Tom Savage 'not going to let anyone' take starting gig

Tom Savage is going to cling to the Houston Texans starting quarterback gig as long as he can.

The fourth-year pro remains the starter, but rookie Deshaun Watson is coming on strong after a stellar opening preseason game.

"My mindset is that this is my team. And I'm not going to let anyone take it," Savage told ESPN's Sarah Barshop.

"Now, I can't control what happens. I can only control what I can do. And I said it before. It's a pretty simple equation I think a lot of people overthink, especially in this league. If you go there and you win and you play well, they can't pull you. And if you go out there and you lose and the offense doesn't look good, they can pull you. So the goal is to go out there and play well and win games. And that's all you can really control."

Watson took first team reps in practice on Monday, which coaches downplayed as a product of practice situations. With a steady stream of positive stories about Watson emanating from Houston -- like this one from the team's official website headlined: "O'Brien: Deshaun Watson improving every day" -- it feels inevitable that Savage will lose his job eventually. How long into the season that takes depends mainly on how Savage performs to open the season.

"I'm proud of Tom," coach Bill O'Brien said of his starter. "He's a resilient guy. He's really worked hard to learn our system, he's worked hard in the weight room, he's had to overcome injuries. He's had to overcome a lot, and I think he's doing some good things out here."

Savage will need to do more good things once the regular season begins. His injury history, coupled with two milquetoast starts suggests he's not long for the starting gig. Remember, O'Brien is the coach who yanked his starting signal-caller three quarters into the 2015 season.

"We all want this team to win, and that is our main focus," Savage said Tuesday. "We are going to help each other out and may the best man win."

Eventually the job will be Watson's. When that happens depends on how long Savage can stiff-arm the surging rookie.

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