HOUSTON – New Texans starting quarterback Case Keenum didn’t look like the weight of the city is on his shoulders as he practice with the team Friday morning.
The former University of Houston star was loose and ready; no pressure. However, fans expectations are sky high.
“I’m excited. It is gonna be make or break,” said one Texans fan. Teammates have taken notice of Keenum’s demeanor as well.
“We can see that spark for sure,” said Texans linebacker Brian Cushing Texans.
After weeks of talk, Keenum, a hometown star, is finally getting his shot.
“He is gonna be going a 100 miles an hour. He is going a hundred miles an hour today. Wait til he walks in there and hears that noise,” said coach Gary Kubiak at his press conference that was dominated by Keenum talk. “I know what he is fixing to walk into, and I know he has played in some big stadiums, but there will be nothing more challenging than this.”
There isn’t much NFL writer John McClain has missed in his 37 years and his actual expectations for Keenum are, well, call them down to earth.
“Realistically, he is gonna play bad, and they are gonna go up there and get blown out the way they have the last two games and lost five in a row,” McClain said.
Don’t tell that to his teammates like 12-year veteran safety Ed Reed, who has forgotten more games than Keenum has played in his career.
“We have his back. He can just be loose and just go out there, do what he has always done and play football. This game don’t change,” Reed said.
It hasn’t for Keenum, who is counting on that.
“They told him he couldn’t play in high school; he won a state championship. They told him he couldn’t play college football; he set records and won bowl games. Now they are telling him he can’t play in the NFL.”
What was that about expectations? Even McClain can dream.
“In a fairy tale? What an incredible story it could be not just locally, but nationally. Case Keenum could be the next big thing,” McClain said.
Hard to start any higher.