HOUSTON — The agent of Texans quarterback Tom Savage blasted the team on Wednesday for benching Savage in Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I’m still trying to figure this out … 31 plays and you’re getting benched?” Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, said in an interview with NBC Sports. “It makes no sense.”
After Savage and the offense struggled in the first half, Texans coach Bill O’Brien opted to go with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson to open the third quarter. Neither quarterback played well: Savage was 7-for-13 for 62 yards; Watson was 12-of-23 for 102 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
“I watched all 31 plays, because that was the extent of what Tom saw in the first half,” Schwartz said. “And I can’t figure out why he’s benching Tom. I went through every single play, and I even went one step further. I asked two different NFL personnel people [or] coaches on two separate teams to evaluate and break down the film to see if I was missing something.
“He went 7-for-13 … 12 of the 13 balls touched the receiver’s hands. The only ball that didn’t was the strip-sack fumble that they called incomplete [upon replay]. Seven were completions, five were drops.”
The Texans’ offensive line didn’t give either quarterback much time to throw on Sunday, allowing a team-record 10 sacks, six of which came in the first half.
Schwartz also said he had an issue with hearing people say Savage held onto the ball for too long.
“He didn’t hold the ball too long,” Savage said. “Every play except for the one that was third-and-12 [and] he got sacked was [released in] less than three seconds.”
On Tuesday, Savage said being benched was frustrating — “No one wants to be benched,” he explained — but that if he gets the chance to play again, there’s not much he wants to do differently.
“I want to go out there and play like I did and compete — throw the ball to the playmakers and give them a chance,” Savage said. “And that’s it.”
Schwartz said he spoke to Savage about discussing the matter with the media, and he said Savage “was OK with it and comfortable.”
“Someone had to defend Tom,” Schwartz said, “and I didn’t feel the coaching staff defended Tom or defended his performance.”