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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Texans Name Schaub Starting QB

Texans introduce Schaub as starting quarterback-See my comment

By CHRIS DUNCAN, AP Sports Writer
March 22, 2007

HOUSTON (AP) -- David Carr is done as the starting quarterback of the Houston Texans.

The Texans acquired Matt Schaub in a trade with Atlanta on Thursday and said for the first time publicly that Carr's five-year tenure as the starter is over.

"Matt is our starting quarterback," general manager Rick Smith said. "We're trying to help David find another place. We're trying to trade him today, maybe the next couple of days."

The Schaub Era begins with the same cloud that lingered over Carr's final season: Vince Young. The Texans could've drafted the hometown star who led the Texas Longhorns to a national championship, but opted to stick with Carr in hopes he'd finally live up to his status as the first pick in franchise history.

Houston showed its faith in Carr by giving him a contract extension last offseason.

"Yes, we've made mistakes," team owner Bob McNair said. "Not just there, that's not the only place. And we'll make mistakes moving forward. The key is you've got to make more good decisions than bad decisions."

Carr became the face of this expansion team from the time he was taken No. 1 overall in 2002. He won his opener, but the Texans have gone 24-56 over five years, never posting a winning record.

Houston went 6-10 last season and Young added to the sting by carrying the Tennessee Titans to wins in eight of their last 11 games, including a dramatic overtime victory in Houston.

Now, Schaub gets a chance to make Texans fans forget about Young.

Schaub's agent, Joby Branion, said Schaub signed a six-year deal worth $48 million.

Schaub hasn't started a game since 2005 and threw only 27 passes last season. McNair said Schaub brings "the leadership that we think is needed."

Schaub acknowledged that he'll have to overcome his lack of experience.

"There are going to be a lot more things as the starter that you have to do and handle on a day-to-day basis, as opposed to being the backup," Schaub said. "It's just a matter of knowing that going in and meeting it head on."

Schaub, who was a restricted free agent, could have signed with any team, but was sold on the Texans during a round of golf he played with Kubiak on Monday.

"The thing he told me was he was going to do what it takes to be successful, as an offensive team, especially," Schaub said. "It's just an incredible opportunity for me to take the next step in my career, leading a team and running the huddle."

The Texans and Falcons also swapped first-round picks in the upcoming draft -- Atlanta now has the eighth pick and Houston dropped to No. 10. Atlanta also received second-round picks in the next two drafts.

Schaub entered the league through the same draft as Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers and J.P. Losman. Kubiak said the Texans grabbed Schaub just as he's starting to blossom.

"We wanted a player who's ready to go into his prime and that's what this young man is," Kubiak said. "This guy is ready for his opportunity to run a football team. We're catching him at the perfect time. We could walk across that field today and he could take us out of the huddle."

Before landing Schaub, Houston tried to sign Jeff Garcia and Patrick Ramsey before the two joined other teams. The Texans also reportedly were pursuing Jake Plummer, who retired.

The Falcons took Schaub in the third round of the 2004 draft. The 6-foot-5 Schaub set school records at Virginia for pass completions (716), passing yards (7,502) and touchdown throws (56).

"This player is what an NFL quarterback should be," Smith said. "He's a leader. He's a strong, smart accurate passer. As we looked at the market and assessed how to get better at the position, we entertained a lot of ideas.

"At the end of the day, the acquisition we've made today is perfect for us."

Carr had similarly glowing numbers at Fresno State when the Texans chose him with the first pick in 2002. He completed 60 percent of his passes with Houston, but also threw 65 interceptions and was sacked 249 times in five seasons.

Houston also has quarterbacks Sage Rosenfels, Bradlee Van Pelt and Quinton Porter on its roster.

Carr has two years left on his contract that will pay him about $11.5 million over the next two seasons.

"We're hopeful he will continue his NFL career and be successful," Smith said.

A message was left seeking comment from Mike Sullivan, Carr's agent.

So this is where it ends for Carr in Texas. He wants to go west, maybe to Denver to back up Jay Cutler, or maybe to Oakland, where the QB spot is wide open no matter who gets drafted. He has to decide weather he thinks he's still "Starting" QB Quality or not.

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