Ryan Mallett preparing like he always does

Nothing's changed for Ryan Mallett.

The backup quarterback said he's still preparing like he's the starter, just like he always has.

"I've been doing the same work since high school," Mallett said on Tuesday. "I'm here early. I'm here late. I'm just trying to be the best player I can. Help my team any way I can."

With the team at 4-5 entering the bye week, head coach Bill O'Brien was asked on Monday if he planned on switching quarterbacks. He explained that all positions were being evaluated and that the entire team need to play better. Mallett, who was a rookie in New England during O'Brien's final season there with the Patriots, echoed his head coach.

"We've got to play better, all the way around," Mallett said. "Up front, offense, defense, special teams. It's the ultimate team sport, and the way we're playing shows it. We gotta play together better."

O'Brien, meanwhile, has said multiple times that Mallett's been a "hard worker" in practice since joining the team via trade in late August.

"He seems to have good command of what we're doing and he's come in here with good knowledge of the offense," O'Brien said. "You know, he's been in this system for a while now and he knows the system."

Mallett, meanwhile, explained his own confidence in operating O'Brien's system.

"I know the offense," Mallett said. "I know the playbook. If I need to get in there and do something, I will. I've been in this system for four years now. Not much is different, and what is, I feel like I've mastered that. I have to go out there and continue to play well with my team and get better."

The team will practice on Wednesday, and then have the next four days off for the bye. But Mallett doesn't plan on doing anything exotic, and will stay in Houston during the break.

"Right here," Mallett said. "Lifting weights and watching film."

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