The day after Bill O’Brien named Brian Hoyer the Houston Texans starting quarterback, Ryan Mallett overslept and missed practice. In O’Brien’s mind, though, that was the day Mallett received a necessary wake-up call.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, O’Brien said Mallett has been a different player since that mistake.
Bill O'Brien: 'When Ryan (Mallett) overslept, that was a wakeup call for him. Since that time, he's come a long way.'
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 17, 2015
Although Mallett entered during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, he easily outperformed Hoyer. The original starter threw an interception on his first attempt of the game and later lost a fumble that turned into a Chiefs touchdown on the next snap.
Mallett engineered a pair of scoring drives and tossed one touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins, and the Texans were an onside kick away from potentially shocking Kansas City.
In a matter of weeks, O’Brien has gone from bashing Mallett on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” to tabbing the 27-year-old as the starter. Mallett’s job seems about as secure as Hoyer’s was, so a poor performance on Sunday opposite the Panthers might keep this quarterback battle alive.
However, if oversleeping and missing practice indeed triggered the necessary wake-up call for Mallett, perhaps Houston won’t be looking for a quarterback in the 2016 NFL draft.