Tag Archives: Tom Savage

Reflection On Texans vs Broncos


Houston Texans Broncos


Defense Shows Continued Improvement, Offense Shaky In Andre’s Return

In the the victory over the Denver Broncos we saw some pretty good defense against what should be an elite offense. Though it was a preseason game, Peyton Manning takes his reps very seriously and it was a good test to see how the Texans defense would perform.

Romeo Crennel’s defenses historically have done well against Manning, and the first team defense for the most part did a good job of limiting big plays. On the first series of the game the Broncos were able to drive down the field on short passes to receivers and by running the ball. But once in the redzone the Texans were able to clamp down and force the Broncos to kick a field goal.

The Texans have look much improved in Crennel’s scheme which involves a lot more zone coverage compared to what they had been used to. There are some some lapses in player assignments but when the players have made the correct reads, the defense has been effective.

Playing more zone coverage has allowed the defensive backs to play with eyes on the quarterback as opposed to constantly trailing a receiver with their back turned to the QB, making it more difficult to know when to make a play on the ball. If the players continue to play their coverages right, the secondary may not be the big issue that we originally thought it to be.

Interestingly, the Texans played Kareem Jackson in the slot for the most part, with A.J. Bouye and Brandon Harris on the outside. The Texans either want to get a good look at how Harris performs in their system, or they feel that he is a capable cornerback for them. Many of thus thought Harris might be on his way out, especially after the first preseason game but that may not be the case now.

Harris struggles mightily in man to man situations on deep balls, and at times is a penalty machine. One thing that he is fairly sound in is wrapping up and bringing people down, and it is something that has stood out to me in these three preseason games. A cornerback that can bring receivers down and not let receivers get yards after the catch is something of value. If Brandon Harris can limit the lapses in coverage he can be an asset to the team.

D.J. Swearinger laid out a good clean hit on Wes Welker but in today’s NFL you can’t hit a wide receiver to the head, not even with the shoulder.  It was Swearinger’s third big hit in as many games, and in terms of setting a tone it will be good if he can keep that habit up.

It was great to see Brian Cushing back on the field, he looked a little bit of rusty on a few plays but in limited action he looked as though he is still the same player especially on the tackle for loss he had. He should continue to knock off rust with the more game snaps he gets. It is worth noting that when the Broncos got inside the redzone on the first series of the game Cushing was replaced with Mike Mohamed.

At the end of the first half Eddie Pleasant was a part of the two long touchdowns given up to Emmanuel Sanders. Kendrick Lewis probably would have been in his place but he looked to have gotten banged up on a series prior to the first touchdown. Pleasant was the help up top both times and did a poor job recognizing where Manning was throwing, then he was late trying to recover.

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a shaky game and didn’t really get it going until Grimes made the catch and run for 24 yards in the second quarter. The timing looked to be a little off with Andre but he was still able to get some receptions. The Texans have not really tried to test defenses down field and it might be a matter of O’Brien wanting to save things for the regular season. So when evaluating how the offense looks, that is something to take into consideration.

Case Keenum has the ability to make good throws and can look like a competent quarterback but for some reason hasn’t been able to shake off some bad habits. He still at times doesn’t see the blitz when he should, and still makes some risky passes that can be possible interceptions. Some speculated that Keenum would more than likely be cut from the team, and while I think it is a possibility I don’t see it being that simple. Though Keenum is very inconsistent, backup quarterbacks don’t get much better that what Keenum is. He has been in the system from the start, and O’Brien likes players who have a passion for the game and work hard at it.

Tom Savage looked like a totally different player in is his game winning drive, in the games prior he looked hesitant and didn’t flash any of his potential.  But late in the Broncos game he made good throws, good decisions, and was accurate. Savage looked great but I don’t think it is enough to make him the backup to Fitzpatrick. I feel as though O’Brien values experience, and would like to have a quarterback who has NFL starts under his belt to be his back up. At the very least Savage would have to build on his performance to prove himself.

Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes continue to look fully capable of handling the load if Arian Foster were to miss any significant time during the regular season.

Going into the season I was very high on Ryan Griffin and I was disappointed that he has had a quiet preseason, also the fact that he had been relegated to third string tight end. But was good to finally see him rack up some receptions, and had a great catch and run touchdown to set up the two-point conversion. Griffin doesn’t look like he is running fast but he covers a lot of ground with his long strides. I think that it will be in the best interest of the team at some point during the season for Griffin and Fiedorowicz to be the top two tight ends.

Richardo Matthews has been a gem thus far, he logged a sack and tackle for loss against the Broncos. He was a great find in free agency and has mostly likely already secured his spot on the team. Whitney Mercilus had a better game and finally got on the box score.

Special teams continues to be much improved, Josh Victorian and Eddie Pleasant made noteworthy plays in coverage.








Reflection Of Texans Preseason Victory Over Falcons

Houston Texans

Texans Bounce Back In A Big Way

A week after looking like a carbon copy of the 2013 team in the first preseason game in Arizona, the Texans did a complete 180 in their blowout win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Everything seemed to be working for the Texans. The offense, defense, and special teams all made plays in the dominant performance. Similar to how I thought we shouldn’t have overreacted to the disappointing performance in Arizona, we should temper some aspects of the victory. Quarterback is the biggest question mark on the team, and starter Ryan Fitzpatrick has a long track record of being inconsistent.

