Look, I’m sure Tom Savage is a good guy and all, and he’s been with the Texans for a few years and, uh, OK, fine, let him take the first-team snaps in training camp while your No. 1 draft pick, Deshaun Watson, learns the offense, if that makes you feel good. Makes it look like you really have to earn it if you want to play quarterback for Bill O’Brien.
But there comes a time — and I’d argue that time is “when the season starts” — that this sort of symbolic silliness must give way to the cold, hard realities about professional sports, and your best men must take the field.
The Texans, well, they screwed up the timing.
Starting the veteran Savage over the rookie Watson in the season opener last week was a conventional move on its face. But on closer examination it didn’t make a lot of sense, even before Savage’s disastrous performance.
This is because Tom Savage is not some aging legend who’s earned a slow fade into retirement, like Brett Favre. He’s not a veteran starter who can still play, like Alex Smith. He’s not even Damon Huard.
Tom Savage has played in six total NFL games, attempting 105 passes, making him only a little bit more experienced than Watson, who it was reported Tuesday will start for the Texans in Week 2.
Now, are we to believe Bill O’Brien and the rest of the Texans staff actually thought Tom Savage was a better player than Deshaun Watson until halftime of the first game, at which point their minds were changed by a few bad series?
Or do we find it easier to believe that all that “best guy’s gonna play, period” stuff is quite often, and in this case, a bunch of hooey — and that in reality O’Brien was playing, and continues to play, a goofy little game of managing expectations or the media or internal team politics to no productive end?