March 21, 2018

Moving Forward: Schaub, Yates or Keenum?

The one question that seems to be taking the city of Houston by storm is which quarterback is the best fit for the Texans. It appears starting quarterback Matt Schaub will be a game time decision this weekend, and Head Coach Gary Kubiak has already said that he will get both T.J. Yates and Case Keenum ready to start against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The situation is a fluid one, but the big issue is who needs to be the main quarterback for the remainder of the season.

We received the help of Big Ron and Tx Cleaver and both had who they thought was the best fit moving forward. Ron took Schaub, Cleaver vouched for Keenum while I thought Yates was the best fit.

See the arguments for all three quarterbacks.


The Cases For the Quarterbacks

Matt Schaub

Matt Schaub

Matt Schaub

I am not a Matt Schaub apologist or excuse maker.  I’ve actually been a major critic of Schaub in his tenure as the Texans QB and was so well before it was popular. Even when Schaub was having some of his greatest success and making the Pro Bowl, I was talking about his flaws and was never fully confident in him as Texans QB. As such, I’ve hoped the Texans would begin to develop their next starting QB, hopefully a significant talent upgrade, for more than two years.  All that stated, it’s pretty ironic that I’m writing about why Schaub should remain the Texans starting QB for the balance of this season, when his play has eroded to the point that EVERYONE is now questioning that idea.

So why should Schaub remain the Texans starting QB? Put plainly, I believe Matt Schaub gives the team its best chance to win games every week. That’s all it boils down to for me. If the goal is still winning and expecting the best possible place in the standings by season’s end, then Schaub should be the guy. Embarrassing string of performances considered, Matt Schaub is still the best of the three quarterbacks on the roster at executing the Texans’ offense. T.J. Yates is still too scattershot in his ball placement and his overall grasp of the passing game. Given equal surroundings, I believe Matt will make positive decisions and throws more consistently than T.J. As for Case Keenum, I love Case. I’m a UH graduate. I’ve seen as much of Keenum as any Texans Fan out there, and I just don’t believe he is ready to lead the Texans offense against front line NFL defenses. We’re not talking about the preseason against 2nd- and 3rd-stringers fighting to make rosters and running basic defensive looks. We’re talking the best talent the NFL has to offer, running schemes specifically designed to disguise/exploit/destroy and with real game checks on the line. I like Case as a prospect and see him likely as a future QB2 for the Texans, but I simply don’t believe he is capable of pulling the team out of its current nosedive. And again, I’m a Coog.

This all leads me back to old Average 8.  I do think his physical skills are in decline largely due to age and wear, and since Schaub wasn’t physically imposing to begin with, well, you get what you have now; A QB who can still make some plays but who needs a bunch more help from the guys around him, including the guy calling stale, years-old plays. For myriad reasons that hasn’t happened, but I’m hoping improvements around and from Schaub will get this season headed back toward reasonable expectations.  Bottom line is this: Unless there’s a young stud in waiting (there isn’t), you don’t put your $16 million QB on the bench after six games and still think you’re giving your team its best chance to win. Whether he deserved that dough is a whole other discussion (a short one… No.), but as it stands now, Schaub is better than the other two guys. If either of them plays in lieu of a healthy Matt Schaub, then I’ll see it as an admission that winning isn’t the goal anymore, and the season is about giving snaps to a guy who will never be a starting NFL quarterback. It would be change only for the sake of change; as in saying, ‘Bleep it. We failed. Throw this other guy out there.’ I sure don’t want that, and I don’t think Texans Fans would like it too much if it actually came to pass. I prefer to wait until the season is completed for the organization to heed the call for change, and then react with a logical, solid repair plan. I’m fine with ‘Bleep it. We failed’ when it’s appropriate, but there are still 10 games left to make something of this season. Matt Schaub is the QB that gives the best chance for that something to be worthwhile. (Big Ron)


T.J. Yates

Yates at OTAs.

Yates at OTAs.

As bad as Yates performed against the St. Louis Rams, he is the best bet moving forward for the Texans. He has shown that he can move the ball, and has better pocket presence than Matt Schaub. He tried too hard on Sunday to make plays which caused some ugly interceptions. Yates showed he can move in and out of the pocket to buy time to make plays, but the real factor is that he has not taken any real snaps that meant anything since 2011 in his rookie year in Baltimore.

