If the Texans wanted to bury the news about their starting quarterback, they certainly picked the right time to do it.
Less than an hour after announcing coach Gary Kubiak had been fired, owner Bob McNair said that Case Keenum will be the starting quarterback the rest of the season.
McNair: Case is going to be the quarterback, and we're going to give him a chance. He's shown flashes of brilliance & also rookie mistakes.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 6, 2013
It's an interesting commitment, maybe one that doesn't happen without Kubiak's firing.
As long as Kubiak was coaching and trying to save his job, there would have been the temptation to go with veteran Matt Schaub to win a game or two and save his job. Keenum has been pulled twice in the Texans' last four games. On Thursday night at Jacksonville, Schaub played pretty well of the bench and almost helped the Texans to a comeback win. A late interception sealed a 27-20 Houston loss.
The Texans' season is over. So too, seemingly, are Schaub's days as the Texans' franchise quarterback. The prudent thing for the Texans is to see what Keenum can do, and have a clear answer on him going into the offseason, when they will have a high first-round pick. Houston would have the first overall pick if the season ended today, and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is considered the top prospect in the class.
It will be interesting to see the locker room reaction to this news. Many players had supportive comments of Schaub after Thursday's loss, and are comfortable with the veteran. But Keenum has 1,592 yards and nine touchdowns in seven starts, and it's obvious why the Texans would want to take a longer look at him before heading into the 2014 draft.
What remains to be seen is which coach Keenum is ultimately auditioning for.
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