Keenum & The Radio Boobs
Case Keenum never in danger of getting cut: 610 AM radio boobs frantically fuel USC worthy tall tale
As false narratives go it's not nearly as bad as USC cornerback Josh Shaw inventing a heroic rescue, but it's pretty pathetic in its own comical way nonetheless.
610 AM radio host Nick Wright so desperately wants Case Keenum off the Houston Texans that he's repeatedly advanced the notion that Keenum is in dire danger of being cut. And doomed to be out of the NFL forever if he's sent adrift. Now, there's no truth behind either notion — and there never was. But that hasn't stopped the usually-entertaining Wright from bringing it up as a storyline again and again and again.
He's made it into a cause at 610 AM, with fellow hosts like Mike Meltser and even Paul Gallant (one of the best young radio talents in the entire country) acting like the genuflecting lackeys to the Gospel of Wright that Wright haughtily assumes them to be, reciting the story that Keenum is on the brink of getting cut on their own shows.
Only, Keenum's not. And never has been. He's not playing for his NFL future in Thursday night's fourth and largely big-picture meaningless preseason game.
The idea Keenum fell apart late in the season is false as well. He dropped 31 points on Belichick and the Patriots in Week 13.
First-year Texans coach Bill O'Brien isn't anything close to stupid or shortsighted. And he'd have to be both to arbitrarily jettison Keenum.
No one who covers the Texans seriously considered Keenum in cut danger. ESPN's excellent beat writer and analyst Tania Ganguli always had Keenum on her projected 53-man roster. Houston's longtime NFL expert John McClain doesn't have Keenum on the bubble either.
When McClain appeared on 610 Wednesday morning and told Wright as much, the host grew increasingly desperate with fantastical counter arguments. Then Wright just got depressed.
Not that this is likely to stop him from continuing to spin his wishful false narrative.
Like most Keenum haters (many of whom are simply University of Houston bashers who try to disguise themselves with lame "I'm a UH fan, but . . ." qualifiers in comments), Wright's fierce anti-Keenum bias doesn't seem rooted in facts or any objective measure. It's just bitter nonsense.
You simply don't give up on a quarterback entering his second playing season who looked as good as Case Keenum did in stretches last season. Keenum went into Arrowhead in his first NFL start and gave the playoff-bound Chiefs everything they wanted and more. He likely wins that game if Arian Foster doesn't get hurt in the opening minutes. Or if DeAndre Hopkins can hold onto a 50-50 jump ball in the end zone later (the type of play Hopkins is liable to make this season).
Keenum also powered the Texans to a 21-3 lead over the playoff-bound Colts in a Sunday Night Football showcase — another game the Texans likely win if not for the frightening, freak stroke Gary Kubiak suffered on the sideline. The narrative that Keenum completely fell apart late in the season is false as well. He dropped 31 points on Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in Week 13, forcing Tom Brady to go . . . well, Brady.
Sorry, Keenum's an intriguing talent no matter how vehemently the Nick Wright level haters refuse to acknowledge it.
Case Keenum Sticking Around
Is there some Alice In Wonderland scenario where Keenum could get cut by the Texans on Friday? Sure, if O'Brien's all-time favorite quarterback prospect suddenly found himself set free, it could "possibly" happen. If Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning were somehow cut, both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Keenum would be looking for new teams, too.
That's not happening though. Case Keenum is as safe as almost any of the Texans backups. Always has been.
O'Brien isn't stupid or shortsighted. He'd have to be both to arbitrarily jettison Keenum.
O'Brien, who is smartly keeping plenty of mystery around this team, said as much this week when he matter-of-factly noted the Texans likely would keep the three quarterbacks currently on their roster. No matter what O'Brien truly thinks of Keenum, he's not in the business of just giving away assets. Heck, he even managed to get something for T.J. Yates.
And Case Keenum is an NFL asset. No matter how many idiots scream otherwise.
Like most inexperienced NFL quarterbacks, Keenum has plenty to work on. It's going to be interesting to see how he and rookie Tom Savage both do in this last preseason game. It's going to be eye opening to see how O'Brien handles them and what wrinkles he throws into the rotation after Keenum starts the game with the other second stringers (or at least, the second stringers who end up playing). It's not going to determine either Keenum or Savage's NFL future though.
Being declared the backup quarterback really means nothing until the starter is injured or ineffective.
Despite the myths often advanced otherwise, Keenum's shown the type of deep ball ability the Texans franchise has long lacked. But Savage's arm may be even better. Now he just needs to harness it.
The rookie will try to do it with both Fitzpatrick and Keenum alongside him in the Texans quarterback room.
Bill O'Brien doesn't have any perfect quarterback choices on this team. But it's been interesting (if predictable) to see Fitzpatrick and Keenum play virtually the same game against Denver and watch Keenum get crucified for it on sports talk radio while Uncle Fitz receives a free pass.
That's what listening to Nick Wright and his lost boys hinges on. Selective memory.
Making up this narrative about Keenum standing on the verge of getting cut isn't fair to the former University of Houston record breaker. But Keenum's overcome much worse in his career.
Nick Wright seems personally offended that Keenum proved him so wrong before. He just can't stand that. There's no need for Wright to jump into any mythical swimming pools though.
Wright might want to just try and get used to being proven wrong as best he can. For Case Keenum's liable to do it again.