Saturday, October 5, 2013

Is Brian Hoyer the Answer?

It's very unfortunate that Brian Hoyer got injured.  He looks like a guy who can play at a high level in the NFL, and in the eyes of the coaching staff perhaps he is rated even more highly than Brandon Weeden.  

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer scrambles as he looks for a receiver during the first half of an exhibition against the Chicago Bears on Aug. 29 in Chicago. (AP photo)

Does that mean that Hoyer will be the starting quarterback in 2014?  

I don't think so.  From a pure football point of view, Hoyer has many of the same deficiencies of one Colt McCoy.   Namely, he is undersized, slow and does not have a cannon for an arm.  That means he is going to get pounded, especially on a team like the Browns that thinks that pass blocking is for sissies.  As of game 5, Weeden and Hoyer have been sacked 22 times already, which puts them among the league leaders in that category.  Anyway, check out the similarities between Brian and Colt:

                  Brian Hoyer       Colt McCoy
Age                   27                     27
Height             6 2                     6 1
Weight            215                     215
40 time           5.02                    4.79
Draft          undrafted                3rd Round, Browns
     For the record, the Village Elliot has never really been of the opinion that quarterback is the worst problem on the Browns.  McCoy is probably a decent NFL quarterback, whose best asset is a good football mind rather than fantastic physical skills, and he may get a chance to show it in San Francisco if Colin Kaepernick should be unavailable and miss a few starts.  

That said, Brandon Weeden has a better arm and is a little bigger, at 6'4" and 220 lbs, meaning that he might be a little better able to survive the pounding that Browns require of their quarterbacks. Not sure if he was worth a number one pick, but he can play.
Despite their inability to protect a quarterback, my belief is that the Browns are interested in obtaining a strong draft position in order to draft a name quarterback in the first round, possibly with the aid of a trade.  This is desirable from the standpoint of increasing the value of the team when it is sold (hopefully sooner rather than later).   A sale of the team may be necessitated by the poor financial health of Pilot Flying J, the truck stock firm owned by the Haslam Family, which also happens to own the Cleveland Browns.  

Having decided to draft the stud qb next year, the Browns are seeking a slew of draft picks to trade up if they have to (although by losing enough games, this might not be necessary).  The Browns saw how the Redskins seemed to improve their team dramatically by trading up for Robert Griffin III, and they would like to do the same thing.  Hence they are after other draft picks for trading stock, but they might be in the top 10 anyway simply by losing enough games. 

Based on this logic, Hoyer is not going to be of interest for the top spot, but might make the team as a backup.  Similarly, Weeden and backup Jason Campbell can also be had for the right price, but neither figures to be the starter in 2014.   

According to Ryan Wilson at, the Browns are also willing to trade Josh Gordon for the right price also ( ).  I also think that Weeden and Jason Campbell were considered expendable prior to Thursday night's game.  The Browns have continued to seek ways to trim 2013 salaries.  They are currently $26 million under the 2013 salary cap, which ranks them first in the league.
The Browns are said to be open to trading Josh Gordon.  It's hard to understand why unless you assume that the Haslam family is just short of cash right now.  

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