Weeden injury means Hoyer likely to get two more starts before any decision has to be made


Last week before the attention turned from Brian Hoyer and onto the trade of Trent Richardson, head coach Rob Chudzinski was non-committal about who would be the starting quarterback once Brandon Weeden returned from his injury.

This week, Rob Chudzinski named Hoyer the starter for the second week in a row while ruling Weeden out of the game with his sprained thumb. That was a veteran move by a rookie head coach.

Hoyer played well in his first start, but wasn’t without his mistakes. His first half was really good, completing 14 of 23 passes (61%) for two touchdowns and an interception. The Browns had 12 first downs in the half and were 3 of 7 on third down conversions. They scored every time they were in the red zone and scored 24 first half points. This after scoring 16 points total in their first two games.

The second half wasn’t as good. Hoyer was 16 of 31 (52%) in the second half with 147 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was very good on the go ahead touchdown drive though.

Hoyer’s play on Sunday might have been enough to earn him another chance this Sunday against the Bengals, but it really doesn’t matter once Chudzinski ruled Weeden out for the game. As Chudzinski said last week, Hoyer gives them the best chance to win the game on Sunday. It doesn’t matter if he has the title of “starting quarterback” or even “franchise quarterback”. That pressure just doesn’t exist because Hoyer is making a spot start.

He’ll likely make another one next Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills.

Brandon Weeden hasn’t thrown a football yet since his injury against the Ravens. Chudzinzki said that he will attempt to throw at some point this week, but didn’t know when.

Whether or not Brian Hoyer plays well against the Bengals, I would have a hard time believing that Brandon Weeden will be back under center for the Browns in that Thursday night game. And that works out well for Rob Chudzinski.

Chudzinski has the luxury of not labeling anyone THE starter. If Hoyer plays well against the Bengals and Bills, then Chud could give him that role, which of course will always create some kind of controversy or animosity. It always does when a starter loses his job, but especially the quarterback.

If Hoyer does not play well over the next two games, then Chudzinski can go back to Weeden without there being a problem since Weeden is the starter returning from an injury.

Is three starts enough to know what the team has in Brian Hoyer? I would say probably it is. For one thing, it isn’t just those three games. It’s the body of work before the season began. It’s the time spent in practice sessions and film studies. It’s the preseason games. All of it adds up to a pretty good snapshot.

The problem will come if Hoyer looks average. Let me rephrase that. The problem will come if Hoyer looks average by Cleveland Browns quarterback standards. (There is a difference, isn’t there?) Then Rob Chudzinski will have to make some sort of determination.


In the meantime, Brain Hoyer continues to live out the dream. This week will be his first start at home in Cleveland. Hoyer said he is looking forward to the opportunity to be introduced in front of his home town friends and family. The St. Ignatius grad and North Olmsted native grew up a Browns fan and said on Wednesday that he used to go to games with his father who had season tickets at old Municipal Stadium behind a post. Hoyer said he admired Bernie Kosar when he was a kid, and joked about watching Eric Metcalf run up the middle.

Standing there watching Hoyer answer questions and joke about the Metcalf teams, you couldn’t help but think that this guy is really ‘one of us’. Which makes it really easy to root for him.

Like all Cleveland athletes though, whether we continue to cheer for him has more to do with his performance on the field and less about the proximity to it from his childhood home.

Let’s face it, if the Browns had a winning quarterback from Sri Lanka we wouldn’t care.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Already? I fear you’ve suffered premature exaltation ‘lil buddy. I’m a Teddy Bridgewater guy for the most part but have yet to officially commit. I need to see more games for him and the others.

  • mgbode

    doesn’t matter if you want Bridgewater, he won’t be there when the Browns pick.

    of the rest, I like Hundley the best, but do need to see more of Mariotta (Boyd is really the only other I consider in the conversation as a top10 pick at this point).

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I agree on Bridgewater unfortunately for him Jacksonville looks to be in his future.

    Anyways good luck to whoever is making the personnel decisions when it comes to having to pick the guy out of multiple candidates. It hasn’t been done in Cleveland in 14 years and to say I’m skeptical that this time will be any different would be an understatement. There are just to many things that have to go right or wrong depending on how you view it for this team to be in a position to draft the next QB. Then as if that wasn’t enough as I said prior they have to choose the right one. Sorry man I just don’t like the chances. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen though.

  • mgbode

    it also hasn’t been attempted. the Cleveland Browns since ’99 have not picked a top10 QB that wasn’t 1st overall (and only did that once with Couch).

    picking a QB in the mid-20’s is different than picking one up near the top especially in a highly touted year for QBs. this isn’t over-valuing a cruddy Gabbert or Ponder because there just are no real options.

    and, if the FO cannot pick a QB, then we are going to suck no matter what anyways.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    There are almost always a number of QB candidates atop the draft but you are right. I also can’t help but be reminded of 1999 when there was a trio of QB candidates to select from and Tim Couch was chosen. Of course the other two weren’t any better ironically so it didn’t matter. Frankly I fear even had they somehow chosen the right one, say it had not been the three instead McNabb, that it would have mattered.

    So time will tell. The current regime will have an opportunity to see if QB #20 in year #15 is any different. And to be honest even if they blow it many of the same people will be talking about the same stuff so in the end it doesn’t matter.

  • mgbode

    I hope that they don’t blow it, so we can instead say at the end of every frustration: “well, at least we have a QB”

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    All that’s left is hope actually if you want to daydream maybe some of Tom Brady’s magic wiped itself off on Hoyer and despite 3 INTs in his last game maybe Hoyer will become the native son who leads the franchise back from the wasteland. Then those two first round picks could be used elsewhere like WR then perhaps an OG or even a RB.

    I mean if your gonna dream why not dream big right?

  • dcdawg

    I could care less about comparing stats between the two and all that non-sense. We won last week in a very exciting game. Just enjoy the ride folks…let’s see what Chud and the boys can do for us this week.

  • Gunner

    your probably a bandwagon fan. why are you posting about cleveland if your not a fan.

  • Gunner

    no i agree we need to draft a kid in first round but we need to not start him right away thats how they become a non confident player when they fail. The only reason i am arguing this is i just dont like the options we have in the draft this year. hope they make the right choice on who they choose. i dont think a mobile guy would fit well in our division.

  • @TheDeePagel

    You’re scaring me….

    Mentioning my name in your posts…

    Commenting on things I say days later…

    If I see some Kool-Aid packets in my mail, I’m calling the police.