HOUSTON -- Although members of the Houston Texans coaching staff and front office have insisted that right now, Tom Savage is the team’s starting quarterback, Savage said he knows he has to earn the job.
“Listen, I’m going to go out there and I’m going to play like I have to play to keep this job,” Savage said this week during the team’s charity golf outing. “You have to earn it every day to be the starter. I mean, it doesn’t matter if a coach says you’re the starter. You have to go out there and you have to perform. I know that, and that’s the attitude I have.”
Savage will compete with first-round pick Deshaun Watson during organized team activities and training camp. Texans coach Bill O'Brien has said he feels "comfortable" with Savage starting in 2017 and that Watson will have a lot to learn before he's ready to be an NFL starter.
“I’m very excited,” Savage said. “I know it’s going to be a battle. You have to go out there and you have to perform at all times, especially at this position, and I know that, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Savage, a fourth-round draft pick by the Texans in 2014, has only made two career NFL starts and has not thrown a touchdown in his five games. He has also dealt with injuries in all three of his seasons, including leaving the 2016 regular-season finale with a concussion.
Texans general manager Rick Smith said he thinks Savage has “all the ingredients that are necessary to play quarterback” at the NFL level.
“He’s intelligent. He works hard. He’s got the athletic ability. And the opportunities that he’s had, he’s done well with them,” Smith said. “It’s just a function of having the opportunity to be there consistently. I think he will continue to get better. I think he’s got all of those traits and I think the more he plays and the more experience that he gains, the better he’ll be.”