Sean Pendergast

Texans Bring Back QB Brandon Weeden To Back Up Watson

Brandon Weeden in one of his happy moments as a Texan in 2015.
Brandon Weeden in one of his happy moments as a Texan in 2015. Screen grab from YouTube
Well, the pickings were slim in the NFL's backup quarterback market, we knew that. In fact, we firmly established it last week in a post in this space. Names like Sanchez, Moore, and Gabbert dotted the landscape. (NOTE: Gabbert signed with Tennessee on Tuesday, and we can only hope the Texans see him sometime down the road.)

However, in the end, when looking for the person who will be one misstep away from taking over if something happens to Deshaun Watson, Bill O'Brien opted for his go-to move — finding someone who has spent that all-important TIME IN THE BUILDING. Someone who KNOWS THE SYSTEM. Someone who is a GREAT GUY and a GOOD TEAMMATE. (O'Brien catchphrases all capitalized for emphasis.)

Texan fans, as first reported by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, it's time to reacquaint yourself with Brandon Weeden!

Ok, a few thoughts here on the signing:

1. I stand by what I said about Weeden in the post last week listing backup quarterback options:

BRANDON WEEDEN (Age 34, Career record 6-19)
Hey, having spent time here in 2015 and 2016, HE KNOWS THE SYSTEM, and we know how crucial that is... [cough, Tom Savage, cough, starter, cough] ... and Weeden is undefeated as a Houston Texan starting quarterback! TRUE STORY! (NOTE: He is 1-0.) I was a little surprised the Texans cut Weeden last season and went with just two quarterbacks, and given how the season unfolded, it would have been beneficial to watch Weeden play all of those T.J. Yates starts at the end of the season, solely to see if he is worth having as the second stringer this year.
This signing confirms, to a degree, that the Texans probably made a mistake (albeit a minor one, considering they'd have been screwed without Watson either way) in cutting Weeden loose last season, and keeping just two quarterbacks coming out of training camp. Weeden would have been a better option than T.J. Yates after Savage went down. In retrospect, it was weird seeing a coach like O'Brien, who has routinely had to use at least three quarterbacks in a season, cut Weeden.

2. Weeden has more positive Texan memories in a game and a half than Savage had in four seasons.
Brandon Weeden is 1-0 as a starter with the Texans, and in the game he played in but didn't start, he threw the game-winning TD pass to Jaelen Strong (now there's a name) in the Texans' first ever win in Indianapolis. That small body of work qualifies him as an upgrade over Tom Savage as Watson's backup. Also, Weeden has first round tools, at the very least, having been the 22nd pick overall in the 2012 draft. So there's that. (Work with me here, Texan fans!)

3. The Texans should still look at drafting a quarterback in the later rounds.
For now, you will hear the name "Taylor Heinicke" as the young, developmental quarterback that the Texans have on the roster, after they signed him off the street late last season. He is still around. However, I would love to see the Texans do one of two things in this draft — either draft Lamar Jackson if he drops to the third round (I'm only bringing this up because they worked him out last week, it's unlikely to happen), or draft a quarterback with some of the same athletic qualities as Watson in the later rounds. USF's Quinton Flowers is someone I would be thrilled to see them jump on in the sixth round, if he is there, for example.

4. Yeah, I know... Colin Kaepernick is still out there.
I've been saying since last October that the Texans should sign him. If you're looking for a column clamoring for that, take it somewhere else. I wrote it six months ago.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast