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Patriots QB Brian Hoyer’s NFL journey reinforced by the list of targets he’s completed passes to

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Brian Hoyer has completed 837 passes since entering the league in 2009 – and to 71 different recipients.

Cincinnati Bengals v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The “journeyman” tag gets a lot of run when it comes to veteran backup quarterbacks.

Brian Hoyer has worn it well.

There were 11 passers taken in the 2009 NFL draft, and while the Michigan State product was not one of them, he’s gone on to complete more passes in his career than all but first-round picks Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman have in theirs.

Stafford has logged 3,005 completions with the Detroit Lions since arriving No. 1 overall via Georgia. Sanchez, picked No. 5 overall out of USC, has logged 1,295 between stops with the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears. And Freeman, now with the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes, logged 1,179 through stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts after entering at No. 17 overall by way of Kansas State.

Hoyer checks in behind them with 837 career completions, and in the absence of Tom Brady at the New England Patriots’ voluntary organized team activities, is the interim first-teamer.

One who has grown accustomed to stepping in.

“I look at it as a great opportunity to be out there,” Hoyer told reporters before Tuesday’s practice at Gillette Stadium, via Patriots.com. “Be the guy who’s in charge of the huddle, lead those guys, obviously get to know the guys who were here last year a little bit better and obviously get to know the new guys, too.”

New guys have become old guys for Hoyer over the last decade. The once-again Patriots QB has accrued his completions over stays with an additional six teams, also taking regular-season snaps with the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Bears and San Francisco 49ers.

And it’s taken a laundry list of recipients to get to 837. Like, a list of 71.

According to the Pro Football Reference archives, that’s the number of pass-catchers at this stage for Hoyer.

Here is a scroll down the names, the yards and the touchdowns he has had a hand in through 60 appearances and 37 starts.

