Houston (CBS Houston)- The first quarterback to win a playoff game in Texans franchise history returned to practice at the Texans facilities today, but not as a member of the organization.
T.J. Yates is now a member of the Atlanta Falcons after being traded from the Texans in June. He was the team’s sixth round selection in 2011, playing in 15 games. He started the first two playoff games in franchise history, winning one game and losing the next. He found his way to his old stomping grounds today as part of the joint Falcons-Texans practice, but being on the familiar field wasn’t something that felt normal.
“It’s a little strange, you know, coming here as a guest for the first time,” Yates said. It’s definitely a little weird being on the other side, but I got a good team, good organization around me, and I’m really happy.”
There were plenty of familiar faces for Yates to get comfortable with.
“It’s so weird seeing all my really good friends that I was with for three years out here on the field and being able to say ‘Hi” to them and see them,” Yates said. “It’s been pretty special.”
Yates says he welcomed the fresh start on his career. He said the new environment and new offense “put a little pep in my step and got me going again.”
Yates is the back-up for the Falcons starter Matt Ryan. He praised the starting QB for Atlanta calling him “super smart” and saying he was the type of guy that was built to throw the football.
Yates is dueling second year quarterback Sean Renfree for the right to be the Falcons lone second-string QB. It’s a role he filled for quite a few games in his time in Houston.
Speaking of his former home, does Yates still remember the good times from his stay with the Texans?
“Absolutely,” he said. ” I’ll have memories for the rest of my life. What I accomplished here and all the friends I’ve made here.”