O’Brien Expects Savage To Start Sunday

By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Tom Savage struggled – especially early – in the Texans 20 – 14 loss to the Colts Sunday. He finished the game 19 – 44 for 219 yards and threw his first career touchdown pass. But despite the rough outing, Savage is expected to be the Texans starting quarterback Sunday in Los Angeles against the Rams.

“I do expect that,” said Texans head coach Bill O’Brien at his Monday press conference when asked if Savage would remain under center. “I do right now. I do expect him to be the starter.”

“We got to get Tom playing better,” continued O’Brien. “It’s up to me. We’re going to watch the tape closely today. I think he has the ability to play better but he’s got to do it. We all have to do better. I have to coach better. Like I say every week when we lose – it’s been said quite a bit this year and it is what it is – but we’re going to all try to work together to get everybody playing and coaching better.”

Savage was very critical of himself after the game Sunday, even saying “I played like crap.” But O’Brien isn’t worried about the fourth year veteran’s confidence.

“No, I think he’s a confident guy,” said O’Brien. “Any time you step under center and you’re playing quarterback in this league – I don’t think it’s a confidence issue. I think he has to process faster. I have to do a better job of coaching him. He’s got to get us in and out of the huddle or get the ball snapped faster. Just everything has to speed up, especially from me and obviously with him.”

“I think towards the end he started building that confidence,” said Texans running back Lamar Miller. “He was just trying to lead us to a victory.”

O’Brien was also asked today if the team had considered Colin Kaepernick as an alternative option to Savage. As for T.J. Yates, who is the Texans current backup quarterback? He said he didn’t come back with the intention of taking Tom’s spot.

“No,” said Yates when asked if he came back hoping to start. “Tom’s the guy right now. And he’s a heck of a quarterback. Obviously it’s going to take a little time for him to get back into a rhythm. And you could see that towards the end of the game. It just took a little while. Tom’s a heck of a player. And he can really throw the ball. So I don’t expect that.

Miller echoed Yates’ sentiments about it taking time for Savage to shake off the rust.

“It comes with time,” said Miller when asked about Savage improving after Sunday’s performance. “I think he was just getting his feet wet. He started getting comfortable towards the end and just started making plays. So I feel like heading into this week he should be ready to go.”

He’ll need to be. The 6-2 Los Angeles Rams – who lead the NFC West – will be a difficult test next Sunday.

Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesday 9-11 PM CT, Wednesdays and Fridays 8-11 PM CT – 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.

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