Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien has told his new starting quarterback Ryan Mallett to "let it rip" against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
The 45-year-old chose Brian Hoyer as the starter for the opening fixture against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he replaced Hoyer with the former Patriot in the third quarter.
O'Brien admitted that the quarterback contest was close during camp and encouraged the 27-year-old Mallett to give all he has at the weekend.
The Texans coach told reporters: "He's a decisive player, let it rip and go play quarterback."
Mallett played three games for the Texans last season, throwing for two touchdowns and two interceptions.