HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans added to their quarterback room with a big splash in the first round of the NFL Draft when the moved up 13 spots to select Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson with the 12th overall selection. It was the first time the franchise had selected a quarterback in the first round since their first ever selection in 2002 when
While there is obvious excitement for Watson’s acquisition, the Texans have another player that is the reigning and defending starting quarterback that will enter training camp in 2017 named Tom Savage.
Savage started two games for the Texans after an abysmal week 15 start by Brock Osweiler that finally forced head coach Bill O’Brien’s hand to go to the back-up Savage. Savage led a Texans comeback, despite not throwing a touchdown pass and was tapped to start the final two games of the season until he suffered a concussion before halftime in the Week 17 game against the division rival Titans.
It would be the last time Savage would take the field for Houston as Osweiler would start both playoff games and continue Savage’s string of injuries that have stunted his development and prevented him from potential opportunities to cement himself as the team’s signal caller.
In 2014 Savage injured his knee, ironically in week 15, after he came into relieve Ryan Fitzpatrick who broke his leg. Savage never took the field in 2015 after going on injured reserve at the end of the preseason despite having a short term shoulder sprain and adding the concussion of last season Savage has been the victim of bad luck and poor timing.
“(Tom Savage has) got all the ingredients that are necessary to play quarterback at our level,” General Manager Rick Smith said. “He’s intelligent. He works hard. He’s got the athletic ability. And the opportunities that he’s had, he’s done well with them. It’s just a function of having the opportunity to be there consistently. I think he will continue to get better. I think he’s got all of those traits and I think the more he plays and the more experience that he gains, the better he’ll be.”
Savage, named the starter after the departure after a creative NBA-style trade with the Browns, will have a top draft choice waiting in the wings behind him working to take his job from him.
“I’m going to go out there and I’m going to play like I have to play to keep this job,” Savage said Monday at the Texans Charity Golf Classic. I mean, you have to earn it every day to be the starter. I mean, it doesn’t matter if a coach says you’re the starter. You have to go out there and you have to perform. I know that, and that’s the attitude I have.”
Savage did reach out to his new teammate Watson shortly after he was selected. Savage sent Watson a text congratulating him and welcoming him to the franchise and setting him at ease as the two will undoubtedly compete for the opportunity to be the Texans’ starting signal caller.
“I congratulated him and his family, Savage said. “It’s an incredible honor to get drafted in the first round. I told him that the only thing that matters to me ultimately is that we win. So, let’s just go to work.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio