To this point in training camp both quarterbacks, Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer have had opportunities to play with the first teams for the Houston Texans. Both came away with positive reviews overall despite flaws from each player.
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The flaws are to be expected in the early going, but when talking about two guys attending their first training camp for Houston, the early returns are encouraging. John Harris of the team’s official website had some positive things to say about both players and how they look in comparison to what Houston fielded during the camp last season.
"I didn’t think either Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett dominated the practice session and each had good and bad moments throughout the day. Hoyer missed a few corner routes that were open in the end zone while Mallett struggled with some of the short to intermediate throws. That said, they’re light years ahead of last year’s quarterback group. Light. Years."
Being light years ahead from what the team had last season is extremely encouraging, especially when you realize that the primary quarterback from last year finished with a quarterback rating of 95.3 and had 17 touchdowns to only eight interceptions.
ESPN’s Tania Ganguli also had positive praise for the position as a whole after she witnessed both Hoyer and Mallett working with the firs team players.
"…Sunday, when Mallett spent most of his day with the first team, just as Brian Hoyer had done the day before. In an early first-team offense vs. first-team defense session, Mallett completed six of nine throws. One of those six might have been a sack, but as sacks aren’t allowed right now in training camp, Mallett got the ball out under pressure to Nate Washington.Among the three incompletions, one was nearly intercepted by linebacker Max Bullough, who dove for it. It wasn’t reaching a receiver one way or another. Another play was a win all around by the defense — Mallett threw the ball with J.J. Watt‘s arm wrapped around his waist, running back Arian Foster dropped the pass and linebacker Brian Cushing essentially tackled Foster for good measure.The day’s crowd pleaser came on a deep throw from Mallett to DeAndre Hopkins — a signature Hopkins one-handed touchdown catch. The throw was nice and the catch was, too. In fact Mallett had nice touch on several of his throws — he had a good one that should have been complete to C.J. Fiedorowicz."
The most surprising thing in the early going for me was the fact that Ganguli goes on later to say that it was actually Hoyer attempting more of the deep passes than Mallett, who has been trying to rely more on touch than simply arm strength this season.
"Especially early in practice, one difference I noticed from Saturday to Sunday was that Hoyer seemed to go for it deep more Saturday than Mallett did Sunday. Overall from Mallett I’d say it was one of the better days he’s had that I’ve seen."
Both quarterbacks still have a lot to prove in the NFL as neither has ever fully entrenched themselves as a starter for a team. Hoyer was able to start for a brief spell in Cleveand last season, and Mallett managed to get the job in Houston long enough to play two games and suffer a torn pectoral muscle.
All eyes will continue to be on both players as the team and fans anxiously await a decision by head coach Bill O’Brien as to who will be under center come opening day.