WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (CBS HOUSTON) – The starting quarterback job for the Houston Texans belongs to four-year veteran and former 4th round pick Tom Savage. Savage’s name remaining at the top of the depth chart will likely be a week-to-week and wait-and-see situation for the entire 2017 season.
Savage took over for a struggling Brock Osweiler late in the 2016 season and helped lead the team back in a comeback win over the Jaguars in week 15. Savage would start the next two weeks but suffered a concussion on a quarterback sneak in a Week 17 loss to the Titans.
After an offseason that included the thought of potentially adding Tony Romo to the fold and the eventual trading up in the 2017 NFL draft to select Clemson star Deshaun Watson, the writing is on the wall for Savage to accelerate his development or see his job ultimately go to the future face of the franchise later this season.
“I have to earn it. I’m not going to really sit back and say it’s real special because I have to go out there and I have to earn it,” Savage said after the first training camp practice on Wednesday I know how fast this can be taken from me, and you have to earn it every day all the way until the last game.”
Savage has been doing all he can to get on the right page with his receivers. He met with DeAndre Hopkins at a camp Jalen Strong ran and mentioned spending time with them throwing the football and working on their communication and chemistry.
“That’s big because he’s the quarterback. He keeps the ship running and I’m the No. 1 wide receiver,” Hopkins said about building his relationship with Savage during the offseason. “Everything goes through us and Lamar Miller and other guys out there that are the key players on this offense.”
Waiting in the wings to eventually be the Texans starter is Watson. The Texans spent a second round pick in next year’s draft to ship Osweiler out of town and their first round pick next year to move up to take Watson. Savage will hold on to the position so long as either Watson is still developing or Savage begins to struggle. It’s a fact he is well aware of.
“It’s pretty cut and dry. You just have to do it. You go out there – it’s a pretty simple equation,” Savage said. “You go out there and you win games, you stay in there. And if you lose, you lose your job. That’s just what it comes down to. I realize that.”
As for hints on how long Savage will be the starter and if a change could happen during camp, head coach Bill O’Brien isn’t giving any clues. O’Brien was asked how he plans on managing the reps for Savage, Watson, and Brandon Weeden and declined to answer.
“That’s between me and them. I’m not going to talk about that.”
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