Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer knows how Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett feel right now. He’s been there.
Garoppolo and Brissett serve as back-ups for New England Patriots superstar quarterback Tom Brady and they are both waiting for their time to show their value in the NFL. Garoppolo’s time is now and he’s going to have to apply all of the lessons over the past three years during a four-game exam.
Hoyer served as the Patriots back-up quarterback from 2009-2012; the Patriots selected Ryan Mallett in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft and after one season in the system, the Patriots felt comfortable cutting Hoyer during camp in 2012.
Hoyer spent some time with the media to explain the role of being Brady’s back-up.
“You just have to sit there and watch [Brady],” Hoyer said, via WEEI.com. “That’s the biggest thing. He’s also a guy who goes out of his way to help, but I think for me I remember those years just trying to sit back and watch and soak up everything. Whether it was in the meeting room, on the field, training, whatever it might be, he’s such an intense competitor. If you can soak it all up, you just gain it by being around him.”
Brady is a team player that is willing to help each and everyone, but sometimes the players need him to slow down. The future Hall of Famer is on a different level when it comes to football and it takes a plucky back-up quarterback to interrupt his explanations.
“At some point you have to stop and say, ‘Hold on, how are you seeing this? How did you know?’ I remember that was a question, like how did you know that was going to be the coverage?” Hoyer said. “He said how it’s years and years and there’s definitely times where you have to stop and ask him how are you even knowing to take the ball here or check this play, but a lot of it was just seeing him operate. The intensity, demanding so much out of his teammates, that type of thing.”
Hoyer knows what Garoppolo is going through right now since this is projected to be Garoppolo’s final year in New England. Brissett is the 3rd round back-up to replace Jimmy, in the same way that Mallett was selected to replace Hoyer. They are all cogs in the machine of preparation in case of a worst-case scenario Brady injury.
Hoyer has spent time with the Steelers, Cardinals, Browns, Texans, and now the Bears since leaving the Patriots. He has been a quality back-up and a low-end starter in the NFL.
Let’s hope that Garoppolo has been learning from Brady, interrupting when necessary, and that he brings a little more to the table over the first four games of the season.