Kubiak announces Keenum will start in KC
You asked for it, Houston. You got it.
University of Houston product Case Keenum will be the Texans' starting quarterback in Kansas City on Sunday.
“I wanted to operate today and tomorrow with him getting the majority of the reps and the team knowing what’s going on, so that’s how we operated today,” head coach Gary Kubiak said.
Kubiak said the decision was made on Wednesday night and he told the team on Thursday morning. Matt Schaub (leg injury) has been ruled out and T.J. Yates will be the backup quarterback.
Kubiak told Keenum and Yates the news on Thursday morning.
“His eyes got kind of big,” Kubiak said of Keenum’s reaction when he told him. “But he’s excited. He’s a competitor. He’s a very confident young man and went out there today and I thought he practiced really well. He’s been in big games, a lot on his shoulders, played a lot of football. I know it’s a tremendous opportunity that you work for as a kid. You get in this league and you look for an opportunity and all of a sudden, here’s an opportunity for him very early in his career. We’re excited for him as a football team.”
Keenum was a dynamic quarterback for the University of Houston Cougars. In his time at UH, in Conference USA, he completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and threw for 19,217 yards with 155 touchdowns and just 46 interceptions. He is the NCAA’s all-time career leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns and completions (1,546).
Keenum spent last season on the team’s practice squad and made this year’s team as the third-string quarterback behind Yates. He and Yates split reps on Wednesday but Kubiak wanted the team to go forward knowing who the starter is.
The most mobile of the Texans’ quarterbacks, Keenum might have to move around quite a bit against a very good Kansas City defense. But Kubiak said he didn’t hesitate to start him just because of the road game at Arrowhead.
“No I didn’t hesitate because I just felt like we need a spark,” he said. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was the best thing for the football team.”
Keenum is known as a fiery player and Kubiak said the team can feed off of that. On Wednesday, Andre Johnson said Keenum had “an aura about him.”
“It’s really cool,” Keenum said on Wednesday, about the possibility of starting. “It’s not something I’ve thought about too much, but as far as actually right now in this moment, it’s something that I’ve thought about for a long time, playing quarterback in the NFL and being able to start for a team.
"In that sense, it’s a dream I’ve had for a really long time. I haven’t just worked this week. This isn’t the only week that I’ve worked. I’ve worked my whole life. I’m going to go out and get as much prepared as I can this week and go out and do the best I can on Sunday.”