The Houston Texans will have one of the most watched training camps of 2015, as we all wait and see to find out who will be the quarterback of the team. After re-signing Ryan Mallett, bringing in Brian Hoyer, and moving Ryan Fitzpatrick, it’s clear the race will come down to Mallett and Hoyer. But the decision may actually be already figured out, due to some implied incentive that will come from Hoyer.
Neither have wowed anyone to this point in the NFL, but Hoyer especially has been a really bland NFL quarterback. Besides last year, he’s been mainly a backup, playing never more than 5 games in any given year. Over his career, Hoyer averages just over a 50 quarterback rating, not good by any means.
On the other hand, we have a young, possibly soon to be great quarterback. Mallett has only played in seven NFL games throughout his two seasons in the NFL. What we’ve seen from him has been a small sample size, and it’s really tough to say what he can do, but he seems to show some promise. Maybe Mallett just needs some incentive, and some push in order to be a great, reliable starting quarterback. That’s where the Hoyer signing came in.
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The way I see it, Hoyer is just really expensive incentive for Ryan Mallett. If the Texans didn’t get Hoyer, Mallett would probably assume he would be getting the starting job, even without doing very well in training camp.
With Hoyer, however, Mallett’s job is jeopardized. Mallett will be pushed by the presence of Hoyer, and likely will perform at a higher level. This not only translates to a better production in training camp, but also throughout the entire season. There will always be the threat of Hoyer taking Mallett’s (assumed) position, as long as he is still on the roster.
At the same time, Hoyer is a safety cushion, and the incentive could be reciprocated. Hoyer knows his career is coming towards the end, and he must perform well in Houston to keep it going. Having a younger quarterback gunning for this veteran’s starting spot can encourage Hoyer to do better as well.
If the incentive plan doesn’t work with Mallett, Hoyer can take over as quarterback, and do a decent job. It likely won’t be great, but he can facilitate the ball as well as any other option for the Texans right now.
As the Browns quarterback last year, Hoyer led them for most of the season before Johnny Manziel took over late in the year. The Browns finished just 7-9, but that was an improvement over 4-12 from the previous year.
This scenario could very well take place. Hoyer is experienced with quarterback competitions in training camp. When lots thought Manziel was a shoe-in for the starting position last year, Hoyer made coaches, fans, and analysts think twice.
Regardless of if Hoyer really was meant to be incentive, he may end up being a motivation for Mallett. In the same way, Mallett could encourage Hoyer to put his best foot forward in training camp. This could’ve been the plan all along, or it could’ve been something that just happened to take place. Either way, we’re all excited for the quarterback showdown that will take place in training camp.