The Houston Texans look to have one of the more intriguing position battles taking place in perhaps the entire NFL.
Head coach Bill O'Brien has a huge decision to make about who will be taking snaps from the center when the 2015 season starts.
Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer both signed during the off-season to compete for the starting quarterback job with the Texans.
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It is one of the more intriguing storylines heading into the upcoming season. As a matter of fact, HBO Hard Knocks was probably counting on this particular storyline to be one of the aspects that they focus on when they begin filming the Texans during training camp.
Unfortunately for HBO, it looks as if O'Brien might have already selected who he wants to sit atop on the depth chart at the quarterback position.
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"That decision may be made before training camp," said O'Brien.
"They're out here competing (in OTA's and minicamp) every single day, and it's pretty intense. So, we may pick a guy very soon. And if we don't, and the decision does go into training camp, it'll be made pretty early on. The team needs to know who the guy is, and we need to go forward."
To me, it sounds as if O'Brien has pretty much already made up his mind and knows who he wants to become his starting quarterback.
I don't think anything is really set in stone and if the quarterback he does choose starts to struggle at commanding the offense, then I could see where O'Brien gives the other guy a shot. After all, O'Brien should know both Mallett and Hoyer pretty well since he worked with both of them previously in New England.
Who's up first?
So, the question is who will be given the first shot to prove to O'Brien that they have what it takes to be the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans?
Let's try to get in the head of head coach Bill O'Brien and try and figure out the best option for the Texans offense.
Many fans and members of the media believe that it is Ryan Mallett's job to lose. Personally, I don't really agree.
I've never really been a big fan of Mallett's. Just from my experience watching all the way back when he played collegiately at the University of Arkansas and his brief appearances this far in the NFL, I just don't think he has what it takes to become the starting quarterback for the Texans.
Mallett has struggled with his accuracy and that could be a problem in the NFL. You don't want your quarterback to be the one creating turnovers and a lot of Mallett's inaccuracy can lead to interceptions.
In the NFL, a quarterback has to be able to fit the ball into tight spaces and Mallett tends to rely too much on his arm strength to try to force the ball to his receivers.
Mallett is also more of a pocket passer and I could see that being a problem with the Texans who have a lot of questions to answer about who will be starting along the offensive line. The offensive line has to give Mallett enough time to work through his progressions, but if they don't then this is where his inaccuracy becomes a problem by forcing the ball to his receivers.
Personally, I think a more mobile quarterback would be more beneficial to the Texans offense and that's just not one of Mallett's traits.
It may seem like I'm tearing the guy down, but I just don't think Mallett's starting quarterback material.
Hoyer would be my choice to earn the starting spot for the quarterback position with the Texans.
I'm not O'Brien, but I think Hoyer is better suited to the Texans offense than Mallett is.
Hoyer has more starting experience in the NFL and was relatively successful during his time with the Cleveland Browns, even though he didn't have very many offensive weapons to help him out.
Hoyer is a much more mobile quarterback and can make accurate throws both inside the pocket and on the move outside of the pocket. He doesn't have Mallett's arm strength, but he makes up with that with his accuracy to connect with his receivers.
Hoyer's mobility can also help out the offensive line by being able to run more bootlegs and quarterback scrambles. This also opens up the playbook for the offensive coordinator and adds another dimension for the opposing defenses to be aware of.
Let's be honest here, there is very little chance that Savage can win the starting quarterback position.
I personally think that he needs more time to develop, but might have more upside than both Mallett and Hoyer.
Savage could possibly be one of the fringe players fighting for a roster spot because not a lot of NFL teams carry three quarterbacks on the roster anymore.
O'Brien has a big decision to make and it sounds as if he may have already made that decision.
If it's me, I think I would name Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback and see how he performs. If he struggles and you can always go to Mallett.
I just think that starting Hoyer gives the offense a better chance to succeed and opens up the playbook for the offensive coordinator.
It will be interesting to see if O'Brien does indeed go ahead and name his starting quarterback, but if not HBO Hard Knocks will be more interesting to watch.
Who would you choose to be the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans when the season starts?
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