The Houston Texans have Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett competing to start at quarterback for head coach Bill O'Brien this season and in training camp the two players will battle and a decision could come ahead of the preseason and this comes as rookie Jaelen Strong has been challenged by the coach to get into shape to help DeAndre Hopkins replace Andre Johnson on offense.
The Texans brought in Hoyer as a free agent and signed back Mallett when he hit the market and the two players will battle it out heading into the season. Last year the Texans had to use four different starters and they just missed the playoffs and that led O'Brien to say in the offseason that had the team had some more consistent QB play, they could have been in the postseason. Hoyer has more experience than Mallett and both players have had connections to O'Brien in the past from their time with the New England Patriots.
According to John McClain at the Houston Chronicle, Hoyer is expected to be the starter for the Texans when they open the season. McClain writes that Hoyer is "such a natural" when it comes to O'Brien's offensive system and that could help him in the competition with Mallett. McClain added that Hoyer has been "smooth" and has made "smart" decisions while working in OTAs and minicamp. Mallett had some chances to start last season, but he wasn't all that impressive and he is a solid option as a backup, as he can come in if Hoyer falters.
The two players split first team reps in camp earlier in the offseason, but in training camp it could be Hoyer who sees more time in the first team offense. Hoyer has much more experience starting and he comes in after playing in 14 games last year with the Browns. Hoyer started the season 7-4 before faltering down the stretch and now the Browns have Josh McCown after letting Hoyer go. The Texans traded away Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Jets and that leaves Hoyer and Mallett as the main options on the depth chart for O'Brien.
The Texans are on Hard Knocks this year on HBO and the decision about the QB could come ahead of camp, but that would take out a major storyline for the show. O'Brien said to NFL.com that there was "no timetable" for him picking the starter, but he added that it could come before camp or "early in camp" and the start of camp is getting close. Hoyer signed a contract worth $10.5 million over two years with half fully guaranteed, while Mallett has a deal with only $1.75 million guaranteed and that plays into Hoyer starting.
The Texans have Jaelen Strong coming in as a rookie and he is hoping to lineup alongside DeAndre Hopkins as the number two receiver. According to Pro Football Talk, O'Brien called out Strong about his conditioning and weight this offseason, but the wideout has shaped up. PFT reports that Strong has lost some weight, as Strong wrote on Twitter that he is down to 211 pounds after being over 230 earlier in the offseason.