Most weekdays from now until the Packers and Seahawks kick off on September 4th, The Big Lead will detail one reason we are excited for football season to begin. Including today, we’re 30 days away from NCAA and 37 from NFL.
Who would have seen this coming? At a camp where Johnny Football rode into town with his headline-generatin’ ways, Brian Hoyer has garnered all of the over-the-top hype. The latest out of Cleveland is Joe Thomas, who compared Hoyer to you-know-who.
“He’s a lot like Tom Brady,” Thomas said at training camp Monday. “When you look at the way he competes and the way he demands the most out of everybody around him, it’s no coincidence that those guys played together. (Hoyer) has a lot of those same mental attributes and that’s a great thing for a quarterback to have.
This isn’t the first piece of overt praise that has come out of Cleveland. GM Ray Farmer described him as phenomenal. The early shots out of Cleveland appeared to be across Manziel’s bow to get him in line, but no QB has received the public praise of Hoyer in the early part of camp.
This is one of the great things about the early camp period. Lots of hype. Sometimes the early talk pans out, sometimes it is forgotten as soon as the real football begins. This takes me back to the great John Beck era during the lockout of 2011. You don’t remember that? Well, here was my take on the praise coming out of Washington.
Speaking of Beck, where have I heard this Brady thing?
Miami’s best hope for a turnaround comes in the form of new quarterback John Beck, a second-round pick from Brigham Young, who gets a strong endorsement from Steve Young.
“Stylistically he’s a lot like Tom Brady in his accuracy and how he delivers the football,” Young said on ESPN. “I think he can withstand the barrage of criticism that will come when he tries to pull this team out of oblivion.”
The other player that drew the Tom Brady comparison was, of course, Matt Cassel, who also played in New England. “A lot of times when you’re a young quarterback and you haven’t played a lot, there’s an adjustment period, and he’s done a very nice job. He looks a lot like Tom Brady now, and that’s scary,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said back in 2008. Cassel, by the way, is now embroiled in the other hot training camp quarterback battle between rookie and Tom Brady-like veteran, where he will compete with Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota.
It’s always risky to cast shade on anything not happening in the NFL. One of the great things are the exceptions and those that overcome. We’ve seen Rich Gannon bounce back from being out of the league to win MVP, and Kurt Warner to go from sacking groceries to a Super Bowl title in his first year as a starter. I’ll just throw a little caution on the Hoyer hype, though.
Not many have done what Hoyer is trying to do–basically be a backup for a long time and then emerge. (Gannon, for example, had started for several years in Minnesota, and Brady himself got his first opportunity at age 24).
Hoyer was a breath of fresh air last year — viewed through the “he’s way better than Brandon Weeden” lenses. While he went 3-0 as a starter last year in Cleveland (hey, that’s like winning a Super Bowl!), let’s break it down. One of those wins was the game where he tore up his knee and left after 4 passes, and Brandon Weeden came in and played well. Another involved a “gutty” performance where the Browns won and Hoyer threw 3 interceptions and averaged 5.9 yards per pass. He has averaged 6.4 yards per attempt for his career.
Still, the Hoyer-Manziel stuff will be at the fore throughout the preseason. Complain if you want. Just remember that you want to be careful what you wish for. This Browns hype is just pushing the Jets’ quarterback battle to page two.
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