Schaub taking over as Texans leader

Schaub taking over as Texans leader

Schaub taking over as Texans leader
Thu, May 17, 2007
By Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Matt Schaub wasted no time getting started on establishing himself as the leader of the Houston Texans.

The day he was traded from Atlanta, the quarterback was on the phone calling key members of the team to introduce himself and let them know what to expect from him.

''That was big,'' Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson said after Houston's minicamp Thursday. ''A lot of people don't do that when it's their first day with the team. I think just by him doing that he caught a lot of guys' attention.''

Schaub will become just the second quarterback to lead the young Texans franchise after replacing David Carr, who was dumped after five seasons without a winning record. It will be the 25-year-old's first starting job. He spent three seasons with the Falcons as Michael Vick's backup.

Though Schaub's presence marks the beginning of a new era in Houston, the quarterback's choice of a number brings thoughts of the old one. He'll wear Carr's No. 8 because that's been his number since he entered the NFL.

Schaub's willingness to assert himself as a leader was important to Texans coaches when they looked for a new face to lead their team.

''That's his personality,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ''That's something I think is his strength and we kind of knew that. People gravitate to the young man. He has a lot of confidence in what everybody's doing, not just what he's doing and you can see that on the field.''

Schaub said asserting himself without stepping on the toes of the veteran players is a balancing act.

''Everybody leads in different ways, whether it's by example or vocally,'' he said. ''You've got to find a happy medium, being a new guy. You've got to take the reins, but you want to show guys that you're out here to work and get better and do it by example, not just be the voice.''

Schaub already looks comfortable with Johnson, who had a career-best 103 receptions last season. That is likely thanks to more than a dozen offseason workouts together.

''We were throwing just about two or three times a week,'' Johnson said. ''We were going out and just going through the routes and things like that, just trying to get the timing down. I think it was important to all of us.''

The 6-foot-5 Schaub, who signed a six-year deal worth $48 million, is ready to be the starter after starting just two games in his career. He thinks his offseason work will help ease the transition.

''It's been an ongoing process since I got here, just learning,'' he said. ''It's a work in progress, but you just try to take a little bit each day and absorb it and go from there.''

Though Houston has only been through two practices, Kubiak is already encouraged by what he's seen from Schaub.

''Matt is to me is very composed,'' Kubiak said. ''Watching him operate with everybody and getting everybody lined up. 'You get here. You get there,' and the young guys get in the huddle with him and they don't panic. They can ask him and he's got control of all 11 of them.''

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