Tom Savage ready to seize opportunity as starter

For the first time as a professional, Tom Savage is starting a regular season game.

As a backup in a 2014 loss at Indianapolis, Savage saw action under center.

Last Sunday in the win over Jaguars he came off the bench and led the Texans to a comeback win. 

But now he's a starter and he said Wednesday he's going to make the most of it on Saturday night against the Bengals.

"At a young time in my career I learned that this opportunity can be taken away from you pretty quick," Savage said. "Injuries happen. That's why this week, I'm just going to enjoy this opportunity and go out there an have some fun with the guys, and just let it rip."

In the win over Jacksonville, Savage helped engineer five scoring drives and finished with 260 yards passing.

He didn't turn the ball over, and the Texans came away with a 21-20 triumph. Savage's left tackle is confident in the quarterback.

"I think he'll be fine," Duane Brown said. "His demeanor hasn't changed. He's a very even-keeled guy. Very calm and poised guy. As you can see, when he entered the game last week, his preparation has been pretty good so far." 

Head coach Bill O'Brien echoed Brown's sentiments, and said Savage had a "good" Wednesday of practice.

"He completed the ball," O'Brien said. "Wednesdays are tough, especially on a short week. We pile a lot into Wednesdays, first, second and third down today. Tomorrow, we'll pile a lot more. So installation was heavy today, extra meetings and things like that. I thought he handled it pretty well."

Getting the starter's reps, according to Savage, is a key this week leading up to the game against Cinicinnati.

"It's important," Savage said. "This is a good defense that we're going up against. You've got to make sure you get all the reps and see all the looks that we're going to see, and just go out there and execute my job."

Offensive coordinator George Godsey said Savage has improved every day he's been a Texan, going back to May of 2014 when he was drafted.

"He's an open book," Godsey said. "He comes in prepared. Does a good job of listening to all the coaching points at all the positions. Has a real good rapport with the other players. I think every day for him – he's improved and that's kind of what our expectations of him too."

Savage will start a non-preseason game for the first time in nearly three years. He was the starter for Pitt when the Panthers beat Bowling Green in the 2013 Little Caesars Bowl on December 26.

Check out the best shots from Wednesday's practice as the Texans prepare for the Bengals.

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