Sorry, Jake Delhomme fans. It’s all about T.J. Yates.
I’m looking at that sentence as I write this one, thinking about how ridiculous it would have been to string those nine words together just a few short months ago.
But that’s where we are.
Houston fans are preparing for the NFL playoffs for the first time in a generation and the great debate is whether starting a rookie 5th rounder who never took a snap with the first team until a month ago is better than starting a 36 year old, 14 year veteran who was feeding horses a month ago.
I jest, somewhat.
T.J. and Jake had their moments against the Titans. T.J.’s was short lived, but he was near perfect on that opening drive after getting driven to the turf on a sack on the Texans first play. Get well soon Mike Brisiel.
And Jake looked better than I expected. There’s a lot of rust, obviously, and limited command of the playbook (less than Yates) but the offense wasn’t nearly as dysfunctional as I thought it would be with #17 calling the signals.
But during his weekly presser today, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak left no doubt who’s the man to lead the Texans into the playoffs.
When asked if Yates would be the starter Saturday against the Bengals, Kubiak said “If he can play, he is going to play. He played really well yesterday. He was really sharp early in the game (and) continues to do good stuff, as I’ve told ya’ll. He is very young and this is a big, big game, but he’s the best guy for our football team and if he is able to go and do the things that we need him to do in practice, then we will turn him loose and let him go.”
Kubiak added “(Yates) is feeling pretty good today. He is sore. Like I said, we still think he could have came back in the game yesterday. All indications are that he will be ready to go next weekend. Obviously we got to get him back on the practice field and to feel good and confident about that, but all indications are that we will get there.”
Manning to return kickoffs
Danieal Manning hasn’t returned kickoffs in a game since breaking a bone in his leg earlier this year, but that will change on Saturday.
“(Manning returning kicks) will definitely happen,” said Kubiak. “Danieal will go back there. Jacoby (Jones) will take the punts. We’ll go back to full strength. We’ve been working that way the last couple of weeks, so that will definitely happen.”
Brisiel may be back
Texans starting right guard Mike Brisiel, who suffered a similar injury as Manning, might have a shot at playing on Saturday.
“We are hoping that (Mike) Brisiel is back on the field this week,” said Kubiak. “(We’ll) probably know a little bit more about him (Tuesday), but the hope is that he will be able to contribute to us next weekend.”
Fans? Bring it.
When asked how the fans could help on Saturday, Kubiak acknowledged the home field advantage.
“Well, (the fans) can help us by being real loud,” said Kubiak.” “They’ve been that way all year, but I know this city is excited about Saturday afternoon. I just want them to know how excited we are as a football team. We’re looking forward to going to battle with them. That’s the key. We’re all in this together. It’s a big, big game for everybody. We’re looking forward to giving our best effort, and I know we’ll get theirs.”
quotes from houstontexans.com