Thursday September 4th, 2014

The Houston Texans named Ryan Mallett their backup quarterback to start the regular season, the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith reports.

Mallett was acquired from the New England Patriots earlier this week for a future seventh-round draft pick. The trade reunites Mallett with coach Bill O'Brien, who previously worked as the Patriots' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

KING: Ted Thompson opens up about tenure as Packers GM

O'Brien said Mallett's familiarity with the offense was a key factor in picking him to be Ryan Fitzpatrick's backup ahead of rookie Tom Savage.

“The foundation of what he knows is very similar to what we had in the three years in New England,” O’Brien said. “He was drafted in (2011) when I was there. We spent the rookie year together and then I went to Penn State. (In 2012) and ’13, he stayed and was attentive in meetings. It’s obvious since he’s been here.

Mallett was drafted by the Patriots in the third round in 2011. He played in four games and attempted four passes during three seasons.

Fitzpatrick enters the season as the Texans' starter following a preseason where he completed 25 of 43 passes for 232 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Houston opens the regular season on Sunday against Washington.

- Paul Palladino

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