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Houston at Tampa Bay

Grossman looks to earn roster spot, leads Texans to win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Rex Grossman made a strong case for winning a job with the Houston Texans, shining on a stage not normally reserved for a one-time Super Bowl quarterback to prove himself.

Fringe players often earn roster spots in preseason finales. Grossman is hoping he secured a backup role behind Matt Schaub and Dan Orlovsky after throwing for two touchdowns in Friday night's 27-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I don't control any of that. All I wanted to do was go out and have a good game for either this team or somebody else," Grossman said. "That's not up to me. I thought I did that, and we'll see what happens."

On a night when most starters on both teams rested, Grossman returned after missing more than two weeks with a hamstring injury. His only work during the preseason had been one pass attempt in the Texans' opener.

The seventh-year pro, who led the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006, teamed with Jacoby Jones on an 87-yard scoring play on his first pass, and finished 9 of 16 for 197 yards and no interceptions in three quarters.

"I was very impressed. You could see signs of that during camp, whenever he was working that first seven or eight days," Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. "Obviously he knows what this league's about. He knows how to make plays. He was ready to play."

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay's first-round draft pick, started, with Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown getting the night off after coach Raheem Morris settled on Leftwich as the No. 1 quarterback heading into the regular season.

The game also marked the debut of Greg Olson as the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator. Olson was promoted Thursday when former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was unexpectedly fired.

Freeman, who Morris selected 17th overall with intentions of bringing him along slowly, and fourth-stringer Josh Johnson each played a half for the Bucs (1-3). Both produced 10 points apiece, with Freeman throwing a 23-yard TD pass to Cortez Hankton, and Johnson tossing a 14-yarder to Ryan Purvis.

Grossman, who played behind Kyle Orton in Chicago last season, signed with the Texans (2-2) in June and has been competing for the No. 3 job behind Schaub and Orlovsky, who started Friday night and completed 5 of 7 passes for 51 yards and an interception before Grossman entered.

Grossman connected with Jones on his second play, then threw an 11-yard TD pass to James Casey to finish an 11-play, 56-yard drive on Houston's next possession. He turned Kevin Bentley's interception at the Tampa Bay 14 into a field goal, ending the night with a 139.8 quarterback rating.

"I feel decent about my audition," Grossman said. "If they cut me, then hopefully somebody else will pick me up."

Faced with trimming the roster to 53 players on Saturday, Kubiak was noncommital.

"I don't know. ... We've got to look at a lot of things," the coach said. "It's a tough process, that 53 situation, so we'll see. He sure as heck helped himself."

Freeman was intercepted twice before giving the Bucs a glimpse of what the team is counting on to be a bright future.

Making plays with his feet, as well as his arm, the former Kansas State star led a 10-play, 74-yard drive in the final two minutes of the half, capping the march with his touchdown pass to Hankton.

Morris was impressed.

"He came out a little shaky. He had to make a couple of great scrambles there, make a couple of good third-down conversions to end that thing with a two-minute drive to get us in the end zone," the first-year coach said.

"It's what you want to see," Morris added. "You want to see these guys play better every time you go out there."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Rex Grossman finally gets some work in the preseason. He throws for 197 yards and two TDs. (US Presswire)
Rex Grossman finally gets some work in the preseason. He throws for 197 yards and two TDs. (US Presswire)

 

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Fri. Sept. 4Final
Houston
(2-2)
01710027
373720
TexansBuccaneers
Pass: R. Grossman (9-16, 197) J. Johnson (12-21, 182)
Rush: A. Foster (16-49) J. Johnson (5-43)
Rec: J. Jones (3-148) B. Clark (4-70)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGMike Nugent 20 Yd, 11:10. Drive: 6 plays, 24 yards in 2:46.
2ND QUARTER
TDJacoby Jones, 87 Yd pass from Rex Grossman (Kris Brown kick is good), 13:57. Drive: 2 plays, 90 yards in 0:50.
TDJames Casey, 11 Yd pass from Rex Grossman (Kris Brown kick is good), 6:10. Drive: 11 plays, 56 yards in 6:11.
FGKris Brown 19 Yd, 2:22. Drive: 7 plays, 13 yards in 3:28.
TDCortez Hankton, 23 Yd pass from Josh Freeman (Mike Nugent kick is good), 0:08. Drive: 10 plays, 74 yards in 2:14.
3RD QUARTER
TDAndre Hall, 1 Yd run (Kris Brown kick is good), 14:30. Drive: 1 play, 1 yards in 0:07.
FGMike Nugent 24 Yd, 8:49. Drive: 10 plays, 74 yards in 5:41.
FGKris Brown 45 Yd, 4:30. Drive: 9 plays, 56 yards in 4:19.
4TH QUARTER
TDRyan Purvis, 14 Yd pass from Josh Johnson (Mike Nugent kick is good), 8:06. Drive: 7 plays, 73 yards in 3:43.
Houston
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
R. Grossman9/1619720
D. Orlovsky5/75101
RushingATTYDSTDLG
A. Foster164909
A. Hall93318
R. Moats31608
D. Anderson1606
R. Grossman1-10-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Jones3148187
G. Martinez235028
J. Casey322111
D. Anderson219012
D. Jenkins1909
A. Hill1808
A. Hall1404
R. Moats1303
Tampa Bay
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Johnson12/2118211
J. Freeman7/178512
RushingATTYDSTDLG
J. Johnson543011
C. Smith943011
J. Freeman327014
J. Cook1707
B. Askew10403
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
B. Clark470024
P. Carter350031
M. Urrutia346022
C. Hankton232123
R. Purvis228114
M. Maxwell112012
C. Smith111011
J. Cook1808
S. Stroughter1606
M. Stovall1404
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
SF 7 Final
SD 26
DAL 35 Final
MIN 31
OAK 21 Final
SEA 31
ARI 0 Final
DEN 19
GB 13 Final
TEN 27
KC 9 Final
STL 17
MIA 10 Final
NO 7
CLE 23 Final
CHI 26
PIT 21 Final
CAR 10
NYG 27 Final
NE 38
WAS 17 Final
JAC 24
IND 7 Final
CIN 38
BAL 20 Final
ATL 3
PHI 27 Final
NYJ 38
DET 17 Final
BUF 6