Texans QB Tom Savage's agent sounds off on benching – Chron.com
After Texans quarterback Tom Savage was benched following a two-quarter stint in the season opener, his agent Neil Schwartz (right) sounded off in an interview Wednesday.
The first QB ever signed by the team, Quinn served as one of David Carr's backups in 2002 but never played. He signed with the Broncos in 2004 and finished his playing career with the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Texans selected the former Heisman Trophy winner in the 2002 expansion draft. He never played for the team though, as they dealt him a few weeks later to the Redskins, which proved to be the final stop of his six-year NFL career.
Signed in March 2002, the Wake Forest product was released prior to the team's inaugural season. He returned to the team in 2003 as a member of the practice squad. The Chicago native played for the Indoor Football League's Allen Wranglers in 2012.
The veteran, who played for the Giants, Lions, Cardinals, Steelers and Redskins, was signed in April 2002 and was released in August 2002. He finished his career as a member of Jaguars practice squad.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft, Carr had just 23 victories and was sacked 249 times during his five-year stint with the team. Released in 2007 after the team acquired Matt Schaub, Carr has since played for the Panthers, 49ers and Giants (twice). In Carr's first start (the Texans' first game as a franchise and as a rookie in 2002), he led the Texans to a franchise-opening 19-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. He completed 10 of 22 passes for 145 yards and a pair of touchdowns to go along with an interception.
Serving as David Carr's backup for four seasons (2002-2005), Banks only started in three games (with a 2-1 record) but appeared in 15. He had six touchdowns and five interceptions. Finishing his career in Houston, the Michigan State alum also played for the Rams, Ravens, Cowboys and Redskins. In his first start as a Texan, Banks led the Texans to a 14-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in 2003. The Panthers ended up losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl this season. Banks posted a mistake-free game, going 13 for 19 for 154 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs.
Drafted in the third round in 2003, Ragone started two games (lost both) that season; he never threw a touchdown but did throw one interception and fumbled four times. Ragone finished his playing career as a member of the Rams practice squad in 2006. He currently serves as Washington's offensive quality control coach. In Ragone's first start with the Texans (in 2003), the offense was shutout in a 27-0 loss to the Jaguars. Ragone went 11 for 23 for 71 yards and 1 INT.
Picked in the sixth round of the 2003 draft, the two-sport star from Michigan never played for the Texans. He was traded to the Cowboys in 2004 for a third round pick. He played in just seven games with the Cowboys and finished his career with the Lions in 2008.
A seventh-round pick in 2004, the former Texas Tech standout never played for the team. He finished his playing career with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.
The Northern Arizona product served as a member of the practice squad in 2005 and finished his career with the Titans in 2008.
Signed as a free agent after five seasons with the Redskins and Dolphins, Rosenfels played three seasons with the Texans, filling in as a starter when Matt Schaub was injured. Rosenfels was traded to the Vikings in February 2009. After stints with the Giants and Dolphins, Rosenfels returned to the Vikings in 2011. Rosenfels made his first start for the Texans in a 2007 24-17 win over the Raiders. He went 11 for 19 for 181 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.
Signed as an undrafted free agent in May 2006, the North Carolina product was released two months later. After having practice squad stints with the Cowboys, Saints, Cardinals, Dolphins and Bills, Baker has been out of football since 2008.
The former Boston College signal-caller joined the Texans as an undrafted free agent in May 2006 and was released in August 2007. He finished his career as a member of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes in 2013.
A seventh-round pick by the 49ers in 2004, Pickett was a member of the Texans' practice squad in 2006. He finished his career with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders, retiring in 2010.
A seventh-round selection by the Broncos in 2004, Van Pelt served as a backup for the Texans in 2006 but never played in any regular season games. The Colorado State product finished his career with stints in the Italian and British football leagues.
Traded from the Falcons to the Texans for two second round picks in March 2007, Schaub posted a 46-44 record in his seven seasons with the Texans. The Virginia product was traded to the Raiders in March 2014 for a sixth-round draft pick. Schaub's first start for the Texans (Week 1 of 2007 season) was a success as the Texans rolled to a 20-3 drubbing of the Kansas City Chiefs. Schaub went 16 of 22 for 225 yards with a TD and an INT. Schaub is currently a backup for the Baltimore Ravens.
An undrafted free agent out of Boise State, Zabransky was signed to the Texans practice squad in 2007. He was released months later. He finished his career with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos in 2011.
The former Kentucky QB appeared in two preseason games in 2007. He's currently a member of the Arena Football League's Arizona Rattlers.
The former Packers backup was signed and released by the Texans during both the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He finished his career with the UFL's Florida Tuskers in 2009.
The former Jaguars backup was signed by the Texans during the 2008 offseason but was released before the start of training camp. He completed his playing career with the UFL's New York Sentinels.
The Texans drafted Brink in the seventh round of the 2008 draft and released him in September 2009. The Washington State product last played for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2012.