Is he the long-term answer? No, but for the short-term he gives the best chance to put something together. He has shown he can manage games when he gets a chance, and that was in a rookie season when he had no off-season to prepare. Give him his time to show what he can do over a three to four game stretch just like he had his rookie season. It is apparent the city of Houston and the fan base has quickly forgotten what Yates did as a rookie. Had the most storied drive against the Cincinnati Bengals to clinch a playoff appearance and a huge home win against a very good Atlanta Falcons team and not to mention the first playoff win in franchise history.

His arm is better and mobility is better than Schaub, the only real thing Yates lacks is real playing time. The season is not lost and with where the Texans are sitting, Yates has the tools to prove that his rookie season when he kept the team together was no fluke. (PDS)


Case Keenum

Case Keenum

Case Keenum

Go with Case Keenum for now, though there’s likely little difference in the end result between the two. There are two main aspects of being a football fan – real-time enjoyment while watching and hope. Hope that your team will win; will be fun to watch; will triumph.  Hope sometimes defies logic, as it’s based on a series of unknowns. As the season has devolved, Keenum is the greatest unknown. A sweet, glorious teapot of maybe.  Sure, he’s an undersized, undrafted guy that has never set foot on a football field against meaningful talent. And he couldn’t beat out T.J. Yates.I won’t hold any of that against him for the sake of this experiment.  I especially won’t judge him for not beating Yates. Gary likes his guys. (Need proof? See: 3 backup QBs on the roster.)

So why Keenum? The Texans don’t need 300 yards out of their QB unless he scores against his own defense, can’t sustain drives or score TDs. The Texans need a QB that can make a few plays a game. They need a QB that can take shots beyond 5 yards. And they need a leader that can step their game up when needed.

Is that Case Keenum? Nobody knows. He seemed to have moxie in college. That’s a character trait that carries over to the NFL.

Can he make the reads and throws? Escape pressure? Not CrumbleSack himself? Make plays? Nobody knows. Maybe. Hope.

Schaub and Yates have far fewer maybes and even less hope. If Keenum is terrible, at least we know. And if he’s really terrible, the team is better positioned to draft the long-term starter. Who is that? The greatest unknown – the greatest hope. (TX Cleaver)


You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

5 Responses to “Moving Forward: Schaub, Yates or Keenum?”
  1. cartooner says:

    Good arguments all. Schaub wins in my book mainly because what TX Cleaver says about ‘hope’. With 10 games left and 2 W’s in the bag there’s hope and Schaub is it. When we have a total of maybe 7 L’s, then I’d love to see what Keenum brings to the table. But diminishing our possibilities by burning games with Yates and Keenum is no answer. If Schaub burns those games, then test the backups, but don’t tell the rest of the team “We quit” before it’s over.

  2. Louie G says:

    Great comparison between the 3 guys. If it is me, I roll with Schaub until the playoff chances are all but gone (which could be now, but let’s wait it out). If he is injured and can’t go this weekend, let’s send Case out there and see what happens. I’m a fan of the unknown in this situation.

  3. David Millican says:

    I’m surprised that this isnt full of Keenum is our savior comments to be honest. I understand wanting the home town kid to succeed but it’s just not likely that an undrafted, under sized, average armed kid from a low market conference that got cut and never had a sniff from another team(that I know of to be fair) is going to turn this team around with zero reps against first team NFL defense is ludicrous. Hey I like the kid too but the fact is he didn’t stand out had a lot going against him already. Was given every opportunity to win out but didn’t. We have a team that is built to win a super bowl right now. If Schaub isnt the starter then we are no longer built to win right now. All the locals hated Schaub and wanted him out. Think of a reasonable alternative before you cheer for someones injury.

    • Texansss says:

      i bet you feel like a dumbass now

      • David Millican says:

        Hey I’m impressed with the kid. He’s done very well thus far. But what is his record in the NFL again? Every time I’d bring up how well Schaub played the local fans would yell that he wasn’t winning. So winning is all that matters right? Well Schaub won 12 last year. Tied with Tom Brady. More than Aaron Rodgers, Big Ben, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, RG3, Eli Manning, etc. Again I like Keenum a lot but had very reasonable concerns about his potential. If 32 teams including the Texans didn’t think he was worth drafting in 7 rounds and then we didn’t even keep him on the roster last year and he never got a sniff there was probably a good reason for that and the chances of him becoming a franchise QB was small. He still could and I hope he does but he hasn’t. He’s still 0-2 so don’t go calling him a success yet. Let the kid win something before you start criticizing someone for simply having doubt. And again, I hope I am wrong about him and he proves to be an absolute stud. I’m just saying look at the odds of that happening. Great story being the hometown kid and all. He showed much better pocket presence than the first game which had me scared. Kids making great plays though and has provided a much needed spark to the team. It’s exciting to watch at least.

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