SF
460x1240

Texans’ Tom Savage keeps starter’s mindset

The Texans are hoping Brock Osweiler becomes their first quarterback to start 16 games in a season since Matt Schaub in 2012.

The coaches are hoping Osweiler stays healthy and plays well enough to avoid the revolving door at the most important position on the team.


In Bill O'Brien's first two seasons as coach, the Texans have started seven quarterbacks. This season, they're hoping the buck stops with Osweiler.

But if Osweiler can't go the distance because of injury or ineptitude, Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden will be ready.

Weeden, a former first-round pick, has starting experience with Cleveland, Dallas and the Texans.

Savage, a fourth-round pick in 2014, hasn't started a game. He finished each of his first two seasons on injured reserve, but all that watching and learning has put him in position to win the backup role.

"There will never be a day in my life when I tell you I want to be a backup," Savage said Monday after another organized team activity. "My role is to compete every day like I'm the starter.

Houston Astros Evan Gattis (11) celebrates with Carlos Correa and Marwin Gonzalez after his two-run home run in the fifth inning of an MLB baseball game at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, June 1, 2016, in Houston. Where do rising Astros stand in latest MLB power rankings? Houston Texans quarterbak Brock Osweiler (17) reaches out to slap hands with tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (87) during OTAs at The Methodist Training Center on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, in Houston. Bill O'Brien: New Texans QB Brock Osweiler as advertised Houston Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry watches from the sidelines before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in Jacksonville. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle ) Texans' David Quessenberry: 'My fight is not over' LSU catcher Michael Papierski looks to the umpire for the call as Rice's Hunter Kopycinski (4) is called out at the plate in the second inning of a college baseball regional tournament in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, June 6, 2016. LSU won 4-2. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Rice beats LSU to force decisive game in Baton Rouge Regional LSU catcher Michael Papierski looks to the umpire for the call as Rice's Hunter Kopycinski (4) is called out at the plate in the second inning of a college baseball regional tournament in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, June 6, 2016. LSU won 4-2. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Rice beats LSU to force decisive game in Baton Rouge Regional
Missed opportunity

Savage would have played last season if he had not suffered a shoulder injury in a preseason game at Dallas that caused him to be placed on injured reserve. The Texans knew he would be healthy by the midway point of the season but didn't want to have him take up a roster spot because he was playing behind Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. As it turned out, Hoyer, Mallett, Weeden and T.J. Yates started at least one game.

Rather than pout about his predicament, come in every day for therapy and disappear, Savage prepared as if he was going to start every game. Pat O'Hara, in his first season as an offensive assistant, worked closely with Savage.

"I could go to him on and off the (practice) field and talk to him about specific plays," Savage said. "Being on IR, it's tough to go to the offensive coordinator (George Godsey) and ask him about plays because, in reality, I couldn't play, but it was super beneficial to have Pat helping me."

Savage received a game plan for every opponent and worked for hours with O'Hara.

"I never wanted to waste a day when I came in here," he said. "I was on IR, and I could have let the season pass me by and get ready for next year, but I took every mental rep I possibly could at practice.

"I was in all the meetings. I didn't want to look back and regret that I didn't try harder."

Now Savage is preparing for his third training camp. He's bigger and stronger and more comfortable in the system. His teammates have more confidence in him and respect how hard he has worked the last two years to show such improvement on the practice field and in the meeting room.

"He's way ahead of where he was," O'Brien said. "He's got really good command. His (learning) process is a lot quicker. Sometimes that takes a while.

"Also, a guy like that, he needs an opportunity. Whenever that opportunity comes again for him, he's got to be ready for it."

Savage will play in preseason again. He needs to look good on tape because it might be the only time he throws a pass in 2016.

Tenuous situation

At this time next year, Savage could be with another team. He'll be entering the last year of his contract, and that might be the ideal time to trade him. It's far too soon for him or the Texans to be thinking about something like that, though.

Savage is thinking about - as O'Brien emphasizes - getting better every day.

"I definitely feel more comfortable in this offense in terms of command and getting the guys lined up right," he said. "Obviously, I can always improve on getting the ball out.

"I really want to work on getting the ball out quicker and not taking unnecessary hits."

And, following his head coach's lead, Savage added, "I'm here to do whatever I can to help this team."



Contact Info

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.
Sample

Neil S. Schwartz

Email: neilsschwartz@gmail.com

Jonathan Feinsod

Email: jonathan@sffootball.net

Players Association

The union for professional football players in the NFL.
NFLPA

NFL Players Association (NFLPA)

The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests.