Keenum looks for 1st career win against Patriots

Keenum looks for 1st career win against Patriots
November 28, 2013, 1:48 pm
Share This Post

Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum (7) passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(APWF)

HOUSTON (AP) Case Keenum has had some good moments and plenty of struggles in his five games as Houston's quarterback.

The one thing he hasn't had is any wins.

Now the undrafted free agent will have to compete with Tom Brady and New England if he hopes to keep the Texans from losing their 10th straight game on Sunday.

Keenum had the worst game in his short career in Sunday's loss to the Jaguars. This week he's had a singular focus to try and get back on track.

''I've focused this week on trust,'' he said. ''That's kind of been my one word that can encompass a lot of things in that arena. Trusting my preparation, trusting my reads, trusting what I'm seeing, trusting my pocket and trusting a lot things.''

Keenum admitted after Sunday's game that he was a little hesitant and that he would work to make sure that didn't happen again.

''I want to be perfect, but I know I'm not,'' he said. ''I know things are going to come up and I'm going to make mistakes. They're going to make plays and it's about continuing to trust through those mistakes and through those things and not become hesitant after that.''

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison saw that hesitancy in Keenum against Jacksonville and spent the week trying to figure out how to get him back to playing the way he was in his first three games.

''He certainly wasn't pulling the trigger as soon as he needed to last week and ... we'll get him to do that,'' Dennison said. ''That's part of offensive executive and everybody's got to be the same way. I think we're working on it and making sure he has a great week of preparation to get that done.''

Andre Johnson has been impressed with Keenum's work so far, especially since he was thrown into action with the season well underway. Keenum took over for an injured Matt Schaub on Oct. 20 and retained the job after Schaub got healthy.

It was his first live-game action since he wrapped up a record-setting career at the University of Houston in 2011. He led the Cougars to a 12-0 start that season before a loss in the Conference USA championship game. He left Houston as the NCAA's all-time leader in career total yards (20,114), yards passing (19,217), passing touchdowns (155) and total touchdowns (178).

Despite a stellar college career, he went undrafted before being picked up by the Texans. He spent all of last season on the practice squad before making the team this year.

''It's going to be tough at times,'' Johnson said. ''For him, he's just starting. So people are going to throw a lot of things at him and they try to figure out what he does well and try to stop him from doing those things. For him, it's a little bit tougher because he has so much coming at him at one time in such a short period of time. But that's part of it. He'll learn from it.''

Keenum has taken care of the ball much better than the veteran Schaub, who had been Houston's starter since 2007. Schaub had eight touchdowns and nine interceptions in his six starts. Keenum has eight touchdowns with just two interceptions in his five starts.

Coach Gary Kubiak has been impressed with how Keenum has adjusted to being under center after spending most of his college career in the shotgun formation. He's a much more mobile quarterback than Schaub is, so the Texans are searching for the best ways to help him be successful. They've also put him in a pistol formation on some plays because they know he's a bit more comfortable when he isn't under center.

''We're continuing to find out what he does best and take a hard look at everything we changed offensively a little bit to try to fit some of his strengths that we think,'' Kubiak said. ''So it has come back to doing a little bit of both and we're trying to sort through that and see what we think he does best.''

Though Keenum said that he was very surprised that he hasn't been able to pick up his first NFL win yet, Johnson said that Keenum hasn't let the tough start to his career get him down.

''After every game, he's always saying: `Man, I've got to do better, play better. I'll play better for you guys,''' Johnson said. ''He's hard on himself. You don't really find many young guys that come out and tell you stuff like that. It just shows what kind of guy he is and how bad he wants to win, and how bad he wants to help this team.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Johnson briefly exited Sunday's game against the Bills in the fourth quarter. He said after the game that he was "fine," but felt a "pop" in the ankle. ...
Oct 1 3:41PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Foster is likely going to miss plenty of practice reps this week before being a game-time decision against the Cowboys on Sunday. Foster said he wasn't 100 percent in Week...
Oct 1 3:38PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (meniscus) has resumed jogging, and hopes to return in a "few... Sidelined since September 7, Clowney was given a 4-6 week timetable upon going down. That makes a "few weeks" attainable, but not ahead of schedule. The Clowney...
Sep 30 3:18PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Texans coach Bill O'Brien referred to Arian Foster (hamstring) on Monday as "day to... Foster himself acknowledged he wasn't 100 percent in Sunday's win over the Bills, managing six yards on eight carries. He'll likely continue to be limited in practice all...
Sep 29 4:20PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Following Sunday's win over the Bills, Arian Foster (hamstring) admitted he "just wasn't... Foster rushed eight times for six yards while playing on just 54.1 percent of the snaps, but did salvage his box score a bit with seven catches for 55 yards. The good news...
Sep 29 8:42AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson said the ankle injury that briefly sidelined him Sunday is "fine." "I was more scared than anything because I felt a pop, so I went in and got checked," Johnson said. We never like to hear about pops, but Johnson did come back...
Sep 28 5:37PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught three passes for 28 yards in Week 4 against the Bills. He was targeted five times. Graham is on pace for just 36 catches and 380 yards this season, but should be more involved going forward now that he's healthy. He was used in...
Sep 28 5:25PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue had nine carries for nine yards in Week 4 against the Bills. With Arian Foster playing through a hamstring injury, Blue was used in a committee and finished with more carries. He added two catches for 16 yards on three targets. Blue...
Sep 28 5:22PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 4 win over... Hopkins beat Corey Graham for a 35-yard touchdown at the end of the first half. He finished with just six targets despite Andre Johnson missing time with an ankle injury....
Sep 28 5:03PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster totaled 61 yards on 15 touches in Sunday's Week 4 win over Buffalo. Foster was held to six yards on eight carries, but was targeted 10 times by checkdown artist Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was clearly running at half-speed and looked sluggish...
Sep 28 4:07PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 25-of-37 passes for 268 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions... Fitzpatrick's only notable play was a 35-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins at the end of the first half. He managed the Texans to a win without any help from Arian Foster or...
Sep 28 3:55PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson left Sunday's Week 4 game against the Bills with an ankle injury. Johnson came up lame on a pass in the fourth quarter and was taken to the locker room. He was able to jog off under his own power and later returned to the game. Johnson...
Sep 28 3:01PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Arian Foster (hamstring) is moving with a slight limp... Per Breer, the Texans will "monitor his hamstring early in the game, determine his workload from there." It's similar to what was reported by beat writer Tania...
Sep 28 11:40AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) is active for Week 4 against the Bills. Foster will be available for a full workload after sitting out last week. He's Rotoworld's No. 12 running back against the Bills' top-five run defense. Inactive for the...
Sep 28 10:33AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to the Houston Chronicle, Arian Foster will "definitely" play in Sunday's... The chronic hamstring issue Foster has been battling for two months is good to go. "Foster would't be active if he wasn't 100 percent. That means he'll get a full...
Sep 28 10:03AM Read More