Keenum still starter despite ‘growth process’

Keenum still starter despite ‘growth process’
November 25, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Kubiak on Keenum: 'He's battling'

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite having the worst start in his young career against the Jaguars, Case Keenum will be the Texans’ starter this week against the Patriots.

Keenum completed 18-of-34 passes for 169 yards and an interception as the offense mustered just two field goals in a 13-6 loss at Reliant Stadium.

“He’s done a lot of good things, had some early success,” head coach Gary Kubiak said on Monday. “I think the last couple of weeks have been a little tougher. I thought it would get tougher on him, so it doesn’t surprise me. But I think he’s battling, continues to do some good stuff.

"We have to find a way to limit some of the mistakes that are happening to him and I think those will happen as he continues to play. But you just want to find the young man some success. He’s had his team in five football games and we’ve lost every one of them by less than a touchdown. So he’s been in position but hasn’t had the success of winning, so that’s what we need to find.”

Keenum had passer ratings above 100 in each of his first two games but has had his worst passer rating in each of the following three. Against the Jaguars, his passer rating dipped to 54.7. He has a putrid pass completion percentage of 55 percent on the year.

Against the Raiders two weeks ago, Matt Schaub finished the game but was back on the bench against the Jaguars. Keenum has held the starting job since the week before the bye, against the Chiefs. The Texans are now 0-5 in games Keenum has started. They were 2-4 with Schaub.

Defenses have been playing Keenum differently and the University of Houston product has struggled to adjust to those adjustments.

“Well, I can tell you this: when you’re a rookie, you’re probably not going to be real comfortable back there until you play a lot of football,” Kubiak said. “That’s part of it. I just think he’s going through a growth process. A lot of good things going on, a lot of big plays going on, he’s getting played different a little bit each week, so he’s seeing different defenses, different teams each week.”

When asked what Keenum’s teammates can do to help the quarterback, Kubiak said it’s important that they continue to focus on playing their best football and not worrying too much about what Keenum is or isn’t doing.

“We just all have to stay focused on our job and our veterans, I think they’ve done a good job of that,” Kubiak said. “They understand he’s young back there but you have guys like Chris (Myers) and Andre (Johnson) and Duane (Brown), they’re trying to help him because they see a talented young man that’s done a lot of good things.”

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