March 24, 2018

Beck vs. Keenum: The Battle to be QB3

This is the first article of Clay Martin, State of the Texans’ newest blogger.


When the Houston Texans signed Case Keenum the day after the draft, many Texans fans and Houstonians reacted like they had just found their starting quarterback of the future. Yes, Keenum is the hometown hero who led the University of Houston Cougars to one of their best stretches in recent memory. Keenum put up astronomical numbers while winning thirteen games his senior year, but fans need to remember that there was a reason that Keenum lasted all 253 picks in the draft and was passed over by all 32 NFL franchises. Fans also need to remember that the minute he signed his contract with the Texans, he is nothing more than a third quarterback on the depth chart behind Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates. Now with the recent addition of John Beck, Keenum and Beck are in position for one of the camp battles to watch heading into the year.


Texans fans may not know that John Beck was a 3.5-year starter at BYU after serving on a Mormon mission. After a highly successful college career, the Miami Dolphins selected him with the 40th overall pick of the 2007 draft.



Beck’s BYU Career Stats


2003 8 73 145 5 864 5 56 50.3 34.54
2004 11 192 343 8 2,563 15 82 56.0 128.51
2005 12 331 513 13 3,709 27 67 64.5 110.46
2006 12 289 417 8 3,885 32 71 69.3 169.05
TOTAL 43 885 1,418 34 11,021 79 82 62.4 141.2


Keenum’s UofH College Stats













2007 13 273 187 .685 2259 86 147.6 14 10 173.8
2008 13 589 397 .674 5020 84 159.9 44 11 386.2
2009 14 700 492 .703 5671 58 154.8 44 15 405.1
2010 3 64 42 .656 636 63 159.3 5 5 212.0
2011 14 603 428 .710 5631 84 174.0 48 5 402.2
TOTAL 57 2229 1546 .694 19217 86 160.6 155 46 337.1


Beck played in five games for the Dolphins his rookie season where he started four of those and went 60 for 107 for 559 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions on a 1-15 Dolphins team. The past two years, Beck has been with the Washington Redskins, who are coached by none other than Mike Shanahan, the same Shanahan that Gary Kubiak served under in Denver before coming to help resurrect the Texans. Beck has obviously been well-versed in that offense and even started a few games this past year. The transition for Beck to the Texans offense should be seamless.


Looking at Beck and Keenum, Beck seems to have the physical advantage. He comes in at 6’2 215 lbs, while Keenum only measures in at 6’1” and 208 lbs. They show similar average mobility, although faster than Schaub, each clocked in around 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Both quarterbacks have average arm strength, but they compensate for that by being smart football players. Keenum proved his field awareness  by running the offense for the most prolific offenses for the Cougars, while Beck has hung around in the NFL for five years, while lacking any standout physical attributes, the biggest reason has to be potential.


It looks like on paper Beck and Keenum are the same quarterback besides the fact that Beck is a bit bigger. The one differentiating factor that cannot be undervalued in the race for the third QB job is experience. Keenum is a rookie who comes from an almost exclusively shotgun offense that continues throwing the football when they are up thirty in the fourth quarter. While he looked solid handling the ball from under center and using play-action in the games I watched, these instances were few and far between. Beck, on the other hand, has been tutored by Kubiak’s mentor in a very similar offense to the Texans’ for the past two years. This alone gives Beck the lead heading into OTAs and training camp.


Right now it is easy to believe that John Beck is currently the favorite to be the Texans’ #3 quarterback for the 2012 season. News coming out of Reliant says that Kubiak and the Texans love Keenum and his skill set, which makes me believe that he has a legitimate shot to make the team, or at least the practice squad. In order for Keenum to win a spot on the 53 man roster, he will have to master the offense very quickly and run it extremely effectively during camp and the preseason, or show that he is a vastly superior thrower of the football than Beck. While I do not know if this will happen, one thing I can tell you is that while Beck may seem to have the inside track to the job, expect Houstonians everywhere to be rooting for Case Keenum along the way to win this competition.

2 Responses to “Beck vs. Keenum: The Battle to be QB3”
  1. Ignacio M. says:

    Great article! I had been wondering about this beck guy since we signed him…seems like he has solid upside. Hopefully keenum can knock him off though! Go coogs and Texans!

  2. btramm says:

    Keenum! Beck has 5 years in the league and NOTHING to show for it … Case has overcome adversity since High School (only getting scholarship from U of H) and made other schools pay for overlooking him. Despite being in Conference USA, Case led the Cougars to wins against: Texas Tech, OSU, Mississippi State & Penn State to name a few. Give him a chance!

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