My earlier posts on Brian Hoyer here, here, and here.
Before we go all in with a QB at #4…
More Hoyer, more YAC: the Bengals game tape.
Sign Hoyer now.
I link to them here because we shouldn’t have any confusion that Brian Hoyer’s play or the Browns winning record were unforeseeable events. Here is just some guy in New Hampshire on Hoyer last April:
My point is this: the risk of letting your starting quarterback play for you without a contract when your team is
likely probablysurely in an ascendency is OFF THE CHARTS.
This is way way way way too easy. Don’t be cute. Get Hoyer under contract. Now. Before the mini-camps. Before the training camps. Before pre-season. NOW.
But that ship sailed with the Browns non-signing of Hoyer. Then the Browns doubled-down in their disdain of their incumbent QB by letting the hillbilly QB coach chat up the hillbilly owner in the draft room and took the shortest QB in the NFL in the first round.
Flash forward to today and the Browns are 3-2 and Hoyer is the 7th rated QB.
So this is playing out pretty much exactly as was foreseen. Let’s catch up on the latest.
Big news on the Hoyer contract saga. Not only will Brian Hoyer command a huge payday at the end of a successful season, he also appears unwilling to deal with relentless Johnny Football intrigue ever again.
Who could blame him? All things being equal why wouldn’t Brian Hoyer want to avoid the Johnny Manziel circus?
Here’s what is known.
1. Jason Cole report.
The story was broken by Jason Cole on Bleacher Report. If you can get past the stunningly archetypal HOT TAKE reciter1 on the intro, Jason Cole’s report is here.
Cole leads off saying that this is a precarious situation and I think that’s right. However the reason it’s precarious is not simply due to Hoyer playing well. We’ll circle back to how the situation got to ‘precarious’ below.
He goes on to say that with Hoyer a UFA in 2015, “… he’s going to want to go to a place that a., pays him and b., makes it clear that he is the guy. And as long as Manziel is there, there’s always going to be concern from Hoyer’s side: is the team going to go with Manziel?”
Sounds right to me so far.
Cole also says the Browns may be forced to franchise Hoyer and then get rid of Manziel. “If Hoyer’s going to stay, Manziel has to go.” Even if the Browns want to sign Hoyer long term, according to all the people Cole has talked to who are involved in this: Hoyer won’t sign if Manziel is there.
Tony Grossi went out of his way to avoid linking to the report and at the same belittle the source with his piece yesterday: “… a Bleacher Report video blog was posted with the headline: “Brian Hoyer Won’t Agree to Long-Term Deal with Johnny Manziel on Roster.” Let me help you out Tony. Here’s Jason Cole’s bio: [Cole] has won numerous awards for his reporting, including two first-place and one second-place award from the Pro Football Writers of America in 2013. He is a graduate of Stanford University.
It may not be the Scripps School but it’s quite a bit more than a random ‘video blog.’ It’s a report by a credible reporter who is reporting information gathered from sources he’s willing to trust.
But if you don’t trust Cole, here’s someone you should trust.
2. Lane Adkins take.
Lane Adkins is the local reporter with either the most access to the most sources or just the one who is willing to report what he hears and trusts. I find Lane tops. This is what he had to say in yesterday’s Ask The Insiders (paid) forum:
Posted: Yesterday 11:14 AM Manziel/Hoyer reports.
Posted: Yesterday 1:37 PM Re: Manziel/Hoyer reports.
The underlined section is important and Lane chooses his words with care. This is a validation of Cole’s central theme.
Brian Hoyer himself.
Hoyer was asked about this report yesterday and he did nothing to diffuse the gist. Go to 1:42 for his talk on the contract status.
[Hoyer’s] first answer was: “I don’t know who got that report. That’s something that I have an agent to handle and right now I’m focused on Jacksonville.”
When asked a second time, he said, “I don’t think I need to say any more than I’m from Cleveland and this is where I want to be. But I also am a competitor, so I want to be somewhere where I’m playing.”
Pressed a third time if he’d sign a long-term deal if Manziel were still here, Hoyer — fresh off a 31-10 rout of the Steelers — said, “I’m not going to answer that question.”
