WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (CBS HOUSTON) – For most NFL teams it is rare that you will see a team’s first team offense in the preseason opener for more than a series or two if at all; however on Monday, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien indicated that everyone who is physically able to play will do so on Wednesday when Houston opens the preseason against the Carolina Panthers.
Tom Savage will be the team’s starting quarterback and both rookie Deshaun Watson and third-stringer Brandon Weeden will play in the game as well. The amount of time each will play has been determined, but it’s up to the flow of the game.
“I have determined that,” O’Brien said Monday when asked if he knew the amount of quarterback snaps for each player in the preseason opener. “You have no idea how the game’s going to play out How long is this drive, how long is that drive, you know? You have to play it by ear relative to how the game goes but all three quarterbacks will play in the game.”
Winning is never the most important thing when it comes to preseason games, but the ability to move the ball down the field, especially in an offense that is now under O’Brien’s eye, will be the primary focus.
“Good operation of the offense, take care of the football, get in and out of the huddle quickly,” O’Brien said when asked what he’s looking for from the quarterbacks. “From all three of them just a clean game, a clean operation, everybody on the same page and see if we can score some points.
For Savage, Wednesday won’t be an audition, but it will be a chance to showcase to the coaching staff, and to Texans fans, that he deserves to remain the starter with Watson waiting in the wings to dethrone him. The significance of the preseason opener and the fact he will be starting is not lost on him.
“Every time we strap those pads on and go out there it’s important. It’s going to be a good test for us to go out there and go against a live opponent and it’s going to feel good to get hit for the first time in a year. It’ll be good.”
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