Ryan Mallett Supplants Ryan Fitzpatrick
Nov 2, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett (15) warms up before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Texans have decided to make a change at the quarterback position. Today, the team decided to move on from former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick to go with newly-minted starter Ryan Mallett.
The move comes at a time when the Texans have lost four of their last five games after starting the season 3-1. Fitzpatrick hasn’t been particularly bad lately, but his play simply doesn’t make the Texans a better team. Despite having one of the better wide receiving duos in the league, and a similar running game to boot, Fitzpatrick’s play has left the Texans with the 28th ranked passing offense in the league.
Coach Bill O’Brien clearly feels Ryan Mallett has earned the opportunity over time as he’s impressed the coach enough to finally get his shot as a starter in the NFL (per Tania Ganguil of ESPN).
"“Watching Ryan (Mallett} in practice every day, I believe it’s gotten better and better. His huddle command, his knowledge of the offense, he’s been in this system for four years. … I think he’s made a lot of progress whereas he’s never played in a game or hasn’t had many reps in a game. We’re going to give him his shot to play.”“He has a much better knowledge of football and what it takes to be prepared. Now it’s time to put him out there and see what he can do.”"
After spending three years playing behind Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett finally gets an opportunity with the coordinator he studied under during his rookie season; O’Brien was New England’s offensive coordinator in 2011. Mallett certainly his all the physical tools to be an NFL quarterback, and has had ample time to learn and prepare. Maybe he can spark the Texans’ currently sputtering passing game. It certainly won’t hurt Mallett’s chances having All-Pro Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins to help him get his feet wet.
The Texans will square off with the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12 (November 23rd). It’ll give Mallett plenty of time to adjust to being “the man” in Houston, while having the opportunity to start a game against the Cleveland Browns prior to meeting the Bengals at NRG Stadium.
The Bengals will need to be prepared for the big-armed quarterback. Regardless of how Mallett is performing heading into the game, the Bengals’ struggles against the run will force them to focus heavily on Arian Foster (the league’s second leading rusher currently). This will take much of the pressure off Mallett while he lines up throws to both Johnson and Hopkins. It should be interesting to see how the Bengals deal with the new starter. Paul Guenther enjoys blitzing. Hopefully in a couple of weeks, the Bengals will be getting more pressure on the quarterback than they have the first half of this year.