Orlovsky started seven games for the Lions in 2008 before signing with the Texans as an unrestricted free agent in March 2009. He appeared in one game for the Texans in 2010 and was released in July 2011. Orlovsky is currently a backup in Detroit.
The former Florida star who led the Bears to the Super Bowl, signed a one-year deal with the Texans in 2009 to be the No. 3 quarterback. He instead, served as Matt Schaub's backup and following the season, he signed with Washington. He was released by the Atlanta Falcons before the 2015 season.
A fifth-round pick of the Vikings in 2008, the USC product signed with the Texans in January 2010 and was released prior to the start of the 2010 season. He's been out of football ever since.
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Bowling Green in May 2010, Sheehan was released a month later. He last played for the Cincinnati Commando (an indoor football team) in 2012.
Picked by the Cardinals with the 10th pick in the 2006 draft, the former Heisman Trophy winner signed with the Texans in September 2010. Leinart started one game in 2011 against the Jaguars, but was injured in the first half. He was released by the Texans on March 12, 2012. Leinart started one game for the Texans: a 2011 victory over the Jaguars. He was injured in the first half, but still managed 10 completions, 57 yards and a touchdown. Leinart is out of football and working as a college football TV analyst.
Yates was selected in the 5th round of the 2011 draft by the Texans. He was forced into the starting position when Matt Leinart was injured against the Jaguars. Yates clinched the first playoff berth for the Texans and also won the first playoff game in franchise history. The Texans dealt him to the Falcons in June 2014 for linebacker Akeem Dent. In Yates' first start with Houston, as a rookie in 2011, he led the Texans to a 17-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons. He went 12 for 25 for 188 yards with 1 TD and 0 INTs. Yates was released by the Falcons before the 2015 season. He returned to the Texans after Ryan Mallett was released during the 2015 season, coming off the bench to lead them to a Monday night victory at Cincinnati.
A second-round pick by the Jets in 2006, Clemens was signed by the Texans on November 23, 2011 to help with a depleted quarterback staff due to the injuries to Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart. He was waived on December 6, 2011, to make roster room for Jeff Garcia.
Delhomme was signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 1997. After spending years on the practice squad, he went overseas for two seasons. He made his return by signing with the Panthers and leading them to a berth in Super Bowl XXXVIII in his first season in Carolina. He signed with the Texans on November 29, 2011 to help with the depleted QB staff due to injuries to Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart.
Garcia was an undrafted free agent with the Canadian Football League in 1994. He made his NFL debut in 1999 with the San Francisco 49ers. He signed with the Texans in order to backup T.J. Yates on December 6, 2011. He is currently an assistant coach in the CFL.
A second-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2007, Beck came in the league as a third-string QB behind Trent Green and Cleo Lemon. Beck signed with the Texans on May 9, 2012 and was released October 3, 2012 to make room on the roster for Troy Nolan.
Keenum was signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2012 draft. The decorated UH star started eight games (0-8 record) during the 2013 season. The Texans released Keenum just a week before the start of the 2014 season. In Keenum's first start as a Texan, a 17-16 loss to the Chiefs in 2013, he completed 15 of his 25 passes for 271 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown to Deandre Hopkins. Keenum didn't throw a interception, but he did have a costly fumble on what turned out to be the Texans final possession. Keenum is currently the St. Louis Rams' backup quarterback.
A fourth-round pick by the Cowboys in the 2009 draft, McGee was cut by the Cowboys on September 1, 2012. He signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Texans on January 24, 2013. The Texans waived him on Aug. 26, 2013.
Klein was a Heisman Trophy finalist thanks to his outstanding 2012 season at Kansas State. He first appeared as a wide receiver for the Wildcats during the 2009 season, and made his first start at quarterback in a win against the Longhorns in the 2010 season. He joined the Texans as an undrafted free agent after the 2013 draft. Klein worked out for the team during rookie minicamp, but wasn't offered a contract.
On March 20, 2014, the Texans signed the veteran QB to a two-year deal. Months later during offseason workouts, new Texans head coach Bill O'Brien named Fitzpatrick his starter for the 2014 season. Fitzpatrick made his NFL debut, coincidentally, against the Texans as he passed for 310 yards and 3 TDs in a Rams' 33-27 win on November 11, 2005 at Reliant Stadium. Fitzpatrick went 6-6 as the Texans' starter in 2014 before being traded to the Jets the following offseason.
Projected to be the quarterback of the future, the Texans selected the Pitt product in the fourth-round of the 2014 draft. After being tabbed the starter in the 2017 offseason, he was benched two quarters into the season opener.
Acquired just before the 2014 season opener in a trade with the New England Patriots, Mallett has some familiarity with Texans coach Bill O’Brien and quarterbacks coach George Godsey, both of whom previously served as assistants with the Patriots. Mallett started six games in two seasons for the Texans before he was cut for chronic tardiness, including missing the team charter to Miami in October 2015.
