Bob Levey/Getty Images
By SI Wire
October 24, 2014

Texans coach Bill O'Brien stands behind Ryan Fitzpatrick as the team's starting quarterback, but backup Ryan Mallett says he is ready to take over if given the opportunity. 

“I do what I’ve always done, man, is work my [butt] off and try to get better everyday,” Mallett said Thursday, according to Houston Chronicle. “We’ll see if it pays off. … I love it here. The system’s good — I know the system. Just waiting.”

“If it happens, it happens,” Mallett added. “I’ll be ready. I’ll be prepared. I prepare like I’m the starter. I have since I’ve been in the NFL. I’ve just got to continue to do that and be ready when my number’s called.”

Bears' Jay Cutler doesn't believe he was 'called out' by Brandon Marshall​

The Chronicle's Brian T. Smith reports that Mallett is expected to be promoted to starter "if the 3-4 team slides further."

Mallett was acquired before the start of the season in a trade with the Patriots. 

Mallett spent three seasons as the backup to Tom Brady in New England and appeared in four games. He has thrown four passes in his NFL career, with one 17-yard completion and an interception.

The trade reunites Mallett and O'Brien, his former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks' coach with the Patriots. 

- Andrew Melnick

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