RECEIVING END OF HOYER’S COMPLETIONS

  1. DeAndre Hopkins: 65 for 876 yards, 5 touchdowns
  2. Andrew Hawkins: 56 for 756 yards, 2 touchdowns
  3. Miles Austin: 46 for 564 yards, 2 touchdowns
  4. Jordan Cameron: 34 for 522 yards, 5 touchdowns
  5. Josh Gordon: 34 for 454 yards, 1 touchdown
  6. Taylor Gabriel: 31 for 552 yards, 1 touchdown
  7. Nate Washington: 31 for 467 yards, 3 touchdowns
  8. Pierre Garcon: 28 for 379 yards
  9. Cecil Shorts: 27 for 321 yards, 2 touchdowns
  10. Cameron Meredith: 26 for 295 yards, 1 touchdown
  11. Zach Miller: 26 for 234 yards, 3 touchdowns
  12. Alshon Jeffery: 23 for 320 yards
  13. Eddie Royal: 22 for 235 yards, 1 touchdown
  14. Jim Dray: 18 for 233 yards, 1 touchdown
  15. George Kittle: 18 for 171 yards, 1 touchdown
  16. Carlos Hyde: 18 for 95 yards
  17. Travis Benjamin: 17 for 335 yards, 3 touchdowns
  18. Arian Foster: 16 for 191 yards, 2 touchdowns
  19. Marquise Goodwin: 15 for 250 yards
  20. Gary Barnidge: 14 for 158 yards
  21. Kevin White: 14 for 141 yards
  22. Jordan Howard: 14 for 128 yards, 1 touchdown
  23. C.J. Fiedorowicz: 14 for 123 yards, 1 touchdown
  24. Ryan Griffin: 13 for 172 yards, 2 touchdowns
  25. Trent Taylor: 13 for 100 yards, 1 touchdown
  26. Chris Polk: 12 for 88 yards, 1 touchdown
  27. Davone Bess: 11 for 117 yards
  28. Jonathan Grimes: 11 for 80 yards, 1 touchdown
  29. Jaelen Strong: 10 for 120 yards, 2 touchdowns
  30. Alfred Blue: 10 for 66 yards
  31. Michael Floyd: 9 for 175 yards, 1 touchdown
  32. Ben Tate: 9 for 60 yards
  33. Keith Mumphery: 9 for 56 yards
  34. Chris Ogbonnaya: 9 for 51 yards, 1 touchdown
  35. Aldrick Robinson: 8 for 108 yards
  36. Kyle Juszczyk: 8 for 80 yards, 1 touchdown
  37. Julian Edelman: 8 for 74 yards
  38. Matt Breida: 8 for 49 yards
  39. Terrance West: 8 for 48 yards, 1 touchdown
  40. Andre Roberts: 7 for 58 yards
  41. Larry Fitzgerald: 6 for 63 yards
  42. Isaiah Crowell: 6 for 61 yards
  43. Sam Aiken: 4 for 30 yards
  44. Rob Gronkowski: 3 for 51 yards
  45. Taylor Price: 3 for 41 yards
  46. Akeem Hunt: 3 for 25 yards
  47. Bobby Rainey: 3 for 24 yards
  48. Greg Little: 3 for 19 yards
  49. Ray Agnew: 3 for 15 yards
  50. Garrett Celek: 3 for 13 yards, 1 touchdown
  51. Jeff King: 3 for 10 yards
  52. Josh Bellamy: 2 for 39 yards
  53. Brandin Cooks: 2 for 27 yards
  54. Ka’Deem Carey: 2 for 24 yards
  55. Jeremy Langford: 2 for 15 yards
  56. Garrett Graham: 2 for 14 yards
  57. Logan Paulsen: 2 for 10 yards
  58. Laurence Maroney: 2 for 0 yards
  59. William Powell: 2 for minus-1 yard
  60. Brandon Tate: 1 for 42 yards, 1 touchdown
  61. Wes Welker: 1 for 14 yards
  62. Ben Watson: 1 for 11 yards
  63. James Develin: 1 for 10 yards
  64. Sammy Morris: 1 for 8 yards
  65. Kendall Lamm: 1 for 7 yards
  66. Randy Moss: 1 for 7 yards
  67. BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 1 for 6 yards
  68. Phillip Dorsett: 1 for 5 yards
  69. Deonte Thompson: 1 for 4 yards
  70. Chris Baker: 1 for 2 yards
  71. Kiero Small: 1 for 0 yards

It wouldn’t be fair to ask Hoyer, who re-signed with New England after being released from San Francisco following the trade deadline fall, to name all of them. But it’d be fun to see the 32-year-old try.

The rolodex is running out of pages.

Hoyer completed passes to 15 of those 71 during his two tours in Foxborough. And those ranged from Edelman, Aiken, Welker, Watson, Morris, Moss, Green-Ellis, Baker and Maroney in first NFL regular season all the way to Cooks, Develin and Dorsett in his ninth.

There have been frequent connections and one-and-dones. There’s been 13 who caught at least 20 passes from Hoyer and there’s been 20 who caught two passes or fewer. There have been multiple future Hall of Famers. Andaltogether, Hoyer stands with 9,895 yards and 48 touchdowns on his resume with help from the assortment.

It’s taken getting familiar with the unfamiliar.

“Brian does a great job,” head coach Bill Belichick said during his pre-practice press conference Tuesday. “He’s done a great job for us. He has a lot of experience. He knows our offense inside and out and he does a great job.”

Second-rounder Pat White, fourth-rounder Stephen McGee, fifth-rounders Rhett Bomar and Nate Davis, as well as sixth-rounders Tom Brandstater, Mike Teel, Keith Null and Curtis Painter sit more than a couple screens further down the list from Hoyer’s 837 completions. Hoyer has linked up on nearly twice as many passes during his tenure in the league than those eight 2009 draft selections have combined to attempt.

So even for a journeyman, it has been quite the journey.