There is no quarterback controversy with the Houston Texans, but that didn’t stop head coach Gary Kubiak from seeing what he has in his back up quarterbacks. Kubiak gave starter Matt Schaub the day off on Wednesday, and he came away impressed with the performances from back ups T.J. Yates and Case Keenum.
“I told the guys that it says a lot about your team when the coach can sit down 12 veterans and watch the way you practiced today,” Kubiak said, according to Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle. “We’re going to have guys get hurt. We’re going to have guys miss games. We can never use [injuries] as an excuse. That was my message today. I liked the way we practiced.”
Yates has some quality experience, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that he is doing well in OTAs. As a rookie, Yates led the team to their first playoff win in franchise history, but he didn’t get a chance to accomplish much in his sophomore season.
However, the way Yates has been performing in the offseason has to make the Texans feel comfortable that they have a quality back up.
“T.J.’s career has been interesting because it was like, ‘Boom!’ – so many great things happened [at the end of his rookie year] and his confidence was sky-high,” Kubiak said. “Then you come back your second year and play the preseason but not play but about 20 snaps in the regular season, and it seemed like nothing went right in those 20 snaps. That’s part of being a backup quarterback.
“We just need to get him going again. He’s working hard. He’s doing good stuff and getting pushed extremely hard. I’m expecting him to continue to grow as a player.”
Schaub has a history of injury problems, so it is a smart decision by the Texans to get Yates work with the first-team offense in case he has to play during the season. Houston is one of the most talented teams in the league and they have the Super Bowl in their sights, so they need to make sure they are prepared on every level. Kubiak is doing just that and we will find out down the road if his strategy will pay off.