Keenum on being pulled: 'I was surprised'
A weird season got weirder on Sunday.
Down by 11 points in the third quarter, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak made the most unpopular decision in Houston, deciding to pull local favorite Case Keenum in favor of the team’s former starter Matt Schaub.
“What was happening was, we had to make a lot of changes from a protection standpoint to handle some of the things they were doing,” Kubiak said. “Trying to create some tempo and do that. And it made it very tough on Case, in my opinion, being a young player. I knew that Matt could get done some of the things that I wanted to get done, real fast, and to give us a chance to win the football game. So that’s why I did it.”
But fans didn’t like it. In fact, many in attendance loudly booed the decision as Schaub ran onto the field.
Keenum, the University of Houston product, started his fourth straight game on Sunday. He has struggled in the second halves of his starts and didn’t get to see the end of Sunday’s 28-23 loss.
“It was tough. It wasn’t fun,” said Keenum, who admitted he was surprised he was pulled. “I’d rather play but I want what’s best for this team and today, Matt was that at the end.”
Schaub, who has been with the Texans since 2007, had a very tough start to his 2013 season. His turnovers were a big contributor to several of the losses during the team’s eight-game losing streak.
Schaub actually helped the offense find some much-needed rhythm in the second half on Sunday but the team had to settle for two field goals in the fourth quarter. The team’s last drive, which could have been a game-winner, died inside the Raiders’ 10-yard line. Then, Schaub and Andre Johnson had a heated debate on the sideline.
Keenum’s stat line: 13-for-24 for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Schaub’s stat line: 12-for-25 for 155 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions.
So, who’s the starter going forward?
“I have to go look at everything we did,” Kubiak answered. “I think we did a lot of things poorly. We had a lot of penalties, a lot of things going on as a football team. We rough a punter in a situation where we can’t rough a punter. We had a lot of things going on. We’ll continue to work through it. We’ll see.”
Yeah, not exactly the answer anyone was looking for.
When Keenum was asked if he expected to start next week, he talked about his mindset and said he expected to start when he was on the practice squad. Nobody had the heart to tell him that’s impossible.
But Schaub made it pretty clear he’d like the job for the rest of the season.
“Absolutely,” he said. “That's why I am here. It means a great deal to me.”