Thursday, May 23, 2013

'Tis better to keep a low profile

Sometimes, it’s a whole lot better – and safer – to keep one’s opinions to oneself.

Take Brian Hoyer, for instance.

Following the Browns’ organized team activities Thursday, the young man from St. Ignatius High School boldly told the assembled media, “No doubt I think I have the capability to be a starting quarterback.”

That one came from so far out of left field, it makes one wonder whether he needs a reality check. He just arrived in Cleveland and already he’s taking self-confidence to a whole new level.

Having the capability is one thing. Actually going out and proving it is something entirely different.

OK, Hoyer didn’t say he would be the Browns’ starting quarterback this season, but dropping “starting quarterback” into any conversation in Cleveland stirs more than a few pots. That’s a headline grabber.

It’s one thing to be confident about your abilities. It’s quite another to broadcast them to eyes and ears that thrive on stuff like that. It’s going to be a feeding frenzy in the Cleveland media over that line.

All Hoyer does talking like that is put more pressure on himself. As a newcomer to the team, he has figuratively placed a bull’s-eye on his back. And the spotlight will be even more intensified because he’s a local product.

Add the notion, whether true or not, that he’s a particular favorite of General Manager Mike Lombardi and you have the making of yet another budding quarterback controversy.

Hoyer knows he’s No. 3 on the Browns’ quarterback depth chart. He knows he still has a lot to learn with a brand new offense. He knows the chances of being the club’s starter on opening day range anywhere from slim to “are you kidding?”

As the new kid on the Browns’ block, he would have been much better off keeping his mouth shut. Talk to the media if you must, but couch your answers. In Cleveland, fans glom onto every word.

Hoyer knows the coaching staff makes decisions such as who starts at quarterback. It’s much smarter to defer to their judgment than try to get their attention by putting his confidence on parade.

As a Browns neophyte, he should slap it in sponge mode and do everything he can to make the coaches notice. It’s much better to lie low and let his talent speak for him.

For all we know, he just might have the talent to back up his words. Chances are, however, we’ll never really get to find out so long as Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell remain healthy and vertical.

It makes for a nice feel-good story, to be sure, that the local kid comes home and plays for his hometown team. But the likelihood of Hoyer upsetting the football world and beating out Weeden and Campbell for the starting job is extremely remote. That’s just not going to happen.

Not even Bernie Kosar could do that back in 1985. Despite all the fanfare that accompanied his arrival, Bernie still couldn’t beat out Gary Danielson. An injury suffered by Danielson in game five jump-started Kosar’s career.


  1. Well Rich I think you have slightly over reacted to Hoyer's statement. Like you admitted he said, "I have the capability to be a starting QB..." So what good is any player on this team when asked if they think they can start and they answer, shucks sir I ain't that good but hopefully I can be a role player. Come on cut the guy some slack. If he had answered no comment what would you have thought of that response? I did not read to much into his response and I do not think most fans will either.


  2. Anubiss,

    He wasn't asked if he had the capability of being a starting quarterback. He volunteered that in the midst of answering a question about something else. I picked that sentence out of the quote because of its audacity.

    Hoyer was brought to Cleveland as insurance against either injury or unexpectedly lousy quarterbacking by the two guys in front of him. He certainly gives them a better third quarterback option than Thad Lewis.