We saw Fitzpatrick at his worst last week, and close to his best in Saturday night’s win. If he can have positive play on a consistent basis and facilitate the ball around, the Texans should be able to get some things done this season.

There were some questions being raised about Bill O’Brien’s qualities and tactics as a coach this past week in reaction to the Cardinals game. But those questions now stand answered as the team responded by completely outplaying the Falcons.

A Lot Of Positives In Preseason Game 2 For The Texans

Ryan Fitzpatrick Bounces Back

The offense got off to a shaky start by not being able to make anything out of two straight runs plays and a quick screen pass to DeAndre Hopkins. In the second series the switch went on as Fitzpatrick was able to put together some completions and run for a big first down on 3rd down, then rode Alfred Blue to a touchdown once they were in the redzone. Fitzpatrick accomplished the same when he was put back into the game at the end of the 2nd quarter except he found Devier Posey in the endzone for an 8 yard touchdown.

It was encouraging to see Fitzpatrick lead two of three drives for touchdowns after barely completing any first downs in the first game. Fitzpatrick’s ability to run and run with some pretty good speed is going to be a luxury that the Texans have not had in a long while and it will be something that the defense will also have to account for. Fitzpatrick still has not played a game with Arian Foster or Andre Johnson, so that is another positive outlook on hoping that there can be an extra level of improvement for Fitzpatrick and the offense.

Jadeveon Clowney Continues To Show Why He Was Considered By Far The Best Prospect In The Draft

Jadeveon Clowney had another great showing in limited time as he only played two series, but this time he didn’t have J.J. Watt on the line with him. Clowney’s explosion off the edge and the speed that he possesses allows him to beat easily offensive lineman and completely blow up plays. Continue reading

More Relfection Of Texans’ Performance

Houston Texans preseason

The Texans Did Had Some Positives To Come Out Of The Preseason Debacle

The Texans had a very poor showing in Bill O’Brien’s debut as head coach, there is no getting around that, but the panic button shouldn’t be pressed just yet. The preseason is for fine tuning and for the evaluations of players to find out who should be kept on the 53-man roster for the regular season.

It is concerning that it didn’t look like much has change from last season, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that players are still getting acclimated to playing a new system on both sides of the ball. I would expect that Fitzpatrick will be able to get things cleaned up with more practices and preseason reps, at least to a point where the offense doesn’t look like a complete mess.

The same goes for the performance by the secondary, it is a new scheme and the players are being asked to do different things. Also we likely won’t see a match-up of
Brandon Harris on a receiver like Larry Fitzgerald when it matters, which resulted in an easy touchdown score in the redzone.

The aspect that should be most disturbing is the level undisciplined football which seem to have carried over from last season. It is something that Bill O’Brien has notably put an emphasis but for whatever reason it didn’t translate over into the game.

Positives That Stood Out in Texans vs. Cardinals Preseason Game

It may be hard to believe but there are a few positives from individual players to take note of and to be encouraged about.

Jadeveon Clowney is the real deal.

Even with the numerous missed practices we heard plenty about how much of a freak athlete Clowney has been in training camp when he has been able to participate. It continued against the Cardinals and it will be a spectacle to watch him work for four quarters with J.J. Watt on the defensive line. Clowney’s ability to exploded off the line and instantly get into the backfield on this level is easily the best thing to come out of the game yesterday. Seeing him try to cover a tight end is a concern though, it doesn’t look natural and he could be exploited by teams if he is asked to do a lot of it. Continue reading

Texans Training Camp Offensive Battles

Houston Texans Training camp


Three Days Into Texans Training Camp O’Brien Admits There Is Still A Long Way To Go

Reports are that this has been a drastically different training camp than the Texans have had in a long while. The music is playing extremely loud, there is a fast tempo, and Bill O’Brien has a hands-on approach in the practices. There was a distinction made about how when Gary Kubiak was the head coach he would primarily stay in a single spot throughout practice and supervise the team for the most part. O’Brien however is very active, dealing with multiple positions, and even stopping the practice and the music to chew out players when necessary.

Here are a few of my thoughts on what has what has come out of camp.

Quaterbacks: Through three days the word is that Fitzpatrick has a firm hold of the quarterback position. Fitzpatrick and Keenum are getting the majority of the snaps during practice, and it seems that Tom Savage will be a project quarterback who is going to be given the opportunity to sit and learn what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. Savage has not been impressing in practice, and doesn’t appear to be a threat to supplant Keenum. Continue reading

Case Keenum Highlights and Lowlights 2013


Case Keenum, Houston Texans

Despite the 2013 struggles Case Keenum Remains In Position To Possibly Being A Factor in 2014

After the end of the 2013 season most would have assumed that Case Keenum’s odds of remaining on the team were slim to none.

When there is a coaching change, the new coach usually wants his guys competing for the quarterback spots.

Case Keenum was kept through all the off-season activities, and was chosen over T.J. Yates to stay through training camp.

(May need to view video on a desktop)

If Keenum demonstrates in the preseason that he has a good grasp of the offense and performs well in the games he will likely be the the back up to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Tom Savage probably won’t be the second string quarterback unless Keenum is terrible in the preseason. Savage doesn’t have a lot of football logged these past several years and the coaching staff could want him to develop throughout the course of the season.

Case Keenum still has some potential upside and he gained some valuable experience last year, even if they were all losing efforts.

Assuming Keenum wins the back up job, all it takes is one hit to Fitzpatrick’s head and Keenum could be taking some important snaps again this season.

Read More About a case For Case Keenum HERE