Every year there’s a clipboard-holding quarterback who emerges to overtake the presumptive starter. Last season, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson rose to the top of the depth chart. This season, Matt Schaub may be the next quarterback to get Kaepernick’d if he’s not careful.
After former University of Houston star Case Keenum passed for 125 yards and completed 13 of 18 passes for a touchdown against the Vikings in Houston's first preseason game, head coach Gary Kubiak hinted that Keenum may be the new No. 2 to Schaub in the Texans' next preseason matchup. Due to concerns over his height, Keenum went undrafted in 2012, but he left college as the NCAA's FBS leader in career passing yards and completions. Unlike most pure passers, Keenum's actually quite mobile as well.
Schaub’s job is safe for now, but the feeling within the organization and from the fanbase is that Schaub has to begin making plays in big moments or else the Texans may be forced to look elsewhere to capitalize on their Super Bowl caliber talent by making a switch. On second thought, that sounds a lot like the position that Alex Smith stood in the eyes of most Niners fans last season.
It may not happen this season or the next, but it appears Kubiak has found Schaub's heir apparent.
Via Pro Football Talk:
“Well they are two good football players, so it’s a nice problem for us,” coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Saturday. “I think Case has come a long way. That has nothing to do with T.J. not doing something. I think T.J. is having a dang good camp. He’s a better player than he was the last couple of years. It’s just a very competitive situation for us right now and it’s going to make our team better. It’s making both of those guys better. It will help them in their careers, but it’s definitely making our team better.”
…“We’re going to talk about that this week,” Kubiak said. “What I’m trying to do is get him and T.J. in the exact same situations as players with pretty much equal reps, so that’s something that may be a topic this week. They will continue to both play a great deal. It’s a very good battle going on and they both did a good job last night.”
Starter Matt Schaub, who’d be the next guy in the Abilene native’s sights, sees a night-and-day difference in Keenum after one year.
“It’s confidence,” Kubiak said. “It’s knowledge of what we’re doing. He’s just got a little swagger to him when he plays and that’s the way he played in college. I mean, he’s very confident. Doesn’t get caught with the ball. As a coach, you call a bad play and he makes it a good one. That’s just what he can do. I’ve never seen a guy smile so much when he plays football. He’s having a good time and he’s got a lot of confidence in what’s going on. You can tell how far he’s come in camp and obviously last night showed you that it’s continuing.”