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Kubiak backs Schaub as Texans' 2013 QB

The SportsXchange

Because he's the quarterback, Matt Schaub is being targeted for most of the criticism by fans and media over the Houston Texans losing 41-28 to the New England Patriots on Saturday and exiting in the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

No matter how much fans and media howl for a new quarterback, it's not going to happen. And it has nothing to do with the five-year, $66.15 million contract Schaub signed before the season that included $29.1 in guaranteed money.

Schaub will earn $7.25 million in 2013. He'll return as the starter because owner Bob McNair, general manager Rick Smith and coach Gary Kubiak have faith in him.

"I believe in Matt," Kubiak said Monday. "He's the quarterback of our team. I've got no doubt about him. Over the last two years, he's won 70-plus percent of his starts (20-8 record). That's hard to do in this league. I feel very good about our quarterback."

Schaub, T.J. Yates and Case Keenum finished the season as the Texans' three quarterbacks. Houston won't be looking for another one in the draft, but neither was Seattle in April.

The Seahawks signed Green Bay Packers free agent quarterback Matt Flynn, yet they subsequently used a third-round pick on undersized Russell Wilson from the University of Wisconsin. And the rest is history.

In 2010, new San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh inherited Alex Smith, a former first overall draft pick, but in the second round, he traded up to select Colin Kaepernick from the University of Nevada. And the rest is history.

Wilson and Kaepernick proved teams don't have to use the first or second overall picks in the draft on highly rated stars like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III to find terrific quarterbacks who can run, throw and win.

Quarterbacks are Kubiak's specialty. Schaub turns 32 in June.

Schaub threw for 4,008 yards this season, completing 64.3 percent of his passes. He fired 22 touchdown passes and was intercepted 12 times. His 90.7 passer rating ranked ninth in the league.

"We always look at everything," Kubiak said about the draft. "If you're asking me that question from the standpoint of what I think of Matt, our whole team has got to get better, (and) that includes coaching and playing, for us to take the next step.

"Matt is part of the team, (and) I've got a lot of confidence in him. When you're the quarterback, obviously, that's where a lot of praise goes and a lot of criticism goes. I understand that. He understands that, and he's tough enough to work through it."

Schaub isn't going anywhere, but he'd better wear some ear plugs for a while.
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