One of the often-heard criticisms of Gary Kubiak's offense during his time in Houston was the lack of freedom and control given to the quarterback. Maybe with how Matt Schaub played last year you wouldn't want to give him more control than necessary, but the leash Kubiak had on the quarterbacks went beyond just last season.
Kubiak came off as having the mindset that if his team executed perfectly, it wouldn't matter if the opponent had a read on what the Texans were going to do. However, perfect execution is impossible to achieve on every play.
If the quarterback comes to the line and notices the defense is running an overload blitz to the same side as the sprint out pass the offense is running, he should be able to change the play. If the opponent has a numbers advantage to the side of the field a run play is directed to, he should be able to flip the play. Quarterbacks were not given that freedom in Kubiak's offense, but will be in Bill O'Brien's offense.
#Texans WR coach Stan Hixon, who was at Penn State and worked with BO'B since '95, on offense: "Quarterback-friendly. He runs the show."— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) May 30, 2014
With great freedom comes great responsibility. If Coach O'Brien is going to trust his quarterback to make more decisions on his own, he has to have a starter capable of making the correct reads and adjustments.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has 77 career starts; the other three Texans quarterbacks have 13 combined. The huge edge in experience gives Fitzpatrick an advantage, but I believe that both Case Keenum and Tom Savage have more raw talent and upside.
How quickly that raw talent can become polished and reliable will determine how quickly the other quarterbacks can get on the field, as I'll discuss over the following slides.