The Houston Texans named Tom Savage the starting quarterback for their Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played 31 snaps and completed 7 of 13 passes for 62 yards before Texans head coach Bill O’Brien replaced the veteran QB with rookie signal-caller Deshaun Watson.
Now, Watson reportedly will start the Texans’ Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. And Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, still is trying to comprehend why exactly his client was benched so quickly in Houston’s 29-7, season-opening loss to Jacksonville.
“I watched all 31 plays because that was the extent of what Tom saw in the first half, and I can’t figure out why he’s benching Tom,” Schwartz said Wednesday on “PFT Live,” per ProFootballTalk. “I went through every single play. In fact, I went even a step further. I asked two different NFL personnel people also ex-coaches, two separate teams to evaluate, break down and to review the film and see if I was missing something and let’s go through it.
“He went 7-for-13. Twelve of those 13 balls touched the receivers’ hands. The only ball that didn’t was the strip sack fumble that they called incomplete. So 12 of the 13 balls that he threw touched the receivers hands. Seven were completions, five were drops.”
The Texans traded up to select Watson with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, so the organization obviously thinks very highly of the Clemson product despite entering Week 1 with Savage as the starter. That said, it’s interesting to see Houston give Savage the hook in favor of Watson after just one half of football. O’Brien basically threw his rookie QB into the fire right away while also raising questions about his overall view on Savage.
“You just benched him after 31 plays. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Schwartz, who insisted that defending Savage was his own choice. “So Tom’s obviously taken the high road, and I would only expect Tom to take the high road, and he’s going to support DeShaun, he’s going to support the team and he wants to be a part of the Houston organization. He loves it down there. It’s just frustrating, and to be benched after 31 plays, it just doesn’t make sense.”
Savage, who has appeared in just six games (three starts) with the Texans since 2014, always figured to be a placeholder until Watson was ready. Who knew the transition would come so abruptly?
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images