It would be pretty simple for Hoyer to say that the report was incorrect, no? The view from here is that the report was on mark and Hoyer was peeved that it’s out there. But he’s not going to lie either.
As Cole noted, the situation is indeed precarious. That it is so, is due to yet another stunningly ill-conceived game of chicken with a key player and his agent. … and all this within weeks of the failed chicken gambit with Alex Mack. …and worse, you’re playing it with QB WHOSE AGENT PLAYED THIS GAME A YEAR AGO WITH JOE FLACCO.
Christ. Dumb, dumb dumb.
But here we are with our best defensive player (Sheard), all-pro tight end (Cameron), starting CB (Skrine), and now our starting QB all hitting the market at the end of this year.2
But putting aside the poor risk management practices in Berea, let’s put on our Brian Hoyer cap:
If you’re Brian Hoyer you would be foolish to do anything differently that adopt this hard nosed stance.
1. Two wins in 2013 with great QB play for a rookie coach. The two Hoyer games from last year are broken down in the links above. They weren’t flukes. Seriously, I can’t make it any easier.. the film is condensed and you can see Hoyer’s work last year in two ten minute videos.
2. Commitment. Reports indicate that Hoyer was in Berea every day in the off-season, training to get back in shape. I believe Hoyer was the first person Coach Pett met in his first day at Berea.
In spite of this the Browns draft Johnny Manziel in the first round, absolutely lighting a bonfire on top of all the work your starting QB was quietly doing in the background to prepare for the season. Exactly the work and commitment and leadership that you want from a starting QB — all Berea shat all over it and then..
3. Winning the asinine ‘QB competition.’ Hoyer won but wasn’t impressive. How impressive would you be at your job if there were 20 reporters waiting breathlessly for your competitor to take your job away? Not very, I assure you. But then imagine how you’d be affected your direct superior was blowing the new guy.
4. Dowell Loggains, Idiot QB Coach. Here’s a three page piece on Dowell Loggains in September. SEPTEMBER! AFTER THREE GAMES! It contains this much content on the current starting QB:
“Brian’s done a great job managing the huddle, making some big throws in critical situations, and I think his play can improve as he gets more comfortable in the offense.
“It’s happened a little faster than I thought it would.”
There’s 800+ words in this report. 42 are on Hoyer. Hoyer is the starting QB. Has been the starting QB for three games. You can say that it’s on the reporter (Steve Doerschuk) for asking Manziel questions. But it’s also on the QB Coach to redirect the questions toward his current primary charge: Brian Hoyer.
And that might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. A report like this, after Hoyer’s busting ass, playing well, beat the Saints, just missed beating the Ravens… and the idiot QB coach still wants to talk Johnny.
Great job managing the huddle? Wow thanks Dowell. You’ll be managing huddles in the Sun Belt next year if Hoyer signs.
“Christ, what happens when I throw my first interception?” He has to be thinking. “I’m balling out here and the talk is still Manziel. What happens if I have a bad game? Because it’s going to happen. The jackals will be screaming for Manziel.”
Hoyer is 100% right to avoid the Manziel circus. If he sticks around, it’ll be his NFL death.
If Hoyer continues on his current pace, oh wait, here’s his current pace: seventh in PFF QB rating…
If Hoyer continues on his current pace, he will get paid and will have multiple places to get paid. Look at the list above. Can you name the backups of the other ten QBs on that list? I can’t either.
Hoyer won’t have to put up with the Manziel sideshow with all the sideline shots of Johnny waiting to come in and with all the Manziel jersey sales data and with all the horseshit that no other good QBs deal with.
He’d be a damn fool not to take charge of his career and get in a spot where he’s not viewed as a seat warmer for the a backup QB with a Q Score on par with Peyton Manning.
It’s not personal. Or it might be, but who wouldn’t be torqued after what he’s been through. But regardless of whether it’s personal and payback… it’s also simply smart.
Put it this way, if Manziel were backing up Roethlisberger all the talk in Pittsburgh now would be ‘should Johnny start next week?’
Any QB who can choose, would choose to avoid such a recipe for drama. Hoyer is on his way to being able to choose. Don’t blame him for choosing wisely.