We don’t quite know what NFL training camp will look like this year, but when it comes down to it, expect a lot of the same narratives to emerge as usual. Teammates will be battling each other for starting roles while coaches make difficult decisions about who has earned the right to start at key positions.
Which of these battles are worth keeping a close eye on? Here are five to watch this preseason.
The relationship between the members of the New England Patriots quarterback room appears to be blossoming quite nicely.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer have built a solid dynamic despite their competition for the team’s quarterback job. At one recent workout, no center was present, so Stidham and Hoyer took turns snapping the ball to each other.
This illustrates how well the two quarterbacks are getting along. While Stidham appears to be the early favorite to win the job, Hoyer is nothing but supportive during these informal workouts.
Brian Hoyer landed quickly with the New England Patriots after being released by the Indianapolis Colts, and it’s not just because of his familiarity with the organization.
Hoyer’s agent Joe Linta told Ian Rapoport of NFL Media that Hoyer preferred the Patriots because they are going to give him the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback job.
Agent Joe Linta tells me: “It someone offered him $5M or $6M to be a backup, Brian still would’ve wanted to be back in New England. They gave him a chance to compete for the starting job, and that’s all he asked for.” https://t.co/r0AE4MctMR
The Patriots are not pursuing other veterans. It looks exceedingly likely that Hoyer, Jarrett Stidham, and Cody Kessler will be their quarterback room in 2020. Hoyer and Stidham will likely compete to start. Based on this agreement, Hoyer is clearly confident he can seize that chance.
Bringing back Hoyer makes perfect sense for the Patriots. He’s deeply familiar with the system, having spent parts of five seasons as Tom Brady’s backup. Now that Brady is gone, he could theoretically back up second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, or potentially even challenge for the starting role.
The Indianapolis Colts have put an interesting name on the quarterback market.
As first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Colts released veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer after officially signing Philip Rivers.
This means the Colts are likely going to keep Jacoby Brissett as Rivers’ backup. The Colts like Brissett but wanted an upgrade, so he’ll be a quality second option for them should anything happen to Rivers.
This will definitely spark some speculation about the New England Patriots’ plans. Hoyer spent a long time as Tom Brady’s backup in New England, and they’ve shown faith in him previously. Though they may be planning to start Jarrett Stidham, Hoyer could be a veteran option who knows the system and will look like a steady pair of hands to Bill Belichick. It’s probably worth watching to see if the Patriots go after him.
Week 10 of the NFL season produced quite an impressive share of dramatic finishes and exciting moments, as well as some serious letdowns. After all, the Miami Dolphins won a game, and that has to come at someone’s expense.
Who didn’t have it together in Week 10? Here are ten big disappointments.
Jared Goff, QB, Rams
Take Goff out of his home stadium and this appears to be what he is. It gets even worse when he’s facing a good defense like Pittsburgh’s. He turned the ball over three times, including one very bad interception, and couldn’t even hook up with Cooper Kupp once in a loss to the Steelers. In tough road environments, Goff barely even looks like an NFL starter. The fact that his great disparity in play between home and road games has not ceased suggests has to be a major worry for the Rams.
Josh Allen, QB, Bills
Allen completed just over half his passes, but didn’t find the end zone against a Browns defense that has been vulnerable this year. He was fortunate not to turn the ball over, as he had it punched out on a pass just shy of the goal line that could have been disastrous had a teammate not fallen on it. The Bills are a good team buoyed by a great defense, but it’s easy to see what happens to them if they run into an equally solid defensive unit — Allen might not be good enough to overcome it.
The Indianapolis Colts have endured some tumult at quarterback this summer to say the least, and now they could be turning to a well-known backup option.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported Sunday that the Colts are “very interested” in signing veteran Brian Hoyer, who was just released by New England.
Jacoby Brissett, another ex-Patriot, will start under center for Indianapolis this season in the wake of Andrew Luck’s surprising retirement. However, second-stringer Chad Kelly is suspended for the first two games of the year and is much more volatile than the seasoned Hoyer.
Stidham, a fourth-round draft pick, showed immense promise in the preseason and was always going to make the roster. The question was whether he would supplant Hoyer as Brady’s backup and whether the Patriots would keep two quarterbacks or three if he did.
The 33-year-old Hoyer was drafted by New England in 2009 and spent his first three NFL seasons with the team. He returned in 2017 despite demand elsewhere, and by all accounts, was a quality backup to Brady. He’ll probably find a soft landing with some team in search of veteran depth at the position.
Once upon a time, Brian Hoyer looked like he had a chance to quarterback the Cleveland Browns to a winning season. He was promptly benched for Johnny Manziel, and no Cleveland quarterback since has posted a winning record during their tenure there.
Hoyer went 10-6 in his 16 starts for the team in 2013 and 2014. After watching them go 0-16 from afar, he couldn’t help but take a shot at the organization — or at least those who had driven him out of it three years ago.
Hoyer admitted Friday that he felt betrayed by the front office, at the time led by GM Ray Farmer.
“That’s obviously what happened,” Hoyer told Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland. “They’ve only won three games since then. So I think that explains everything. Is it three or four? Four.”
The Browns are 4-47 since benching Hoyer for Manziel.
“Obviously, things didn’t end there the way I’d like them to,” Hoyer admitted. “But when I look back at my career, those two years will always be so special to me … growing up and cheering for that team and then getting the chance to play for them and be a starting quarterback and play some good football for them. In the basement of my house back in Ohio, I have a lot of memorabilia from there and whenever I go back and look at it, those are always kind of the most memorable ones.”
This is far from the first time Hoyer has taken shots at the folks who were running the Browns while he was their quarterback. Perhaps he wasn’t the guy who was going to lead Cleveland into a new era, but they probably shouldn’t have messed with something that was somewhat working.
Hoyer would have probably been given an opportunity to start in Green Bay over Brett Hundley, but he knew that was temporary. As soon as Aaron Rodgers returns, he’d be filling the same role with the Packers that he will be in New England.
The Patriots signed Hoyer as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and he played for them until 2011, so there is plenty of familiarity there. He obviously wanted to play in New England again even if other teams were offering him a chance at a bigger role.