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Texans QB Case Keenum Chief's Respect with Poise and Big Plays (Kansas City Star)

Discussion in 'Houston Texans' started by TheDr34m, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. TheDr34m

    TheDr34m Contributing Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Nice Article by the Kansas City Star about Keenum's Performance at Arrowhead.


    Texans QB Case Keenum earns Chiefs' respect with poise, big plays
    October 20
    The Kansas City Star

    Entering the Chiefs' 17-16 win over the Texans on Sunday, it seemed reasonable to think Houston's second-year quarterback would be in for a long day.

    Not only would Case Keenum, a man who went undrafted in 2012 due to his perceived lack of arm strength and mobility, be making his first career start on the road, he would be doing it at a rejuvenated Arrowhead Stadium, against the NFL's most ferocious pass rush.

    But by the end of the day, even though the Texans lost, let's just say Keenum had made it clear he wasn't the overwhelmed, wide-eyed kid they expected him to be.

    “The guy can definitely move around back there, buy some time for his receivers to get open and he has the arm strength to make the big play down the field,” said Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith. “I found that out the hard way.”

    Smith is a confident guy, someone who loves to refer to the “swag” he and his fellow Chiefs corners like to play with. But he offered that self-deprecating remark with a smirk, one that perhaps belies a certain amount of respect earned for a young quarterback who just played his tail off in a hostile environment.

    “I don't want to say we overlooked him,” Chiefs safety Kendrick Lewis said, “but that guy was better than we thought.”

    Keenum proved it multiple times against the Chiefs' aggressive defense, which often relies on its cornerbacks to hold up in single coverage. Like he mentioned, Smith was burned by Keenum twice, with the first coming on a gorgeous 29-yard touchdown throw to DeAndre Hopkins in single coverage in the first half.

    The second, which came in the second half, was even more impressive. Keenum scrambled around the backfield, eluding rushers and buying time for his receivers to get open. He eventually threw across the field and found Andre Johnson open against Smith for a 42-yard gain.

    “Whenever you covering for more than five seconds, something's going wrong,” Smith said. “It was a schoolyard play.”

    But Smith also followed by giving credit to Keenum, who also burned cornerback Brandon Flowers when he spotted Johnson for a 26-yard gain in single coverage. Keenum finished 15 of 25 for 271 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, a tribute to his talent and the Texans' coaching staff.

    “They did a good job of setting the gameplan up for him to have success,” Lewis said. “They gave him quick throws, things he was good at. The boot, the play action ... just things to get him comfortable and build his confidence.”

    Keenum also spent the majority of the game in the shotgun, something he did almost exclusively at the University of Houston, where he played under Air Raid guru Kevin Sumlin and completed an outrageous 69.3 percent of his passes for 19,217 yards, 155 touchdowns and 46 interceptions.

    “They came in with a different game plan,” Flowers said. “We saw (injured starter Matt) Schaub the whole time, and now we see a whole different offense. They had us off-balance the first half. That's why we had to come in, actually sit down and see how they were trying to attack and second half have a better game plan.”

    Safety Quintin Demps, who played with Keenum last season in Houston, wasn't necessarily surprised by Keenum's strong day. Keenum, 25, was a scout team quarterback last season as he learned Houston's offense under coach Gary Kubiak, whom Demps regards as one of the league's best quarterback gurus.

    Demps remembers seeing Keenum make enough plays against the first-string defense to think he should have been drafted.

    “I told y'all Keenum can play,” Demps said. “He's gonna be good ... he's got good composure. He's like a fourth-year guy as a rookie. That's very rare.”

    At the end of the day, the combination of the Chiefs' ferocious defense and Arrowhead Stadium won out, as Keenum ended up leading his team to only one first down (while taking four sacks) in the crucial fourth quarter.

    But in the process, Keenum still won the respect of the Chiefs, at least three of whom mentioned his “promising future” when discussing his day afterward.

    “He definitely came in and played better than I thought he would,” Smith said. “He showed a lot of poise and confidence back there.”
  2. Grinds

    Grinds Member

    Jun 14, 2012
    Likes Received:
    With Matt's horrible play down the stretch last season, starting QB should've been open competition going into camp. Difficult because of Matt's bloated contract, but that fact only brings up other FO issues. The Texans' entire history of proactiveness is fast as a turtle.
  3. Do_Not_Be_Alarm

    Aug 28, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Demps is a Keenum only fan:p

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