Texans rookie QB Keenum to start vs. Patriots

Texans rookie QB Keenum to start vs. Patriots
November 26, 2013, 3:00 pm
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It takes a lot of things to come crashing down for a team to go from really good to awful.
That’s what the Texans have done this season. They are 2-9 this year, 1-5 at home. Since beginning last season 11-1, they’ve gone 4-14 including the playoffs.
The Texans decline began when they showed up at Gillette Stadium for a Monday night game wearing high school letterman jackets and were promptly pummeled into submission, 42-14. A month later, the Patriots escorted them from the playoffs, 41-28.
Matt Schaub turning into a pick-six machine at the start of the season was one of the major contibutors to the team’s demise.
Now he’s on the bench and rookie Case Keenum is the starter. Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that Keenum -- who started the last four games -- will remain the starter against the Patriots Sunday despite diminishing returns.

Kubiak is aware of the challenge the Patriots present.

“We’re playing a great football team this weekend,” Kubiak said Monday. “Defensively, just speaking defensively, they do a lot of stuff. Bill (Belichick’s) always done a lot of stuff and they do it very well. But it’s part of the growth process for (Keenum) and, as I’ve said before, as coaches, you do everything you can to put him in a successful situation. He’s done a lot of good things. Had some early success. I think the last couple of weeks have been a little tougher. I thought it would get tougher, so it doesn’t surprise me. But I think he’s battling, continues to do some good stuff. We’ve got to find a way to eliminate some of the mistakes and some of the things that are happening to him. And I think those will happen as he continues to play. You want to find the young man some success. He’s had his team in five football games that, look, we’ve lost every one of them by less than a touchdown. So he’s been position, but hasn’t had the success of the winning, so that’s what we need to find.”

Sunday, the Texans lost to the Jaguars. Jacksonville players testified that Keenum looked rattled.  

“When you’re a rookie, you’re probably not going to be real comfortable until you play a lot of football,” said Kubiak. “That’s part of it. I just think he’s going through a growth process. I think, initially, a lot of good things going on, a lot of big plays going on. He’s getting played differently a little bit each week, so he’s seeing different defenses, different teams. How are you going to play me that day? What do I have to do as a player? He’s drifting a little bit in the pocket, which is something we’ve got to go fixed. That’s something that he has confidence to do because of the way he did in college. You can’t do that in this league because the edges get real short. That’s part of his growth process, but he’s a confident kid. (Sunday) was a tough day on him, I know. It’s tough on everybody, not just Case. Just got to stay positive and keep working.”

It’s going to get a little tougher than Jacksonville made it this Sunday.