The Houston Texans have Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett competing to be the starting quarterback in training camp this summer and the HBO cameras will be in action for "Hard Knocks" and this comes as Bill O'Brien has yet to name an official starter, while players like Nate Washington, Cecil Shorts and Jaelen Strong give DeAndre Hopkins some depth on offense.
The Texans signed Hoyer as a free agent this offseason and the team opted to bring back Ryan Mallett after he hit the market. O'Brien said to the media ahead of the start of camp that he could pick a starting quarterback soon and other reports had the competition over "sooner than" some have thought. According to the Houston Chronicle, Hoyer is in the lead in the battle to start, as he has been more accurate than Mallett through offseason workouts.
The Texans traded for Mallett last year and while the team thinks he has potential as a starter, Hoyer has more experience and is on a more lucrative contract. While it's not much, the team is paying Hoyer more money and that could factor into what they decide to do at QB. Last season Hoyer started for the Browns and went 7-4 before being replaced and getting injured and now he has the chance to bounce back. Last season the Texans used four starters and still nearly made the playoffs and now O'Brien is looking for more consistent play from the position.
Hoyer and Mallett split time with the first team offense in OTAs and minicamp and neither player distinguished themselves enough for O'Brien to end the competition. The media covering the Texans are putting Hoyer in the lead right now, but things could change as camp continues this week. The team also has Tom Savage in the mix, but O'Brien is not expected to give him a chance to win the starting job now over Mallett or Hoyer. John McClain at the Houston Chronicle wrote in mid-July that Hoyer looked like "such a natural" in the O'Brien offense and that could help him start.
Hoyer comes in after completing 55 percent of his passes last season and throwing for 3334 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Hoyer has more experience than Mallett and he comes in after playing in 14 games last season, the most in his career. Mallett played in three games last season and had just two interceptions and two touchdowns while passing for 400 yards. Mallett has only thrown 79 passes in NFL games in his career and last season he completed just 54 percent of his passes. The experience for Hoyer could give him the nod in this battle.
The team is expecting big things for DeAndre Hopkins again this year after he had a career season in 2014 and the Texans hope he can take over with Andre Johnson gone. The team added some depth with Cecil Shorts, Nate Washington and the draft pick of Jaelen Strong and that should give Hoyer or Mallett some nice weapons with Hopkins. Last season Hopkins had 76 catches for 1210 yards and six touchdowns. Washington comes in after signing a deal with the Texans and he is hoping to contribute after playing the last six years of his career with the Titans.