The Texans just spent a first round pick on Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson to help solve their quarterback woes, but the best option for the 2017 season is already in-house in Tom Savage.
Tom Savage, the former fourth round selection of the Houston Texans in the 2014 NFL Draft has talent. No one denies that. The dude can sling the football with the best of them.
Yet, the former Pittsburgh Panther has only managed to start a measly three games in his three-year NFL career. That has less to do with Savage’s ability to play on the field and more about him being healthy enough to do so.
Savage missed the entire 2015 campaign due to a sprained shoulder. There are some, like myself, who believe that if healthy, Savage would have played over both Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett at some point that season.
There is a part of me that believes Savage’s performance might have been enough to convince the Texans not to sign Brock Osweiler, but that is neither here nor there.
Back to the point…
Before the Texans selected Watson, I wrote an article urging for Savage to start. Those points still hold true today, however some things have changed that need to be addressed.
Savage has shown both promise and talent.
That promise started in the first preseason game for the Texans last summer against the San Francisco 49ers where Savage displayed a good feel for the pocket, while showing good accuracy and a pop on his throws. Granted, it was against the 49ers’ second team.
Savage is the veteran. Sure, he only has three starts to his name. He also has three years worth of experience in the Texans’ offense. He showed a lot of promise against the AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars last season. You can see that tape here.
When Savage had time in the pocket as he did against the Jaguars, he was borderline elite in the short to intermediate ranges. He had one bad read and throw the entire game in those areas.
Savage did what Osweiler could not and the whole team responded well to his play and accuracy in the short and intermediate ranges.
John Harris, of the Texan’s official team website broke down how the offense changes with Savage.
Giving Watson a ‘redshirt’’season is ideal on a couple of levels.
From the outside looking in, Watson appears to be the real deal. With reported off the charts work ethic and a drive to be great, he should be the franchise quarterback he’s expected to be.
Just not yet; the quarterback in training needs time.
Watson comes from a spread offense that had pro routes but lacked some pro reads and styles that will take time for him to adjust to the NFL game. Which is perfect because he doesn’t have to start in Houston.
The Texans understand this, and with other variables being held true, named Savage their starter pre and post draft.
Savage has worked with the first team all throughout OTAs. Naming him the starter was the right move on a few levels.
For starters, with Savage backed by coaches and management it helps bring a much-needed aspect to the Texans’ quarterback room: stability.
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The quarterbacks room will be “fun and peaceful” Savage said after the Osweiler trade this offseason as well. Which just adds to stability for Watson and himself.
The Texans don’t need a franchise savior at quarterback in 2017 to go deeper into the playoffs. With Savage on contract for one more year why not give him the reigns and give Watson some time?
Keeping the rookie off the field and the veteran on the field helps to finally bring stability to the offense. This is beneficial for the present and future Texans’ teams. Both of which are vying for a Lombardi Trophy.
A trophy that could be won with Savage in 2017 or Watson in years after.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet at me @manfreonair.