*Leading up to the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 11, we'll profile each position group on the 2011 Texans. Each article will contain excerpts from the 2011 Houston Texans Yearbook, the team's official season preview magazine that is on sale now at the Go Texan Store at Reliant Stadium and online right here. *
Lineup listing: Matt Schaub (starter), Matt Leinart, T.J. Yates
New arrivals: Yates (draft pick)
Departures: Dan Orlovsky (released)
Schaub, 30, enters his fifth season with the Texans under head coach Gary Kubiak.
After leading the league with 4,770 passing yards in 2009, Schaub threw for 4,370 in 2010. That made him the sixth quarterback in NFL history with a combined 9,000 passing yards over two seasons, and the 12th quarterback ever with 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He has started 36 consecutive games dating back to 2008.
Schaub organized workouts at Rice University during the lockout this offseason, keeping his teammates on track with mock organized team activities (OTAs) and mini-camps.
"It was important for us all to stay together and get our work in," Schaub said. "We had a great turnout, both in mini-camps and our normal workouts. Guys worked hard and we followed our program and got a lot out of it. Hopefully, it will pay off."
Leinart, 27, is Schaub's backup after re-signing with the Texans as an unrestricted free agent. The former Heisman Trophy winner at USC and first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals was the Texans' third quarterback in 2010. He finished the preseason 36-of-58 passing (62.1%) for 361 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His passer rating was 78.3.
Behind Leinart is Yates, a rookie who the Texans drafted in the fifth round out of North Carolina. Yates was a four-year starter at UNC who played in a pro-style system based in part on the Texans' offense. He was 13-of-26 for 181 yards and one interception this preseason, good for a passer rating of 56.7.
QBs coach Greg Knapp on Schaub: "When I think of Matt, I think about how efficient a quarterback he is. We as coaches put a lot on his shoulders because he can handle it. I can safely say that our pass-game plan is one of the most extensive ones in the league, and we do that only because he is very efficient and takes great pride in performing at a high level and he can handle a large workload. You've seen it play out the last two years with 4,000-yard passing seasons, and in some circumstances, he's throwing the ball at a very high efficiency when teams know we've got to throw the ball. What comes to mind is that Baltimore game last year where we put two 90-yard drives together, essentially all throwing the ball, in the fourth quarter in a come-from-behind battle against one of the best defenses in the league. Matt stays calm and cool during the game."