It was a devastating blow for the Houston Texans when they lost Matt Schaub for the season. The Texans finally had everything going for them and didn’t have to worry about Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts winning the division. The Texans turned to Matt Leinart, but with one play his season ended and rookie T.J. Yates is now the face of the team and the foreseeable future.
T.J. Yates a former North Carolina Tar Heel quarterback who holds the UNC school records for total career passing yards, single-season passing yards and single-season total offense.
Yates started 44 games for the Tar Heel’s, including 29 consecutive. He was not a highly recruited quarterback but drew interest from Carolina’s coaches who were in Georgia in 2006 to watch a player of the opposing team. Yates impressed the scouts and was offered a scholarship, which he accepted before visiting the campus. He also turned down numerous basketball scholarships to play football in Chapel Hill.
The Houston Texans selected T.J. with the 152nd pick in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft and no one thought he would be seeing his first game action in a November playoff run.
Gary Kubiak stands behind his rookie, “He just plays the game fast,” the Texans coach said. “He’s shown me all of the characteristics you want to see in this league. He can move. He has a good arm. But the bottom line is this is the first reps the kid’s gotten. He can only get better and I know the team will do everything they can to rally behind him.”
The Texans don’t have a choice.
If Houston plans on making the playoffs they must rely on the rookie after missing out on Kyle Orton who was released by the Denver Broncos and signed by the Kansas City Chiefs. There aren’t many options out there including the asinine Brett Favre rumors.
Yates will be helped by a top-ranked defense and a potent running game that should take some pressure off the rookie.
No matter, the new starting quarterback of the Texans has thrown a total of 15 passes in the NFL and now has two tough opponents in front of him as the Texans welcome the Atlanta Falcons and then travel to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The team stands behind him and after a solid performance replacing Matt Leinart, why not?
“We all saw what T.J. did right before the half,” outside linebacker Connor Barwin said. “He can throw the ball around a little bit. Give him another week to prepare and I think we all feel confident about him.”