Two games into the Houston Texans season and fans are already calling for Davis Mills to be replaced. While it’s true he hasn’t done much to win fans over, he’s only played in 13 NFL games. The issues with Mills are only part of the Texans’ problems. Fixing them will take time and when rebuilding, patience is the key.
Texans: Quarterbacks take time
While it’s abundantly true that the quarterback position is the most important position on the field, this isn’t the Texans’ only significant need. The jury is still out on Mills at quarterback, and in spite of what many fans may think, the organization shouldn’t give up on him quite yet.
Players like Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are few and far between, and even Peyton Manning struggled his rookie year. So Mills’ development won’t happen overnight, and that’s why everyone needs to be patient.
Hall of Fame and Super Bowl champion quarterback Troy Aikman said that being an NFL rookie quarterback is everything it’s cracked up to be, and worse. It’s fruitless to compare Mills to any previous quarterbacks, but in terms of what he is experiencing in a rebuild situation, Aikman may be the most reasonable comparison and a quarterback his team didn’t give up on.
Mills has accuracy issues, in part to an “average at best” offensive line. So did Aikman.
Aikman endured an 0-11 season his first year as an NFL starter. Mills actually has a couple of wins under his belt early. The point of the comparison is not to say Mills can be another Aikman, but to say, like Aikman, Mills is having to develop on the field.
When a quarterback is developing on the field, it takes patience. Fans are not patient. Many times general managers and front office personnel aren’t patient, but sometimes good things come to patient teams. The Cowboys were patient with Aikman, and San Francisco was patient with Alex Smith, and the Bills with Josh Allen, so it has been shown if patient, success can happen.
Can Davis Mills become a great quarterback? That’s a question we can’t answer, especially after only 13 starts in the NFL. If you look at the three quarterbacks mentioned earlier, you’ll find very poor numbers in their first two years, and that’s 25-32 starts. It can take time.
Trust the Process
A rebuilding team with a young quarterback has to trust the process. As with most teams early in the process, they are not a single player away, not even the most important position on the field. The Texans need to continue adding talent through the draft. This isn’t a one or two-year process.
If Texans fans want a team that can win long term, they’ll need to wait. If the organization wants a winning team long term, they’ll trust the process. If panic moves, or succumbing to fan pressure leads to quick decisions and knee-jerk moves, this organization will never get out of the 20-year rut they find themselves in today.