|Schaub is happy where he is. (Getty Images)|
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub's 2011 season was cut short by a foot injury after just 10 games. Still, he was the NFL's 10th-most efficient QB, according to Football Outsiders, and ranked fifth in the league their value-per-play metric. Put another way: there aren't many quarterbacks who are as consistent as Schaub -- when he's healthy. And it's that caveat that could play a role in his next contract.
Originally drafted in the third round by the Falcons, Schaub was traded to Houston before the 2007 season where he's started 64 games, completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 92 touchdowns and 52 interceptions. He also led the Texans to a 9-7 record in '09 and had the team at 7-3 before he was lost to injured reserve last season.
Despite all Schaub's accomplishments, the one thing he hasn't been able to do is take Houston to the playoffs. He certainly laid the foundation in 2011, but it was rookie T.J. Yates who started the final five regular-season games and the team's two playoff games (a win over the Bengals in the wild-card round and a loss to the Ravens in the divisional matchup).
All of this could determine if and how much the Texans decide to offer Schaub on his next deal. To date, the two sides haven't begun negotiations.
“To me, it's just about focusing on your job, getting ready to go, and guys go through it every year,” Schaub told the team's website. “It's just a matter of getting some things done, but you've got to go out and you've got to get healthy and you've got to get ready to play and go out and prove it on the field. So I‘m just looking forward to just going out and playing and not worrying about that.
"That stuff, if we take care of our business, get our job done, things will take care of themselves. But I love the city of Houston and want to be here for many years to come. It's important for me to finish what we started here, so I'm excited about what the future holds. Right now, it's just about getting ready for camp and just keeping the blinders on and keeping the focus on the next task.”
Schaub efficiently runs coach Gary Kubiak's version of the West Coast Offense, and their relationship could play a role in his future in Houston.
“He knows the game so well inside and out, the game situations,” Schaub said. “Just the conversations we have, we view the game the same way and game situations and game management. I almost know what he's going to call before he calls it, just given the situations and having been in so many games with him and seen the calls that he makes. … He understands what it's like to be a player at this level, the marathon of a season, how to keep us going throughout it not have it be so much of a grind. I think players relate well to that. Players respect that even more so than they otherwise would.”
The Texans signed running back Arian Foster to a five-year deal earlier this offseason and with Andre Johnson still one of the NFL's top wideouts, Houston can be explosive offensively. While Yates surpassed everyone's expectations a year ago and proved he's a capable quarterback, he isn't Matt Schaub. Which is why we fully expect Schaub to be in a Texans uniform for the foreseeable future. Because if not, there will be plenty of teams lining up for his services should Houston not re-sign (or franchise tag) him.
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