Brian Hoyer spent the first three seasons of his NFL career backing up Tom Brady in New England. Now, after a fresh start in Cleveland, Hoyer is starting to turn in some dazzling performances, and people around the world are starting to take notice.
One of those people is Tom Brady, but unlike many others, he says he's not surprised by the success Hoyer has had in Cleveland.
"Not at all. I saw it everyday in practice!" Brady told reporters who asked if he was surprised with the performances his former teammate has turned in.
Hoyer is 6-2 starting for the Browns and lead them to a stunning 31-10 victory against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team they have only beaten three times in the last 23 encounters.
In what was a tough offseason for Hoyer, with the fans calling for Jonny Football to be named starter, Hoyer showed great mental strength to win the job and thrive in a team that has been awful in previous seasons, and Brady paid tribute to that attitude:
"I think sometimes when you're faced with the toughest adversities, it brings out the best in you," Brady said. "That's the mental toughness. People go through that at different times in their life. Brian has gone through it this offseason and I think it's just been awesome to see the way that he's persevered."
Winnable three games next up
Hoyers stats this season have been stellar. He is no Peyton Manning or Aaron Rogers but he seems to have the ability to get it done, especially when the game has gone down to the wire, as it has done on many occasions in Cleveland this year. Hoyer has thrown seven touchdown passes with only one interception and Brady paid tribute to how he conducts himself:
"It's a lot of credit to him and who he is - what his makeup is, what his character is, his parents, the way they raised him and it's really great for him to see. He's doing a great job. (The Browns) are doing a great job in that division."
Brady's right. He is doing a great job in that division. The AFC North is one of the tightest divisions in the NFL and at 3-2 the Browns are exceeding expectations. The question is can they keep it up for the next 10 weeks? Three VERY winnable games against Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa Bay could (and should) see them stretch to 6-2 going into a tough divisional match up against Cincinnati in week 10.
With the job now his for the foreseeable future, it is up to Hoyer to not rest on his laurels and always commit to getting better, because he is in the situation where if things do start to go pear shaped, the Jonny Manziel chants will grow louder and louder.