am correct in my belief that Mallett is the better option for the team.

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