Cleveland Browns to Start Brian Hoyer; Why Not?

By Brian Skinnell
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, it was reported that the Cleveland Browns will be starting third-stringer Brian Hoyer at quarterback this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings. The team’s number one quarterback, Brandon Weeden, is out with a sprained right thumb.

Many folks’ initial reaction was to scream and shout, “why!?” Personally, I’d like to ask, “why not?” As someone that has followed the Washington Redskins since the day I was born, I know quite well what second-stringer, and the guy many thought would start this weekend, Jason Campbell, is capable of. Let me be the first one to tell you, it’s not much.

Throughout his tenure with the Redskins, it was awful performance after awful performance. He threw 38 interceptions during his four years there and had a quarterback rating of just 81.2. He finished with a 20-33 record including a pathetic 4-12 season in 2009. When he was drafted 25th overall by Washington in the 2005 NFL Draft, he was expected to be the team’s savior at the quarterback position. Instead, he was a flop.

Jason Campbell just is not a good quarterback. He’s mistake prone, inconsistent and sporadic with his play style. One play he looks like your franchise quarterback, and the next play you’re ready to sit him on the bench. Let’s not let the other quarterback in Cleveland, Brandon Weeden, off the hook, either. I don’t think that he’s the future of the franchise, and unless they plan on drafting a quarterback in 2014, they should still be looking for a starting quarterback.

So, why not give Hoyer a chance? The Browns have seen what both Weeden and Campbell are capable of. The only time Hoyer took the field was for mop-up duty in the preseason. How can you gauge a player’s true talent when he’s playing with and against players that likely won’t make the 53-man roster? You can’t.

In college, Hoyer was a solid starting quarterback at Michigan State. In two seasons as the team’s starter, he was 16-10 with two bowl game appearances and led the Spartans to a 9-4 record his senior year. He went undrafted and has bounced around the NFL with the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

What do the Browns have to lose by starting Hoyer? Who are we to say that Hoyer will fail miserably on Sunday against the Vikings? At this point, we simply don’t know. Let’s not forget who’s calling the shots for the Browns on offense – Norv Turner. Turner is known for his quarterback work and some credit him with helping shape Hall of Famer Troy Aikman when Turner was the offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.

Maybe Hoyer will turn out to be the quarterback that the Browns have been looking for for the better part of the past decade, or maybe he won’t. But before you bury him deep in criticism before he’s even taken a snap, give him a chance to prove himself.

Brian Skinnell is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, Like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.


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