In last year's preseason, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates battled for the number two quarterback job and ended the race in a photo finish after a game four win at Dallas. Yates was named the back up, probably because of his experience.
This preseason, Keenum is getting snaps as the second-in-command field general. He's now playing the role of the elder statesman as rookie Tom Savage aims to move up the depth chart.
Bill O'Brien said Thursday that Keenum and Savage will both get snaps with the second team. Savage is intriguing. He has great arm strength and is doing everything he can to download the offense and make a good impression on the coaching staff.
Keenum has eight starts on his resume and has a knack for making plays 'when the lights go on.' He shined early last year but ultimately went winless. Now he's learning a new system.
The fact that the Bill O'Brien-Rick Smith collaboration has drafted Savage puts extra pressure on Keenum to get it right. And fast.
He's still the all time leading passer in NCAA history. But those credentials only get you an audition in this league. Two years ago, Keenum made the most of his tryout with the Texans, landing a gig and spending a year learning on the practice squad. The leap in proficiency he made last year enabled him to stick on the active roster and the rest is history. He held off T.J. Yates in the off season workouts and now finds himself in the number two slot.
The heat is on to perform and stiff arm the challenge of a talented rookie. O'Brien loves competition because it brings out the best in people (or not). So this is only going to help the squad overall.
Let the games begin.