The Houston Texans added a key part of the offense in Ryan Mallett in a last minute trade when the team was reshaping their roster. Mallett comes to Houston in the last season of his rookie deal as a low risk chance for the Texans.
The Mallett rumors started around draft time and now it was made a reality by sending a 2016 conditional 7th round selection to New England. Mallet rejoins his former quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien who was part of the coaching staff that drafted him out of Arkansas in 2011. He also spent the last two seasons with Texans quarterback coach George Godsey who was on the New England offensive staff.
The foundation of the offense was learned in New England and now he is making as seamless of a move, in NFL terms, to Houston to provide an insurance policy for the 2014 season.
Mallett talked about his recent days since the trade, “It’s been a whirlwind. You know, just getting to know everybody, the schedule, the area. It’s been fun. I’m ready to get settled down.”
New England and Houston may be similar in offensive approaches, but they are not definitely the same. Mallet expanded on the similarities between the offenses, “There are a few. Just similarities with the playbook, but there is also some differences. I’m just trying to get accustomed to it. Just trying to study, keep my head down and keep moving.”
O’Brien felt the move for Mallett made sense especially knowing what he could bring by knowing the offense. “Obviously, when you have a guy that knows the basis of your offense, how to call a play, the cadence, the formations, the motions, the shifts, the different personnel groupings, how we call defense, it makes it a lot easier when you have a guy that you think can help you as a backup quarterback. That’s good.” said O’Brien.
George Godsey said knowing Mallett is going to make things easier for the Texans and their new quarterback to get acquainted. “Anytime with any position there is familiarity, but it’s not only the personality but how you can relate where one system is apples and the other system is oranges and try to put that together into one common language.” Godsey continued, “I think it makes the process a little bit easier.”
With the subpar quarterback play where there was little confidence put forth by the recently waived Case Keenum and rookie Tom Savage, the Texans were left with no choice but to make an aggressive move to improve their roster.
Only 4 passes thrown in his three years in the NFL, Mallett is an unknown quantity sitting behind one of the best to ever play the quarterback position in Tom Brady. The Texans will not be hesitant to make the move to Mallett if starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick falters. Mallett came to Houston with the mindset to work and not worry about anything else at the moment. “I’m out here just trying to get better as a player, as a football player, as a teammate. That is my goal every day.” explained Mallett.
Even if Mallett is not ready to go week one, he is already helping his new teammates with their week one opponent, the Washington Redskins. Mallet and the Patriots played the Redskins week one of the preseason and had a full week of practice against each other.
The new backup quarterback is already sharing his notes with his new team. “You know, I got to practice against them for a week also. So I got to see some different things.” Mallett continued, “Any little thing that I’ve got from my notes that I kept in there is stuff that I try to pass around with the guys.”
What happens with Mallett moving forward is up in the air but there is little doubt that the Texans upgraded their back up quarterback position with one trade.