O'Brien: Tom Savage closing the gap

August, 24, 2014
Aug 24
7:02
PM ET
HOUSTON -- The Texans' final drive of their third preseason game did a lot for rookie quarterback Tom Savage's confidence.

It also did a lot for his coaches' confidence in him.

"I would say it’s pretty close," Texans' coach Bill O'Brien said today about the backup quarterback competition. "I think it’s pretty close. We’re discussing that right now. Both guys had good moments last night, but I think that Tom Savage definitely closed the gap, and it’s pretty close."

Savage and Case Keenum have spent the past several months competing to be the team's backup quarterback. Keenum has eight games of starting experience from last season, while Savage barely even has college experience upon which to call.

The natural conclusion was that Savage would have a lot of work to do before being ready to play in the NFL.

And while O'Brien cautioned against getting too carried away with what Savage did in the 74-yard touchdown drive he led Saturday night, he was clearly impressed.

"We broke the huddle, and as a young quarterback when the referee leans into the huddle and he winds the clock you’ve got to get going, so he probably could have called the play before the referee wound the clock," O'Brien said. "So he ended up calling the play and then having to break the huddle, and it involved some motion and shifting and things like that.

"... It wasn’t confusion as much as it was he had to get going, and I thought that he kept his poise there really well. He was able to motion, I believe it was [Travis] Labhart, and then make the correct protection point, and then make the right read, and then make the throw, which is a good thing to see for us for a rookie quarterback to be able to do that, so I thought he handled that situation well."

eenum was still Ryan Fitzpatrick's backup as of O'Brien's press conference. Savage is making a push, though.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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