Pat Sullivan/Associated Press
Many, including me, said that Tom Savage had the most physical talent of any quarterback on the roster once the Texans drafted him in early May. That physical talent has been on display through rookie minicamp and OTAs.
Patrick Starr of State of the Texans also noticed his physical talent but makes note that Savage is still pretty raw as a rookie.
Savage has the strongest arm that the Texans have seen in a long time and his ability to get to point A to point B with his throwing motion allows him to throw passes with velocity and in a hurry. His ability to drive the ball is impressive and he throws a “heavy” ball. Wide receivers learned the hard way trying to catch the football and there is an audible pop when Savage’s passes hit receivers hands.
He is still rough around the edges and there is still a learning curve but he made some NFL type throws today on the field. There was more good than bad when Savage threw the ball and there were maybe a handful of passes that hit the ground the entire day. Savage took control of the huddle and was already adjusting his formations on the field and it did not look like it was Savage’s first NFL practice.
Savage came into team practices at a disadvantage. He missed two years of playing time and development while transferring from school to school during college. As I pointed out in a previous article, Savage struggled at Pittsburgh with parts of the mental game, such as looking off the safety and being able to make anticipation throws. He won't fix those issues overnight.
On top of having to improve on those areas of the game, he has to learn a new offense, which has been described by Bill O'Brien as difficult to pick up for a rookie, per the Houston Chronicle.
We throw so many things at the quarterback when he comes in here, whether it’s knowledge of defense — even in the first night, we spend an hour and a half with the guy in individual meetings, and then expect him to go out there and execute at a high level. It’s hard to do. But that’s our expectation level here for that position.
If we see that he’s struggling with some things, then we’ll back it down for him. But so far it looks like he’s been paying attention. He’s done what we’ve asked him to do. He had his share of mistakes today, just like every guy did. But I thought it was a decent start for him.
A decent start.
It's what I expected from Savage, but it is also a clear indicator that he isn't on track to be the team's starter early in the season. He is a project who will need time to develop, so there is no need to panic right now.
He'll need to spend time as the third-string quarterback, hold a clipboard, learn from the veterans and maybe step into the starting role after the bye week. Most likely, he won't get his chance until the 2015 season.
He has all the physical tools required to play the position at a high level, but the other parts of the game are still trailing well behind. O'Brien can coach him up, but it will take time.