A journeyman signal-caller who was coached by Bill O'Brien for one season in college, Lewis was signed by the Texans when Ryan Mallett suffered a season-ending injury near the end of the 2014 season. Lewis signed with the Cleveland Browns in the offseason, but was released right before the 2015 season.
A journeyman who started for the Browns for parts of 2013 and 2014 was signed as a free agent to compete for the starting job with Ryan Mallett. He worked under then-offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien in New England. Hoyer was named the starter for the 2015 season, but was benched in the season opener before reclaiming the job after Ryan Mallett's struggles and tardiness. Hoyer than committed five turnovers in an ugly home playoff loss to Kansas City.
The former first-round bust in Cleveland was claimed off waivers from the Cowboys after Week 10 of the 2015 season in the wake of Brian Hoyer's concussion. After T.J. Yates was lost to a season-ending knee injury, Weeden came in and led the Texans to their first victory in Indianapolis, essentially wrapping up the AFC South title.
With Brian Hoyer and T.J. Yates both out, the Texans signed B.J. Daniels off the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad. Daniels was a quarterback at South Florida, but converted to a wide receiver and kick returner with the Seahawks.
Texans quarterback Tom Savage's agent took to the media Wednesday to defend his client after the signal caller's abrupt benching in the team's season opener.
Veteran agent Neil Schwartz expressed dismay over his client being pulled by Texans coach Bill O'Brien after halftime of Sunday's 29-7 loss to Jacksonville at NRG Stadium.
"I'm still trying to figure this out ... 31 plays and you're getting benched?" Schwartz said in an interview with NBC Sports' Mike Florio. "It makes no sense."
When asked by Florio who ultimately made the call to start Watson - which the Texans are expected to do - for Thursday's game at Cincinnati, Schwartz said "I don't know - I'd love to find out." He added that he had not tried to talk to Texans general manager Rick Smith after Savage's benching.
Schwartz said he even consulted other industry personnel about the move. Savage was 7-for-13 for 62 yards with a 66.8 passer rating. He was sacked six times and lost two fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
"I watched all 31 plays, because that was the extent of what Tom saw in the first half," Schwartz said. "And I can't figure out why he's benching Tom. I went through every single play and I even went one step further. I asked two different NFL personnel people (or) coaches on two separate teams to evaluate and break down the film to see if I was missing something. He went 7 for 13 ... 12 of the 13 balls touched the receiver's hands. The only ball that didn't was the strip-sack fumble that they called incomplete (upon replay). Seven were completions, five were drops.
"If you watch the film and you say 'I see something wrong that deserves to be benched,' I wouldn't be on the phone with you now. The second issue which I heard is he held the ball too long. He didn't hold the ball too long. Every play except for the one that was third and 12 (and) he got sacked was (released in) less than three seconds."
One sticking point for Schwartz was Savage being the starter throughout the offseason and preseason - and getting starter's reps -  only to get the hook 30 minutes into the season.
"Tom earned the right to be the starter," Schwartz said. It 'wasn't given to him. And he's worked hard every day in training camp and the exhibition season to be the starter – on the field and off the field – to maintain a leadership role. After 31 plays, you bench him? I have an issue."
Schwartz said several times that benching Savage was O'Brien's prerogative, but that he decided to speak out to back Savage, the career backup who started two games last season after free-agent bust Brock Osweiler was benched.
"I wanted to defend Tom and this was my choice," Schwartz said. "I spoke to Tom and he was OK with it and comfortable. Someone had to defend Tom and I didn't feel the coaching staff defended Tom or defended his performance.
"I don't normally do this. This is only the second time I've done this in my career and it's only to defend a client where I felt he wasn't getting defended properly by the team or the media.
"Tom's obviously taken the high road and I would only expect Tom to take the high road. He's going to support Deshaun and he's going to support the team. He wants to beat Cincinnati and be a part of the Houston organization. He loves it down there. It's just frustrating."
Upon replacing Savage, Watson was 12-of-23 for 102 yards with a touchdown and interception and finished with a 60.4 passer rating. He also lost a fumble.
Watson will become the ninth different starting quarterback in O'Brien's four seasons as Texans coach. In the 2015 season opener, he benched Brian Hoyer after three quarters for Ryan Mallett. Hoyer returned to the starting role in week 6.
Florio asked Schwartz if he expected a reprise of that QB carousel.
"Getting benched after 31 plays is incredulous to me, so at this point in time, nothing will surprise me," Schwartz said. "I don't have a response because I'm shocked (Savage) got benched after 31 plays."
Greg Rajan is the senior editor for Texas Sports Nation, the Houston Chronicle's sports website, and also curates the daily TXSN newsletter and writes about sports media. He joined the Chronicle in January 2015 as the online sports editor. He previously worked as the sports editor at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. He led that sports section to three Associated Press Sports Editors top-10 national awards and his work has been honored by APSE and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. He also has worked at the Austin American-Statesman and Temple Daily Telegram.
He is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University and Bowie High School in Austin.


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