Mills on Texans two QB system: “We felt good about it.”

Dec 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) throws downfield against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Mills on Texans two QB system: “We felt good about it.”

Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills embraced the team’s two-quarterback system that debuted last week and hopes it will continue to be successful.

Davis Mills knew he was stepping back into the starting quarterback role for the team last week, but he would also later learn the team would be deploying a new, two-quarterback system. While many players may have balked at that initially, Mills did not.

“We felt good about it. Obviously, both of us have the mindset whatever we can do to help the team win games. That’s what we’re doing. If they use the both-quarterback system, we’re trying to move the ball and score touchdowns. That’s our main focus.”

Mills wound up sharing quarterback duties with Jeff Driskel. Driskel and Mills are polar opposites when it comes to their styles of play. Those differences are part of what made them successful against the Cowboys, and Mills is looking for that success to carry over.

“I hope so. Like I said, after this past game, anything we can do to switch up the looks and keep defenses guessing, I think that’s advantageous for us. Just going out there and moving the football is what we’re trying to do.”

Previously, head coach Lovie Smith described how backup quarterbacks do not get very many reps in practice. Mills, however, said it was not more difficult prepping the two-quarterback system during the week.

“I don’t think it’s too different. Obviously, you’re preparing in the game plan and making sure you’re on top of all the details, and you’re able to go out and execute your job once you are given the chance. I don’t think there’s any difference between playing the whole entire game or playing only a couple of snaps. There’s not really a big difference.”

Realistically, Mills is still practicing the same plays he would always practice, so it would likely be more difficult on Driskel, who has been on the practice squad the majority of the season. Driskel would have to get that feel of running RPOs with Dameon Pierce (and now with Rex Burkhead and Dare Ogunbowale) and get a feel for timing with receivers.

Mills shared that the team had different situational packages for each quarterback and that offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton determined which packages and plays would be run.

“There were different thoughts and different situations. A lot of third-down stuff, red zone stuff. We each had plays in different situations. Ultimately, it was up to Pep (Hamilton) to try to find the best plays with each given player, so that’s what we were both prepared for.”

Hamilton, to his credit, put on a master class in two-quarterback utilization. The Texans efficiently and effectively used both quarterbacks to their strengths the entire game. There was not a single nitpick about the offense until that first-and-goal from the Dallas 4-yard line possession late in the fourth quarter. Of course, if Dameon Pierce were available on that possession, there likely would not have been any nitpicks at all.

Mills explained the dynamic between he and Driskel on the sideline.

“There’s a lot of back-and-forth on the sideline, making sure we were seeing things the same, kind of bouncing ideas off each other. Obviously, our play calls weren’t the exact same, so we’re not seeing the exact looks. From the mind of the quarterback, a lot of times, you can only relate to what other quarterbacks are thinking. When you have somebody to talk to who’s also getting live reps, live bullets flying at them in the game, it helps.”

While Driskel does not have the arm talent that Mills has, he is a seven-year veteran on five different NFL teams. He has seen most everything the league will throw at a quarterback. Driskel also knows his job and is not trying to detract from Mills. That usually combines to make for a better dynamic.

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