The Houston Texans have Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett competing to start this season for Bill O'Brien and the head coach could name a starting quarterback in mandatory minicamp if one of the players impresses ahead of training camp and this comes as the team is expecting to have Jadeveon Clowney ready to start the season healthy in Week 1.
The Texans signed Hoyer and Mallett in the offseason and now they are at the top of the depth chart and the main competition for the quarterback job. The team has Tom Savage after drafting him last year, but he is not yet considered to be a threat to take the starting job. According to NFL.com, O'Brien said that the "decision" on the starter could come before training camp and that the team could "pick a guy" to start "very soon."
Hoyer seemingly has the inside edge since he has more starting experience, but Mallett was with the team for the majority of last season and is more experienced with the offense. O'Brien has past experience with both Hoyer and Mallett from his days in New England, so getting up to speed may not be an issue for Hoyer. Last season Hoyer was with the Browns and started the season 7-4, but he did not play well down the stretch and the team opted not to re-sign him in free agency.
The Browns brought in Josh McCown and Hoyer was left to sign with the Texans. Mallett was also a free agent this offseason following his trade from the Patriots and he came back on a two year deal with the Texans. Hoyer signed a two year deal for $10.5 million, while Mallett signed for $7 million and now the two are splitting time heading into minicamp. The Houston Chronicle reported that both players got first team reps in OTA workouts and now O'Brien may make his decision based on the performances in mandatory minicamp starting this week.
Hoyer comes in after throwing for 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season with 3334 yards and he has more experience under center than Mallett does. Last season Mallett started against Hoyer in a game between the Browns and the Texans and in his pro career, Mallett has played in seven games between Houston and New England, throwing just 79 passes. Both players need to improve on their accuracy and whoever establishes themselves as the more consistent QB likely will get the starting nod.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texans are expecting Jadeveon Clowney to be back for Week 1 of the season after dealing with micro-fracture knee surgery in the offseason. Clowney was the number one overall pick and he missed most of the season with injuries. Clowney played in four games and had just Sven tackles and no sacks recorded.
O'Brien said that Clowney had been making progress this offseason coming back from surgery and that he is "expected to be on the field" for the first game of the season. J.J. Watt is the top lineman for the Texans and getting back Clowney in any capacity will be big for Houston. The team is on HBO for Hard Knocks this season and the battle with Hoyer and Mallett along with Clowney's recovery should be notable storylines.