David J. Phillip/Associated Press
The quarterback play can't get any worse from last season to this season, right?
That thought seems unfathomable considering how dreadfully Matt Schaub played in 2013, but the performance of the quarterbacks in training camp so far has been very up and down. Right after reading a tweet about a nice throw, the very next one seems to always be about an interception.
Hopefully those interceptions are a sign of an improving defense, but more likely it's just another indicator of the inconsistent play at the quarterback position.
In a way that's what most of us expected to hear. Fitzpatrick wasn't available this offseason because he was consistent or had a high ceiling; he is who he is. He'll make some solid throws that give you hope and then steal that hope away with a head-scratching interception into tight coverage.
After all, he did throw 39 interceptions combined over the 2011 and 2012 seasons; he wasn't going to suddenly turn into an efficient passer overnight.
The hope many of us had was that Bill O'Brien could work his magic on Fitzpatrick or whichever quarterback he picked to start. That could still be the case, but there's been no proof of improvement just yet.
News out of training camp hasn't been all negative on Fitzpatrick; he's just been hit-or-miss. Hopefully as camp continues through July and August we'll hear more and more about the positive and less about the negative.
That's part of the coaching process; hopefully O'Brien can turn around Fitzpatrick like he did Matt McGloin at Penn State.
While there have been encouraging signs and news—mixed in with the bad plays—on Fitzpatrick, the same can't be said for Case Keenum and rookie Tom Savage.
Let's not read too much into it because they've only had two days' worth of training camp practices, but you can't be terribly shocked that neither Keenum nor Savage has played well so far.
For all the good Keenum did during his first three starts last year, he came up short in the second half of those three games and played awful during his last five starts.
Over those final five starts Keenum completed just 53 percent of his passes with an average of 188 yards per game and a total of two touchdowns to six interceptions.
The issues that caused those mistakes and poor performances weren't going to get corrected overnight. Keenum has upside, but he isn't worthy of starting at this point and has a long way to go before reaching that level.
Until his accuracy, how quickly he makes his read/how long he holds on to the ball and his ability to read and react to a blitz improve, he won't be a starting-caliber quarterback.
Similar issues hurt Savage, but he's starting from an even lower point—not only because he's a rookie, but he also missed two years of action while in college. Of the group, Savage has by far the most physical talent but is also the least experienced and has the biggest learning curve.
Fitzpatrick will be the Texans' starter for Week 1 unless he gets hurt during training camp or the preseason—write it in stone; it's a lock. It's not because he's had great success or is more talented; neither is true. He's been in the league for 10 years and was able to learn the offense quicker, simple as that.
The hope of many, including myself, was that at some time in 2014 either Keenum or Savage reach a point in his development on the mental side where O'Brien could trust one enough to put him ahead of Fitzpatrick. Both players have better potential than Fitzpatrick, but overcoming the steep learning curve won't be easy.
Trying not to read too much into the early results, but as training camp goes on, the snaps for Keenum and Savage will decrease as they get Fitzpatrick ready for the season, so their window of opportunity to impress O'Brien is closing.