With Matt Schaub out with an injury, the Houston Texans are turning to Case Keenum for the start today against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are undefeated and have the league’s best pass defense. It’s a difficult spot for Keenum to be in, because he is making his NFL debut against a defense with some elite pass rushers. The likes of Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Dontari Poe have been wreaking havoc on offensive linemen in this year, and Houston is nearing ten sacks already. The Texans offensive line did a very poor job of protecting Schaub, so that’s a big disadvantage for Keenum.
It’s difficult to know what to expect out of Keenum, but we do know that Gary Kubiak is very high on what he can do. I mean, why else did he decide to bench T.J. Yates in favor of the 2012 UDFA out of Houston. And there’s more. CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reports, citing “several people close to” Kubiak, that the Texans head coach “loves” Keenum and has always been a big fan of Keenum’s potential.
It seems like the entire coaching staff likes Keenum, too, which is why La Canfora reports that Keenum could also receive multiple starts this season if he plays well enough or Schaub/Yates play poorly enough. It’s a fluid situation and one that seems to be skewed in Keenum’s favor, because things just get to a different level when a head coach is extremely high on a player’s potential. I loved watching Keenum in college, so I want to see what this guy can do in the pros. He has a big test ahead of him this afternoon, but it looks like he has the backing of the organization (GM Rick Smith also seems to really like Keenum).
Here’s what one source said to La Canfora about Kubiak’s love for Keenum as a player, “Gary loves him. He’s extremely cerebral. He doesn’t have that big arm but he fits their mold — he can extend plays and get out of the way. He understands the system. That’s going to be a tough environment but he shows a pulse and moves the team some, I bet he sticks with him after the (Week 8) bye.”