Coach's Commentary: QB
Matt Schaub, 31, is in his sixth season with the Texans under head coach Gary Kubiak. He will be fully healthy for training camp following a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 10 last season.
Schaub led the league in passing in 2009 with 4,770 yards. He threw for 4,370 yards in 2010, becoming the 12th player in NFL history with 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons.
Before his injury in 2011, Schaub was having one of his best seasons. He had 15 touchdowns with six interceptions, 2,479 passing yards and a 61.0 completion percentage. He was sacked only 16 times and led the Texans to a 7-3 record and 27.3 points per game. He finished sixth in the NFL in passer rating (96.8) and third in yards per attempt (8.49).
Schaub organized players-only throwing sessions with teammates at the University of Houston this June and July after sitting out of OTAs (organized team activities) and mini-camp.
"He's our leader," Kubiak said during OTAs. "He's played extremely well. He had a very unfortunate situation last year, getting caught in a pile. We know what Matt's capable of. We're expecting big things from him."
T.J. Yates, 25, enters his second NFL season with seven starts, including two in the playoffs, under his belt. After Schaub and Matt Leinart suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back games in 2011, Yates entered the starting lineup and led the Texans to a division title and their first-ever playoff victory. The rookie fifth-round pick from North Carolina threw for 949 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions with a passer rating of 80.7 in six regular-season games. Yates worked as the Texans' starter during OTAs with Schaub on the sideline.
"T.J.'s really still a young player, and all the reps he's gotten – he's our starting quarterback right now out here, and the more reps he gets doing that, the more comfortable he becomes that he can lead a team and do those things," Kubiak said during OTAs. "He did it last year, so as hard as it is to have Matt out, it's been very valuable for T.J."
John Beck, 31, was signed in March after spending the last two seasons with the Washington Redskins. A second-round pick out of BYU in 2007, Beck has started seven games in his caree, throwing three touchdowns and seven interceptions. He arrived in Houston already familiar with Kubiak's offense because of his time in Washington, which runs essentially the same system under Mike and Kyle Shanahan.
Case Keenum, an undrafted free agent rookie, set the NCAA career records in passing yards (19.217) and passing touchdowns (155) at the University of Houston. He led the Cougars to a 37-14 record. The knocks on him coming out of school were his height, 6-1, and college system, a spread offense in which he almost strictly played out of the shotgun, but he impressed Kubiak in OTAs and mini-camp.
The backup quarterback job is Yates' to lose. Beck and Keenum will likely compete in training camp for the third quarterback spot, although Kubiak said during OTAs that the Texans could keep four quarterbacks if one is on the practice squad.