One more week of competition for backup QBs

One more week of competition for backup QBs
August 26, 2013, 4:45 pm
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(USA Today Images)

It’s not over yet. Or at least that’s the story head coach Gary Kubiak is sticking with.

On Monday, Kubiak said he hasn’t yet made a decision as to who will be the backup quarterback for his Houston Texans football team in 2013. The incumbent backup, T.J. Yates, and the Houston fan-favorite, Case Keenum, have been battling this preseason.

After Yates came into the game against the Saints second after starter Matt Schaub, Keenum will start Thursday’s game against the Cowboys in Dallas. Keenum will play the first half; Yates will play the second.

“Obviously they’re going to be playing with a bunch of young players, but I think it’s been extremely close,” Kubiak said. “It would be hard to make a decision today. But if I would have to make one, I’d make one. I think this game is still important. They’ve continued to get better, each of them, and push each other. I think it’s going to be a good thing for our football team.

“I’m going to hold off here and let them play this week and then we’ll probably lock in before we go into our total San Diego process which would be the following Thursday. I’m going to let them compete one more week and see how it goes.”

Yates certainly hasn’t done anything to lose the job. He has completed 27-of-39 passes for 308 yards with three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 118.3.

While Yates, has been superb, Keenum has kept pace, completing 34-of-50 attempts for 354 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions and has a passer rating of 101.6.

According to Kubiak, Keenum’s transformation this offseason has revolved around his better understanding of the Texans’ offense. Keenum was cut last season before final cuts and spent the year on the Texans’ practice squad.

Yates has been the backup for two seasons. He filled in for Schaub in the end of the 2011 season and eventually led the Texans to their first-ever playoff victory.

“It’s time to lean,” Kubiak said, referring to a comment last week, in which he said the two are neck-and-neck. “First off, they both needed to play a lot. The preseason is so important to your backup quarterback, whoever that is, so they are going to get to play a bunch this week. At the same time, they are going to be playing with a bunch of young players that we’re trying to make decisions on in other areas. I understand that, but I just think they need the experience. We’ll see how they handle it, go on the road and handle it.”

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