Tom Savage 'absolutely' plans to win Texans starting quarterback job

HOUSTON -- Tom Savage was not part of the Houston Texans quarterback carousel this season, but he intends to win the starting job next year.

When asked if he'll come back at the start of the offseason programs thinking, "I'm going to win that job," Savage said, "absolutely." The Texans will face pressure to draft a quarterback high, but that doesn't daunt Savage.

"They can draft 12 quarterbacks," he said. "I am going to be ready to go. I am definitely excited about competing and that still falls under the category of controlling what I can control. I am not up there. I don’t make those decisions, so all I can do is be ready to compete."

Solving this position will be the most important thing the Texans do this offseason. Texans coach Bill O'Brien wasn't ready to say much about the Texans' plan at the position. Brian Hoyer began and ended the season as the team's starter, but the Texans started Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden in between due to injuries and coaches' decisions.

After a roller-coaster 2015 at quarterback, it is imperative they find someone to whom they can commit in the 2016 season.

Savage spent 2015 on injured reserve after suffering a shoulder injury during the preseason. The injury was significant, but he was healthy for a decent portion of the season and was often seen warming up before games. He used the time to learn as much as he could about working in the Texans' offense, giving himself portions of the game plan to study.

"I’m in a lot of those quarterback meetings and he’s in there taking notes," O'Brien said. "I ask him questions during the week every week and most of the time he’s got the right answer. We like the way he throws the ball. It’s unfortunate what happened to him in the beginning of the season there, in the preseason. ... We had to make a decision."

Considering the Texans went through four quarterbacks this season, Savage often wondered what would have happened had he been available to play.

"Every night, every night," he said. "It was tough, but that is a really tough spot to be in as a coach when you have that awkward timing for an injury like that. You can’t really control that and I am just ready to go."

The Texans viewed him as a developmental quarterback when they drafted him in the fourth round in 2014.

His development likely needed a little bit more time because he transferred twice during college. He played 12 games as a freshman at Rutgers and six as a sophomore. He didn't play in 2011 or 2012 as he transferred first to Arizona and then to Pittsburgh. At Pittsburgh, Savage became a starter once more for the 2013 season before entering the NFL draft.

Blake Bortles (Jaguars), Johnny Manziel (Browns), Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings), Derek Carr (Raiders), Jimmy Garappolo (Patriots) and Logan Thomas (Cardinals) were taken before him. The Texans selected Jadeveon Clowney first overall that year, then Xavier Su'a-Filo, C.J. Fiedorowicz and Louis Nix III in the first three rounds of that draft.

Savage was on the roster throughout his rookie season, but was only forced to play when the Texans traveled to Indianapolis in 2014 and starter Ryan Fitzpatrick broke his leg. He was not ready to lead the Texans' offense and struggled.

He came into this offseason feeling much more capable of running Houston's ever-changing offense. He was eager to prove that even while taking a back seat to the competition between Mallett and Hoyer during last year's training camp.

Now Savage is entering the third year of his four-year rookie deal with a mission.

"I am going to have an awesome opportunity this spring no matter what happens," Savage said. "And I am going to be ready to go."