The Houston Texans have Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett competing to start for head coach Bill O'Brien in camp workouts this offseason and heading into training camp O'Brien said that he may make the decision on the starting quarterback "very soon," which would put one player in front heading through the summer.
The Texans signed Hoyer as a free agent this offseason and they brought back Ryan Mallett after he hit the market. Mallett was acquired in a trade last season with the Patriots and now he is getting the chance to compete with Hoyer. According to Ian Rapoport at NFL.com, O'Brien may make the decision on the starting quarterback "before training camp" and this comes after many thought the two would compete through the summer for the job.
Mallett and Hoyer have been splitting reps in team workouts and so far neither player has pushed the other one out of the race to be the starter. Hoyer is likely coming in with a leg up since he has more starting experience, but Mallett showed some flashes last season and could get the job. Hoyer opened the season as the starter for the Browns and went 7-4 before faltering down the stretch, while Mallett got some chances to play for the Texans.
"That decision may be made before training camp," O'Brien told NFL Media. "They're out here competing every single day, and it's pretty intense. So, we may pick a guy very soon. And if we don't, and the decision does go into training camp, it'll be made pretty early on. The team needs to know who the guy is, and we need to go forward."
According to NFL.com, Hoyer and Mallett split reps in OTA workouts this offseason and that could decide who comes into training camp with a leg up for O'Brien. Hoyer signed a deal after playing for the Browns last season, while Mallett signed back after being acquired in a trade by the Texans from the Patriots. The Texans used Mallett, Tom Savage, Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick last season and nearly made the playoffs and many felt they could have made it in had they had more consistent play from the QB position.
Hoyer could be a bit behind the curve on the offense compared to Mallett, as Mallett was with the team while Hoyer was playing in Cleveland. Last season Hoyer had 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season in 14 games and he comes in after signing a two-year, $10.5 million contract with $4.75 million guaranteed on the deal. Mallett did not impress all that much last season, but he has a strong arm and that is a good fit for what the Texans want to do on offense. Mallett had two touchdowns and two picks last season and only completed 54 percent of his passes and he will need to show more to get the job.