By Landry Locker

I’ll never forget the feeling around Houston when the news broke that Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson had torn his ACL and his 2017 season was finished. The mood was borderline depressing around town despite the fact the Astros had won the World Series the previous night.

Most of the disappointment had to do with Watson, Houston had been starving for a quarterback since the franchise came to fruition in 2002 and it appeared that a franchise quarterback had finally arrived in H-Town. However, the rest of of the disappointment had to do with the fact that Texans fans would now have to watch arguably the worst quarterback of the Bill O’Brien era, Tom Savage.

Watson was historically good in 2017, Savage has been historically bad.

Houston sports fans may have mourned when Watson’s 2017 season ended, but they’d rejoice if Savage never stepped foot on the field again in a Texans uniform, not just in 2017, but never again.

Sunday at NRG Stadium former Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson will be honored and become the first member of the Texans Ring Of Honor. I cringe at the thought of Savage taking the field on a day like this.

It’s time for O’Brien to put Savage out of his misery and put him back in his comfort zone, on the sidelines on Sundays and the practice field during the week.

I feel bad for Savage, I really do. He’s trying his best and shouldn’t be in the position he’s in.

He shouldn’t have lingered around the organization for nearly four years, shouldn’t be the starting quarterback right now and he damn sure shouldn’t have been named the starter at the beginning of the season.

There have been a lot of dumb things said in the year 2017, but the dumbest thing by far has been when Savage’s agent Neil Schwartz criticized O’Brien for benching his client halfway through the season-opener against Jacksonville.

Schwartz, said he wanted to watch the film with O’Brien in an interview with NBC Sports and also added that the benching, “makes no sense.”

I doubt a film session is still required for Schwartz to see why O’Brien benched Savage and I wouldn’t wish having to watch Savage play football on my worst enemy. I have one of the best jobs in the world and part of my job requirement is watching Texans games, but Savage makes me hate my job. He makes me hate football and even makes me miss Brock Osweiler.

The only reason Savage isn’t ridiculed as much as Osweiler was (and still is) around town is because he doesn’t have a hefty contract. However, make no mistake about it, when it comes to being an NFL quarterback Savage can’t hold Osweiler’s jock.

Here’s a closer look at how awful Savage has been this season:

  • The Texans have lost all three games Savage has started in this season
  • Despite starting only three games Savage leads the NFL in fumbles with five
  • In the 10 quarters Savage has started the Texans have been outscored by their opponent 72-21
  • Savage is completing 47.3 percent of his passes this season, the worst in the NFL by a quarterback who has thrown over 10 passes, even Scott Tolzien completed 50 percent of his passes in his one start for Indianapolis.
    • Osweiler completed 53 percent of his passes in 2016
    • Ryan Mallett completed 53 percent of his passes in 2015 and 54.7 percent in 2014
    • Brian Hoyer completed 60.7 percent in 2014 In 2017, we have witnessed the best quarterback of the O’Brien era (Watson) and the worst (Savage).
    • Many Savage apologists, the few who are left, blame the shaky offensive line for his awful play, but behind a notoriously bad offensive line David Carr completed 52.5, 56.6, 61.2, 60.5 and 68.3 percent of his passes in his five seasons with the franchise.

I’m sure Savage is a nice guy, but being a nice guy is a compliment you give someone before you break up with them.

“Look, you’re a nice girl, but this just isn’t working out.”

It’s time for O’Brien to break up with Savage.

Question: If I don’t want Savage to be the Texans quarterback then who would I want to take his place?

Answer: Anyone. Literally, ANYONE!

I’d rather run out chubby Johnny Manziel.

I’d rather sign Colin Kaepernick. Heck, at this point the Texans could host a weekly reality show featuring an open tryout to be the quarterback for a week.

Robert Griffin III recently told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that he would be open to coming to Houston to be the backup quarterback behind Watson. Many people dismissed the possibility of Griffin replacing Savage because of his past drama and decline in production, but even a declining RG III is better than Savage.

RG III in five starts in Cleveland in 2016:

  • 1-4 record
  • 59 percent completion percentage
  • Two TD passes
  • Three interceptions
  • 190 yards rushing
  • Two rushing TD’s

Tom Savage in five career starts:

  • 1-4 career record
  • 56.3% completion
  • Two TD passes
  • Two interceptions
  • 0 yards rushing

I’m sure Savage looks good in practice and everyone knows he has a firm grasp of the O’Brien system, but being a practice hero can only get you so far once you step on the field in a real game and system knowledge can disappear quickly when one lacks talent. Savage not only struggles statistically, but he looks out of place on the field on game day. He has happy feet, can’t hold onto the ball and looks terrified.

Hindsight is 20/20, but I’ve maintained since training camp that Watson should have been the starter at the beginning of the season, not because I saw him doing what he did while he was on the field, but because there was no tangible proof that Savage could be a competent starting quarterback at the NFL level, which is why a large portion of the off season was spent speculating about the Texans bringing in Tony Romo, it’s the same reason the Texans traded up in the 2017 Draft to select Watson. If I really wanted to use hindsight I wonder if Brandon Weeden was a better option to backup Watson than Savage. Yes, Savage has been that bad.

There’s no benefit to having Savage on the field anymore. He’s slowly sucking the life out of the fan base and there’s no chance in hell that he’s back with the team next season.

Does Savage give the Texans the best chance to win? It’s hard to believe anyone could be much worse, but at this point wins don’t matter that much, the season is lost. At least make this thing entertaining and attempt to find a quarterback that will be on the roster when training camp starts in 2018.

It’s time for Bill O’Brien to protect Savage from himself and most importantly, protect Texans fans’ eyes from having to watch Savage play football anymore. Savage should never step foot on the field in a Texans uniform again. Make it happen, Bill.

You can hear Landry Locker on Mad Radio M-F 6-10 a.m. on SportsRadio 610 and on Saturday’s from 1-4 p.m. on Hear Me Out with Matt Hammond. Follow him on Twitter @landrylocker.

Comments (2)
  1. It’s ALSO time for O’Brian to be replaced! He has become lackluster in his ability to coach our Houston Texans! Also…the Texans needs to be sold to a new owner/owners who has a SINCERE initiative to stand behind the Texans…and recognize them as men of stature….not as inmates! #DispleasedTexanDiehardFan…

  2. Bob Black says:

    If they can’t bring back Brandon Weeden then give RG III a shot

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