Texans pleased with backup quarterbacks

HOUSTON — A year ago, poor quarterback depth did as much as anything to short-circuit the Texans’ hopes of reaching the playoffs. The team went 2-3 in the starts Matt Schaub missed with a knee injury, 6-5 in the starts he made, including a 3-1 finish.

The additions of free agents with NFL starting experience, Dan Orlovsky and Rex Grossman, are providing encouragement that the Texans can stay on track even if Schaub doesn’t play. Houston’s hierarchy loves Orlovsky’s size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) and strength, and is convinced that the guidance from coach Gary Kubiak, who excels at developing young quarterbacks, and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will help him make significant strides as a passer.

Grossman has thrown some beautiful long passes in practice, but the Texans’ brain trust is realistic enough to know that he is just as capable of putting up some ugly ones — which is why he was available.

–Vic Carucci

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