New Browns coach Mike Pettine knows a little about quarterback Brian Hoyer, from game-planning for him last season as the Bills defensive coordinator.
And while the Browns are widely expected to make a play for a quarterback in the draft, Pettine said he was impressed with the guy at the top of the existing quarterback heap in Cleveland.
“I think he’s a winner,” Pettine said of Hoyer, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I think the intangibles with Brian are off the charts. I think he’s a football junkie and I think you can tell he loves the game. He came from a system where he learned from the best in the game and that showed on the field. A lot of people based on his background kind of fall asleep on him a little bit.
“I think he’s a winning quarterback in this league.”
Of course, that game against the Bills last year also resulted in a torn ACL for Hoyer, which complicates his quest for the job a bit.
“I feel great,” Hoyer said. “I’m doing a lot of things. I’m going out and throwing everyday, dropping back. Started running the last couple of weeks. Doing a lot of strength training.”
If he can be back on the field for some portion of OTAs, he’ll likely have a good chance to compete, at least initially.
And Hoyer thinks having Pettine on board will help as well.
“A lot of people didn’t know his name until now but you ask anyone in the football circles, they know who Mike Pettine is,” Hoyer said.
For now, those two undervalued commodities are tied together, and might give each other the best shot at short-term success.