The Houston Texans have Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer competing to start for head coach Bill O'Brien and a decision could be made on the starting quarterback ahead of training camp, as O'Brien said that both players have been looking good in offseason workouts and that a choice could come "soon" about who will be number one on the depth chart.
The Texans used four different starters last season and still nearly made the playoffs and now they have two clear options at the quarterback position. The team traded for Mallett last season and brought him back as a free agent, while Hoyer comes in after signing in free agency from the Browns. Hoyer has more starting experience and both players have past experience with O'Brien, as they all were with the Patriots at various times.
The Texans are coming into the season with high expectations and getting more consistent play at quarterback could be the key to making the postseason again. According to Pro Football Talk, O'Brien spoke last week about the two quarterbacks and he said that Hoyer was able to show that he is mobile and that he has "greater mobility" over Mallett. The site writes that the mobility is something that fits for O'Brien's offense and that could give Hoyer a leg up over Mallett.
Both players signed two year deals, but Hoyer was the one with the more expensive contract and that also could help give him a boost if the two are close in camp. O'Brien likes to use bootleg plays and ones where quarterbacks roll out and that could put Hoyer in a position to win the job. Mallett showed some potential last season in his limited playing time, but to start things off Hoyer may get the nod. O'Brien said that the decision could come before training camp and that would help give the starter more time with the first team offense.
According to the Houston Chronicle, both Hoyer and Mallett got time with the first team in OTAs and minicamp. The offseason program is basically done now and that means whatever the two players have done is locked in and there is not much more they can do to influence O'Brien. According to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain, Hoyer is expected to be the starter for Week 1 of the season, as he is a "natural" fit for the offense.
Mallett has potential, but he could be a good backup behind Hoyer in case an injury happens. Hoyer has more experience and Mallett could be groomed as the future long term starter behind Hoyer after spending time in New England before being traded to the Texans. Hoyer has been comfortable in the system this offseason and while both players were not that accurate last year, the "safer" choice is likely Hoyer to open things up.