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Comcast Presents: Would You Rather Have Sage Rosenfels Backing Up Matt Schaub?

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You read the title of that post right. No, I haven't been drinking. Yes, I remember this ( in "Not Safe For Texans Fans"). I am honestly asking you if you could make room in your heart for Sage Rosenfels to be the backup QB for your Houston Texans again. C'mon...stop screaming "NOOOOO!!!" and venture beyond the jump. You know a small part of you wants to see how I could ever dream of asking the question.

As I type this, Dan Orlovsky is the backup quarterback for your Houston Texans. Since we're going down YouTube memory lane, I'm required by the Hague Convention to link to this patch from the quilt that is Dan Orlovsky's life. Ugly, but you knew that. Thing is, I don't really even care about the play, even though that's what people know Dan Orlovsky for as a football player. I care infinitely more that all reports from training camp seem to rather uniformly state that Dan Orlovsky looks horrible. Diehard Chris weighs in:

DanO has not looked good. THAT is not an overreaction. He holds the ball too long. He rarely is able to find his second option once the first option isn’t there. Dan – I KNOW our secondary is not THAT good. Yesterday during 11 on 11s, Orlovsky pulled the ball down and ran with it at least four times. FOUR! Someone tweeted at practice yesterday (I think it was AJ but I’m not sure), none of the linebackers are standing out as being especially solid in pass coverage… so yeah, I’m definitely concerned about Orlovsky. Someone (I need to start writing this stuff down) also mentioned that Dan seemed to put too much zip on the ball when he needed touch, and too much touch when he needed zip. That’s also accurate. He’s been kind of a mess so far. Third-string QB John David Booty has looked like you’d expect a third-stringer to look – but he’s looked better than Dan. O needs to step it up quickly. I expect Kubiak will give him a ton of snaps in the first preseason game, because holy cow does he ever need them.

AJ Burge:

7 on 7: Orlovsky still throwing the 10 yard outs into the dirt. Call me unimpressed. That's maybe why he and Booty had to stay after school today and work with Greg Knapp (see slide show below). The Texans are a Schaub injury away from a bad season.

Word of caution, naturally, that those are just two (2) opinions from fans (albeit very well-educated fans). Yet combined with the fact that Rex Grossman beat Orlovsky out for the QB2 gig last year, I think Orlovsky's readiness to step in for Schaub this year (should anything happen, of course, and may Durga have mercy on us all if it does) is a real concern.

Salary-wise, Dan-O is entering the second year of the three year/$9,150,000.00 ($2,400,000.00 guaranteed) deal he signed in March of 2009. Keith at ITB estimates Orlovsky's 2010 cap number (in this uncapped year) to be $3,050,000.00, with $2,250,000.00 of that being base salary and thus presumably non-guaranteed.

Sage, as you know, could be as low as No. 3 on the Minnesota QB depth chart. I say "could" not because I think there's a chance Brett Favre might not come back--it'll be the surprise of the century if that drama queen doesn't play QB for the Vikings this year--but because, for reasons beyond me, Tarvaris Jackson was and appears to remain ahead of Sage on the depth chart. The Vikings reportedly paid Sage more than $3,400,000.00 in salary and bonuses last year; he's slated to make $2,600,000.00 in base pay this season; he's 32 years old; and he's scheduled to make $3,000,000.00 in base money next year. Not exactly what you want out of your QB3.

With all that in mind, would you cut Dan Orlovsky and bring in Sage Rosenfels? Presumably, Smithiak would have to part with a draft pick (the link above quotes a scout speculating that Rosenfels might fetch "maybe like a sixth- or seventh-round pick"), but that doesn't strike me as a deal-breaker. From his previous stint here in Houston, Sage knows Kubiak's offense. Unlike '08, there wouldn't be the slightest whiff of a quarterback controversy; Matt Schaub is the unquestioned starter. If Schaub did have to miss time, who would you feel more comfortable with stepping in--a QB who's run this offense before with some success, or one who hasn't?

I fully realize this is idle speculation, and the chances of it happening could be nil. We're not privy to what goes on behind closed doors, so for all we know, Kubes feels fine about Orlovsky as his QB2. But the reports out of camp are enough to at least spark a discussion, aren't they? Thus, I ask: Would Sage Rosenfels be an upgrade over Dan Orlovsky at QB2 for your Houston Texans? And if so, would you make the move if you were Smithiak?

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