Texans quarterback battle: Hoyer impresses, Mallett throwing lasers


The Texans quarterback battle continues as the team approaches the end of their first full week of training camp. Both Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer have taken turns at quarterback with the first team, and neither has created any noticeable separation.

More from Toro Times

Mallett was brought to Houston last season in a trade from the New England Patriots, and it seemed heading into the offseason he would be the starting quarterback for the Texans going forward. Instead, the team brought in another one of head coach Bill O’Brien’s quarterbacks from his Patriot days, Brian Hoyer.

Hoyer was the first of the two to receive time with the first string offense this camp, and so far the reviews on Hoyer have been good. The only obstacle to Hoyer running away with the starting gig is that Mallett has done his job as well.

This Friday was Mallett’s turns with the first team offense, and while the reviews were mixed, there was one thing noticeable, Mallett has a rocket for an arm.

"It was Ryan Mallett’s day with the ones and there were definite start and stop moments with that first crew. One of Mallett’s first throws during team was a laser across the middle to DeAndre Hopkins but he couldn’t make the catch. It was a ball Hop catches nine and half times out of ten. Washington’s defensive backs may have gotten a hand in on the ball but it’s still a catch he should, and typically does, make. Mallett did hook up with Cecil Shorts III again, but missed the mark to Nate Washington a couple of times during the day. Washington did make a catch during the ones’ Move the Chains team drill, one of the only catches during that period. As I said, it was an up and down day."

The lack of connection between Mallett and Washington could be due to the two men being new to working with one another, and in time they will probably begin to hook up. The dropped catches are going to happen, but all the quarterback can do is continue to sling it in there and trust his receivers to make the play.

Mallett’s biggest strength is his ability to do just that. He has one of the strongest arms in the league. What he is doing to impress though is learning to throw with a little more touch and not rely simply on pure strength when throwing.

As for Hoyer, he is making it look like his subpar 2014 season in Cleveland had more to do with the lack of talent around him than his own skill set. He has been poised and confident while running the offense. On Friday he took his turn with the second string offense and again was very impressive.

"The story for the Texans today was Brian Hoyer leading the second offense during the day. Since minicamp and OTAs when one of the two quarterbacks took snaps with the second group, it was a struggle at times. But, today, Hoyer lifted the two unit throughout the day. During the team’s first team period versus Washington’s nickel scheme, he threw a dart to Keith Mumphery for a first down. He then lofted one to Jonathan Grimes for another long gain.Later during an 11-on-11 Move the Chains drill, Hoyer threw a bomb down the field and couldn’t have thrown it any better. I mean he dropped a dime right into the hands of EZ Nwachukwu. Unfortunately, EZ couldn’t squeeze it and make the catch. But, the positive was the deep ball accuracy of Hoyer. That ball was just brilliantly thrown down the field. Other than the goal line fade, Hoyer threw to DeAndre Hopkins on Thursday here in Richmond, that deep ball was perhaps the best throw I’ve seen him make. Trust me, that ball should’ve been caught."

Granted Hoyer did this work against lesser defense than Mallett worked against Friday, but the point is both guys are making the throws they need to make. The Texans look to be in a much better place than they were a year ago while trying solve the quarterback dilemma. Hopefully for the Texans, whoever winds up winning the job continues their solid play into the regular season.

Next: Arian Foster: Surgery done, hopes to return in three months