The Texans have 56 players at their rookie mini-camp. Two of them are quarterbacks. Case Keenum is the only one of them with a spot currently on the active roster.
Undrafted rookie Collin Klein is participating in the three-day mini-camp on a tryout basis. Keenum is entering his second season with the Texans after going undrafted out of the University of Houston in 2012 and learning behind Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates.
"It's automatic for him now," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said after practice on Friday. "That's what I like. I think Case is fixing to be extremely competitive with T.J. and Matt. It comes from just confidence and knowing what we're doing. You can just tell today, he comes out here with a bunch of young kids, but he was obviously the leader of the group today with everything he did."
Keenum is one of seven veteran players participating in the Texans' rookie mini-camp. He spent last season on the practice squad after setting the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) career records in passing yards (19,217) and passing touchdowns (155) at Houston. He had a 37-14 record as a college starter.
The main knocks on Keenum coming out of school were his size (6-1, 209), arm strength and that he played in a shotgun-based spread offense. He made a quick adjustment to playing under center as a rookie and has continued to improve in year two. Kubiak called Keenum "a different guy right now," citing his confidence as the biggest difference.
"Just walking out here, he knows everything he's doing," Kubiak said. "He doesn't have to work real hard at it from a standpoint of getting ready for practice. His ability is starting to take over. He does some things moving around and stuff that are natural for him. For a rookie camp, he's the leader out here. It's the way it should be. He's been here for a year."
After a long first day that concluded with a hot outdoor practice on Friday afternoon, Keenum offered an even-keeled assessment of his performance.
"The day overall was good," he said. "I had some good plays, made some good throws and found some areas I still need to work on. Just getting back, kind of knocking the rust off a little bit with reads and certain things like that, but getting going again."
So far, he's getting going in the right direction.