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Old 08-11-2015, 09:00 PM   #1
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The latest on Texans QB battle between Hoyer, Mallett

The Texans held their first practice back in Houston at NRG Park since their three days of work against Washington in Richmond, Va. Well,  two-and-a-half days of work against Washington, since they essentially practiced against themselves on Saturday after the brawls got out of hand.

Some notes on the quarterbacks from Tuesday’s session:

The quarterback battle remains just that – a battle – whose victor has not yet been decided. Mallett got a lot of the work with the first team, in 11 on 11 and in some 1-on-1 & 7-on-7 work with the receivers. His first outstanding throw of the day, came during goal line work as he scanned the field then found Garrett Graham in the middle of the field with safety Andre Hal in strong coverage. Mallett did a nice job of putting the ball just out of Hal’s reach and Graham hauled it for the score.

The defense then dropped and gave the requisite pushups for the "loss."
Mallett had a second strong connection with Graham as they moved down the field in 11-on-11’s. While he likely missed open receivers to his left, he launched one down the field to his right which was headed to two Texans defenders. But Graham adjusted tremendously to the ball, and slide back underneath the coverage to bring it in for the long gain. Mallett also had several plays that resulted in essentially eating the ball and just moving on to the next play.

He was asked what it means to him that coach O’Brien said the two quarterbacks are even right now. "Nothing. I’m out here trying to compete and get better for my team,” Mallett responded.

Hoyer continues to perform as he has throughout camp, meaning very good on most of the stuff underneath and on intermediate routes and not quite as accurate enough on throws down the field. It seems as he’s been sharper with the first unit, than the second, which only enforces the idea that to find a real "winner" in this competition, the two quarterbacks need time in the preseason games with the first unit (and against other first units) to make a better case for who needs to get the call to start the season as this team’s quarterback. Hoyer did make an excellent throw on a fade to Alan Bonner in the left corner of the endzone. The ball fell right into Bonner’s breadbasket and he looked like he had the catch – but as he went to the ground, Darryl Morris was able to knock the ball free.

Hoyer has remained even-keeled about the competition and his performance thus far.

"I think for me, you obviously go out there and you strive for perfection," Hoyer said. "But you know that’s not really attainable and you hope that mistakes aren’t crucial mistakes."

From watching their practices throughout training camp, there does not appear to be much differentiating Mallett from Hoyer. O’Brien said as much after Tuesday’s practice.

"Both guys are even. They’re competitive guys," O’Brien said. "We really, we have a lot of fun coaching both guys, they bring a lot of energy to the table. They’re smart, they’re good quarterbacks, and like I said, like I’ve said from day one, one guy will start and the other guy will back up the start, and we’ll go from there."

With it being a game week, he also cautioned against making a big deal about which quarterback gets the start Saturday against San Francisco.

"Do not read too much into who’s starting that game. I’ll tell you that," O’Brien said. "I think we’re trying to be very fair, I’ll tell you that. I think we are. I believe that both guys understand that and both guys have had an equal amount of reps. We’re looking for consistency regardless of who they’re playing with, just overall consistency."

It should also be noted that very quietly, Tom Savage has shown a lot of improvement over his rookie training camp. He’s been much more accurate and much more aware of the pocket and "pressure" around him. Though it’s not realistic that he is a part of the competition for the starting position.

"Savage is getting better, he really is. I think he’s made a lot of strides from his first year," O’Brien said . "He’s another guy, you know I thought, we had a 50-play scrimmage the other night with some of the younger guys in the bubble, and I thought he did some decent things in that scrimmage. It was one of those things, get him into a rhythm and the other two guys weren’t in that scrimmage, and he was in there and I thought he did some good things."

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