When Brian Hoyer returned to the New England Patriots for his third tour, the chance to compete for the starting quarterback spot after Tom Brady’s departure played a part.
It still does.
“For me, it doesn’t matter if there’s 15 guys in the room,” Hoyer, 34, said Friday during his video conference with reporters. “I’m always competing. When Tom was here, I was competing for the starting job. Now, I was probably never going to get that, but I always competed like I was going to try to beat him out. That’s the only thing I can do to make myself better. I think the more good players you add to a room, a group – offense, defense, team – it’s always going to rise the level of everyone else.”
Hoyer finds himself alongside Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and a fellow Michigan State undrafted free agent in Brian Lewerke. And he finds himself back where he’d been released in 2012, re-signed in 2017 and then released again in 2019.
Hoyer spent last regular season with the Indianapolis Colts before being let go in March following the arrival of Philip Rivers.
Five days passed.
“It was an easy decision for me,” Hoyer said of his one-year deal. “My wife and my family and I, we actually just decided to make New England home last fall. We bought a house here, I think it was November. We were moving back here and just planned on commuting if I was still with Indianapolis, so when this opportunity came I was obviously eager to jump at it.”
Hoyer has started 39 career games, including an AFC wild card, since entering the league in 2009. In addition to being a Patriot and Colt, he’s been a Pittsburgh Steeler, Arizona Cardinal, Cleveland Brown, Houston Texan, Chicago Bear and San Francisco 49er.
“I think we just felt like throughout my career – even though it’s kind of been all over the place – this has always felt I guess the most, you know, home,” added Hoyer. “… It was just a decision where, as my career gets closer to the end, the last thing I want to do is have my career end and then have to make a decision one more time on where to move. We wanted to put some roots down and were happy about that. And then when I had the opportunity to come back to the Patriots, things just kind of fell in place.”
Hoyer’s place on the New England depth chart is subject to change. His approach to quarterback competitions from past and present hasn’t been.
“For me, it’s to go out there and get better every day,” Hoyer said. “And if you’re not doing that, you’re getting worse. I know that’s cliché to say, but whether this was my 12th year, fifth year, seventh year – whatever it might be – I think you have to go in and compete like you’re going for that job. Whether you’re going to get it or not, I think that’s the only way to prepare yourself in case there comes a point where you do have to play.”