Tom Savage was benched midway through an abysmal performance against the Jaguars in Week 1. Deshaun Watson was named the starter for Week 2, and Savage’s agent thinks the team is being too hasty in taking the starting role from his client.
“I wanted to defend Tom and this was my choice,” agent Neil Schwartz said on PFT Live. “I spoke to Tom and Tom was OK with and comfortable and I spoke to my partner, and someone I felt had to defend Tom. And I didn’t feel that the coaching staff defended Tom or defended his performance and I would love to sit down and watch the film with Bill O’Brien and go through every single play and tell me why are you benching him after 31 plays?”
Savage completed 53.8 percent of his passes against the Jaguars for 62 yards, no touchdowns, and two fumbles. He was under duress the entire game.
It’s difficult for any quarterback to succeed if they take six sacks in one half. Houston’s offensive line, without left tackle Duane Brown, might as well have been five turnstiles against Jacksonville’s pass rush. But still, Savage’s pocket awareness and timing leave much to be desired.
— Nick Mensio (@NickMensio) September 13, 2017
Schwartz said he not only went through each of the 31 plays Savage was on the field for, but also asked two former coaches to take a look at his plays as well.
“He went seven for 13. Twelve of those 13 balls, Mike, touched the receivers’ hands,” Schwartz said. “The only ball that didn’t was the strip sack fumble that they called incomplete. So 12 of the 13 balls that he threw touched the receivers’ hands. Seven were completions, five were drops.”
Watson didn’t exactly light it up when he took over, either. The rookie completed 52.2 percent of his passes for 102 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He took four sacks.
Between dropped passes and a vicious pass rush, neither Texans quarterback was set up to succeed against Jacksonville. But Watson, who was dealing with an ankle injury early in the week, has been named as the starter for Houston’s Thursday night matchup against the Bengals. Savage isn’t happy, but he’s keeping it to himself.
“So Tom’s obviously taken the high road and I would only expect Tom to take the high road and he’s gonna support DeShaun, he’s gonna support the team, and he wants to be a part of the Houston organization, he loves it down there,” Schwartz said. “It’s just frustrating and to be benched after 31 plays it just doesn’t make sense.”
O’Brien’s tendency to switch out quarterbacks has become a hallmark of his Texans career. Houston has started more quarterbacks than any team in the NFL since O’Brien took over in 2014. That includes the Browns, who basically had a revolving door behind center last season due to injuries.
But in this case, his agent thinks the team should have given Savage more time to prove himself. O’Brien must not agree, because Watson will get his first NFL start Thursday.