Michael Lombardi: “Hey. Have you heard of Brian Hoyer?”
Ray Farmer: “You mean the journeyman Michigan State guy who went undrafted in 2009, with one career NFL start who was cut flat by the team, the Arizona Cardinals, with some of the worst quarterback play since Kurt Warner retired as an arthritic old man?”
Michael Lombardi: “Yep! He’s available! Go get him!”
Look, the jokes that were going around yesterday had more to do with the fact that almost everything that’s ever been rumored about Michael Lombardi has come true. The only thing that hasn’t happened (yet) is the Browns trading for Patriots backup Ryan Mallett. With that lens, of course it’s somewhat comical that Brian Hoyer finally became available and signed with the Browns. That’s really where the comedy ends. In all, the Brian Hoyer signing is a good one for depth for a team that has question marks at the quarterback spot.
The bottom line is this: Regardless of how much I think Michael Lombardi likes Brian Hoyer and thinks he can be a starter in this league,1 it’s still Brandon Weeden’s job to lose. Even after that, Hoyer has to make his case better than Jason Campbell with Campbell’s big frame, athleticism and experience-stacked résumé. Brian Hoyer brings a level of professionalism and polish to the Browns’ quarterback depth chart between Jason Campbell and Thaddeus Lewis, but unless there’s an injury or a complete failure in front of him, I don’t expect him to be a factor this season for the Browns.
If he is a factor, barring something truly miraculous or a coaching job of Jim Harbaugh proportions, you have to think the Browns aren’t going to be doing very well if Brian Hoyer’s atop the depth chart. There’s always a percentage chance that I’m wrong about Brian Hoyer and he’s just been laying in wait for the right opportunity with the right coaching staff and surrounding team, but we all know that those chances are quite slim. After seeing so many quarterbacks in Cleveland over the years from Trent Dilfer and Jeff Garcia to Holcomb, Couch, Frye, Derek Anderson and Colt McCoy, you should start to get a feel for these types of things.
There’s almost no chance that the Cleveland Browns have a top-10 NFL quarterback on their roster today, and the percentage barely blipped with the signing of Brian Hoyer.
So really, shouldn’t we be talking about the Tribe?
- He’s on record saying as such. [↩]