HOUSTON -- Drama and turnover have defined the quarterback position for the Houston Texans in recent years.
After Matt Schaub fell apart in 2013, the team turned to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and Ryan Mallett the following season. Coach Bill O'Brien flip-flopped between Brian Hoyer and Mallett in 2015 before the team struggled behind massive free agency flop Brock Osweiler last year. Now, with Tony Romo no longer an option, Houston remains unsettled at the most pivotal position.
But don’t tell that to Tom Savage, who replaced Osweiler late in the 2016 regular season and currently sits atop the depth chart. He sees nothing but harmony moving forward among the Texans’ passers.
“It’s going to be a fun room. It’s going to be a peaceful room,” Savage said Monday as the team began voluntary workouts.
The context for his comment came as he discussed new quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan, who spent last year working with the club's wide receivers. But there’s certainly subtext there about the recent past, especially last season, as reports emerged about friction between Osweiler and O’Brien.
The Texans traded Osweiler and a 2018 second rounder to the Cleveland Browns in March in what was essentially a salary dump. Houston was rumored as a likely landing spot for Romo, who admittedly studied the Texans before ultimately opting for retirement and a broadcasting career at CBS.
That leaves and Brandon Weeden as Houston's only quarterbacks, increasing the likelihood the team could pick another one in the early rounds of the draft later this month.
For now, Savage is working to cement himself as the starter after a Week 17 concussion forced him from the lineup last season, leading to Osweiler's return for the playoffs.
“I have a lot to go out there and prove," Savage said. "This is going to be a heck of an opportunity."
He's been spending time away from the team's facility recently with DeAndre Hopkins and other Texans receivers in an attempt to improve camaraderie and communication. Savage said he’s looking forward to the chance to receive the bulk of the first-team snaps for the first time in his career when the Texans are allowed back onto the field later this spring.
He must also prove he can stay healthy after a shoulder injury sidelined him in 2015 before he was concussed last December.
“I went through and watched all my injuries from the past. I think a lot of them can be avoided just with experience. Let’s just be real,” Savage said. “You’ll learn and adapt, and I’m confident in myself that I’ll be available.”
Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones