Hope has rose in Cleveland in the form of Brian Hoyer, a journeyman who’s now starting for the team he grew up cheering for.
Hoyer grew up in North Olmsted and played football at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. His parents still live in North Olmsted, where an electronic message board outside City Hall on Monday proclaimed Hoyer a “hometown hero.”
This, after Hoyer was thrust into the starting lineup in Week 3, despite the fact Hoyer entered the year third on the depth chart behind Jason Campbell and the aforementioned Weeden.
But with his team’s most recent win over the Bengals on Sunday, Hoyer put the 2-2 Browns into a first-place tie with the Bengals and the defending Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.
Hoyer will start Thursday night against the Bills, and if he can get the win, he’ll have started his career off in a similar manner to one of his former teammates and future hall-of-famer.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a mentor to Hoyer for three seasons before the team ultimately parted ways with him, and now, Hoyer has a chance to follow a much similar path that Brady did in his rise to NFL-stardom, and some of Hoyer’s teammates see the similarities between the two:
“(He has) the (same) sense of urgency, tempo, just the way he gets in and out of the huddle,’ receiver Davone’ Bess said. “He gets the guys moving a little faster. It brings this attacking mindset to the opposing defense.”
Bess should know. He spent the past five seasons in Miami, playing against Brady twice a year. He watched enough fourth-quarter Brady comebacks to realize that Hoyer has become similar through osmosis.
“I’ve been a believer of (Hoyer’s) for a long time,” he said. “He was in New England when I was in Miami, so I had already known what he was capable of. I’m really more proud of him, just the way he’s handled it, because it’s not an easy thing to do to be thrown in there, especially at his position and be able to ignite something like this two-game winning streak we’ve got going.”