As the woeful Houston Texans sit at 2-6, any type of glimmering optimism would be a godsend for a team that has failed to live up to their lofty preseason expectations. Between Matt Schaub’s erratic passing capabilities and the plethora of injuries that have decimated this teams intimidation factor, the Texans have been the epitome of an accident waiting to happen. Yet, despite all of these unfortunate setbacks, the Texans appear to have found a young and tenacious quarterback who has the potential to allow this team to take the next step it is striving to accomplish.
As an undrafted free agent, Keenum was a sleeper pick out of the University of Houston who was deemed as a late draft pick due to his small stature at an even 6 feet. Even with his impressive college accolades, which included throwing for the most passing yards (19,217) and touchdown passes (155) all-time in the NCAA, Keenum was still viewed as a liability because of his limited mobility. However, even with this type scrutiny and doubt, Keenum proved that he exudes both intelligence and toughness whenever he steps on the field. While Keenum’s NFL debut resulted in a devastating loss to the defensive juggernaut Kansas City Chiefs, he still remained poised and consistent throughout the entire game.
However, Keenum’s inspirational success didn’t stop there. In his first home game start, Keenum blew out his previous performance when he threw for three touchdowns passes for 350 yards. Not only did Keenum avoid throwing any careless interceptions, he proved that he had both the arm strength and accuracy to throw the deep ball consistently, something that most draft analyst believed Keenum was incapable of doing in the first place. Thus far, Keenum has valiantly proven that he can has the arm strength and an instinctual quick release to throw continual first down passes from play to play (he averages 10.53 yards per pass).
It seems that any doubts that were placed upon Keenum’s shoulders before he entered the NFL have been both an underestimation of his innate skills along with his unwavering determination to be the prolific passer that he believes himself to be. While Keenum will undoubtedly have his up and downs as his career progresses in the NFL, he has come out of the gate with a confident mentality that he can do anything that is asked of him. Despite his size, Keenum has the heart and toughness of an athlete who can overcome his physical shortcomings and can even use his compactness to quickly evade oncoming defenders. The fact that the Texans have such a supremely confident quarterback in their midst who doesn’t make excuses and who leads by example is a rarity that should be coveted by this ailing franchise that is in desperate need of a hopeful spark.
While the Texans playoff aspirations may have been all but extinguished after their most recent loss to the Indianapolis Colts, they now have an intriguing quarterback who they can now rally behind in the games and potentially years to come. As the rest of the regular season unfolds, Keenum will undoubtedly continue to build off of the success and accolades that he as already obtained. In time, Keenum could be the breakout starter that came out of nowhere to resurrect a relatively new franchise that is looking to make a name for itself as a competitive and relentless organization.
In the end, the despite the Texans losing ways, diehard fans have a reason to be hopeful for a future that now looks surprisingly bright even when it looked inevitably bleak only a couple of weeks ago. Although Keenum has a long road ahead of him and will have constant skeptics nipping at his heels throughout his career, he has made it abundantly clear that he can not only ignore these harsh criticisms but that he can also rise above them when it matters most. At the end of the day, Case Keenum has become an inspirational and courageous young leader for this desperate football team and will continue to garner the appreciation that he deserves when he steps onto the field week in and week out.