Tag Archives: tj yates

Yates, TJ (2)

Cards:  Sage HIT 2011, Sage 2011 Duo Autograph, Playoff 2011, Sage 2011
Acquired: 2017, EBay
See Also: TJ Yates

Reliable Matt Schaub took the majority of the snaps in 2012, with the Texans posting a 12-4 record, losing in the playoffs during the Divisional Round to the Patriots. TJ Yates rode the bench as the primary backup to Matt, and just threw 10 passes that year.

Things were business as usual riding into 2013, but after winning their first two games, the wheels just fell off the Texans wagon, primarily due to quarterback play. Teams either figured Schaub out, or his lins franc injury was worse than anybody thought.  The Texans cycled through Schaub to Yates and then finally to Case Keenum. TJ saw action in 3 games going 15 of 22 for 113 yards and 2 interceptions.  It was a surprising fall for the once mighty team as the Texans slumped to 2-14. After the season ended, the team cleared house releasing Gary Kubiak‘s coaching staff and hiring Bill O’Brien in his place for 2014.

With BO’B the Texans opted to go with a ‘multiple’ offensive set. While the team liked Yates, they traded him to the Atlanta Falcons for LB Akeem Dent. He’d get a little playing time in behind Matt Ryan going 3 of 4 for 64 yards and an interception, but be on the street the following season. That’s when fate intervened again.

It was October and the phone rang. On the other end of the line was a familiar voice. It was Rick Smith, GM of the Texans, and he wanted TJ Yates to come back to play QB for the Texans again.  You see, the Texans were just passing the buck on their quarterback issues. After trading veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Jets, Brian Hoyer was the man of the hour in 2015. Backing him up was screwball Ryan Mallett.  The problem was, Hoyer was oft injured, and they already knew what a basket case they had in Mallett, so the Texans needed to shore up their QB play badly.

The Texans in the meantime were middling. Going into the bye week they were 3-5, and facing a familiar opponent in Week 10: The Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were undefeated going into the Sunday night game, and all the ESPN ‘gurus’ selected them to win, so for the Texans to pull this one off, they’d need divine intervention or… TJ Yates.

True to form Hoyer got a concussion during the contest. TJ Yates trotted onto the field with 3 weeks study under his belt, shook off the rust like it was December 11th, 2010 all over again, and led the Texans to victory.  He’d throw a TD strike in the 4th quarter to DeAndre Hopkins to seal the win 10-6.  After the game, players gushed about Yates. Ironman left tackle Duane Brown said to Yates, “Let your legend grow,” and JJ Watt quipped that, “Everytime we play in this stadium we should have TJ start.”  TJ turned things around for the Texans winning the next game against the Jets, but during his 3rd game against the Colts, tore his ACL scrambling out of the pocket. His season was over.  Yates finished 28/57 for 370 yards, with 3 TDs to 1 pick.

In 2016, TJ signed with the Miami Dolphins suiting up for 6 games, but did not see any playing time. He continued his mercenary QB for hire act, and signed with the Buffalo Bills, where he was expected to vie for playing time behind starter Tyrod Taylor competing against rookie Nathan Peterman for 2017. He’d be cut with an injury settlement, but as fate would have it, TJ had another stint in him- with the Houston Texans.

The wheels fell off the Texans bandwagon early. Tom Savage, while solid in relief of Brock Osweiler, turned out not to be the answer in 2017. It was rookie QB Deshaun Watson who lit the league on fire, but a freak ACL tear in practice ended his season around the mid-point. The Texans signed Yates to back up Savage.  – It was shades of 2013 all over again…

After Tom Savage suffered a brutal hit during the San Fransisco game that gave him a concussion, TJ was forced into service again. Although he did not lead the team to a win, he threw 2 TDs during the contest.  TJ started the remainder of the season for the Texans, but there was no magic bullet this time for the team, as injuries had destroyed any hope for the team making a comeback some time ago.

Yates, Taylor Johnathan “TJ”

Card: Score 2011, Austin American Statesman Sports Page Clipping Dec 12, 2011.
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o Home
Sent: 4/23       Received:  5/25  (32 days)

As I was sitting at home and heard the name TJ Yates come off the draft board to the Texans in 2011, I glanced up for a second and thought, “Why did they drop a 5th rounder on him? He’s going to be a third stringer behind Schaub and Lienart.” Analysts loved or hated the pick, but one thing was for sure at the conclusion of the Texans 2011 season, I was sure glad to be wrong about TJ Yates in what has become to be the steal of the 5th round of the much ballyhooed 2011 class.

Well TJ was a pretty decently regarded quarterback at North Carolina, but you see we are talking about the Tar Heels- a college that has never had a quarterback from its school start a game at the NFL level, and is more regarded as a powerhouse in basketball than ever in football. Yates wasn’t even technically invited to the combine. They needed a local guy who could sling the rock to the talent at the combine. It was there that TJ raised some eyebrows, making every throw and strike after strike to receiver. This got him on the radar of many scouts, as while marquee quarterbacks such as Newton, Gabbert, and Andy Dalton, did not attend or were limited in their repetitions, Yates did everything they wanted and was on target with his audition at the combine.

Yates started off quietly enough after a prolific career at North Carolina, where at the time of his graduation he held the school records for single season passing yards, and most yards passing (career) with 9,337.   TJ clawed his way onto the Texans depth chart beating out Dan Orlovsky for 3rd string, but fate had something much more in mind for Yates and the Houston Texans in 2011.  The Texans clearly were the lead dog in the division after the sudden fall of the Manning-less Colts. Guided by a rebuilt defense and a strong offense, there appeared to be no stopping the Texans and their destiny as division champs, but then that’s when injury struck the team. With the Texans easily powering by the Buccaneers in week 11, quarterback Matt Schaub took a meaningless dive to get his team out of the shadow of his own endzone. Unfortunately for him, Albert Haynesworth ‘fell’ on his leg during the play causing Matt to be lost for the season with a Lins Franc injury. Matt Leinart stepped in, and played well in the first half of the next contest against the Jags, but he too would succumb to injury, so the Texans turned to young TJ Yates- their 3rd string quarterback to lead the charge for the remainder of the season.

He’d take the reins over for the team and lead the Texans into the postseason for the first time in the team’s 10 year existence, clenching the division in exciting fashion by driving the team down the field on the final drive against the Bengals to throw a last second strike to Kevin Walter, and then later help the team win its first playoff game against the Bengals again 31-10.  While the Texans did lose the next contest against the Ravens in Baltimore, all things considered, the Texans and Yates were able to make the best of the season. He’d finish with 949 yards, 3 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 61.4% completions, and an 80.4 quarterback rating in 2011.

Going into 2012 it appears that the Texans backup job is now comfortably in Yates hands, as the team opted not to resign Leinart or make any splashes in the free agent market. I saw Yates address on Sportscollectors.net and immediately wrote him a letter, including the newspaper clipping of him beating the Bengals during that exciting contest to clinch the division on December 11th, and a card. He signed both in a bit over 30 days, and thanked me for writing him on the clipping. Class act!