Posted November 17, 2013

Matt Schaub replaces Case Keenum, then has verbal altercation with Andre Johnson

AFC South, AFC West, Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders
Matt Schaub received an unexpected vote of confidence on Sunday.

Matt Schaub received an unexpected vote of confidence on Sunday. (Patric Schneider/AP)

Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum wasn’t playing badly in his team’s game against the Oakland Raiders. Through the waning moments of the third quarter, Keenum had completed 13-of-24 passes for 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception. And the touchdown, a 42-yarder from Keenum to tight end Garrett Graham, may have been the most impressive scoring play of Houston’s season. Keenum ran to his right, escaping the clutches of Raiders defensive end LaMarr Houston and throwing to Graham, who had beaten Charles Woodson downfield.

However, Raiders rookie quarterback Matt McGloin was tearing up Houston’s defense, throwing three touchdown passes through three quarters in his first NFL start. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, working from the coach’s box two weeks after he suffered a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack), or “mini-stroke,” made the decision with 2:26 left in the third quarter to bring in former starter and current backup Matt Schaub to try to engineer more productivity. This after the Texans opened up the second half with three straight three-and-outs. All indications are that there was no injury forcing Kubiak’s hand — this was a coach’s decision based on performance.

“What was happening was, we had to make a lot of changes from a protection standpoint to handle some of the things they were doing,” Kubiak said after the game. “Trying to create some tempo and do that.  And it made it very tough on Case, in my opinion, being a young player.  I knew that  Matt could get done some of the things that I wanted to get done, real fast, and to give us a chance to win the football game.  So that’s why I did it.”

Schaub, of course, was replaced in mid-October after setting an NFL record with four straight games in which opposing defenses returned one of his interceptions for touchdowns. Schaub was also dealing with an ankle injury. Keenum had shown some spark, but Kubiak had said all along that the quarterback situation would be fluid throughout the season.

“I’m going to keep going week-to-week. Matt’s working really hard. I know what Matt wants back on the field. I think Case has played really well and done a lot of good things. He has made a lot of mistakes too that he’s got to correct. We’ve been in some close ball games with the ball in his hand at the end of the game and we’ve got to get over the hump there. I think we just keep going. I think he [Keenum] needs a little pressure on him to continue to have to play well and stay in there. I’m not going to give anybody anything, much less a quarterback.”

The Texans had to punt on Schaub’s first drive, but the second ended with a 26-yard field goal from Randy Bullock, reducing Oakland’s lead to 28-20. The Raiders went on to win the game 28-23. Schaub completed 12 of 25 passes for 155 yards, no touchdowns, and no picks.

Near the end of the contest, Schaub and receiver Andre Johnson engaged in a verbal fracas after Schaub missed Johnson on a play with 1:15 left in the game that would have converted a 4th-and-7. In the sideline video, you can see Schaub telling Johnson not to stop on a route.

Kubiak downplayed the incident after the game. “I hope guys get mad when things aren’t going well. They’ll handle it. It’s just frustrations.”

“We just exchanged some words,” Johnson said. “It’s just the heat of the moment; once we got in the locker room we talked about it. I’m not worried about it; me and Matt have played a lot of football together. Things like that happen, I think there’s a lot of frustration going on, and I think it happened because of frustration.”

Asked his thought about the move from Keenum to Schaub, Johnson simply said, “That’s a coach’s decision. That’s what the coaches decide, so we’ve got to go with it.”

8 comments
hexor
hexor

Gary Kubiak,

Sir first thing...Taking Keenum out of the game cost you that game...Now...pick up the phone call the Lions and tell them you want "Patrick Edwards" and get him to practice ASAP! Case Keenum + Patrick Edwards = TDs!!! You need another down field threat, and not to mention he was Keenum's #1 WR in college! The major problem is your offensive line Sir! Every game there's multiple Defensive players going untouched trying to kill Keenum...hard for the kid to be successful if get can't get more than 1 sec to throw the football...another thing Gary you need stop trying to call every single play for the QB...Let Keenum run the hurry up offense and call the plays...You can sit back with some popcorn let Keenum "DO HIS THANG!" and take credit for it...Just give the kid some time to throw the ball and sit back and watch a future Hall of Fame QB!!! I like you Gary, but if you Start Matt next week you should be fired. 

olusegunobasanjo
olusegunobasanjo

If this is a "verbal altercation" then there are hundreds of these every game.

Cool
Cool

Kubiak might have suffered more brain damage than first thought... just saying.

joe6647
joe6647

The worst thing for a franchise is to be in QB limbo.  The season is lost.  Stick with Keenum now, see what you have.  If you dont like it, draft  another QB.  Throwing Schaub out there at this point in the season does nothing.

MichaelC
MichaelC

What's the point of assuming what happened on the 4th down play that effectively ended the game for the Texans? It looked like Johnson stopped in his route and Schaub threw where he thought Johnson would end up. Maybe it was Johnson's mistake. Maybe it was Schaub. But to call it WIDE-OPEN? There were three guys around Johnson - as it was obvious where the play would go. I know writers like to make up narratives (Schaub missed a wide open Johnson! Johnson had a tantrum like Dez Bryant! Controversy ... yeah!) but this is just stupid. 

BrittonKreiner
BrittonKreiner

Inexplicable. It's Schaub who's made the mistakes. Keenum 8 TDs 1INT. Houston is out of the playoff race and Keenum is playing better than Schaub. Kubiak needs to quot playing favorites and develop a young talent as a franchise player.

Mike26
Mike26

@MichaelC I was there.  It was in front of me.  Johnson couldn't finish the route because FOUR defenders were there.  Unfortunately, Schaub locked onto him the each play inside the 20 and missed at least four other open players that would have scored on four separate earlier plays.