Second-year quarterback Tom Savage is beating out veteran Brandon Weeden for the job of backing up expensive free-agent addition Brock Osweiler.
Because the backup quarterback is always just one hit away from being on the field, Savage’s ascension could wind up having a major impact on the Texans’ season. A fourth-round draft pick out of Pitt in 2015, the 26-year-old Savage missed all of last season due to a broken leg, missing out on the quarterback shuffle that guided the club to an 9-7 campaign and, somewhat miraculously, the playoffs.
Weeden was among the options, appearing in two games for Houston and starting one, both wins. However, should Osweiler be unavailable for any reason in 2016, Savage has moved ahead of him.
“I would say right now it’s Tom Savage,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I think he’s No. 2 right now. That’s not to say that Brandon Weeden hasn’t done a good job. Tom has really improved.”
That’s not surprising given the investment the Texans made in Savage and how highly O’Brien thinks of the young quarterback. At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, he has the prototypical size, and the arm strength, to play the position. In his senior year, Savage completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 7.6 yards per attempt, with 21 touchdowns to just nine interceptions in 13 games.
Savage is certainly a better prospect than Weeden, who turns 33 in October. If he gets a chance to play this season, Savage could turn out to be a better prospect than Osweiler as well.