The story of Brian Hoyer begins right here in Cleveland. Hoyer was born on October 13th, 1985 in Lakewood, Ohio, a prominent Cleveland suburb on city’s west side. He played football at the prestigious St. Ignatius high school, went on to play in Michigan State, and snuck into the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2009 with the New England Patriots.
Hoyer backed up Tom Brady in New England for three seasons, striking up a friendship with the future Hall of Famer. After being released by the Patriots, Brian played briefly for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals before signing with his beloved hometown team, the Cleveland Browns, in 2013.
Admittedly, I had no idea what to expect from Brian Hoyer when he suited up against the Minnesota Vikings. I’m not sure anyone knew what to expect. It was an explosive game for him, as he lobbed 52 pass attempts for 321 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The Browns went on to win 31-27. Hoyer followed up this performance with a decisive victory next week against Cincinnati. Unfortunately, the week after that, Hoyer suffered a season ending injury against Buffalo.
Let’s fast forward to 2014. The Browns drafted Johnny Manziel and Hoyer competed with him in preseason. Brian won the starting job and the Browns started off hotter than a firecracker. Close fought victories and decisive blowouts, the Browns found ways to win… for a while. After Alex Mack fell to injury, the offensive line began to falter. Hoyer’s play began to diminish and the Browns turned to Johnny Manziel late in the season, with playoffs still in reach.
Now Brian Hoyer is with a different team after the Browns signed veteran backup Josh McCown to a three year deal. I felt Hoyer was the best option at quarterback for the Browns for the 2015 season. The Browns felt otherwise and it’s a decision I hope we don’t regret down the road. We will just have to wait for time to play out and tell us.
My favorite memory of him will be how the Browns set a record for the largest road comeback victory ever against Tennessee, winning 29-28 after being down 28-3. Hoyer kept his cool and chipped away at the Titans one play at a time. I’ll always look up to Brian. I’ll always remember how hard he worked when nothing was expected of him. He made something out of nothing and become a success story overnight in his late 20’s. It was especially fun having a hometown Clevelander kick butt for the Browns. I wish nothing but the best for him.