Nate Washington: ‘Hoyer’s Experience Put Him Ahead’

After several months of quarterback competition, the Houston Texans have named Brian Hoyer their starter over Ryan Mallett.

Hoyer, 29, has thrown for 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 32 games during his six-year NFL career, while Mallett, 27, has thrown for two touchdowns and three interceptions in seven career games.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien named the starter Monday during a team meeting.

“We knew that a decision was going to be coming sometime soon,” Texans wide Nate Washington said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “It was just a situation where we knew which guy we were going to be moving forward with as our starter. I think both guys have done a tremendous job of operating (our) system, operating this offense. It’s been a process for us, but we’re steadily growing together. So now we have our starter and we have to continue to grow with him.”

Hoyer may have won the job because he has more experience and, as a result, perhaps better pocket presence.

“I’m not a coach so I don’t know if that’s what it came down to,” Washington said. “But I will say that both guys did a good job the whole training camp of making plays. I don’t know what the final straw was or what the deciding factors were (in choosing Hoyer), but with Brian being a little older and having a little more experience as a starter in this league, I think it does kind of put him ahead of the bar. He’s seen a lot of things, he understands the game a little bit differently than Ryan may have at certain times being that he has the in-game experience. So it gives Brian the opportunity to go out and be a little bit better at times. But at the same time, like I said, I think both guys had good days and bad throughout training camp. It’s just something that I think the coaching staff came out and decided Brian would be the right guy for us. And we’ll take that nod and just continue to get better with him.”

Washington believes either player could succeed as Houston’s starter.

“Any guy can be a starter on any given Sunday,” Washington said. “As much as we will prepare with Brian as our starter and moving forward with him as the No. 1 guy, I think it’s important that we continue to stay on the (same) page with Ryan and understand his thinking mentality toward some plays and getting his understanding of our installation so we can be prepared if anything does happen. They both (could be) starters in this league and can play.”

The Texans went 9-7 last year with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, Mallett, and Tom Savage all getting time under center. Houston, which opens at home against Kansas City, will be without Arian Foster (groin) to start the season.

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