Terrible Texans hope to bounce back against Denver

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 17, 2013 at 2:31 am •  Published: December 17, 2013
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HOUSTON (AP) — Wade Phillips talked about how certain young quarterbacks have to hit rock bottom before they can turn things around.

Case Keenum and the Houston Texans are certainly at that point.

Keenum had his worst outing in eight games as a starter and the Texans dropped their 12th straight on Sunday in the first game with Phillips in charge after coach Gary Kubiak was fired Dec. 6.

Now Phillips is looking for ways to help Keenum improve with Sunday's game against longtime Houston nemesis Peyton Manning and the Broncos looming.

"I've seen it happen," Phillips said Monday of quarterbacks bouncing back after struggling early in their careers. "Some of them don't bounce back up and aren't good enough and don't end up good quarterbacks. But this is a rough time he's going through and we'll see what he does."

Keenum is dealing with a sprained right thumb. The Texans aren't sure how serious the injury is, but Phillips said he is concerned about it.

Keenum is in his first season playing in the NFL after spending all of last season on the practice squad. In Sunday's loss to the Colts, he threw for 168 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. He was sacked four times, one of which resulted in a fumble and safety, and was hurried and hit numerous other times.

"He saw the blitzes when they were coming," Phillips said. "But seeing blitzes and getting rid of the football is different than just seeing them. That and reading coverages is not an easy process, and especially for a young quarterback to know exactly where to go with it."

Phillips said the Texans will work this week to identify what was happening early in the Keenum's tenure as starter when he was playing better. Phillips also said he spoke to the offense about doing more to help Keenum while he develops.

"He's going through a process," Andre Johnson. "He can't take all the blame. We've all played a part in it. We all want to be perfect, but at the same time we're human and you're not going to go out and play perfect games all the time. But ... as a team we have to find a way to win."

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