Dec 7, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) throws a pass during the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Colts beat the Browns 25-24. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
College: Brian Hoyer graduated from Michigan State in 2008. He was a two year starter and led the Spartans to a 16-10 record in his starts. In his senior season, he had 9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions and was dead last in passing competition percentage in the Big Ten. Surprisingly, Hoyer rushed for -229 yards over his 4 year career. He actually did worse in his senior season despite having a better team record. The Big Ten is known for it’s defensive dominance so one team gave him a shot at the next level despite a below average college tape. NFL teams simply like big school quarterbacks and were willing to give him a shot.
NFL: He went undrafted but later signed with the New England Patriots in 2009 where now head coach Bill O’Brien was the Patriots Quarterbacks coach. As a backup to Tom Brady, he only played a few snaps throughout his three year career in New England but it wasn’t enough to have the Patriots re-sign him. His lone touchdown in his nearly 50 attempts was against a bad Miami Dolphins team after Tom Brady exited the game with a 31-0 lead. Brian Hoyer lost his backup role to Ryan Mallett and was not invited back to Patriots camp.
His next shot at playing time came in Arizona when he competed against John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, and Ryan Lindley. Hoyer was unable to win the job despite being in a very winnable spot. He started one game (lost 27-13 to the 49ers) and threw for one touchdown and one interception but that was enough for the Cleveland Browns to give him a shot.
Overall, he started 16 games in his two year stint going 10-6 thanks to Josh Gordon and winning three games by two or less points. The teams he beat last year were only 41-71 (36.7%), so he benefited from a very weak schedule as well. His own statistics are not impressive despite the respectable team record. Similarly to his senior year in college, he had a near one to one touchdown to interception ratio. Even worse, he was last in the NFL in competition percentage, 31st in touchdown percentage, 22nd in interception percentage, 21st in adjusted yards per attempt, and 31st in quarterback rating.
What to expect in 2015: Brian Hoyer has been given plenty of chances to prove that he should be a quarterback in the NFL. His inefficiency has haunted him and it is hard to envision that this Houston Texans receiving core will change that. No disrespect to the rest of the receiving core but DeAndre Hopkins is the only threat in 2015. Brian Hoyer needs to play more like Alex Smith if he wants to lead the Texans to the playoffs because the defense and Arian Foster running clock can hold good offenses to less points. I think Brian Hoyer is not the answer for the Texans as a starter but is better used as a safety net for the Texans if Ryan Mallett does not pan out.
Next: Ryan Mallett Measurables