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Is This The Make Or Break Year For Matt Schaub?

I leave town for a little bit and come back to hear that Texans QB Matt Schaub will be the highest paid player under center this season in the entire NFL. At $17 million, because of the way his contract was structured, he will be earning more green than Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Drew Brees in 2009. And I thought the pressure on him this year was already pretty steep.

The third year for a starting QB in the NFL is supposed to be the year of make or break. If the second half of 2008 was any indication, Schaub certainly seems on the way up. Except for a few idiots in attendance who were shouting "We Want Sage!" the week after the famous "Rosencopter" incident, I think that most Texans fans like Matt Schaub. Most think he can get the job done, if he can only stay on the field.

I believe after the misery that we sustained with David Carr, most Texans fans just have zero patience for any mistakes made at the QB position. A mishandled snap or a close interception is loudly received with boo-birds from the fan base. It’s hard to play mistake-free football in this league. But as I said, Texans fans are out of patience with quarterbacks.

Personally, I like Matt. Even if I wasn’t a Texans fan, I would have him in my top 10 QBs in the league without question (name 10 that are clearly better). When the guy stays on the field, he produces. Sure, having arguably the best WR in football helps to make you look good. Andre even made Carr look okay at times. But you don’t get national acclaim as the best WR in the game without a pretty good player throwing you the ball.

Sure, he has been what many would call injury prone. But they haven’t been Tracy McGrady injuries. A cheap shot by Jared Allen and a body slam by Albert Haynesworth are likely to put most players in this league on the shelf for extended time. It’s not like he sat out with turf toe or anything. I have to believe this is the year Matt stays on the field all season. Haynesworth leaving for Washington has to improve the chances for that already.

Someone brought up on Texans Talk the question of whether Matt Schaub could throw for 4,000 yards this season. Most of the posters seemed to think so. If the guy does indeed stay on the field this season, I really don’t see why not. In only 11 games played last season, he gained 3,043 total passing yards. And that’s even with that awful game he had against Oakland in Week 16. But what I would like is to see him raise that TD passes number from 15 to 20 or 25. As much as I love Kris Brown, I would like to see him for more extra points and less field goal attempts.

So, can Matt Schaub stay healthy this season? For $17 million, I sure as hell hope so. For his sake. Or else it may be his last in a Texans uni. Because I don’t see us keeping a backup QB that makes that kind of bread just to sit on the bench. Let’s just leave those kinds of situations to our buddies in Tennessee.