HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Tom Savage experience will last at least one more week. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien announced that he’ll remain as starting quarterback during his press conference this afternoon.
“I’ve let the team know this afternoon that Tom Savage will be the starting quarterback this week against Cincinnati,” said O’Brien. “As I said yesterday, we don’t make decisions based on anything other than what’s best for the team. We make decisions on what we think is the best way to help the team, what helps the team win. I think that yesterday and this week, I feel like Tom Savage gives us the best chance to win. I’m going to give him a week to prepare as the starter, see what he can do for us on Saturday night against the Bengals.”
Bill was asked why it was so important to make this announcement today.
“I just think it’s important for Tom Savage to have the week as the starter to experience the whole thing and make sure he understands what the game plan is and some of the different things he’s going to have to deal with during the week, whether it’s media or whatever else he may have to deal with. It’s a short week so he knows he’s got to put a lot of extra prep time into this thing. I know he will.”
Savage’s play in practice was one of the biggest reasons O’Brien felt comfortable making the decision.
“He takes his reps on the scout team very seriously,” continued O’Brien. “He executes very well on the scout team. He gives our defense a really good look, it’s helped our defense prepare for their games this year to be where they’re ranked. He’s worked very hard to know our offense. He’s a good practice player. Now he has to continue to be a good player on Sundays or Saturday night.”
And he’s hoping that we’ll see more of what Savage did Sunday against the Jaguars.
“The quarterback is judged basically in two ways in this league,” continued O’Brien. “The quarterback position is judged on wins and how many times you get your team into the end zone. Those are the two ways that the quarterback is judged. Does your team win? And how many times did your offense score touchdowns? So we just want Tom to go out there and do the best he can to help us win and to help our team get into the end zone.”
O’Brien wouldn’t say whether Savage would be the Texans starting quarterback past their Christmas Eve matchup against the Bengals. He did say that Brock Osweiler will be the backup quarterback.
“I have a ton of respect for Brock Osweiler,” said O’Brien. “Guy prepares, works very hard, he’s a true professional, always wants what’s best for team, very good teammate yesterday in the second half there when he was out of the game. He did a nice job between series helping Tom with what he saw. It’s a hard thing to do as a coach, it’s what they pay me to do is to make decisions like this in the best interest of the team. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
And that Osweiler handled the news of his demotion like a pro.
“He’s a professional football player,” continued O’Brien. “Certainly, as a competitor – he didn’t say much – I’m sure he didn’t agree with the decision but he’s a pro. That’s what he is. He’s a pro football player and he understands that he’s got to continue to compete. He needs to be ready to play. He needs to be ready to play because, just like Tom (Savage), now he’s in a similar situation that Tom was in. He’s one play away. Got to be ready to go.”
We’ll see if the the quarterback switch pays off Sunday.
Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.